[Edu-sig] re: Leo - python killer app?

Arthur ajsiegel at optonline.net
Tue Nov 30 03:16:37 CET 2004

Bill writes -

>Just wondering if those on this list are familiar with the unique Leo
>outliner. I am just an avid  user of it.... but I think it may be a
>instructional "killer app" for Python. :)

Leo has gotten enough generally good press that your recommendation pushed
me over the top, and I spent an hour or so with Leo. 

>The best features are probably not what are discussed when introducing
>it ... so you might have overlooked it. As a teaching tool I think it
>would be terrific.

You are right, I think, that one can get a false impression of it's intent.
I had understood its primary focus to be as a collaboration tool for larger
development projects, and with a steep learning curve. And if the kind of
folks involved with large development projects were to be warned of its
learning curve, it was - I thought - not something I would want to

Yet, it seemed manageable.

And I can understand where your thinking is leading.

DrScheme has a mechanism for loading lesson plans.  I can see how *.leo
files could be used to serve a similar purpose. Nicely.

Perhaps very nicely.

I like that it "makes do" with Tkinter. It plays to my sense of minimalism.

I like keeping my python tree clean and simple. And it seems to suggest
there is more to Tkinter than people tend to think.  

I *didn't* like that my source files ended up with Leo encodings/directives.
So that my source - read outside of Leo - was less humanly readable after
its encounter with Leo than it was before.  Though I don't know what button
I pushed to make this happen, what functionality it adds to Leo in working
with the source, and to what extent it might be avoidable.

Kirby is right that Jason had touted it before.  

"Killer app" I'll take a look at. I tend to shy away from "new paradigm"s.
But in fairness to Jason I kidded him a bit about the "new paradigm"
appellation he attached to Leo, and he admitted to perhaps some hyperbolic

I do think the idea of an executable textbook via Leo makes sense, though of
course its all in the execution of the executable.


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