[Edu-sig] Shuttleworth Summit

Paul D. Fernhout pdfernhout at kurtz-fernhout.com
Fri Apr 21 01:23:40 CEST 2006

I've long been interested in making Python development more Squeak 
Smalltalk like. See for example a recent post of mine to the Jython user 
mailing list with some code (would be also useful for CPython with a few 
   [jython-users] ReloaderWindow 0.2 (improvements to selective reloading)

On the topic of an integrated 2D/3D crossplatform solution for Python 
(like Squeak has), I'd like to point to my related comments on this list 
from six (!) years back:

[Edu-sig] Common Graphical Framework for Python Tutorials?
   Fri, 04 Feb 2000 11:16:39 -0500

[Edu-sig] a modest proposal II
   Fri, 04 Feb 2000 18:03:01 -0500

[Edu-sig] IDLE/TK limitations for learning environments
   Fri, 04 Feb 2000 18:32:54 -0500

[Edu-sig] Not well supported on the Mac?
   Sun, 28 May 2000 15:24:21 -0400

Glad to see some interest in such ideas is perking up here. :-)

It's all quite doable with enough effort. Though I'd watch out for Squeak 
licensing and some Squeak unfinished complexity management issues. I think 
it might be better to just use the Squeak base cross-platform ideas or 
base code (or perhaps base a new work on wxWidgets) and build a larger 
common framework using Python technology and the Python license (and yet 
also of interest to Squeakers, like by adding in support for a Smalltalk 

Alternatively, one could build on top of Jython -- see my post on this 
list from last year on this topic:

[Edu-sig] On Jython for education
   Wed Oct 19 15:26:02 CEST 2005

I think the Jython-based approach might be easiest, though one then has to 
wrestle with other Java community and licensing issues. [I personally 
think the Squeak approach would be more stable and maintainable though, 
just 2000 lines of core C to port per platform, with widgets built on 
that, and a dynamic loading facility for other native code.] A 
cross-platform system supporting both Python and Smalltalk (and perhaps 
Java) on a JVM with a complete Smalltalk-like development environment 
(including cross-image debugging and development) and with 3D plus some 
sort of PythonCard/HyperCard framework out of the box, which had the 
option of running as a browser plugin, would be really neat. Probably at 
least few person months (for me :-) to get that going to the point where 
it reached a critical mass and was something people wanted to use or build 
on top of though. I've worked on bits and pieces of all these ideas in a 
variety of contexts, but never had a chance to put them all together.

--Paul Fernhout

Andre Roberge wrote:
> And, if I may quote from Kirby's follow-up post
> http://controlroom.blogspot.com/2006/04/shuttleworth-summit-day-two.html
> ---
> [...]
> Loosely coupled tools, with a bottom-up, open source curriculum
> writing process, will leave the question of tools somewhat open-ended.
> The lesson plans will specify the software needed, with multiple paths
> possible.
> ---
> +1.  I couldn't agree more :-)
> ============
> [...]
> Momentum seems to be building for a stronger graphics engine, either
> 2D or 3D, with Python bindings, that'll run interactively from within
> a browser. The Squeak folks may be willing to contribute to this
> effort. Guido feels we'll need to recruit new talent for this, as the
> Python community is currently pretty maxed out on projects. Should
> such an engine be developed, turtle stuff would be incorporated
> therein.
> =======
> I would love to see this happening and would definitely be willing to
> contribute to such an effort.  Of course, I would use this to port
> rur-ple to the web (as a first step).  Anybody else is as excited
> about this possibility as I am?
> André

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