[Edu-sig] Squeak or HyperCard

kirby urner kirby.urner at gmail.com
Sat Apr 22 02:11:48 CEST 2006

> And then there's the question: why exactly is HyperCard worthy of
> reimplementation, and what are the essential features?
> --
> Ian Bicking  /  ianb at colorstudy.com  /  http://blog.ianbicking.org

I think the general idea is to give kids a fairly easy way to organize
material and share it, either peer to peer or from a more central

The web is how we do that now, but the amalgam of skills (HTML, Flash,
Shockwave, applets, cgi...) is not young kid accessible.  For one
thing, you need a lot of typing.

If I could drag a picture of myself to a top card, then put some icons
on a next card, then wire those icons to yet other cards, containing
more pictures and video clips, maybe some working code snippets (my
little Logo flower), then hey, the typing might even be worth the
effort -- especially if I can now easily ship this to my friends.

There's a close analogy with teachers looking for ways to get lesson
plans in some world-readable format, with working quiz scoring, chat
rooms, whatever -- something immediately usable given average mouse
and typing skills.  Moodle and LAMS come to mind as two examples (the
latter was showcased at the Summit, by an expert gent all the way from
Sydney, Australia).

In other words, in reinventing HyperCard, we're looking for some way
to deliver content that's both interactive and not dependent on lots
of adult intermediaries with more advanced skills.

What a lot of the adult world uses for this purpose today is
PowerPoint, but PowerPoint is not as flexibly event driven as
HyperCard was, and doesn't include the interactivity.

PDF in its full glory is perhaps closer to the ideal in some ways, but
most people don't know much about PDF's scriptable characteristics --
which are also too limiting.

In the original vision of the web, publishing to it was supposed to be
about as easy as reading it.  The Wiki tries to help with that, as do
reStructured text and the rest.  But the fact remains, kids face a lot
of hurdles when it comes to getting their content onto the Internet.


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