[Edu-sig] News about turtle graphics

Brad Miller bmiller at luther.edu
Thu Jun 29 00:48:02 CEST 2006

Hi Gregor,

The more I play with the new xturtle the more I like it.  Thanks!  I've 
been thinking about the following extension to TurtleScreenBase and I 
wonder what you and others think of the idea.

I like the fact that the turtle starts out in a coordinate system with 
0,0 in the middle of the window, and I like the fact that for beginning 
students 1 unit == 1 pixel on the screen.  But, I think that after a 
student has used the turtle to plot a sin or cos curve and learned 
about scaling the values to make the plot visible in the window it 
would be nice to place the turtle in a world coordinate system that 
matched whatever application the student was working on.  For example 
the gravitaion examples could be done in meters.  Let TurtleScreenBase 
take care of the translation and scaling after for you.  The API could 
be extended by a single call setWorldCoordinates(llx,lly,ulx,uly) that 
specifies the world coordinates of the lower left corner of the screen 
and the upper right.   (This is very similar to the ortho2 call in 
openGL.  Note, if the student does not call setWorldCoordinates then 
the turtle functions just as it does now.

I've already added this capability to the turtle.py that Vern wrote for 
Python 2.5 and I don't think it would be too hard to add to 
TurtleScreenBase.  What do you all think?  Would this be a useful 
addition?  Gregor, is this something you already have on your todo 
list?  Would you be interested?



On Jun 22, 2006, at 5:37 PM, Gregor Lingl wrote:

> Hi educators!
> One of the hardest problems I've encountered upto now
> is to decide, when a piece of software is ready to be
> be published.
> I've decided, that my new turtle graphics module ready
> now. A package, which additionally contains some
> example scripts. a tiny demoViewer and some documentation
> can be downloaded from:
> http://ada.rg16.asn-wien.ac.at/~python/xturtle
>  From now on it's the user community, which will largely
> determine the future development of the module. I hope
> that it will grow to more than one user (which is me)
> soon. (*) And I'm willing to continue development (preferably
> in cooperation with others) until it's considered a really
> useful tool by the community.
> In my opinion it should replace the current turtle.py in
> the standard distribution. We will see if others join
> me in this respect ...
> (Please note, that xturtle.py is a complete reimplementation
> of what I've shown to you some ten weeks ago.)
> For now I'll not write too much about it, but ask you for
> feedback and contributions to a discussion about the module.
> (You'll find some more information on the webpage mentioned
> above!)
> However, I'll give a talk at Europython 2006 on July 5th about:
> xturtle - an extended turtle module for Python as a vehicle
> for teaching programming concepts.
> For this, too, your feedback will be welcome. And you'll get
> back the slides of the talk ;-)
> Regards,
> Gregor Lingl
> (*) This hope seems reasonable since I intend to use it in
> the forthcoming 2nd edition of "Python für Kids"
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Brad Miller, PhD
Assistant Professor
Luther College
jabber:  bnmnetp at jabber.org

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