[Edu-sig] IDLE wish (was Edu-sig Digest, Vol 31, Issue 16)

Gregor Lingl glingl at aon.at
Fri Mar 3 23:23:17 CET 2006

Arthur schrieb:
>>>-----Original Message-----
>>>From: Arthur [mailto:ajsiegel at optonline.net] 
> One argument against an "official" turtle.py module, is that it will be the
> Phone Company's Turtle, and the forces of agility and merit will be lost.
> To me it is better if folks wanting a serious turtle graphics implementation
> expect to look for it outside the standard distribution.
> I am perfectly aware that my approach to these discussion is not likely to
> get me liked.  Kirby, we know, is weird ;).
> ...

Hi Arthur and all of you ...
we all really know very well that you don't like to liked, except
perhaps by Kirby. But that's really not the point when discussing about
changes in the turtle.py module.

To me this discussion already seems rather strange. There are (I think
quite a lot) of people, who use turtle.py, as a part of the standard
distribution of Python, for their educational work.

Some of them feel, that the module is not adequate for their needs and
they propose to enhance it. A procedure, done so many times with so many
Python modules. And just in that moment there come two protagonists of
the Pythonic educational scene and state: if you want to amend it, then
we find, that it would be better to delete it completely from the
standard distribution.

That's a really weird conclusion. And it lets me ask myself, what
interests stand behind this sort of argument?

My interests are clear. I've written a book "Python für/for Kids" which
relies heavily on the turtle module as a visualiziation tool. (And I've 
got a really nice preface from Guido.) So clearly I wouldn't like 
turtle.py found to be deleted from the Python distribution.

What I and most other users of the python module want and, I think, many
teachers need, is: you can install Python and use it - as was said "out
of the box" - with children and young student (and also older students)
and thus have fun. A bit more fun would be a bit better. This comprises 
among other things doing some graphics without having to learn the 
Tkinter machinery.

I not only teach students but also teachers. Many of the teachers of
what we call "Informatik", sort of computer science, have a big stress
not only with their daily school life, as they normally are also maths,
physics or teachers of some other subject, but also with keeping contact
to the progress in so many branches of computer science. They need tools
they can learn easily and teach easily to students who (at least the
largest par of them) don't want to become computer scientists. Thats a
kind of cp4e. (Many of the e's will not learn more than one computer 
language, at least in Austria ;-( )

And of course it has many more merits, as for instance making Python
more popular etc. etc.

(By the way: who of us uses the really good turtle module of PythonCard?
I assume only few, and I think, that is because it's not in the standard

But I don't want to argue on this any more, as most of it has already
been stated in this discussion.

In fact I would like to support the idea of Vernon Ceder to transfer the
discussion of the development of turtly.py to some separate place. 
Perhaps it would be  possible to host it at sourceforge or something 
like that and install  some mailing list, e.g. turtle-dev, on it for 
several month. On python.org there currently approximately 70, many of 
which are low traffic.

There are really many interesting questions to  discuss and that is not 
possible in a fruitful athmosphere on a list where two people who do 
more than 50% of the overall postings (in terms of number not to speak 
of volume, as it was in the last six month) dislike it. Moreover it 
would also be not interesting enough for the majority of the 
participants of Edu-Sig. So it would suffice to report progress and 
results from time to time here.

So Vernon, could you check which possibilities there are?


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Gregor Lingl
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Website: python4kids.net

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