[Edu-sig] creating an interface vs. using one (Michel Paul)

kirby urner kirby.urner at gmail.com
Mon Sep 25 01:48:59 CEST 2006

> You do better at insulting me when you are not particularly trying then
> when you are.

OK, I'm not going to dissuade you from trying to jam VPython into the
Standard Library.  As I've made clear:  I think that's a stupid
strategy, a waste of time, and not essential to the future promise of
VPython, which has everything to do with Curriculum, and very little
to do with which Installer file we hide it in.

You go ahead and focus on where to shelve it.  I'm more interested in
what it's good for.

One thing it's good for is showing off Beyond Flatland's Renaissance
Era perspective, i.e. XYZ instead of just XY.  People are gaga for
"graphing calculators" but can't even get off the XY plane with their
sorry methods.  No Polyhedra, no Physical Realism.  VPython is good
for contrasting a computer-savvy math education with a
calculators-only approach.  Let's measure the gap, put a price tag on
it, in terms of future living standards.

What's very likely is that Python will continue acquiring bindings to
Game Engines, those full-featured simulators, some of them
Quaternion-fueled, that make interactive Imaginary Worlds possible
(ninja turtles, Squeakworld, Pygeo, whatever).

And yes, you can do Physics in them, projective geometry even (pick
yer poison, yar).

Silly Arthur thinks a small, easy-to-use XYZ Engine jammed into the
Standard Library should be the "winning strategy".  We could try it,
sure.  But don't you think it's a bit condescending, to think teachers
won't discover VPython.org just because they're too dumb to look
beyond "batteries included"?

Is this web framework you're talking about Guido talking about to be
Standard Library fare?

Even the core Ruby installer isn't bundled with Ruby on Rails is it?
Checking...  Not seeing it here:  http://www.ruby-doc.org/stdlib/ (did
I miss it?).

The people at Carnegie Mellon are making great strides, not just with
VPython, but with Panda3D as well.  But other commercial engines
already support bindings.  No, I don't have a complete list.  But with
IronPython controlling parrots and other such right from the
beginning, I think it's a sure bet that Python will be a favorite of
puppetmasters for some time to come.

Doesn't take a Financial Wizard to read the writing on the wall.


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