[Edu-sig] python for kids...

Winston Wolff winstonw at stratolab.com
Sat Oct 13 20:47:37 CEST 2007


For a lightweight graphics library on top of Pygame, you should look  
at "moonunit" which comes with my MakeBot program

Alternatively you can look at the subversion source code:
Check out the examples to see if the API looks good to you.  I think  
that's its selling point--a simple API get get going quickly.


On Oct 11, 2007, at 12:34 PM, Dethe Elza wrote:

> Hi Bryan,
> I'm not trying to water down Python too much, but I want them to have
> a great experience right out of the box.  They have both been
> programming in Scratch (http://scratch.mit.edu/) now, so their
> expectations are that they can get up and running with some graphics
> moving around and doing things, under their control, pretty quickly.
> I'm trying to build a lightweight library on top of Pygame to provide
> that experience.  I've tried showing my seven-year-old straight
> Python, getting it to read his name from the command-line and say
> hello to him, but he doesn't really get why you would want to do that.
>  To him, a program involves graphics, and since he's used to making
> programs with graphics already, it's hard to argue with that.
> On the other hand, Scratch sets up a pretty constrained environment:
> No strings, variables can only be numbers, no return values
> (asynchronous message sends only), no file access, no network access,
> can only draw on the background, not on sprites (programatically: it
> includes a drawing tool for editing sprites), no runtime
> instantiation, no subroutines, etc.  It's actually amazing what you
> can do in such a constrained environment, and the tools it does give
> you are inspiring, but think kids who hit the limits of Scratch and
> turn to Python will be disappointed and frustrated unless there is a
> path for them to get productive quickly.
> Of course, you mileage may vary.  My goal and yours are the same: Get
> them up to speed with Python, not a dumbed-down mini-language or
> environment.  But on the other hand, *I* feel more productive in
> Scratch (until I hit the wall of its limitations), so I don't really
> think providing a nice graphical starter kit for Python is a bad
> thing.
> --Dethe
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