[Edu-sig] CP4E in a third world country

Gregor Lingl gregor.lingl at aon.at
Tue Oct 7 22:45:08 CEST 2008

Hello Miguel,

Python 2.6, which was released one week ago, comes with a new turtle
module. Perhaps this is something, you and your kids would like as it is
pure educational Python software based on Tkinter. One of it's design
goals was to provide easy access to graphics, thus avoiding the need to
tinker around with the administrative overhead to create
Tkinter-canvases and the like. It covers a considerable subset of
MSW-Logo, but has an even nicer animation of the turtles - it's 'drawing
devices', which give a good graphical feedback about the correct working
and also possible bugs of the programmers ideas. Moreover it can be used
in procedural or object oriented programming style.

It can also be used interactively from IDLE, provided you use it with
the -n switch, for "no subprocess".  A link like (for Windows)

C:\Python26\pythonw.exe C:\\Python26\Lib\idlelib\idle.pyw -n

will do it. For instance:

>>> from turtle import *   # imports all the turtle-graphcis functions
>>> forward(100)
>>> left(120)
>>> forward(100)
>>> right(240)
>>> shape("turtle")
>>> fd(100)
>>> lt(840)

Sequences of a few elementary turtle graphics functions can be used to
compose rather eleborate drawings. All the turtle-graphics functions are
also available as turtle-methods, eg.:

>>> from turtle import Turtle
>>> bob = Turtle()
>>> ted = Turtle()
>>> ted.left(180)
>>> bob.color("red")
>>> ted.color("blue")
>>> ted.begin_fill()
>>> for edge in 1,2,3,4:
        for turtle in bob, ted:

>>> ted.end_fill()

(These examples just for whetting your appetite)

Moreover the module has an online-help via docstrings and provides the
possibility to replace the english docstrings with ones that are
translated to another language. (Alas, these do not exist in spanish
yet, but if someone wishes to do the translation I could give some hints
on how to proceed.)

The loading of these foreign-language-help ist configured via a
turtle.cfg file which also allows to configure several other properties
of the module at startup, such as window size, canvas size (with
scrollbars if necessary),  turtle-shapes and even  a  'logo'-mode
which  provides orientation  and  angle-measurement like in MSW-Logo.
The standard configuration is as to ensure  compatibility with the old
turtle module which was part of Python until 2.5

The module has also been ported to Python 3.0 and will be part of that
Python version which will be released presumably at the beginning of

If you want to try out the module with Python 2.5, you can find it here:


The online-docs (which are included in the distribution as well) you can
find here:


A sequence of turtle graphics demo scripts covering a wide range from
easy to rather sophisticated (including a demo-viewer script) you can
find here:


If you - or somebody else has any questions I'll be happy to help.

Best regards,


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