A fun tool for demonstrating or teaching python?

Arthur ajsiegel at optonline.net
Tue Mar 11 01:44:41 CET 2003


>There was a discussion (I found it using groups.google.com) a while ago
>with some people interested in building a very easy-to-use IDE for
>teaching Python, possibly even with Kids.

IMO, VPython would work great for this kind of thing. www.vpython.org.
Simple 3d graphics.  Among the beauties of it, is tthe fact that it works
from the command line.

>>from visual import *
>>ball=sphere(color=color.blue)

creates a window with a nice OpenGL lit and shaded sphere.

>>sphere.color=color.red

and the sphere changes color.

And so on.

I am finalizing VPython .properties and .api files for ScITE.  Which will
hopefully provide a simple IDE for VPython.  I was not involved with
developing VPython. Noentheless, I am quite enthusiastic about it as a tool
for introductory programming - especially for younger folk.

I did a windows executable (py2exe) of a  nice Tower of Hanoi implementat
done in < 75 lines of Python as one of the VPython demos (by Ruth Chabay, a
physics instructor), - available at
http://www.dstoys.com/content/education/index_html/Visual%20Arts/Interactive

if you might want to get a quick look at what it can do.  Button 1 down and
drag to move rings.

What I don't have is the immediate inpetus to undertake creating a
formalized curriculum for using the VPython environment to teach
programming.  Maybe I'll get there eventually.  But others would probably be
more capable.

Art








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