Wednesday, October 23, 2002

Smalltalk: Alan Kay has a Toy for You

Smalltalk is alive and well in the Squeak community. Since the inventor of Smalltalk, Alan Kay, moved to Disney and resurrected an open version of Smalltalk, the Squeak Birds of a Feather Session at OOPSLA has been a fun feature. Check out SqueakLand and you will wind up downloading a Squeak plugin to your browser. You'll feel better now that you have Smalltalk running on your computer again, despite the bugs.

"Etoys are computer environments that help people learn ideas by building and playing around with them. They help an "omniuser"—usually a child—create a satisfying and enjoyable computer model of the idea and give hints for how the idea can be expanded. SimStories are longer versions of Etoys that—like essays—string several ideas together to help the learner produce a deeper and more concerted project. A good motto for Etoys and SimStories is: We make, not just to have, but to know. Another motto that applies here is: Doing with images makes symbols. That is, the progression of learning moves from kinesthetic interactions with dynamic images to a symbolic expression of the idea."
-- "Etoys and SimStories in Squeak" by Alan Kay


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