The Undiscoverable/Etoys

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  • Projects? What are projects? How do I do that?
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  • Etoys is built on the Squeak version of Smalltalk. How do I get under the covers into Squeak, and then what do I do?

Hint: to share an Object or the desktop in e-toys

Drag over a buddy it should highlight

Big hint: balloon help

It appears if you leave your mouse over a tool on a toolbar or in an object halo, or many other objects.

Many of the answers to these questions can be found in the Waveplace Coursewore Basic Etoys tutorial videos.

Run the Demo and do the two Etoys tutorial in the program. Demon castle teaches you to use the halo of tools that you can bring up around any object on the screen. (Actually, you can right-click any object to get the halo, and then click each tool to see what it does. If you do that, and make notes of what remains mysterious, then the Demon Castle tutorial will be more revealing to you.) Etoys Challenge introduces tile-based programming and asks you to make things happen. You will have to experiment and think. We could do with more of that, the challenges, experimenting, and thinking, all three.

Now look at some projects, and examine various object viewers. Can you see how projects are put together? What happens if you click object code? Each of the parts of an object code line, which do something and which do not? What if you drag one by each of its parts?

Go back to the beginning, and click Make a Project. The toolbar offers various tools. What do they do? (You should try them all.) Now, how do you start a project?

Hint: Smalltalk and this Etoys environment built in Smalltalk are object oriented. Unlike other programming languages, you do not begin with code, but with objects. Get or make an object.

OK, what can you do with an object? Hint: Halo

Yes, yes, but where can one write code? Well, as I said, to have to try everything until something happens.

There is an excellent chance that by clicking and dragging you will find out how to create a new program, and how to add new code to it for each of the actions defined for your starting object. If you steal code from existing projects, you can go a fair distance without depending on explanations. But there comes a point where you need features of Smalltalk that you don't even know exist. Then you want documentation of one kind or another. The Waveplace tutorials give a good overview, and then there are books, printed and digital.

If necessary, you can go beyond these hints and get some answers.