Squeak running on iPad

17 June, 2010

Bert Freudenberg has recently got Squeak working on the iPad, and has the video to prove it!

Bert’s work is based on John McIntosh‘s original port of the Squeak Virtual Machine to Apple’s touch-based OS, modified slightly to enable multi-touch and keyboard input. Bert also added multi-touch handling to Morphic. Interestingly, he notes that “Morphic was designed to handle multiple ‘hands’ (pointing devices) from the beginning”, so Squeak has always been multi-touch capable, and just let down by operating systems until now!

Bert’s work will help the Etoys team prepare their application for the next machine from OLPC, the XO-3, which will also be a touch device. The new version of the Sugar OS for the new device is still being developed, so it looks as though Etoys is well ahead of the curve.

Given the recent changes to Apple’s licence terms for iOS developers, it’s looking increasingly likely that we will see Squeak-based applications appearing for the iPad in the future. After a forty year wait, the Dynabook is nearly here!

Rita Freudenberg has announced that “The official Squeakfest website is now live and ready for you to propose a presentation, workshop, or panel.”

Squeakfest is an annual conference where developers and users of the Etoys media-rich authoring and experimentation environment (based on Squeak) get together to share ideas, experiences, and their enthusiasms with colleagues from around the world.

This year’s conference will be held at University of North Carolina in Wilmington, North Carolina, in the USA from 26th—28th July, and the theme for will be “Etoys in the STEM classroom.”

The conference will offer an opportunity to reflect on the achievements of the NSF-funded project “Using Squeak to Infuse Technology (USeIT)” which is now reaching its 3rd year.

The team are keen to hear from individuals and groups with experience teaching with Etoys, as well as non-classroom Etoys use, particularly as it relates to OLPC pilots or homeschooling. More information will be added to the website as it becomes available, but the organisers ask presenters to get presentation information to them by completing and submitting the online form no later than 11th June, 2010.

To get a flavour of what to expect at the conference, have a look at our report from last year’s Squeakfest.

Etoys 4 released

31 October, 2009

Following his announcement of the release candidate last month, Timothy Falconer of Squeakland has now announced the full release of Etoys 4, which you can now download from their website.

The Squeakland Fall newsletter has the Etoys 4 release notes which detail the changes you’ll find, in English and Spanish. The newsletter also has some thoughts by Scott Wallace on this release which completes the hand-over of Squeak Etoys from Viewpoints Research to the newly formed Squeakland Foundation.

To publicise some of the work being done using Etoys, the Squeakland site has a new feature: the Squeakland Showcase. Everyone can now share their projects directly from Etoys to the website, where the Etoys community can then benefit from the many surprising and useful Etoys examples that are available.

Timothy invites anyone using Squeak or Etoys, to consider adding their name to their Squeakers list. More than 175 people from 35 countries have signed, which really shows the enthusiasm and reach of Etoys throughout the world.

Timothy adds “Special thanks to the Squeakland software team, particularly Bert Freudenberg, Yoshiki Ohshima, and Scott Wallace for their tremendous efforts in the last month. Your hard work really shows!”

Squeak Etoys release candidate

30 September, 2009

Etoys

Timothy Falconer wrote to the squeak-dev mailing list to announce the Squeak Etoys 4 release candidate, in preparation for final release on 21st October.

This release is the product of nine months of work by the Etoys software team, and several weeks of sprinting by Bert Freudenberg, Yoshiki Ohshima, Scott Wallace and Timothy.

The Etoys team are now looking for your input: Timothy says “Please help us test the new Etoys! We want to make sure that it’s rock solid before getting used in schools and homes throughout the world”.

You can download the Etoys 4 release candidate at http://squeakland.org/download under “Release Candidates”.

Highlights of Etoys 4 include:

  • loading and sharing projects directly to the central Squeakland Showcase
  • fully “license clean”, so that it can be included in Linux distros
  • improved toolbar and viewer
  • optional drop-down categories for the project info box
  • lots of fixes and new translations throughout

To learn more about what’s new in Etoys 4, you can watch an interview with Scott Wallace or an introduction to the new beta showcase.

If you find any problems in the release candidate, you can try the Etoys chat channel, or post in the forums, or if you’re able to reproduce the error, add a ticket to the issue tracker.

Timothy passes on special thanks to everyone who made suggestions or helped the team to test the betas, saying “We’d be nowhere without our community!”

The Mid-Hudson Valley Linux User Group will get the opportunity on 4th June to hear about a range of educational tools running on Squeak, including: SeasideScratchCroquet and Etoys. Joe Apuzzo will discuss his experience teaching 60 kids from 3th grade to 5th math and science (all within 15 minutes per group).

Find out more at the website.

The Software Architecture Group at the Hasso-Plattner-Institut (who have produced a great online Seaside tutorial and associated book) have recently been involved in using Etoys in the classroom. They kindly sent us this report about the experience of two of their members when introducing Squeak and Etoys to high school students.

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Randal Schwartz and Leo

Don’t miss this fun new video from Randal Schwartz and Leo about Squeak, EToys and OLPC.  Randal builds a very nice car demo.