Hi, I'm currently a graphic design student with some web design courses thrown in. I was reading an old thread where someone was questioning why Scratch was so much more popular than eToys and a lot of the comments by the gurus and community lead me to believe that, based on the changes since that thread to now, that eToys is still somewhat confusing, and seems to remain largely ignored as a result. Even myself, who's not a professional programmer, but I did take every programing class I could in jr. and high school, found eToys (and to some extent SmallTalk) difficult to grasp. Granted, I'm not the intended young student that eToys is ultimately aimed at, but I noticed that even educators using eToys expressed concerns about ease of learning, elements of aesthetics which are either confusing or just not attractive, and most importantly the aspect of language and it still being required to really understand eToys.
I have been essentially lurking around, poking sticks and prodding etoys and smalltalk alternatively, though recently I decided to just stick with eToys as it's more-or-less close to what would want to do with the workspace on a squeak image anyway and it's technically still smalltalk.
What I wanted to do was try to find a way to assist/work with the team to help solve some of these problems. I have some ideas on the presentation front (again, I'm not much use in the technical side, I understand programming enough to use it for my own purposes, but in terms of systems programming, I'm afraid all I could do is prototype ideas in eToys for someone to figure out how/what to do with it, but I'm still learning!) but again, my forte is in visual communication and graphic design, and just based on some of the group's discussions, it seems that there's also other who believe some interface adjustments could move eToys from obscure curiosity to something more like what Hypercard was in terms of widespread education use (and of course, personal, entertainment and business use).
At any rate, I sent a private message through the squeakland form, but thought I'd post here, too. I know I'm not smart enough to hang around the guru's creating the systems of the future and programming environments that will replace smalltalk/squeak and such, but I see a definite area in which I could be of use to the eToys team on the development side.
Looking forward to responses and hopefully being able to assist in making eToys something that more effectively can teach users on it's own how to use it through it's presentation.
Thanks, all and much appreciation to all the work that's gone into the smalltalk and eToys systems. These really opened my eyes to what computers should be and what computer literacy really will mean in the near future.
Just for fun and to formally say 'hi' to everyone, here's a small 'fishbowl' type project (You just watch it and that's it, sorry!) I put together playing around with some visual ideas and abstract representations of concepts.