Robert Dober wrote:
> On Nov 27, 2007 9:10 AM, Ryan Davis <ryand-ruby / zenspider.com> wrote:
>> On Nov 26, 2007, at 18:29 , M. Edward (Ed) Borasky wrote:
>>
>>> *Anything* to avoid Squeak!
>> well, I was going to chime in with support / info, but not after that...
> exactly, big thumbs down Ed,
> but seriously now, what's wrong with Squeak (unless that it is not Forth;).

Well ... both the full-sized Squeak and the eToys version packaged in 
the XO laptop are visually jarring to me, for openers. The mouse 
bindings are unlike anything I'm used to using. The fact that the whole 
environment is a "living document" -- I haven't been able to find an 
"undo" button -- is annoying.

> I also would like to have more information about discouraging other
> languages, that seems a bold and stupid move IMHO, not at all in the
> spirit of education on an open platform.
> If this were true I would be rather shocked.

 From the wiki 
(http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Getting_started_programming#Operating_Environment):

Development Languages:

     * Technically any language is usable
     * Python is strongly encouraged, to have a single language "under 
the hood" when the curious child looks inside
     * C/C++ should be used where Python performance is unacceptable, 
but try to keep it to a minimum, preferably as standard 
well-encapsulated and documented components
     * Smalltalk-speaking developers may wish to work within the eToys 
environment
     * Javascript can be used in web-based applications (Gecko or Opera 
engine Javascript implementation)

GUI Environments:

     * PyGTK or the PyGTK-derived Sugar system should be used for most 
"Window, Icon, Mouse, Pointer" type GUIs. Note, however, as of 
2007-04-21 that the Sugar "graphics" package is in Flux.
     * Pygame SDL-based 2D game environment can be used for "Canvas" 
graphics using "Sprites".
     * (Mozilla) XULRunner can be used to develop Gecko-based activities
     * EToys

The latest images I've downloaded have about 150 MB of free space out of 
927 MB. I have been building my VMware virtual machines with 2 GB of 
space so I can try things out. If you're sneaky about repositories, you 
can load Fedora testing or unstable packages with a simple command. You 
can, for example, say, "yum install erlang". :) But there isn't much 
room either on the base flash disk or in RAM.

I think a lot of people are looking at this as something other than what 
it really is and getting all excited. Back when I was much younger, the 
standing joke was that a child would get an electric train set for 
Christmas and Dad would end up taking it over. I can see something like 
that happening with the US-bound OLPC laptops.

These machines were designed to help children learn. I think if you 
download an image and see what's there, you'll understand a little 
better why Python is "strongly encouraged." It's the glue language that 
holds the whole platform together. Unlike most Linux distros, they 
haven't even installed Perl!