Command-line IDE (like Python IDLE) for xTalk

A place to discuss any and all xTalk implementations, not just LC LCC Forks, but HyperCard, SuperCard, MetaCard, Gain Momentum, Oracle MediaTalk, OpenXION, etc.
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tperry2x
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Command-line IDE (like Python IDLE) for xTalk

Post by tperry2x »

This is the start of a command-line only implementation for xTalk (Linux only: due to engine-compile problems in Win and MacOS).
The idea of this is to provide something that could maybe be used in education, on an inexpensive x64 linux PC in a classroom.
This is more than just a sample stack, this is the engine distilled down into it's minimal form - without all the 'toolset' folders and such. (I could mention this in the 'Education' section. Perhaps it needs moving there... not sure as it's technically an xTalk implementation too).
Just an idea at the moment really. (download link in mega)
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richmond62
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Re: Command-line IDE (like Python IDLE) for xTalk

Post by richmond62 »

I honestly don't think anyone will use a command line anything in education (except. possibly, at University level), as everyone wants the visual stuff.
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Re: Command-line IDE (like Python IDLE) for xTalk

Post by tperry2x »

richmond62 wrote: Sun Jun 02, 2024 7:28 am I honestly don't think anyone will use a command line anything in education (except. possibly, at University level), as everyone wants the visual stuff.
As I mentioned, (can't find it though now), our secondary school teaches in Python IDLE a lot. Having an xTalk alternative would be great, but this is just an observation.
I know they are using it a lot because I've observed them doing so, and also had been asked to deploy it to 93 computers via Windows group policy.

I wasn't looking to have the use-case of this debated (or have to justify it) or for it to be shot-down instantly: I wasn't trying to advocate this over the 'full-fat' or 'lite' versions of OXT after all. I just thought this section was for mentioning other implementations, so that's why I did.

If we want to see uptake of the xTalk language over something like Scratch or an alternative to Python, then surely it's great to offer something like this as an option?
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Re: Command-line IDE (like Python IDLE) for xTalk

Post by richmond62 »

My intention was NOT to shoot anything down at all, but to stimulate debate.

What I do know is that here in Bulgaria (which as everyone knows is in the centre of the educational universe) secondary schools are using GUIs to teach programming. Take that as you want as a marginal European country is not really representative in any really meaningful way.

AND surely xTalk's greatest strength is the visual component?

This summer my programming intro course will look at Greenfoot, a GUI front-end for Java, knocked together at the university of London "just because" as my Granny told me, a picture us worth a thousand words.

We will then move 'forwards' to OXT Lite and all the kiddos will sigh with relief.
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Re: Command-line IDE (like Python IDLE) for xTalk

Post by richmond62 »

There is an on-going debate about the usefulness of block-coding, and the (frankly unnecessary) move to command line coding.

I have encountered many, many children who just cannot. make that conceptual leap.

I believe this us for a few reasons:

1. They become habituated to block-coding.

2. They are expected to 'jump' to Python at 10-11, before they are psychologically mature enough to be capable of abstract thought.

xTalks such as LC/OXT are positioned almost exactly midway between the 2 extremes, so they are an ideal bridge.
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OpenXTalkPaul
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Re: Command-line IDE (like Python IDLE) for xTalk

Post by OpenXTalkPaul »

I've considered OpenXION as possibly the best method for command line xTalk, for two main reasons:
1) It implements a text version of Anwser/Ask (including derivatives like 'Answer Folder') allowing for user interactivity, it has a completely minimalist UI, yet the interpreter has some more advanced (than HyperTalk 2.x) language features included, such as support for Arrays.
2) importantly it can run on virtually anything that has a JVM (such as GraalVM, OpenJDK JVM, etc.) as long as the JVM is from the last twenty years or so ( I still have yet to test it out on Mac OS 9 though, lol).

My interest in command-line xTalk interpreter has not much to do with education though.
There's two use-cases I'm interest in:
1) Using xTalk the way one would write a shell script, for task automation. This was probably the instructions given to the completely separate team at Apple that wound up with AppleScript (which reads rather xTalk-like to me, although it's been said that's actually based more on Lisp under the hood). xTalk could fill a role like AppleScript, the same way .sh, python, or like Hammerspoon/Lua (https://www.hammerspoon.org). Many times the only GUI I need is a way to drag-n-drop a folder full of files for processing in some way. And when I finally abandon Apple platforms, I know I'm going to want something to fill the void of not having AppleScript and Automator on whatever FOSS Unix-like Distro I wind up using.

2) Sort of academics research oriented (OK, that is 'Edu'), A 'playground' implementation of sorts that is a line/script-chunks interpreter, that can output text and graphics to some outlet (such as a WebView or to DOM object if running inside a web browser). Basically I'd like 'Swift Playgrounds" but xTalk or Jupyter Notebooks with xTalk support. Much the same way that you can run snippets of code in many other languages (including like Python web ASM implementation) in Jupyter Notebooks (https://jupyter.org)

This certainly is a most important subject IMO, since at the core of our thing here is the engine(s) that turn xTalk script language into executable action on computers/devices,on as many platforms as possible, in as many ways as possible, the more the better,
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