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Introduction

What is dGrOb?

dGrOb stands for dynamic Graphic Objects. It is a graphic development environment, which means that the user, instead of using text written instructions like on a conventional programming language, uses graphic objects that represent those instructions, and creates programs connecting the inputs and outputs of those graphic objects. dGrOb is intended as a first introduction to the world of programming. It creates a fun environment where students can easily start exploring basic programming concepts and structures. This software springs from the idea that learning to program should be a fun and creative experience from the beginning, and not only at the end, after a lengthy exploration of a computer language syntax. This is why there is a strong emphasis on graphics and the ease with which the students can create a great variety of dynamic illustrations. The visual feedback inherent to this kind of programming strategy leads to an interactive experience, where the what-would-happen-if is just one click away, inviting to a constant exploration.

dGrOb is done entirely using Macromedia Flash so the only thing you will need to use it is the latest version of the free Flash Player which you probably have already and if not you can download here. It will run on Windows, Mac and Linux.

What dGrOb is Not.

dGrOb is not a full programming language like Java, C, or even Logo. In order to achieve the needed ease of use and all important fun factor, a lot of thought went into deciding what was absolutely necessary, which means that some common structures of regular programming languages are not present. Still, I believe that what is inside constitutes a good starting point, both for the student and for what still is a new project.

News

2006.06.10 Great News!!! dGrOb was selected by AMFPHP for its site of the month award. Thank you Mario and all the AMFPHP team, for the selection and for a great software.

2006.02.21 I had yesterday a chance to give dGrOb a spin in a High school, here in Vienna. First of all I would like to thank the students for a very motivating afternoon. After a couple of discouraging discussions in the bulletin forums with self appointed "Flash Gurus" it was really great to see the students, the real target of my work, immediately grasp the concepts of dGrOb and run with it in some exciting and unexpected directions. But see it for yourself, most of the examples that you can download inside dGrOb were done by 14 year old kids, within the two hours that the class lasted. Please note that they had no previous experience with programming whatsoever. Great work guys and, again, thanks, and thanks to the brave teacher who gave me the chance to try dGrOb live, first hand.

2006.02.05 This thing with the twins has been rather time consuming, but I finally got some time to work on this other thing. The first addition is the possibility to upload your work to a common database that can be access by everyone. (This was possible in surprisingly little time thanks to AMFPHP, which totally rocks.) So be nice to your peers and upload the best of your creations. The next step will be a simple player to showcase the uploaded works. Coming soon...

2005.06.05 Good News, it looks like I was able to track the problem that was causing all those crashes. It looks like the comboBox component of Macromedia was the culprit. So I had to write my own comboBox class. Anyway I haven't experienced any crashes since the change. Please let me know if you still have problems. Unfortunately there may be some problems loading models done with the old version.

© 2005, Julio García Sacristán


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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.