Author Topic: Greenfoot is a cross platform JAVA Object World development system  (Read 3175 times)

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Software Santa

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Greenfoot is a cross platform JAVA Object World development system for High School students on up!

What is greenfoot?

Consider greenfoot as a combination between a framework for creating two-dimensional grid assignments in Java and an integrated development environment (class browser, editor, compiler, execution, etc.) suitable for novice programmers. While greenfoot supports the full Java language, it is especially useful for programming exercises that have a visual element. In greenfoot object visualisation and object interaction are the key elements.

If you know BlueJ and a microworld framework (like Karel the Robot or the AP Marine Biology Case Study) consider greenfoot as the best from both: object interaction (BlueJ) and object visualisation (microworlds).

Read on for a more detailed description, or take a look at the screenshots to see what it looks like.
The Framework

The framework can be used to create a wide range of programs that can be visualised in a two-dimensional grid. Popular examples of such programs often used in an educational setting includes: The 8 Queen Puzzle, Karel the Robot, Conway's Game of Life, The AP Marine Biology Case Study and Turtle Graphics,

The framework in greenfoot has two main responsibilities:

    Make it easy to create graphical representations of objects.
    Control the execution (start, stop, step) of a simulation loop.

To accomplish these things the greenfoot framework supplies a base class GreenfootObject which should be extended by all classes that wish to visualise themselves. The two most important methods that must be implemented are the getImage() method which should return the image of the object, and the act() method which will be called in each step of the simulation loop.

When you browse the rest of this page, you will often encounter the term scenario. Scenarios are a set of classes typically created by the teacher/instructor that implements the base classes for a specific application. The idea is that the student gets an interesting framework that can be modified and extended to create even more interesting functionality. A scenario could for instance be one of the programs mentioned above.

The greenfoot environment contains the typical elements of a development environment:

    A source code editor
    A class browser
    Execution control
    A debugger

In addition greenfoot can visualise the objects from a greenfoot scenario, and interact with these. It can control the execution of the execution loop of a greenfoot scenario.

The most important feature of greenfoot that sets it apart from other development environments is the direct interaction. The direct interaction is available on both classes and objects,

Who should use greenfoot?

Greenfoot is aimed at programming at high school level or above (from age 13 up). It can be effectively used at school level, college and university, and even in advanced university courses.

The students at high school levels might not be as commited to programming and we have tried to create an interesting program that should engage the student. In order to do this, we acknowledge that students have different opinions on what might be interesting. Hence, we sought to create a flexible environment that could be customised for the specific group of students. Furthermore, in the design of greenfoot we considered the different learning styles of students.

The teachers/instructors in high schools can't be expected to have a lot of time and professional training, so the customisation (creation of scenarios/exercises) is made as easy as possible. In the future, we hope that many different scenarios will be available, so the teachers can just select the scenarios that best fits the students.

Greenfoot Version 2.1 available now
A new version of Greenfoot, Greenfoot 2.1.0, has now been released. This version brings some new functionality along with numerous bug fixes. New features include an improved sound interface, support for multiple worlds and minor UI changes.

New tutorial video: Shooting with Greenfoot
A new tutorial video is now available that demonstrates how to implement shooting in a Greenfoot scenario.

Greenfoot and Kinect
Connect the Microsoft Kinect to your computer and program it with Greenfoot. The Kinect sensor allows you to create scenarios that track human players, who can interact with the scenario by moving their bodies.

Taking Greenfoot further
Read some tips on connecting Greenfoot to Unplugged activities, GamePads, AP Computer Science, and more.
Check out the new local Greenfoot Hubs.
Getting started

You can get started with Greenfoot in three easy steps:
1 - Install the software    

If you don't have a Java system installed on your machine, download and install Java from Oracle. You need Java 6 (JDK 6.0) or later. Then download Greenfoot from the downloads page and install.
2 - Join the community    
Subscribe to the mailing list or join the discussion group to discuss ideas, ask questions, find out what other Greenfoot users are doing and give feedback.  (This step is optional.)
3 - Read the tutorial
Download the tutorial and read through it. Work along as you read, and within minutes you'll be right in the middle of Greenfoot programming.
If you know how to program in Java, you may like to start with the shorter Quick-Start intro instead.

System Requirements

To run Greenfoot, you must have Java 6 (JDK 6) installed on your system.
Note that only the version labeled JDK will work. Not the one labeled JRE, nor the one that comes with NetBeans, nor the EE version.
On MacOS X, Java is installed as part of the standard system. You do not normally need to download it separately.

Download Greenfoot
Before you download Greenfoot, please read the system requirements above.

Greenfoot Version 2.1.0
For Windows    Greenfoot-windows-210.exe
For MacOS X
For Debian, Ubuntu and other Debian-based systems    greenfoot-210.deb
For other systems (executable jar file)    Greenfoot-generic-210.jar

After downloading, you may like to read the installation instructions.

About Greenfoot:

What is it?    

Just looking
You can get a quick first impression by just looking at some screenshots here.

What is Greenfoot?
A brief overview.

Intro video
The Greenfoot Introduction video gives a general overview. Other, more detailed, videos are available.
The general use and license terms.

Some papers providing more detailed background information about the motivations and designs behind Greenfoot.

New to Greenfoot?

The Tutorial
The greenfoot tutorial provides a short introduction for new greenfoot users

Installation instructions
If you have downloaded the installer, and now want to install.

Programming with Greenfoot
You need this if you want to write your own Greenfoot scenarios.

More questions?
If you have questions that are not answered here, join our mailing list and ask!

(The mailing list is also a good place to get tips if you want to continue using Greenfoot.)

Who's involved?

Who has helped to make this thing work.

The Sun Centre of Excellence in Object-Oriented Education
The Sun Microsystems/University of Kent cooperation.

The Computing Laboratory at the University of Kent
Home of Greenfoot.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2014, 07:06:00 PM by Software Santa »


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