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Alice Overview

Page history last edited by Don Slater 8 years, 2 months ago


Code editor

The Code editor with tabbed panels is where different parts of a program are created. The Code editor also has a Methods panel and a Control Tiles panel, as shown. When Alice is first started with a new template, the camera is the selected object (instance), the Scene view displays the template scene, and myFirstMethod (the main method defined for a scene) is the open tab in the Code editor panel.


Methods Panel: procedures, functions, properties

The methods panel displays method tiles for actions that can be performed by the selected object, in this case the camera.

    • Procedures (perform an action),
    • Functions (ask a question), and
    • Properties (fetch or modify a characteristic trait such as name, opacity, and color).




Control tiles panel

In the control tiles panel, each tile represents a statement that organizes and manages the instructions and information (data) in an animation program. Some tiles in the Control panel tell the computer to perform actions in order while other tiles change the order in which actions are performed or manage information.


The methods and control tiles are dragged and dropped into the code editor panel to create statements and instructions that compose a program.



Scene editor

In addition to the Code editor, Alice also has a Scene editor, where a virtual world is constructed. To view the Scene editor, click the Setup Scene button in the lower right corner of the Scene View panel, as shown.



The Scene editor displays a scene similar to a stage where characters and props can be added for telling a story, creating a simulation, or playing a game. The Scene editor has a large view of the scene, a Gallery of 3D models, and a Setup panel. At the top of the Setup panel is an Undo button, a Redo button, and a set of Handle style buttons.


In summary, Alice has two editors. Each of the editors serves a specific purpose. The Code Editor is for the creation of program code. The Scene Editor is for the creation of the scene. The creation of an animation often involves frequent switching back and forth between the Code and Scene editors. To toggle between the two editors, click the Setup Scene button in the Code Editor or click the Edit Code button in the Scene editor, as shown.




To build an opening scene for an animation, objects (characters and props) are created and arranged in the Scene Editor. The gallery contains dozens of 3D models that can be used to create objects. 


Each object has its own unique characteristics (properties). The definition of these distinguishing features, the object's properties and the actions it knows how to perform is stored in a file known as a class. As can be seen, each type of object is labeled as a class. Each object in a scene is an instanceof its own class.





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