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New Leopard Applications – MCP Netstat, 12sides

November 28, 2006

In addition to Matthew’s MCP Netstat program, John Wilson’s 12sides wireframe dodecagon drawing example has also been posted to the Leopard Applications page.

Some Leopard users exclusively think of the language as being a way to create traditional software with the standard window commands, but as John’s work continues to demonstrate, you can also do some fun things with the graphics window capabilities, as well.

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MCP Software

November 27, 2006

One of the most vocal participants in the Leopard community is Matthew C. Paige, and through MCP Software, he’s created a couple of interesting Leopard programs that you may want to check out (MCP Media and MCP Netstat). Even though the programs were originally written in an older version of Leopard, the same functionality is still there in the current version of Leopard.

Just like me, Matthew is a Mac user, and if all goes well, I should be porting Leopard to OS X sometime next year. Oh, and don’t think that I’ve forgotten about Linux, either.

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Teacher and Student Testimonials

November 22, 2006

As more teachers begin to use Leopard, the benefits of the educational aspect of the tool are becoming obvious.

Megan O’Leary is a teacher who uses WeatherBug Achieve in her classroom, and after using Leopard for just one day, she sent in both her personal thoughts and those of her students.

My class wanted to write the two of you a note letting you know how much they LOVED using Leopard today!!

Leslie says: I think it’s a really great program for kids and people of all ages. I hope we get to do it again.

Emma says: It’s an awesome program!!

Liza says: I think it’s great, and it’s fun, and you get to experiment independently. It is one of the most fun projects we’ve done on the computer this year!

Chaun says: I think it is really cool and one of the best applications I’ve ever used. I love how you can use all of the different colors!

Anna says: I think it is great!! It is especially good for kids who may be looking into programming. It is also a lot of fun!!

Saskia says: I think it’s fun!! It is interesting to really experience what it’s like to make a web site!

Charlotte says: I really like the program that you made. It was very helpful to use the cheat sheet as I made my first window!!

Courtney says: It is really fun! It teaches you how to follow directions exactly how they are given!! It also helps with trial and error.

Etel says: I think it is a great learning experience. I think a lot of kids will like it because it’s so easy!!

Kyle says: I think it’s awesome!! It is so much fun to play around with.

Lindsay says: I think it is really cool. It allows you to change titles, colors, etc.

Mathew says: I think Leopard is really fun! It was great to be able to make my own window!

Diana says: I think it’s very cool. You can do many different things on it and explore the help section to try new things!

Sam says: I think Leopard is cool. I think it’s neat that you can type in different demands and it will bring up a cool program!

Marjie says: I think it is one of the most fun things we have worked on this year!

Liam says: I think your program is very creative. I would use it any time possible. It is very fun to see what you can do with the program. The cheat sheet is great and easy to understand!!

The other Sam says: It was one of the best activities we’ve done on the computers this year! It was really interesting and once you get going you keep learning more and more!

As you can see, it was a fantastic experience for my class. As I watched them navigate the program, it was amazing the amount of independence it allows them as they figure it out!! On the whole they found it to be an awesome experience!

Thanks,

Megan and Class

This is the type of feedback that helps to keep Leopard going, and if you’re a teacher or a student who has used Leopard, please send us your feedback so that we can share your story and help advance the language.

I’d like to wholeheartedly thank Megan and her class for providing this outstanding feedback!

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What? No Compiler?

November 9, 2006

Some people have questioned why the compiler is not a part of the current distribution of Leopard, and I just thought that I would publicly address the issue in order to help explain the matter. Yes, older versions of Leopard did allow you to create executable versions of your applications, but the reason why you’re not seeing that functionality at this time is outlined on the Leopard FAQ page.

Essentially, Leopard is operating as a preview release for WeatherBug, and we wanted to spend the first couple of months encouraging users to focus on their code. At this time, the emphasis isn’t on executable creation; instead, the emphasis is on program creation. In the future, once Leopard receives a longer commitment, we will bring back the compiling support in some way.

I would encourage anyone who is willing to submit their work to us to do so because we’ll then be able to share your creativity with the community. I know of at least a couple of applications that should be showing up on the Leopard Applications page once they’re ready, so be sure to join in on the fun and submit your own software so that it can get the recognition that it deserves.

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We’re Growing

November 9, 2006

It’s been a little over a week since we launched Leopard, and things are going swell. The reactions so far have been very positive, which is definitely encouraging. We’ll be continuing to spread the word to as many people as possible over the next couple of months, and you can expect to see some growth as a result of those efforts.

In fact, on November 2nd (the day after we launched), this blog was number twenty-one on the Growing Blogs list that is featured on WordPress.com. Onwards and upwards, my friends!

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Leopard 2.0

November 1, 2006

I’ve been saying for a few weeks now that the first day of November would be the start of the revival of Leopard, the beginner’s programming language that I’ve been working on since I was fourteen-years-old. Many of you have exercised extreme patience in waiting to hear about what’s been happening behind-the-scenes with the language, but since the time has come, I can finally publicly announce the direction in which Leopard is headed.

A couple of summers ago, I taught two five-day Leopard classes to students that were specifically enrolled in a Summer Camp program course that I was in charge of at a local technical college. Over the years, I’ve heard from teachers who’ve been impressed with the language and have used it in their classrooms (even college professors), but I had never personally experienced what it was like to use Leopard in a classroom environment, and as soon as those two classes concluded, I instantly knew from the student, teacher, and parent reactions that Leopard had some solid legs to stand on in the educational market. It’s always been my goal to get the tool out to as many schools as possible, and that’s why my collaboration with WeatherBug makes so much sense.

You may be asking yourself, what does a programming language have to do with weather? Well, besides being the best source for live and local weather information, WeatherBug has also always had a strong connection to the educational market, and this can be seen by taking a look at their WeatherBug Achieve program. With WeatherBug Achieve, students are able to learn from the data that is captured by WeatherBug’s network of weather stations, but with Leopard thrown into the mix, there is the potential that they can now use that data and present it in their own creative way.

On top of learning about the weather, students can also learn how to program their own software, and this combined instruction could dramatically enhance their skills in technology, science, geography, and math all through one educational program – WeatherBug Achieve. While Leopard is currently being distributed as a preview release in WeatherBug Labs and is not officially a part of WeatherBug Achieve at this time, you can probably already see the huge potential, and we’re looking for feedback from as many people involved in education as possible.

For the programming hobbyist, Leopard will continue to be a standard programming language, and it’s not like you’re forced to only build weather applications in Leopard. The WeatherBug controls and commands are obviously available for you to use if you wish to do so, but you can also build whatever else you want, and with ongoing support from WeatherBug, the language will be able to grow in a variety of profound ways. What you’ll see in the software during this preview release isn’t a massive step forward from previous versions of Leopard, but it does represent the start of where it’s hopefully headed.

In order to clear up any confusion, I just want to state that Leopard is still *my* product. Therefore, if you’re interested in any business partnerships, then don’t hesitate to contact me. As it stands, WeatherBug and I are partnering together to try and further development of the language itself and make it a useful addition to their line of products. We’re just now making this public, so if you encounter any quirks, let me know about them. Please give WeatherBug a round of applause for helping to get Leopard going again, and let them know that you appreciate both their current efforts and any future investments that they make in the software. I also want to thank Matt Hartley for helping to make this connection happen. Without that help, Leopard wouldn’t be where it is today.

I urge you to visit the new Web site, watch the demo video, check out the user guide, download the software, take a look at some of the applications, and then submit your own programs for us to post for the world to see. We’re building a community, and we want you to be a part of it. Finally, e-mail WeatherBug (leopard@weatherbug.com), let them know what you think of the tool, and tell them why you think it’s such a great teaching aid for students. The future of Leopard really does rest in your hands.

Stay tuned to this blog for further information about what’s going on and what’s being said about Leopard. I know it’ll be an interesting journey for all of us.

Thanks again, and happy programming!

Brandon Watts
Phone: 404.202.3476
E-mail: brandonwatts@adelphia.net
Personal Blog: http://www.brandonwatts.net

Leopard: http://leopard.weatherbug.com
Leopard Blog: http://www.leopardprogramming.com