SimpleSeer - Bringing Farseer to the masses.

Topics: Developer Forum
Jan 21, 2008 at 1:58 AM
Hey guys,

I just wanted to show you what I've been doing with the Farseer engine. I've been updating Jeff on my progress, but I thought that some of you guys might be interested in what I'm doing.

I'm a 17 year old highschool student who noticed that alot of other highschool students are reluctant to learn programming languages because frankly, they can be intimidating. Alot of schools try to combat this by introducing languages like "Turing", which has a english-like syntax. I've decided to go one step further, and actually have the language actually BE english. The Farseer physics engine is just plain fun, and I felt that new programmers could learn concepts of object oriented programming if they're actually playing with visual objects.

Over the past couple of months, I started streamlining the Farseer physics engine. First I started the "SimpleSeer" library, which is just a high-level version of Farseer. Instead of dealing with bodies and geometries, you just deal with shapes. I was able to reduce programs that were upwards of a few hundred lines to just a couple dozen. Still, the user had to know a little bit of C#, which was a problem. I wanted MORE accessability. Therefore I created the SimpleSeer Interpreter, which consisted of an IDE that parsed lines of English and created a scene in the SimpleSeer Library (which created a level in the Farseer engine). Now thousands of lines of C# are reduced to a couple of lines of English. The language is also VERY flexible. I basically have a VERB NOUN (PROPERTYVALUE) (VALUEPROPERTY)*X syntax going on, and alot of garbage words, like prepositions, are completely ignored. There are literally thousands of ways to write the same command.

Obviously this project isn't something you guys are going to be using... but I just wanted to show you a somewhat different use for the Farseer engine. I'm hoping that Grade 9 or 10 Computer Science teachers will start to use this language to introduce their students to programming. It's a fun and easy way to get into it, and all of the test subjects who have tried it out seemed to have a blast while learning.

Anyways, you can find my project here at CodePlex:

http://www.codeplex.com/SimpleSeer

If any of you have suggestions, feel free to e-mail me: rbtaylor (at) kingston.net

I'd also like to thank Jeff Weber again for not only creating the awesome Farseer Physics Engine, but also for taking the time to show a genuine interest in my project. I really hope that you find success with the engine!

Thanks again,
Robert Taylor
Coordinator
Jan 21, 2008 at 9:50 AM
Edited Jan 21, 2008 at 9:52 AM
Very nice indeed.

But learning programming languages is much more than knowing the words that makes up the language. It also has structure/architecture.

Every time a language is invented that is more abstract than the others, the language needs to have different layers to be easy and flexible at the same time.

But it's okay to omit the lower levels of a programming language if it is to teach processing logic to people that has no previous technical/logical knowledge of programming languages.

I've not downloaded the project yet, i've only seen the screenshots. You are using winforms for the main application and a XNA application for running the game?
Coordinator
Jan 21, 2008 at 11:37 AM
Edited Jan 21, 2008 at 11:38 AM
Hey Robert, nice to see an update on this. I still think it's very cool and could probably even be targeted at middle school level. (6,7,8) I think the first step in teaching someone something is to make them take an interest. I think this would definetly make students take an interest!