Date of Original Version

1999

Type

Conference Proceeding

Abstract or Description

We present lessons learned from developing Alice, a 3D graphics programming environment designed for undergraduates with no 3D graphics or programming experience. Alice is a Windows 95/NT tool for describing the time-based and interactive behavior of 3D objects, not a CAD tool for creating object geometry. Our observations and conclusions come from formal and informal observations of hundreds of users. Primary results include the use of LOGOstyle egocentric coordinate systems, the use of arbitrary objects as lightweight coordinate systems, the launching of implicit threads of execution, extensive function overloading for a small set of commands, the careful choice of command names, and the ubiquitous use of animation and undo.

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