Note: This project (or at least this phase of it) is currently concluded. See the postmortem critique.
I am uncertain if this project on SourceForge will see more development, but I am certain if there is more development on this particular SourceForge project, it will likely be in a radically different direction than the work published here to date.

New: See my recent essay: Why Educational Technology Has Failed Schools

The PataPata project is/was an experiment focusing on taking ideas from Squeak and Self and moving them to Python, as well as trying to go beyond the ideas in a Pythonic and educational constructivist way.

It also aspires to help people build microworlds and other learning tools for the Python platform, using a prototype-based programming approach.

It is intended to mainly support "unschooling", "free schooling", and "informal" education.

It has been previously discussed on the Python edusig list, although it now has its own mailing list on SourceForge here.

Francois Schnell has created a web page about PataPata with links to screencasts using Flash he made here and here (thanks Francois!). For bandwidth reasons, the preferred place to view the latest of these screencasts is on the ShowMeDo web site (in Quicktime) here.

The SourceForge project page is here where there is information about the SVN repository and downloadable release files.

The project was started by Paul Fernhout (pdfernhout at kurtz-fernhout . com; please use "Paul" or "PataPata" in the message body to get higher priority for reading).

The project's name was inspired by the South African song Pata Pata 2000 by Miriam Makeba about "dancing, singing and having a great time". "Pata Pata" means "Touch, Touch" in Xhosa, and PataPata aspires to make computer software touchable and changeable by the non-expert learner. [This project has no affiliation to that musician except as a fan.]

It is hoped that someday this project may be of use in the Shuttleworth Foundation's educational initiatives in South Africa or in other development settings like Sugata Mitra's Hole-in-the-wall project.

(Last revised: November 26, 2006)