The Math Forum: 1998 Summer Institute - sum98

July 6-11, 1998 - Swarthmore, Pennsylvania

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Everything you need to know to make your first JavaGSP page!

We'll start with what you need and what you do - the quick reference, as it were. Then we'll look at some other features, details, and considerations you might want to familiarize yourself with if you choose to incorporate Java GSP into some of your web projects.

What You Need | What You Do | What Works, What Doesn't | Other Details | Some Examples
The Official Complete JavaGSP Site at Key - Go Here for All the Answers

What You Need

Here's what you're going to need to make viewable JavaGSP files on your Macintosh or Windows machine. When you're done, you can transfer the whole folder to your web server for all the world to see. Links are provided if you are missing any of the downl oadable things.

This week at the workshop we've taken care of the first three items - you have a directory called HTML in your User Folder which contains the JSP directory, and the converter is in your GSP directory. You need to take care of the last item.

What You Do

Now follow these steps to turn your sketch into a web page that contains a java version of your construction.
  1. Open the GSP HTML Converter and open your sketch when prompted.
  2. Choose "Save as HTML" from the File menu. It will attach .html to the name and save it in the same place as your original file (your HTML directory).
  3. Go to your web browser. Choose "Open File" from the File menu.
  4. Find your file in your HTML directory and choose Open.
  5. Wait patiently while it loads all the Java class files (it only has to do this once, as long as you're working from this directory, so you can skip this step in the future).
  6. Drag your figure around!

What Works and What Doesn't

JavaGSP is in development and currently only supports a subset of the full features of Sketchpad. For the exhaustive list, see the construction section of the JavaGSP Gram mar discussion. One item that doesn't work right now is arcs, so don't include them in your sketches. Most other things are included. Start simple. Don't worry about including things that won't work. When you run the converter, it will tell you i f your sketch includes things that won't work. If you really want to use JavaGSP in the development of pages, read through the official list.

Other Details

You can read the full "grammar" of Java GSP at the official site. Here are a few details that I have found useful.

Some Examples

I've included two types of examples.
  1. Drawing a Solid and Its Net
    This example is sort of an electronic piece of paper. Instead of getting a static handout and following along to create your sketch, you can use this page, and drag the figures to compare them to yours.
  2. Investigating Parallelograms
    You don't need Sketchpad for this activity. The parallelogram and some useful measurements are included on the page, and you can print out the accompanying handout for students to use with the figure, or create your own.
  3. Identifying Polygons
    In this activity, students are given dynamic polygons on a page, and they must identify each one. An accompanying page, suitable for printing, provides some probing questions. Again, they don't need access to Sketchpad. For a complete segue from this m orning, the "handouts" page could be included on the page with the dynamic image and could contains forms. Students would just fill the form out and send their answers. So you could have a handout they turn in, or a web page they fill out. Caveat to th e web-based form - if the kids can't type quickly, having them fill out a form may limit the depth of their responses.

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Math Forum * * * * 7 July 1998