Panda for kids

I am developing an IDE for use as a first programming environment in schools. It features Panda3D providing 3D turtlegraphics.

There is still a lot of work to do, but it is at present functional.

Any comments or suggestions would be appreciated.

  • Chris

Looks very nice. And i like the game examples, as they show procedurally generated content, coz not always is a graphics designer needed for graphics.

Two suggestion i have:
Currently you use a panda model as the pointer/cursor for showing how lines/edges are draw. No offence but it looked to me like the panda is pooping on the ground leaving some trails behind. It might seem very funny to children thou, if its it your intention.

If not use some other object for the pointing, like the smiley or some other more simple pointer object(like a 3d pencil).

  1. I so wanted to move the game examples to the center of the window and scale them a little. But im sure these camera controls will arrive in no time.

Keep up the good work, its better if the children learn some interactive 3d coding rather than how to roll a joint :wink:

Good suggestions. Yes camera control is high on the list of things to do, and quite straightforward in Panda3D of course. As for the choice of graphics: yours is an interesting point that had not occured to me. I will explore it further and see if I can find a more ‘neutral’ graphic - perhaps an image of a robotic turtle as used for original turtlegraphics at MIT?

Cameras aren’t that complicated:
[orbiting camera controls)

Great idea … though the GPL license does limit what people can do with it. (Sometimes that’s by design; sometimes that’s because people genuinely don’t understand why projects like Panda3D, Python, OGRE, Bullet, OpenCV, jQuery, Apache, PostgreSQL, X11, etc. choose permissive licenses.)


I’m no expert on licensing. Let me knwo if there’s a way I can improve upon GPL so as not to limit what people can do.

Panda3D is released under the “BSD License” (apparently modified slightly). So, that should be the default choice for most Panda3D projects. See

The BSD license (and the others I list below) has the advantage that it allows pretty-much anyone to do anything (as long as they give credit). While some hobbyists and educators fear that a greedy corporation will just “steal” their work and profit from it, lots and lots of people have concluded that (1) that’s quite rare, and (2) for-profit companies often make major contributions to open source projects (like for example Disney to Panda3D!). So, even if (1) happens sometimes, (2) means that these licenses overwhelmingly benefit the community in the vast majority of cases.

I’d be happy to discuss this more, either on or off list.

FWIW, here’s a reasonably complete list of (somewhat common) licenses that are more or less “attribution” (i.e. give credit, but otherwise mostly unrestricted): Apache, BSD, new BSD, MIT, X11, Perl artistic, Python community, Academic Free License, w3c license, WTFPL, zlib. Plus, some people release things completely into the public domain.


CMU, as well as offering Panda3D, also provide:

It’s well worth checking out if you’re interested in the education angle.

Kind Regards,