Viewpoints Research Institute

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Started by Alan Kay, Viewpoints Research Institute (VPRI) is a nonprofit public benefit organization incorporated in 2001 to improve "powerful ideas education" for the world's children and to advance the state of systems research and personal computing. Many of the institute's themes co-evolved with the inventions of networked personal computers, graphical user interfaces and dynamic object-oriented programming.

Its globally dispersed research group comes from a tradition of whole systems design developed by ARPA in the sixties and Xerox PARC in the seventies. Its ideology is motivated by user-centered systems design. Using this vantage point, the group invents computing technologies, content, curriculum, graphical user interfaces (GUIs), programming languages, implementation systems and processor and memory structures.


The Viewpoints Research Institute has produced, contributed to, or maintained several pieces of software. These include:

  • Etoys (programming language) A fully programmable graphical environment written in Smalltalk, to help teach programming to children
  • TileScript An interactive JavaScript programming environment
  • ChalkBoard An interactive, online document writing environment
  • STEPS (STEPS Toward Expressive Programming Systems) - working environment implemented in 20 thousands lines of code

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