Many high school computer science students have heard of Turing, a proprietary language/IDE developed and owned by Holtsoft. The fact that Turing’s development environment is proprietary poses many problems to students who try to do their schoolwork at home. The $75 price tag is hardly justified, considering the limitations of the software’s functionality and support. In contrast, just about every other programming language has a compiler freely available. So the students either hope that the school has a distribution license (and apparently enough don’t), or they attempt to obtain the software (to do their assignments!) via less legally approved means. Obviously, this is not a good thing, and has a negative impact on a student’s learning experience, something the senior members of CompSci.ca do not want to happen.
A few months back, there was mention on the forums from Andy, talking of creating a free, open-sourced alternative to Holtsoft’s Turing programming language and an editor. Tony then split that topic, deciding that such an idea was deserving of it’s own thread. It can be found here. Tony has also published a post, discussing the legal aspects of an open sourced Turing compiler. If you don’t want to read through all four pages of posts, there is a lot of discussion on ways and means. However, general interest has died out and the project went cold for a while.
In the last couple of weeks however, rizzix has brought the subject back up. At first, some people seemed reluctant, however, I am happy to say the project seems to have taken off. Richard Drake (rdrake on the forums), has graciously registered OpenT.ca for the project and it is the headquarters for the development, announcements, and downloads. Currently,
Alex Reidler (Ultrahex on the forums) is in charge of developing the GUI for the actual IDE, and Richard is in charge of the documentation and the site.
If you have any additional questions about the project, or wish to help out, you can contact rizzix (the lead), or any of the aforementioned people, as well as myself, in the #compsci.ca IRC channel on AfterNET.org, or you can leave the questions here in the comments.