Alice: A Programming Language

The Alice program is a free, open source educational programming utility that uses an "IDE (integrated development environment)" ( It was developed in 1999 by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University, including Randy Pausch, author of The Last Lecture. An updated version, Alice 2.0, was released on April 5, 2005, and a third release is currently being planned by Electronic Arts (EA).

Alice was created for the sole purpose of teaching programming. It allows users to utilize a drag-and-drop interface to create and place various 3D models in their “virtual” world. For example, the tutorial for Alice makes use of an ice skater that has various event commands, such as skating in a particular direction, or doing stunts. Users pick and choose these models and events from a drop-down menu, and add them to the interface. Because it is easy to use, users are able to create their own special “virtual worlds” with Alice. While the current models are custom, EA plans to use models from The Sims 2 for the release of version 3.0.

The Alice program’s essential purpose is educational at its core. It was created primarily to be used by those who oftentimes are not exposed or otherwise familiar with computer programming, such as middle school students. Alice was designed to be easy to use by anyone.

Reference sites for Alice include: - The Learning With Alice text site. - The Alice Project home page. - The Alice 3 Software page on the Carnegie Mellon website. - Alice tutorials sponsored by Duke University.

Alice Projects

The first project to use Alice was Alex's senior project. In these three short videos, Alex tells us what it means to have Aspergers Syndrome, ADHD and Dyslexia.

Video One
Video Two
Video Three

How to Use Alice

To help other students learn Alice, how to videos have been created.

Video One teaches you the basic functions.
Video Two teaches you about choosing objects and creating methods.
Video Three teaches you how to create events.

Source: Alice. Computer software. Vers. 2.2. Alice. 13 Apr. 2009 <>

Last updated May 8, 2009 10:28 am

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