"I have a mind like a steel... uh... thingy." Patrick Logan's weblog.

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Monday, January 28, 2008

Javascript and Smalltalk

Joe Gregorio writes...

Alan Kay had a vision for the web... Ten years later we have the Lively Kernel...

JavaScript, it's the new Smalltalk.

I can go along with the Javascript part. There are aspects of Javascript I like more than Smalltalk, and the other parts are not so bad either. Javascript does have some cruft that makes it more complicated than Smalltalk, oh well.

I can go along with the HTML and SVG parts too. But the Lively Kernel part has a way to go. Too bad it's built on the browser, which is a much worse medium than the Smalltalk image. Hopefully that will improve, but browser progress as an application development medium is depressing.

The web makes a helluva "image file". Morphic is a great UI approach, but the browser is not ready to fully realize it.

The current browser is not even up to the level of Smalltalk-72 running on a DG Nova, pushing that analogy a little over the top. It's kind of sad to see Dan Ingalls mucking around with LivelyKernel when he could be working on such a better medium. It's kind of like when Ward Cunningham was at Microsoft and they just couldn't figure out what a creative mind they had available to tap.


Patrick Mueller said...

The browser usage is pure paint, and absolutely the right thing to do. Have the browser save state with Google Gears, locally, to be later sync'd to your 'scm' server. Why not save stuff as JSON? I'm actually not sold on the SVG parts; the graphics are fun, but 'text-based' widgets with a reasonable JS library like ExtJS would be oh so much more useful.

IOW, I don't think this is anywhere close to MS's waste of Ward.

Patrick Logan said...

"I'm actually not sold on the SVG..."

SVG as a language, well, stinks, and it's not the way I'd prefer to hand-write things, that's for sure. It seems to have stalled in its evolution as well. Many years ago I thought it would be evolving to form a decent cross-platform foundation for text, graphics, and interaction.

"I don't think this is anywhere close to MS's waste of Ward."

You could be right and still not diminish the tragedy that is the browser.

stelt said...

Though developments haven't always gone as fast as people wanted and didn't always turn into what they themselves had dreamed up (it's committe style after all).

More and more people actually like SVG, see http://svg.startpagina.nl

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Portland, Oregon, United States
I'm usually writing from my favorite location on the planet, the pacific northwest of the u.s. I write for myself only and unless otherwise specified my posts here should not be taken as representing an official position of my employer. Contact me at my gee mail account, username patrickdlogan.