[General] Intro and two questions

Owen Densmore owen at backspaces.net
Fri Apr 17 05:42:51 CEST 2009

Hi Dan.  I worked at Webster Research for Xerox ('72-80) hauling PARC  
Altos and tech to our labs.  Our printer software group worked on the  
Multi-Project Chip with a pre-print of the Conway/Mead VLSI book  
building a compressor/decompressor component for the band-based  
(memory striped) printers.  Peter and Alan were very instrumental in  
helping getting ST used at WARC.

Then off to Apple, then Sun, and now retired and out of harms way in  
Santa Fe.  Interestingly enough, Randy Smith (Morphic/Self) was my  
last partner at Sun.

Our (Redfish & the SF Complex) recent Seaside workshop was really  
wonderful, both in the joy of Squeak and seeing how it can be used in  
the web-app world.  Our goal is to build a really distributed Agent  
Based Modeling world -- objects/agents which have geospatial awareness  
and can migrate easily world wide.  Squeak and Javascript looks *very*  

Do you have any pointers to how you tamed JS?  Your object style?  It  
looks like the JS world has several object models from "classical" to  
"prototypal".  The LK browser has been very helpful.

One interesting problem we've run into is that almost all the JS  
libraries (Prototype, YUI, jQuery, ..) *presume* a DOM!  Gawd.  But  
then it makes sense, given the history.  I'm a bit surprised at that.   
Prototype, and likely the others, do have a modular design that lets  
you choose good non-DOM subsets from their repositories.

     -- Owen

Owen Densmore        http://backspaces.net
http://redfish.com   http://sfcomplex.org/
"You can do Anything, but not Everything!"

On Mar 28, 2009, at 9:06 PM, Daniel Ingalls wrote:

> Hello Owen -
>> Hi, I'm a newbie here, and will be taking a GLASS (Gemstone Linux
>> Apache Seaside Smalltalk) workshop next week at the Santa Fe Complex.
>>   http://sfcomplex.org/wordpress/2009/03/glass
> I think I remember your name from Xerox PARC days.
>> Dave West, who's sponsoring the workshop, suggested we look@ 
>> several
>> object technologies, including Squeak and LK.
>> This brings up two questions:
>> 1 - What is the relationship between Squeak and LK?
> Heheh.  One person was a principal in both projects.
> Also, LK as it's currently distributed uses the Morphic architecture  
> (which came to Squeak from SELF via John Maloney, and thence to LK  
> via me)
>> For example, can
>> Squeak on a server "talk" to a browser on a client?
> Yes, but this is more in the Seaside model than LK.  Could you use  
> LK to do this?  Again, yes.
>> Does it somehow
>> integrate into Squeak?
> Does LK?  No.  Not that it couldn't, of course.
>> 2 - Javascript needs care in handling .. Doug Crockford's nifty book
>> Javascript, the Good Parts, along with his website:
>>   http://javascript.crockford.com/
>> .. strongly suggests Javascript, when handled correctly, forms a very
>> good object platform.  But the trick is building up the subset of the
>> language that is useful and safe, and finding the right patterns of
>> use that makes it "Squeak-Lite".
> Mmm, not sure I like that name but yes, with inspiration from Doug  
> and a few ideas of our own, we have a wonderfully usable dynamic  
> object model.
>> So the question is: have you a document showing how to use Javascript
>> as you did building LK? How to build a nifty object system out of
>> Javascript?  It certainly is a surprising language when you take a
>> close look.
> Sadly we have not written much about this yet, though all the  
> sources are available of course.  Much of the work beginning with  
> the Prototype library, and then merging other useful bits was done  
> by Krzysztof Palacz in our group.  Along the way we learned a lot  
> about various pitfalls and ways to avoid them that would be valuable  
> to other travelers on the path.
> Maybe if there is a JavaScript conference on Maui...  ;-).
> Good to hear from you
> 	- Dan

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