[General] King of Lively part II : LIE and CHEAT

Peter Fraser pfraser at spatialmedia.com
Wed Nov 11 22:06:19 CET 2009

Hi Steve (and list  -apologies if this message turns up more than once  
-am suffering email problems today)

You probably didn't read the rambling part of my post  -I don't blame you.

**I'm not suggesting that LK abandon Javascript, or browsers**. LK runs 
now (or has run, and nearly runs now) on the Java platform, using the 
Rhino Javascript engine and the Batik SVG library. A few tweaks seem to 
have been required to make it run (as for the various browsers), but 
afaik it is regular LK (yes  -lively team?).

There is no LK Java code required (Batik comes with a sample viewer that 
includes Rhino). I don't know how fast Batik is, but Rhino is almost 
certainly slower than the respectable javascript runtimes   -however 
there is an upside...

The key thing about the Rhino/Batik "browser" is that it *can be 
modified*. Sure you could modify Firefox to make it more LK friendly, 
but you would have to be able to push your changes back into Firefox to 
be meaningful.

The lieing and cheating angle involves the lie: "it runs in any 
browser"  and many cheats: (find the hot spots and optimise them in 
java  -or fix problems like the svg color api rather than living with 
them)   -whilst still preserving "don't get caught" by maintaining 
support for pure javascript on a browser. Even if took lots of java code 
it would absolutely be possible to deliver a fast, consistent Lively 
Kernel on the JRE.

Keep in mind that there is no LK support yet for IE, and that is a 
rather big hole which would be extremely hard to plug natively. If IE 
Lively will require a plugin to work, it might as well be an already 
widely deployed plugin that offers this magic cheat-ability.

Last I heard, someone on the Lively team (Krzysztof Palacz I think) was 
working on the Java version, but intriguingly  -he was using the new 
scene-graph libraries rather than Batik.  If this work has stalled, it 
would be good to know so lurkers and shirkers might give it a go.

Ok, so you may have appreciated all this Steve and and still didn't 
agree.  Fair enough :-)

You also mentioned:

 >>Very few people will want to build entire"sites" on Lively but parts
of it should be widely adopted.<<

Personally, I can't see the value in using part of Lively. It's value is 
as a complete self-contained solution. I don't really want to build 
"sites" with Lively  -I want to make and share stuff on a simple little 
"virtual computer in a web page" (like an XO  -except free, and able to 
ship down a tcp/ip connection ;-)  )


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