[General] IE9 will support life? -and some Java progress

Dan Ingalls Dan.Ingalls at Sun.com
Wed Nov 25 15:04:52 CET 2009

Hi, Pete -

Good stuff.  A couple of comments below...

>Hi Livelies
>1. Is it just my imagination or is MS getting serious about IE?  A new
>VM (with radical new innovations -like tagged integers!) and a new
>graphics stack on DirectX.  I never thought it would happen (at least
>not yet,  I expected they would keep back-pedalling on IE to give
>Silverlight room).  The only missing piece from an LK perspective is
>what graphics api they will provide (surely they will have to provide
>something to replace vml -be it canvas?,svg?,xaml?). 
>Maybe this "browser as general platform" idea has got some legs after
>all :-)

Well, I still think so.  The LK project has had only the scantest of resources --
really no more than 3 people and usually two working on the kernel --
and yet it could clearly be a decent application platform and a competitor
to flash (this is becoming increasingly important out in the world)
if we got serious.

With regards to the successor to VML, my money is on canvas,
but who knows.   SVG is certainly a possibility,
but my sense of the buzz these days is that canvas will be the final
winner, and my guess is the folks at MS have picked up on this as well.

Besides its simplicity relative to SVG, canvas pairs well with 3-D in
two ways:  first most 3D engines need a canvas underneath, so
you find, eg, O3D providing both a 2-D canvas  and 3-D API;
and second, the 2-D canvas provides overlays such as, eg, 
heads-up display panels, as well as a projection screen for textures.

>2. Java progress
>A Batik powered applet that runs SVG/javascript turns out to be
>trivial.  There is even an example in the source distribution, and after
>a fashion, with a number of issues that I haven't looked at, and with a
>snappy start time of about 8 minutes  -it runs LK.
>an example can be coaxed into almost-life at the URL below:

Way to go, dude!  We used to say that, when we could print 3+4,
ninety percent of Smalltalk was working.  Well, if you can display a
running clock, I think ninety percent of LK is working.

I even managed to move it, copy it(!) and add a vertex to the second hand.
[by the way, I had trouble getting this to load a second time after
I caused an error (tried to bring up a menu)]

It would be nice if you could move forward to the new sources soon,
as various things such as the clock will look nicer, and it will be
easier to get, eg, the wiki working.

Pete, this is great!  It will be fantastic if you can push it through
to being a real IE solution.

	- Dan

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