[lively-kernel] Time for another run at the fence?

Adam Spitz adam.spitz at gmail.com
Tue Apr 13 19:42:48 CEST 2010

What excites you about the Lively Kernel?

    Smalltalk spoiled me. Then Self spoiled me even worse. I've got
all these ideas in my head for things that I wanna build, but every
time I try to build them using mainstream technologies I end up
tearing my hair out. LK seems like a chance to build a computing
system that I can stomach on top of a platform that's actually got
mainstream support and is already installed everywhere.

How much time do you currently put into LK?

    For the past couple of months, about six hours a day, on average.
I've been working (see http://adamspitz.com/Lively-Outliners/ ) on
bringing some of Self's ideas to LK.

How much time do you think you could put into LK if you got fired up?

    I'm already fired up! But I can't keep spending this much time on
LK unless I can find a way to get paid for it. I'm considering a few

What are the top 3 or 4 things you would like to do for LK ?

    - Make it possible to use LK in a prototype-based way, without
those pesky "class" things cluttering everything up.
    - Experiment with direct-manipulation UI ideas. ("Poses" instead
of tools, etc.)
    - After that, my plans get a lot fuzzier. :) There are lots of
things I can imagine doing, or wanting other people to do:
      - A tile-scripting thing like Etoys.
      - An alternate syntax that hides some of Javascript's warts. (I
hate typing the word "function" all the time. I hate that "obj.x" rips
the attribute out of the object instead of doing a nice message send.
      - More of Self's cartoon-style animation techniques, and apply
them pervasively throughout LK.
      - Make it really easy to deploy an LK application on something
like Google App Engine. Or games using http://www.reddwarfserver.org/
(formerly Sun Labs' Project Darkstar).
      - Set up a Git repository for the official version of LK, so
that it's easier for me to maintain my own fork of LK, and to stay in
sync with the latest official version, and to get my changes
incorporated into the official version (if you're interested).
      - A debugger. (Though I don't think this is possible without
hacking the Javascript VM itself, so I'm not optimistic about this
      - A way to snapshot the whole image. (Ditto.)

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