[lively-kernel] Fwd: LK ready for prototyping?

Chip Nowacek chip at twostewards.com
Wed Mar 6 13:00:18 CET 2013

Thank you very much for your response. Very helpful. I am in your debt.

   - Any tips on how to reduce interactivity myself?
   - I understand the need of a deployment server. For my project, would I
   just clone the github repo, make my changes, and copy the lot to the server
   with a loading page? Are there any technical development-to-deployment
   workflow hints or tips somewhere?
   - Any how-tos for wrapping JS libraries? I am really only interested in
   Firebase at this point. It has no rendering. It essentially binds elements
   to a backend key store database with callbacks. Real-time data
   replication. No need for Node.js.
   - Is there any deployment stripping facility that would remove unused
   modules to shorten the load time?
   - Is it just IE that will give me trouble for deployment?
   - Is there a community of people using LK for their projects? I'd hate
   to keep bothering you.
   - What, at this point and in your opinion, are the top reasons people
   are not using LK for their projects? I hope you don't consider my question
   rude. I just need to understand what set of challenges I'm facing.
   Understanding reality helps when trying to deal with it.
   - Is there any circumstance or situation in which you'd discourage me
   from trying to deploy a full production app with LK? It's an important

Thanks again,


PS Do you think LK might ever morph into an implementation of Smalltalk?

On Wed, Mar 6, 2013 at 3:08 AM, Robert Krahn <robert.krahn at gmail.com> wrote:

> What Amber and Lively have in common is that they provide a runtime and
> tools to interactively develop client-focused web applications. Apart from
> that both projects are quite different.
> With Amber you will typically write Seaside-like Smalltalk-wrapped HTML
> code. The way how you write that code is different to conventional web
> programming, the result isn't. Amber comes with jQuery and of course you
> can use whatever other third-party JS lib you like on top that. Depending
> on your needs projects like angular.js or ember.js might be interesting.
> On the contrary, Lively Kernel encourages you to use Morphic. You don't
> have to as you can create any kind of browser supported output
> (HTML/SVG/Canvas/WebGL...) and of course you can use other JS libs with
> that approach as well. Integrating other JS libs with Morphic directly is
> also possible but depending on the scope of the library that might create
> conflicts. We successfully integrated things like d3, Markdown, MathJax,
> and others but if you take a library like ember that brings its own
> rendering approach than direct integration with Morphic will probably be
> challenging. Coexistence is certainly possible, though.
> Morphic really focuses on direct interaction. The typical first
> development cycle for a app written in Lively is the following:
> - Interactively add a Rectangle to the current world, change its size so
> that it serves as a container
> - Interactively add things like buttons, lists, texts to it. Interactively
> rearrange.
> - Start sketching out first pieces of logic: Let's say we have a button
> and a list and want to display list items on button click:
>   - Interactively give the list a name ("exampleList")
>   - Open an ObjectEditor on the rectangle, add a method #populateList that
> looks like:
>     this.addScript(function populateList() {
>         this.get('exampleList').setList(Array.range(1,10));
>     });
>   - try it out directly in the ObjectEditor by evaluating
> "this.populateList()"
>   - Interactively connect the button's fire connection point with the
> rectangles #populateList script
> - Try things out, Save your world, refine
> Later on you will probably do things like create a module to extract code,
> move common code into classes, write tests.
> Also consider:
> - You will probably want to shrink interactivity of the elements of your
> resulting application down. This is possible but we do not provide a
> "let's-make-that-morph-stupid-solution" at this point.
> - Even if you don't want to deal with a server you somehow need to deploy
> your application
> - A application written in Morphic that just does things you can typically
> do with static HTML (present static document-like content) will carry a lot
> of overhead compared to its usefulness.
> - Lively encourages a "one-page-app" architecture vs. the typical
> "one-page-per-process-step" of conventional apps. Since you want no server
> logic this should suite your needs.
> I hope that helps a bit. Other than that, I can just recommend to get
> started with whatever system you feel most productive at this point.
> Software development is mostly iterating technical solutions of your ideas
> anyway. What's valuable are your ideas and how they are shaped by the
> feedback of those steps.
> On Tue, Mar 5, 2013 at 12:33 PM, Chip Nowacek <chip at twostewards.com>wrote:
>> I've thought about your response while I have been looking at other
>> platforms. My circumstances have changed and I need to build a prototype,
>> yes, but one that can be then refined and deployed on a large scale (as)
>> quickly (as possible).
>> I am not a professional developer. Whatever system I use I will have to
>> learn and likely figure out how to integrate with JS libraries. I wish I
>> had your experience. LK seems like the most natural choice - but only if I
>> can take what I build into production. The only other platform I am
>> considering at the moment is Amber Smalltalk. I want everything going on in
>> the browser and potentially use something like Firebase as a replicating
>> direct-to-client key store. I really don't want any logic on the server.
>> Oh, and I need some lightweight expert system on the client, too.
>> If you were me, what would you do?
>> On Mon, Sep 10, 2012 at 9:04 PM, Robert Krahn <robert.krahn at gmail.com>wrote:
>>> Lively is a wonderful environment for experimenting. Of course this
>>> depends on what you want to achieve but in my experience you are able to do
>>> quite complex things pretty fast.
>>> Take this demo for example:
>>>   result: http://lively-kernel.org/other/fuelDemoVideo1.mov
>>>   building it with wiring parts together:
>>> http://lively-kernel.org/other/fuelDemoVideo2.mov
>>> It is a rough visualization of a how a car driving along a given path
>>> that highlights the fuel stations the car can reach with its fuel level
>>> that changes as it drives along.
>>> (The purpose of the demo was mainly to show how such a visualization can
>>> be created using a mix of graphical/textual programming and combining
>>> existing components, not the actual application itself)
>>> Creating the initial sketch (that was really running of course) was
>>> something that two people (that were very familiar with the system) did in
>>> the course of three hours. Pretty fast I guess. Tweaking things to look
>>> nicer and embedding ideas that came up in the process of building it took
>>> 2-3 days more.
>>> For the purpose of creating this interactive demo, Lively worked very
>>> well. However, important to mention is that this was *just a demo*. The
>>> application that came out of it not usable in the sense of a software
>>> product as you have to be careful of where to click etc. So a lot of issues
>>> related to the usability of the interface from the standpoint of an
>>> end-user were not addressed. Producing something like a "demo to be used by
>>> others" will definitely require *much* more time.
>>> Also consider that Lively / Webwerkstatt is used as a research
>>> environment as opposed to a stable development environment like Eclipse.
>>> Things look rough. Interfaces change. Tools evolve. We are currently
>>> working on a version of Lively that is more stable than what you find in
>>> Webwerkstatt (see the other messages on this list), however, we are not
>>> able to give any support guarantees.
>>> I agree with Jens, take a couple of hours time and try to dig in the
>>> system and produce at least a tiny part of what you have in mind and see if
>>> this feels right.
>>> I would love to see a new system build in/with Lively :)
>>> Robert
>>> On Mon, Sep 10, 2012 at 8:12 AM, Jens Lincke <
>>> jens.lincke at hpi.uni-potsdam.de> wrote:
>>>> Hi Chip,
>>>> did you play with it for 2 hours you to try it out, or what are your
>>>> experiences yet? It depends what kind of demo app is required... A mobile
>>>> app?
>>>> I think you could try, but be aware that it can be easy if you do
>>>> similar things others have been done, but it can get messy when you want to
>>>> go where no one has gone before you in lively ;-)
>>>> Best,
>>>> Jens
>>>> Am 10.09.2012 um 15:59 schrieb Chip Nowacek <chip at twostewards.com>:
>>>> Should I take the silence as: "Stay away from Lively" ?
>>>> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
>>>> From: Chip Nowacek <chip at twostewards.com>
>>>> Date: Thu, Aug 30, 2012 at 6:11 PM
>>>> Subject: LK ready for prototyping?
>>>> To: The Lively Kernel Mailing List <lively-kernel at hpi.uni-potsdam.de>
>>>> Hello,
>>>> I'm sure I am less than 1/10th the programmer of the least on this
>>>> list. I hope you'll forgive the my rather lowly skill set.
>>>> That said, I have a desperate need to create a demo app for investors
>>>> and production developers. In your estimation, is LK ready for that type of
>>>> work? I will ask about production readiness later.
>>>> While I'm asking, anyone interested in helping out with (what I think
>>>> will be) an important application with long legs? The domain model, 4
>>>> years in the works, is pretty stable. It needs a compelling,
>>>> highly-interactive front end (thus the LK question). In broad terms, I am
>>>> looking to build a cognitive tool that deals with human relationships.
>>>> It'll also need a mobile app at some point.
>>>> Thank you humbly,
>>>> Chip
>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>> lively-kernel mailing list
>>>> lively-kernel at hpi.uni-potsdam.de
>>>> http://lists.hpi.uni-potsdam.de/listinfo/lively-kernel
>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>> lively-kernel mailing list
>>>> lively-kernel at hpi.uni-potsdam.de
>>>> http://lists.hpi.uni-potsdam.de/listinfo/lively-kernel
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.hpi.uni-potsdam.de/archive/lively-kernel/attachments/20130306/af83b690/attachment.html>

More information about the lively-kernel mailing list