Squeak and the Internet
dan at gui.com
Fri May 29 18:10:47 UTC 1998
Mark Guzdial wrote:
> >One place it seems to me that Squeak has some intriguing potential is in
> >the VM universe, where Java has kind of staked out the turf. There would
> >be some obvious advantages to a Smalltalk VM vs. a Java VM, not the
> >least of which is the relative maturity and completeness of the whole
> >Smalltalk world as evidenced by Squeak.
> >The VM is clearly under 500K. What isn't clear to me is how much would
> >have to be added to the VM to create a browser-usable (applet-like) or
> >stand-alone, networkable application relying on the VM. Clearly that is
> >to some extent application-specific, but what is the general feeling of
> >the community?
> Squeak Central has already done a lot of thinking on this, so I'll let them
> tell that side of the story.
> Lex Spoon and I just got some pilot funding to explore creating a very
> small VM for Web executable code. The practical problem that we're facing
> is having kids write code to distribute or to execute on a server. Kids
> aren't usually trying to hack the system, but the code that they write
> often does cause severe "Denial of Access" errors.
> Our hypothesis is that the problem lies in providing a VM that can do
> everything. Most people don't want to download word processors or
> spreadsheets. Most Java applets do something much more simple -- maybe
> visualize some live data, maybe do a little simulation. We think that we
> can produce a Squeak-based VM in which one can NOT do a word processor, but
> which we can guarantee no denial-of-service errors.
> Our brief proposal, for those who might be interested, is at
> Mark Guzdial : Georgia Tech : College of Computing : Atlanta, GA 30332-0280
> (404) 894-5618 : Fax (404) 894-0673 : guzdial at cc.gatech.edu
Interesting stuff. Creating applets in Squeak which run in a tiny VM on
the client is a really good idea and I think that your idea of focusing
on quashing common errors and issues rather than on broad functionality
is a good starting point. It will prove the concept at the same time.
How about the "other" kind of Web-based app, where the client has little
or nothing to download directly (perhaps only the VM and some thin
supporting layer stuff) and the code actually executes and resides on
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