An image is a lonely place
josh at i33.com
Wed Sep 29 21:18:32 UTC 1999
This has a bit of a Jini feel to it. I don't know if you've looked
at the Jini Technology from Sun, but this is kind of what it's
driving at. There's no UI implicit in Jini, but it's founded on the
idea of a distributed community.
The one big problem that I have with Java (and Squeak), is that
changes to the class libraries easily break the entire system. This
is not a very big problem when your dealing with one VM and one set
of class libraries, but in a community setting, this is far to
fragile. I was probing at an answer before when I brought up the
idea of animate vs. inanimate objects, but I never came up with a
> I've been noticing how lonesome it is inside an image.
> There are lots of strong place based/community elements
> which surround Squeak. These are currently formed
> by the basic networked apps of email, the discussion Swiki,
> the mail archives, and so on.
> There is now lots of machinery which is available which
> would allow basic collaborative support right inside
> a running image (and there are some spacey ones imagineable
> using the 3D stuff that feel like 'Snowcrash')
> The kinds of things that I have in mind revolve around
> establishing a sense of 'place', which is shared, 'embodiment'
> of you the user explicitly some how in the interface and
> some amount of 'awareness' of the presence of
> others in the shared place, all done with a light enough
> touch that we don't end up with avatar fashion shows.
> In this picture, an Morphic book wouldn't be found by
> reaching out across the network and loading it; instead, there'd be
> a more or less far away part of your image (maybe
> dressed up as an Alice world) that would let you wander
> around and find the book you wanted. Perahaps the
> author would hand it to you, if he happened to be around.
> While working, instead of the discussion Swiki, there'd be
> small knots of others, gathered around places of interest
> to them. You could glance around and see if anyone
> was nearby, possibly interested in what you were up to.
> Over the course of a few years, I have seen naive users
> comfortably navigate incredibly complex graph structures, when
> they are presented with a place based metaphor.
> I am not sure how universally appealing these interface
> metaphors are, but they seem to be captivating for
> at least some portion of the population.
> I remember one posting about trying to incorporate the ICQ
> protocols into Squeak.
> Are there others padding around this collaborative territory?
> ...Tom M
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