Squeak IDE Look-n-Feel

Geoffrey Corey gcorey at redsky.com
Wed Dec 13 15:33:19 UTC 2000

Ok, I'll chime in my two cents.  First,  I agree that the out-of-the-box
image looks like I just walked in to a Japanese candy shop.  My teammates
laugh everytime they see me working in Squeak.   Now this is not necessarly
a bad thing because it get's squeak noticed that it is not just yet another

However, I think having a site to show off themes/look-n-feel for Squeak
would be a great idea.   http://themes.org already compiles a lot of themes
for a lot of different window managers.   It's a great site to jazz up your
window manager and when you get bored with it, you can download another

Squeak can certainly do the same thing by putting together a wiki where
users can upload the change sets and screenshot of the theme.   The site
would be organized by Squeak image version.


-----Original Message-----
From: Bob Arning [mailto:arning at charm.net]
Sent: Wednesday, December 13, 2000 9:45 AM
To: squeak at cs.uiuc.edu
Subject: Re: Squeak IDE Look-n-Feel

On Wed, 13 Dec 2000 02:45:50 -0500 Doug Way <dway at riskmetrics.com> wrote:
>Stephane Ducasse wrote:
>> Still the look of Squeak sucks!!
>> Sorry to be provocative but I'm right.
>> The out of the box feeling is horrible.
>I've mostly gotten used to the look by now, but generally I agree with you.
>> May be one day we will have something decent. Who knows.
>> (I'm already hearing people saying "just do it this is open source")
>Probably the reason someone hasn't already "just done it" yet is that
>it's hard to get any sort of agreement on what would be the best
>improvements. (as you can see from the wide variety of responses on this
>I may try to put together a changeset with the above improvements, and
>see how things look.  I'm thinking of Morphic as the place to make these
>improvements rather than MVC, since it's the UI that's being worked on
>the most currently, and there was some talk of Morphic eventually being
>the startup project in Squeak.  Also, I tend to think that people more
>resistant to changing the look might be using MVC.  (plus, we already
>have SMA's "Blue Look" for MVC)

I think there are a few things worth considering:

- "The out of the box feeling is horrible" implies that there is only one
box from which all users get their first impression. It seems quite
reasonable to me that, if one is attempting to get others interested in
Squeak, one might give them an image (or url pointing to same) tailored to
best pique their interest. What will appeal to a potential user may depend
heavily on things like age, primary language and ultimate goals (drawing
pretty pictures vs. heavy crypto research, e.g.).
- While change sets are a useful vehicle for us (geeks) to pass snippets
around, the average end-user will want something already set up in an
appealing way. This means Morphic vs. MVC as the initial project, what
preferences are set, the organization and content of projects in the image,
the language used, etc.
- There is really little (other than proper reference to appropriate
licenses) to prevent one from distributing modified images.
- An interesting experiment might be a site that would host various tailored
images with, e.g., one for French-speaking school children and another for
German-speaking computer science majors. Which of these images (if any) were
actually successful in getting and keeping the attention of their target
audience might, where similar, suggest useful improvements to the base image
and, where very different, might argue for the maintenance of these
specialized versions.


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