Re-doing Morphic

tblanchard at tblanchard at
Sun Feb 9 02:24:45 UTC 2003

On Saturday, February 8, 2003, at 09:44  PM, Colin Putney wrote:

> On top of that, I'd like to see a set of widgets with consistent 
> behavioural semantics, but variable appearance. This would give us 
> themes, which I think is a useful feature in a system as portable as 
> Squeak, as well as the NeXT-style NIB functionality that Todd 
> mentioned. A squeak version of InterfaceBuilder would be great!

As it turns out - this seems to be mostly there - but there's not a 
really good "this is how you build a regular application using morphic" 
sort of explanation I can find.  Yes it can do all this stuff.  But of 
that stuff - which do I want to do, in what order, and why?

> I figure if we're going to put significant effort into user interface, 
> let's start fresh. The other approach of simply cleaning up the worst 
> areas of the existing Morphic code would be useful as well, but 
> anything in between would probably not be worth the effort.

Well, Morphic is I think intended to be more than just another widget 
library.  The developers were reaching for something new.  What I'd 
like to hear is a clear statement of the essential idea(s) behind 
morphic (at present all I can think of is "everything is visible").  
You can always throw in spiffier rendering or whatever, but there are 
weird things like steps and stuff in there that I wouldn't want to toss 
out without fully understanding what the original developers were 
driving at.

I'm very well versed in Cocoa, Swing, even Motif.  They're all kind of 
the same thing and they all take a lot of additional coding to get to 
something useful.  I get the idea that Morphic was sort of reaching for 
the Hypercard on steroids kind of thing (which is good - HC was quite 
possibly the most productive tool for building quickie apps I've ever 
used - so far).

So rather than set out to build YAWidgetKit, I'd like to try to see 
what's already there and maybe do a clean implementation of the 
original design with improvements.

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