Morphic and business apps

John Pierce john.raymond.pierce at
Sat Feb 5 02:52:15 UTC 2005

Hi Guenther,

I just recently changed jobs, but in my last job we *did* work up
business apps with Morphic with reasonable success.  We largely used
Morphic for displaying images of faxes and/or display custom reports
from a database.

> I've been using Dolphin for creating apps with a rather trivial business
> logic, and it was a lot of fun, smalltalk is just great.

Smalltalk sure is great -- for even non-trivial applications -- even more so.
> However since I'll hardly ever write a killer app, I just want my apps
> at least to look cool.
> I've seen some screenshots from the Exobox project (which unfortunately
> I can't find anymore) and that's exactly the kind of UI I want to implement.

Pretty sweet, eh?

> But that's pretty hard with Dolphin as it's using standard windows
> widgets, I reckon I could try ActiveX, but that would take me out of
> smalltalk.

ActiveX is definitely dated as an approach -- maybe you mean .NET ---
but that still isn't Smalltalk.

> How *is* Morphic, I mean how is it usable for writing, well business
> apps with a great UI?

Business apps with a great UI?  What planet are you from?  ;-)

Anyhow, I guess if you try to emulate other frameworks in Squeak you
will pull you hair out with Morphic by spending all your time trying
to write all the standard widgets (since there are few standard
widgets built in).  If you don't mind totally breaking form and
treading new ground then Morphic will be fine.  At the end of the day,
I think we (Squeakers) should be able to develop the sexiest UI's with
tools like Smalltalk and Morphic.

But sadly, at the present moment, I don't think Morphic lives up to
what I think is possible with the technology -- and I don't know what
is wrong other than we don't have the critical mass you might see in
other development communities to devote to developing the sexy UI and
widgets I know are possible with this cool technology.

> Your 2 cents very appreciated.

Don't know if I've provide much help, but as an application developer
I just think it still is a bit rough to develop business apps in
Squeak, not to mention that most business apps need a rock-solid grid
(of which I've tried to build in the package called SGrid, but you
know how much effort it takes to build super solid grid technology?
rather a lot -- and certainly more than I have devoted to it).


Only the mediocre are always at their best. -- Jean Giraudoux

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