Making Squeak more accessible and used - reversing the trend

Yann Monclair yann at
Wed Jan 31 12:48:27 UTC 2007

On Jan 31, 2007, at 3:05 AM, Brad Fuller wrote:

> <snip/>
> I believe the top applications used today, in popularity order, are:
> 1. Email (including calendaring)
> 2. Web
> 3. Word Processing
> 4. Spreadsheet
> 5. Presentation
> Maybe I missed something, or maybe I'm wrong -- this is off the top of
> my head. Sounds right, though. (4 of these apps are in the MS Office
> product and 3 in the OpenOffice package.)
> If we could concentrate on the first two that included critical  
> modules
> that provided the popular features of an email app and a web  
> browser (so
> users could mix and match and see the greatness of objects working in
> the environment), I think we would have gone a long way to starting  
> this
> re-revolution. And, nothing is stopping us from creating new features
> that would be a boon to productivity. Just think of the cool things
> people could do if the basic building blocks (and examples of how to
> utilize them) were present in squeak? They may do things with email  
> and
> browsing that we never thought of. And, we would be teaching them the
> power of the environment.

During my summertalk[1], I started working on a web based iCalendar  
application in Squeak, using Seaside, Scriptaculous and the ical  
model and exporters/importers.
The application is working, I just finished adding a todo list and  
fixed a few bugs. It's not perfect, but it's a first step I think.  
There is some work being done on recurrence rules also, and I hope we  
can merge them to get an icalendar application that respects the RFC  
and offers *much more* than the existing applications (google  
calendar, ical, sunbird aka mozilla calendar ...).
I'd be happy to help to make a non-web interface for the icalendar,  
but I couldn't do it on my own, lack of time to do it, and lack of  
time to learn and play with Morphic.

I think that by offering web applications that possess similar  
features that well known (but not installable) web application -I'm  
thinking of google calendar for example, that people can't install on  
a local server, as opposed to SummerTime (it's the name of my app)-  
we could have users in : companies, schools, universities ... that  
want to be able to use such technologies but don't want to use a  
public service.

But that isn't using squeak for the user, it's using squeak like  
people install python or java on their server to run this or that  
application. Unless we build a GUI in Squeak , instead of using only  
seaside apps.

One thing I would find fun to both code and use, is a drop bag where  
you can drop anything in your OS. For example a bag on the desktop  
(let's call it a dock), where you can store applications, files,  
documents, webpages, images, network volumes, menus, widgets ... It's  
something Apple has already started with the dock in OSX, but imo  
they haven't pushed it all the way... a bag where you can store  
anything, as long as it's an object :) It would probably require a  
lot of interaction with the OS, making it less portable (or at least  
less easily portable). just an idea.



> Maybe this is a wild idea. But, I actually believe this has been  
> already
> cited - most likely in this mailing list. It seems extremely doable.
> There's nothing technically hard about it. It's more of a coordination
> issue and, of course, a time issue (maybe we can come up with  
> something
> to help the time issue for developers.)
> Crazy idea? Is it worth trying to get some people excited about this
> idea and creating some of these modules? Maybe you have a better  
> idea to
> show people the power of the object and a real workable dynabook?
> How could we get this rolling? A dedicated team? I can certainly  
> provide
> time for the management of the project(s).
> what do you think?
> -- 
> brad fuller

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