Squeak on Handhelds (Update)
water at tunes.org
Thu Mar 8 20:40:00 UTC 2007
After a recent stint at a product prototyping company that had a lot
of work going on for touchscreen interfaces, I came back to Squeak
and looked at the state of handheld software/development support for
Squeak, and found it stagnant. So I decided to take matters into my
First, the Squeak on Handhelds wiki page:
Which links to Dynapad (dead sourceforge project, although the author
Aaron Reichow is still a handhelds-using Squeaker with custom images)
and Faure (not dead, just not updated and a bit buggy/incomplete). I
started with Faure, since it has an actual framework for PalmOS-style
user interfaces and browsing. It has a Url framework that supports
addressing of various PIM data as well as browsing and editing source
code and file system entries. There's also a little support for
including other applications as "pages" to visit (leaves in a
So I contacted Russell Allen, who created Faure:
and he claims he's busy with other things and didn't mind if I
started working with it. So we now share a SqueakSource project:
where I've been cleaning up the framework and setting it up to be
I contacted Aaron and he was nice enough to sell me his Nokia 770
after he upgraded to the 800, so I've had a platform to test the
various PDA-oriented images out there.
My overall goal is to have a space where most handhelds/touchscreen-
oriented code can be collected and collaborated on. Specifically, I
want to gather attention about specific topics:
Personal Information Management (PIM or PDA data):
- contacts, email, messaging, todos, calendaring
(See PDA/PDAMorph which I want to replace with a Magritte-based
- note-taking, drawing, sculpting, outlining, brainstorming.
(Faure has some basic stuff, and Dynapad *did*, but Golgi
Touchscreen Input Interfaces:
- stylus or fingers, gestures or pushbuttons.
(See Genie, and now the InputMethods package in Faure's SqS
repository which gathers a ThumbPadMorph and a simple
QwertyKeyboardMorph from Faure).
- One thing I need to figure out is how to use a click on a widget
to make the next mouse click show up as a modifier+click or just 2nd/
3rd moues button click. I'm probably close but it's a key feature to
making a soft keyboard widget complete.
Simpler screen management:
- Faure's single-pane browsing, or dual-pane browsing for wider
screens, a universal navigation system (like Faure but hopefully
merging with OmniBrowser's framework so less code is needed).
- Simple sweep / flick gestures a la Apple phone interface for
- A way to detect screen size on startup and do something
intelligent about it. 240x320 was almost ubiquitous for a while but
now there's quite a variety of resolutions.
- A way to detect what device Squeak is on and map key controls
appropriately. I discovered that the Squeak VM doesn't distinguish
function keys from each other and that the Nokia 770 maps some keys
to these X11 key-codes, and I imagine that other small platforms have
I'd like to know: What solo projects are hiding in the woodwork that
would benefit from this kind of collaboration? Who wants to donate
code for this project to maintain?
I've seen and started poking at Tansel's 4MB previously-commercial
demo image, all of Aaron Reichow's images, and Pavel's KernelImages
(which I'd prefer going forward since I can automate builds of them
that way). Craig says he has a pie-menu-like soft-keyboard tool that
he uses on touchscreens, which sounds interesting.
I should also state that it's important for an end-user to have
something they can grab immediately for handhelds and touchscreens
from squeak.org that is self-explanatory in the sense that it should
always be obvious what is available to do in the current current
context, and what modes or quasi-modes are available (especially for
Genie which turns the whole screen into a different mode without
telling you or giving a novice an easy escape).
I'd also like to know who's interested in the work and might have
something to contribute. Oh, and how I should organize the project,
maybe to rename the SqueakSource project to "Dynapad" or "Handhelds"
or such, for example?
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Size: 186 bytes
Desc: This is a digitally signed message part
Url : http://lists.squeakfoundation.org/pipermail/squeak-dev/attachments/20070308/3f99f6cc/PGP.pgp
More information about the Squeak-dev