[squeak-dev] Hawthorne Center's proposal for GSoC 2008

donna at hawcenter.org donna at hawcenter.org
Mon Mar 10 22:53:59 UTC 2008

Hi All,

Apropo of an email I sent out last week, I am sending to the list a draft of the proposal we at the Hawthorne Center will be sending to GSoC 2008. If anyone would like to be a mentor for this project please contact me, Donna, ASAP at donna at hawcenter.org. 

Also, any feedback will be much appreciated.



Hawthorne Center for Innovation is dedicated to advancing research and educational efforts that create and transmit knowledge for the public good.   


Hawthorne Center for Innovation is seeking support to further the vision of the Center's research scientist-in-residence, Ben Cooper, for a next-generation internet that will be much more secure and much more user-friendly than the current paradigm. Ben Cooper has determined that 95 % the apps needed to build this better internet have already been developed, just not connected together. 


The Center hopes by participating in GSoC 2008 to get enough code written to go a long way towards completing the 1st step in the connecting-up process; i.e., to putting Jeff Raskin's "zoom world" app into Squeak Smalltalk's 'Morphic' image. 


Status of components necessary to complete a next-generation web environment:

1)     'Morphic' environment within Squeak needed to replace HTML - 100% done.

2)     'Morphic' - to - HTML translator - Needs to be built. 

3)     HTML -to - 'Morphic' translator. Needs to be built. 

4)     Classes within Squeak to handle server functionality - 99 % (?) complete.

5)     Squeak 'E-Toys' functionality as superior replacement for 'Javascripts'. - 100% done. 

6)     Passing of classes between Squeak images trough use of Squeak's 'Nebraska' code. - 90% (?) complete. 

7)     Download of classes and methods through Craig Latta's 'Spoon' class server - 85% (?) complete.

8)     Incorporating Raskin's zoom world into Squeak's 'Morphic' environment - Needs to be done. 

9)     Incorporating Raskin's 'Archie' data structure into Squeak's 'Morphic' environment - Needs to be done. 

10)  'Tea Time' functionality, as per Croquet - a superior real-time replacement for 'wiki' technology - 95% (?) complete. 


Applications needed to launch a next-generation web: 

1)     Squeak web-browser (that operates both on HTML and OO message passing).

2)     Squeak "web"-server (serves up HTML or OO 'Moprhic' messages based on requesting browser). 

3)     Secure Latta's 'Spoon' class server.



Road-Map to Next-Generation Internet


Steps needed to complete 1st generation apps: 

1)     Produce classes and methods necessary to translate Morphic objects into HTML code. (Code will be produced in structured manner so that it is easily transportable between images).

2)     Produce classes and methods necessary to translate HTML code into 'Morphic' objects. (Code will be produced in structured manner so that it is easily transportable between images).

3)     Build classes and methods that incorporate Raskin's zoom-world into 'Morphic' environment.

4)     Finalize transmission of classes and methods between server image and browser image (building upon Squeak's 'Nebraska' code). 

5)     Complete Latta's 'Spoon' class-server technology. 

6)     Produce Squeak's web-server by integrating code produced in steps 1, 3, 4, and 5.

7)     Produce Squeak web-browser by integrating code produced in steps 2, 3, 4, and 5. 

8)     Package Squeak's web-browser so that it is easily downloadable and launchable on all major OSs, i.e., Linux, Windows, Mac OS, etc.

9)     Produce 'Spoon' server. 


Proposed steps for 2nd generation apps:

1)     Secure transmission of classes and methods between Latta's 'Spoon' class server and the two apps: Squeak web-browser and Squeak web-server. 

2)     Set up both Squeak's web-server and web-browser to run without an underlying OS.



Advantages of this next-generation web technology:

1)     Backwards compatible with present internet.

2)     Greatly simplifies creating web content - virtually anyone will be able to write dynamic web content using morphic and e-toys technology.

3)     When data is shared between a Squeak server and a Squeak browser, the interactions can be made not at the HTML level but at the OO object message passing level, greatly enhancing user experience.

4)     Eventual development of computing systems that do not require an operating system, i.e., Linux, Windows, Mac OS, etc. 

5)     With these 4 steps completed, computer hardware--based on a design by Ben Cooper-- can be greatly simplified and substantially improved using present chip technology.

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