[squeak-dev] Squeak/Pharo/Cuis on Android

Casey Ransberger casey.obrien.r at gmail.com
Thu Mar 3 21:39:04 UTC 2011

Under iOS, Bert wrote some stuff to make multitouch work in Etoys, not sure if it works in Squeak. I've adapted part of it to work with Cuis myself, but I have a very, very bad bug so I haven't said much about it. 

On an iPad gen 1 (which is what I have) I am able to code on the device, though the UI is at times maddening and at others it's totally unusable, which is par for the course given that the UI was designed for a keyboard and mouse. 

Cuis has a nice feature wherein if you click an hold on something that gets a context menu, it pops up after a split second. Juan did this for a small gadget once upon a time. This made it possible for me to start coding on the device almost right away, which was fantastic, because I found quickly that without ctl-d or a right mouse button I had trouble *doing* anything:)

For some reason I can't get carriage returns from the soft keyboard in Cuis. 

There's no plan that I know of for a standard way of hiding and showing the soft keyboard from within the image; I'd love to talk about that. 

Performance on the device suuucks. Of the three I tried, Cuis feels most responsive. Makes me wonder if we aren't losing cycles unnecessarily to Morphic in Squeak. I did not do any perf testing beyond trying out all three and saying "this one sucks, that one sucks, okay this one sucks slightly less" so *do not quote me* on that, and if you do wind up doing benches, I'd sure like to have a look. 

The other reason I went with Cuis: I expect the much simplified Morphic implementation to be more productive means toward the end of "finding a Smalltalk programming environment that works well without a keyboard and mouse."

Probably the most discouraging thing in the world is: AFAIK Apple won't let you ship anything that exposes a programming interface to users, so you're stuck in the domain of "end user applications written in Smalltalk which have nothing to do with programming" unless you want to pay them $100 a year in order to run your own damned software, and then you get the joy of working on something you can't actually ship. Maybe sometime in the future programming skills, like science skills have, will stop qualifyig us as witches. So here's a big fat reason to blow off iOS and hack on Android. 

I'm less familiar with the Android situation, but I do know that you can only use C to make libs (everything is Java) and that sounds... Awful. I don't know what Andreas did to get it to work at all, but I imagine it must gave stung a little. 

So yeah! Pretty much we're where enough works to experiment, but not enough works to seriously use. 

Did I mention that Cuis would be a really great choice in the mobile and embedded spaces? :)

On Mar 3, 2011, at 6:37 AM, "Torsten Bergmann" <astares at gmx.de> wrote:

> What is the state of Squeak/Pharo/Cuis for Android tablets and phone? 
> Lots of questions:
> - what is the state of VM/images?
> - any comments/hints on devices, speed and memory consumption?
> - is it worth to buy one to run Smalltalk for own stuff?
> - anyone written apps with Smalltalk for Android?
> - is it possible to interface with native stuff. state of
>   touch support, ...
> Thanks for sharing any experience.
> Thx
> T.
> -- 
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