Morphic 3 presentation at Smalltalks 2007

Jason Johnson jason.johnson.081 at
Tue Jan 22 20:25:00 UTC 2008

Hi Jaun, thanks for the reply (comments below)

On Jan 22, 2008 8:03 PM, Juan Vuletich <juan at> wrote:
> Hi Jason,
> I'm not doing Morphic 3 to suit the average programmer needs, in the
> same way Morphic was not built for that. You (everybody!) should watch
> the ARK and Self videos.

That I will.  But by saying "this system is not built for the average
programmer" sounds like "this system is not really relevant in the
real world"/"this is an academic system".  The fact is, either Morphic
is the state-of-the-art, best GUI developing system there is, or it's
not.  If you can't use it to build a standard GUI application rapidly,
then I can't imagine what makes it better, or even as good as what we
have today.

I'm not saying we should follow the lowest common denominator.  I
truly believe that Smalltalk is a better system and leaps and bounds
above other environments.  But if that is truly the case there should
be some evidence of it.  It should *do* something better then other
systems do.  In Smalltalk's case, for me the interactive nature of it
is that evidence.  But in Morphic's case, I'm still looking.

> If all you want is a GUI buider, don't waste your time with Squeak. Most
> other Smalltalk dialects include WindowBuilder, the father of all GUI
> builders. Consider Visual Smalltalk, Smalltalk Express, VisualWorks,
> Dolphin or VA Smalltalk. I believe all of them are free or have
> non-commercial variants.

I want more then a GUI builder.  I want to graphically piece together
a living application in a graphical manner.  I have used Dolphin, and
I have to say that so far C# is closer to that vision then anything
I've seen from Smalltalk yet.  C#'s "cult of the dead" nature is the
main thing holding it back.  Since Smalltalk doesn't have that anchor
I expect it to be more capable.

> If you still believe the world needs another GUI builder, I see two
> ways.

It does because the existing ones are not good enough.  But how do you
envision graphical applications being created?  By writing code that
generates them?  How can we claim to have an advanced system when even
C (!!!!!) had more efficient mechanisms years ago?

> You could work on it (I'd be happy to integrate your work in
> Morphic 3), or you could raise money to allow me to leave my paid job
> and work on it. As Tim says "one MILLION euros"! Also, I believe that
> anyone working on a Squeak GUI builder should do it for ToolBuilder.
> Cheers,
> Juan Vuletich

At some point I probably will work on a "next gen" GUI builder, but
it's going to be a long time.  To be honest, I'm just trying to
understand what's so great about Morphic.  So many people I respect
(including you) think it is state-of-the-art so I'm hoping
conversation will point me somewhere that explains why.  At this point
it just looks to me like an idea that was great and made sense in Self
that was shoe-horned in somewhere it didn't really fit.

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