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

Dimitry Golubovsky golubovsky at gmail.com
Thu Mar 3 17:37:04 UTC 2011


Torsten Bergmann 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, ...


I am working on my fork of the squeak android port:

http://code.google.com/p/squeakvm-tablet/ - is my fork

http://code.google.com/p/squeak-android-vm/ - is the parent project

State of VM: I mostly borrowed the JNI part of the parent project,
making small adjustments as needed. There will be more as I need to
interface TTS (speech synthesizer), and this requires some callbacks
to Java code. I haven't come up with a final solution yet.

Images: I have inherited the image from the parent project (based on
v3.9) and am currently working on visual theme adjustment - see my
recent message (with questions) on this list. Like the parent project,
my port cannot save the image. But it can load the image from sdcard,
so it can be tweaked on a PC and transferred to the device via USB or

Devices: I am specifically targeting tablets rather than telephones.
My testbed is called "Pandigital Novel eReader" with 9in 800x480
screen, chosen mainly for its low price (~$190) and it was sold
physically in a Bed Bath & Beyond store. It is rather slow; I posted
my tinyBenchmark results here:
http://code.google.com/p/squeakvm-tablet/wiki/TinyBenchmark along with
other people's reports found on this mailing list. The device has 256M
of RAM, does not seem to run out of memory with Squeak.

Is it worth to buy: Well I have a certain problem to solve where low
price and  tablet form-factor are necessary, so my choice is driven by
this. I did some price comparisons, and IMHO (deeply IMHO!!!)  decent
performance can these days be gotten from ARM devices privced well
over $300, but Intel EEE tablets  or IdeaPad tablets start in lower
$400, and they run usual Windows (or Linux if one prefers to install)
and then you can have your regular Squeak/whatever w/o any porting. So

Anyone written apps: maybe I will be one but I haven't written it yet
;) And my problems are kind of specific...

Native stuff: not sure if FFI plugin is integrated with this image,
however all the VM code is there, so perhaps in some quick and dirty
ways manually written plugins could be thrown in...

Touch support: I have recently committed code which enables hardware
buttons to modify color of mouse for one subsequent click. Such way I
was able to do middle (blue) click inside a workspace where 0
tinyBenchmark was typed, select Print-it, and after a while I got the
results. I can cause right (yellow) click to bring on halos.

I also got soft keyboard to work, but have troubles getting events
from the DEL key (looks like I need to subclass the keyboard, or
install some special listener in the view, I am not sure yet).

In a workspace I typed Morph new openInWorld. did a middle click,
selected do-it, and a blue square appeared in the left upper corner of
the screen. I was able to move it with my finger (although it
disappears while being dragged) to the center of the screen, then I
brought up halo and deleted it.

Hope I answered all questions ;)

Thanks for your interest.

Dimitry Golubovsky

Anywhere on the Web

More information about the Squeak-dev mailing list