[squeak-dev] Please add Robot support tools

Casey Ransberger casey.obrien.r at gmail.com
Tue Feb 17 03:15:00 UTC 2015

1) You doIt:)

2) I know why you want this. Realtime stuff. You'd have to modify the VM,
and deal with new bottlenecks and potential (read: certain) crashes when
the system runs out of memory, not to mention deciding on another way of
freeing space (Objective-C does this with reference counting. Recently
they've added automatic reference counting, which sounds interesting, but I
haven't explored it.) Anyway, for most people using the system, an easy way
to shut down the garbage collector for the entire system would be
catastrophically bad news. I don't think this should be built-in. Maybe a
VM plugin to do it would be okay, if someone figured out how to do it that

3) Yeah, that's cool. I bet there are already people doing stuff like this.
I thought I saw a tim post that mentioned something like this. The Pi is
relatively new, but I feel really confident that if we give it some time,
we'll have excellent support for that machine. I have and use one myself.

I'll add a few 4) here. While we're sending out wants into the ether. It'd
be great to get a package supporting OpenGL ES and maybe some 3D
printing/CADD software to go with it. Would help with doing simulations of
e.g. autonomous vehicles; presently the 3D stuff seems pretty tangled up
with Croquet. Wouldn't be surprised if someone had something that did the
latter already, but hasn't yet been cajoled into taking the open-source
plunge! Another thing I'd like to see is some stuff for laying out and
designing chips. It would be a quantum leap for Squeak to not only be the
instrument of it's own design software-wise, but also the instrument of the
design of the hardware that its software runs on. Jecel, anybody? :D

One of the things I love about Squeak is all of the possibilities it
presents. We can absolutely make it do whatever we want, if we're willing
to do our homework, and then get it done.

On Mon, Feb 16, 2015 at 9:17 AM, Kirk Fraser <overcomer.man at gmail.com>

> Here are improvements to make Squeak more useful for Robot control.
> 1) Add machine vision tools.  I'm told eToys has video camera access but
> more access to each frame is needed for autonomous robot control including
> "contour" to reduce the image to arcs and lines to start visual object
> identification and measurement of object speed and direction as the robot
> is moving, to either intercept or avoid an object.  The same arcs and lines
> may in some applications be processed into readable text, read your lips,
> or other interesting things.
> 2) Method to stop Garbage Collection.  I see Squeak 4.5 has a menu item to
> perform garbage collection so performing collections can be put under
> program control but there should also be a message to stop any garbage
> collection until requested or resumed.  Why?  Imagine you are in a
> self-driving car powered by Squeak.  You enter a curve, turn, or need to
> stop while going 60 MPH then encounter a 100 millisecond delay for garbage
> collection.  That scenario could put you 8 feet off course into a canyon,
> oncoming traffic, or a child chasing a ball.  So the only way is to use two
> Squeaks operating in separate cores and use socket communication to
> guarantee one Squeak is paying close attention to the road while the other
> collects its garbage, trading off as needed.  Perhaps a measure of the
> garbage pile and growth rate would also help decide which image gets to
> proceed.
> 3) The Raspberry Pi has many pins to connect electronics to.  Supporting
> those could potentially provide control for many projects for children and
> adults.
> Thank you.
> Kirk W. Fraser
> w <http://freetom.info/TrueChurch>ww.JesusGospelChurch.com
> <http://www.JesusGospelChurch.com> - Replace the fraud churches with the
> true church.
> http://freetom.info - Example of False Justice common in America
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