[squeak-dev] Interesting phenom for the Morphic Team.. resize events even outside of World bounds

tim Rowledge tim at rowledge.org
Sat Oct 9 19:19:27 UTC 2021

> On 2021-10-09, at 7:16 AM, gettimothy via Squeak-dev <squeak-dev at lists.squeakfoundation.org> wrote:
> If mouse events can be detected outside World, maybe submorphs can be placed outside the bounds of World.
> This would enable me to treat Squeak like a multi-window X application versus the "Everything happens within World" model now (I forget the name of that model, from back in the windows 3 days)

Some history:

Microsoft called it MDI - Multi Document Interface - and managed to make it really annoying (big surprise). Smalltalk had of course been doing a similar thing but less annoying for quite some time; after all, the basic model was 'own the screen' because Way Back When there was nothing else.

Then there was a huge cry for "we must have host OS widgets and fonts and everything exactly like the Real Thing" - where 'Real Thing' was people's fantasy of What Windows & Mac OS were doing. Interestingly it turned out that rather a lot of 'real' applications weren't using the supposed host OS widgets at all - including Word & Excel!

VisualWorks eventually migrated to using separate host windows and menus etc all over the place. The interesting thing is that I didn't even look at VW after '95 so hadn't seen it with separate windows and when I had to use it a bit a couple of years ago I was horrified at how uncomfortable it was to use a development environment that seemed so scattered and broken.

I think a large part of it is that neither Mac OS nor Windows have really ever got to grips with having large numbers of active windows, and they simply don't scale very well. I find that Squeak in one window presents a much more usable world for development - not that I don't think we could improve things. If one were making an end-user application then using host windows would potentially make much more sense, maybe. Of course, an awful lot of applications these days are web based and so the UI has very different abilities and limits.

Squeak does of course actually have the ability to open multiple host windows and to use host menus (at least on Mac, not sure nor even interested in Windows) via the HostWindowPlugin and so on. John McIntosh & I wrote that in 2004 for the Sophie Project and I don't think anyone has ever actually used it for anything notable. So much for host windows being crucial to the future...

tim Rowledge; tim at rowledge.org; http://www.rowledge.org/tim
Debugger: A tool that substitutes afterthought for forethought.

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