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Alan Kay on scalable group collaboration (Open Croquet)

Alan Kay showed us a pre-alpha demo of some software (called Open Croquet, I think) written in Smalltalk and Squeak. The collective collaboration of Hydra + Star Trek’s Holodeck + The Matrix. It looks like what he’s done is create an OS based not on applications but on objects, which makes a bit of emergence possible (which, if you’re drinking the Kool-Aid here at Etech, is a good thing). Quite impressive.

Reader comments

Trevor F SmithApr 24, 2003 at 3:12PM

Most of what was onscreen in the demo, was not rendered in smalltalk, but in C/OpenGL, yet he was very down on platforms other than pure squeak. This seems a bit odd.

Daniel Von FangeApr 24, 2003 at 4:05PM

Did anyone get a video? I want to see the demo! :)

MLApr 24, 2003 at 4:37PM

Alan Kay is at Stanford for a presentation at Terry Winnograd's HCI Seminar, ...if you missed it, I think it's going to be the same or very similar presentation...

MLApr 24, 2003 at 4:39PM

I forgot to add that these presentations are available via webcast or archived video.

gwintApr 24, 2003 at 5:13PM

In regards to this conference in general, I feel like all the cool kids got to go to Gifted and Talented class for a week while the rest of us are stuck in gym...

BryceApr 25, 2003 at 2:20AM

Um, gwint, please define “cool”... (I will agree though that they do seem to have skipped alot of gym.)

Xavier BorderieApr 25, 2003 at 3:46AM

It's not a matter of being an interested conference, but of having an interesting reporting on it. Many conferences have great talks, but lack engaging reporting. Praise Kottke! =)

MLApr 25, 2003 at 3:17PM

Sorry...I'm not sure if the video link I provided is open to the public so you may have to authenticate...

David A. SmithApr 27, 2003 at 10:14AM

The rendering engine was 100% Smalltalk on top of OpenGL. I know, 'cause I wrote it.

Michael PowersApr 27, 2003 at 10:21PM

"Get Windows Media Player" Bastards!

I refuse: could someone please link to some screenshots and/or details...

Jeff MaceApr 30, 2003 at 5:21PM

Does anyone know the name of Alan's co-presenter?

Trevor F SmithMay 06, 2003 at 8:00AM

David, I'm not saying that the o.c. engine wasn't smalltalk, but that the code that actually did the work of rendering to screen (Win2k and the OpenGL core) is not smalltalk.

I'm pleased that you're using Windows and OpenGL because you'll have more time to work on the neat parts of o.c. and more people will have a machine on which to run it. However, to denigrate the use of platforms that aren't pure in the way that Squeak on bare metal is pure and then to demo on just such a platform seems a bit disingenuous.

I would rather see talks about how Squeak interoperates with the ever more complex world of evolving devices and network services than how the world would be better if we were all just running Squeak.

David A. SmithJun 02, 2003 at 11:15AM

My point is simply that the engine itself is 100% Smalltalk. Your earlier comment implied that it was C++. OpenGL is the interface to the hardware - and nicely done at that. I am not a purist in this discussion. I admit that there are a number of things that C++ is ideal for, but even I was surprised at the level I was able to use Smalltalk in this engine.

JackJun 12, 2003 at 4:42PM

The best demo I've seen of OpenCroquet is here:

This thread is closed to new comments. Thanks to everyone who responded.