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Derek Robinson
Last updated at 1:35 pm UTC on 16 January 2006
Hmmm, seems a pretty empty place ... but hey, as long as I'm here, some scratches on the wall for y'all ...)

Squeak caught my attention a year or so ago, played with it a bit, I still find it exciting but have concerns about its isolation (yeah, it's pretty empty here ...) What I'm excited about these days (Jan. 2000) is the prospect of using the browser (Netscape & MS-IE seem to be the only viable choices ... so far) to explode the desktop, give control of the workspace back to the end-user. DHTML (JavaScript aka EcmaScript + CSS + the DOM (Document Object Model, on the MVC plan)) is almost there, it's getting verrrrrrry close to the point where 'naive' end-users (lured into programming via HTML / JavaScript) can roll their own GUIs, accomplish things that until recently you'd find only in academic / corporate labs at Xerox PARC or MIT (e.g., 'Magic Lens' interfaces) ... of course there's an execution hit, but user interfaces, by definition, are constrained by the time-scale of the user, it's not a big problem. (No more than it is in Squeak or Java.)

Which brings me to my point: turns out there is an alternative web browser out there, which just-so-happens to be wrapped up inside 5 MB (or so) of Squeak. Seems to me that Squeak'd make one heck of a web scripting language, hmm? Call it, the 'Trojan Mouse' strategy – to focus (I mean really focus, make it a Number-One priority) Squeak development efforts on the Scamper side of things – to reposition / repurpose Squeak as 'just' a web browser & DHTML editor. Because, if you think about it, the browser sitting there on the desktop is, in essence (if not yet quite in fact) a Dynabook.

What's missing from current browsers is the ability to conveniently access one's own file system / OS – to call applications, invoke a command-line shell, do useful stuff (with texts, images, sounds) on your own system, concurrently with what you're doing in the browser and on the web. (Nothing that installing a client-side proxy server can't fix though.) That, and high quality dynamic graphics. (Wasn't there something about 'Balloon'? ... Morphic??)

Fwiw, my $0.02 – rsvp?

Derek Robinson, Stockholm.