ports and morphs (was: Solaris 2.5 x86?)

Thierry Goubier Thierry.Goubier at enst-bretagne.fr
Wed Jun 5 12:04:56 UTC 1996

On Tue, 4 Jun 1996, Jecel Assumpcao Jr wrote:

> Thierry Goubier wrote:
> > My opinion is that morphs lack the extensibility of UI architectures like
> > Garnet and Amulet (interactors, etc...) and don't provide a way of linking
> > the functionnal core of an application to the morphs.

I must add that the interactors thing rely on a prototype-based extension
to the language used (Lisp for Garnet, C++ for Amulet). Something easy to
do in Self :-)

> > Well, I disagree with this. A glyph-based system (a system with light,
> > singleton objects on the interface) has nothing to do with classes, but
> > with a runtime organisation (the accent is on dynamic, instance based,
> > specialisation, a thing Self do extremely well). I'm not sure morphs are
> > more object-based; they're certainly heavier, however.
> I meant that you have to set up relationships in advance so
> you limit what can happen at runtime. Sure, you can also
> change these relationships at runtime too, but so can you
> change anything in Smalltalk (a class based system). These
> preset object graphs are like traits, which are not a
> very object-based style (compare with Kevo, for example).
> Like traits, they may turn out the be the best solution.

I don't see why glyph-based architectures limit what may happen at
runtime. It's true that they're based on the limitations of class-based
languages and that the flexibility gained with an instance-based scheme
may be unnecessary in Self.

By the way, what is Kevo ?

> > > [ "slices" posting comming soon]
> There is a short description of the idea on the web page
> http://www.lsi.usp.br/~jecel/runtime.html
> There are actually about five ideas I would like to post
> here when I get around to writing them down.

I'm not sure it's the main subject of this list, but I'd like to talk
about metaphors in an object reality. Anybody has any idea to start with ?
I'll defend the orientation / stability point of view !

> > I believe the PAD++ interface is a nice idea to be tried... Or a 3D
> > interface. As soon as I may be able to run a Self implementation on a PC,
> > I'll try thoses new, fast 3D libraries available (3DR, BRender, etc...).
> Look at http://www.cs.tu-berlin.de/~ki/engines.html for a list
> of other engines. I have looked at many, and Intel's was the
> closest to what I need. But I still ended up having to develop
> my own :-( in order to get results on slow 386 machines.

There's a new one under developpment on the net, something called free3D
(I may be wrong). Fast and C-based.

I must admit that intel's 3DR is quite fast on a 486 (DX2/66).

On my next computer, I'll also try theses new S3-based graphics card.
Inexpensive and 3D acceleration.

> > I've already studied a few virtual reality metaphors like the one used in
> > EuroParc. Theses technologies are the right idea, in my opinion (I have no
> > ergonomic data for this, even if my attempt at hypermedia cartography
> > seems correct on this). But to find a metaphor usable in 3D may be hard.
> The Self group actually did build a 3D UI, though it was
> never released (see the list of benchmarks on some recent
> papers). I don't think we need to start with full 3D - just
> placing 2D objects in a 3D space would be a good alternative
> to Kansas.

I see the idea : the merlin theme. I'm disturbed however by the
orientering question. I'm quite a good player at 3D killing games and I
often get lost without using a map (even with high-res ones like the Mac
versions). I can also make any viewer feels sick in others, flight based
ones by turning all over the place :-).

I believe that you have to recall the human capacities in orientering
through a metaphor that behaves in a similar way, hence the term virtual
reality. But you have to map it with the self objects. I have an idea of
what may be usefull : a landscape metaphor, with sights to help you remind
the places you've already been. The features of the landscape may not be
related to the objects themselves : it may not be necessary.

My version of Self is the smallui2 one.
___________________Thierry.Goubier at enst-bretagne.fr__________________
    Je ne suis pas un patriote car je n'ai pas peur de l'etranger
        I'm not a patriot because I don't fear foreigners

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