[self-interest] Re: outliners

Jerry Bell jdbell at fareselaw.com
Sat Nov 13 06:21:34 UTC 1999

>One problem is that slots aren't typed in this way. But you could
>work around this by using annotations.

I was thinking along the same lines... drop special formatting morphs on
(default) fields of an auto-generated morph.  It gives the desired editing
behavior, and behind the scenes this is recorded in annotations on the
slot, so that next time an editing morph is generated the desired behavior
is still there.  I haven't dug deeply enough yet - can you annotate an
object with arbitrary objects, or is it less general?

You can then extend this to other useful things - validation rules(this
value must be > 5 and < 25), triggers (do this when this value changes)
etc, all of which work uniformly - you just drop stuff onto slots.    

>Ok, so you don't want to create an EmployeeMorph. But is putting
>an outliner in the hands of the user a good idea? There might be
>some slots that you don't want them to see/change. And the layout
>of an outliner is a bit limiting - you might want to have some
>kind of universal formMorph object instead.

This wouldn't be exactly like an outliner, but it would share the idea that
the system is quite capable of building user interfaces for arbitrary
objects on its own.  Of course these things could then be modified by the
programmer or user, and the system would remember the enhancements via

There are things you will want to hide from users, and even from other
objects.  Self does not enforce any privacy, right?  So maybe one day it
would be nice to have a general permissions/security system in Self. 

Also, I looked at propertyMorph a little more.  It looks like it requires
an object to implement a couple of slots to support it, and the
implementation of those slots is exactly the sort of boring, repetitive
code that I would like to eliminate from my life.  So maybe I'll work from
there and get the objects to build those slots (or the equivalent)

I'm going to play around for a few weeks and see if I can do anything
interesting.  It should be a good way to learn the system - I can see
myself getting my first taste of mirrors very very soon...


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