[self-interest] Re: remote GUI

Jecel Assumpcao Jr. jecel at merlintec.com
Tue Feb 22 21:54:21 UTC 2000

Thanks to David N. Smith, Stefan Matthias Aust and John Hinsley for their
feedback on the remote GUI problem. I'll lump all my comments here to save

Berlin: it looks need, but I don't see that it will really be more lightweight
than X. They claim to be inspired by NeWS, which is a good thing, but I don't
see how they can send new functionality over to the server that wasn't there
before (from what I know about Corba). In any case, this is for the future and
I need something for the next few weeks...

VNC at 128kbps: this obviously is a case of personal taste. But since I will be
serving several clients over a single 33kbps link, it seems that this isn't a
good choice for me.

X in Java (http://wiredx.net): since the students would have to download a Java
2 plug-in and do a lot of configuration before using this, it really isn't an
option (though it would be the least work for me since it would talk to Self as
it is now). In fact, it is very likely that their PCs won't have enough
resources in any case. Plus there is the 33kbps limitation I mentioned above.

I guess I will have to make the clients way more intelligent so I can use a
higher level protocol. Since the students will have to download something in
any case, something in Squeak might be the right choice for this project.

As long as I am lumping different stuff together, I might as well comment
Stefan's observation here:

> Compared with Self on Squeak, the Java version performs much better
> -especially with HotSpot.  It's still not comparable with the real Self system
> I think, but the advantage is that I can easily script existing Java code.  I
> did a very small example with Swing.   And I've to say that a lot of
> Smalltalkers (and Self fan) here and on the Squeak list are biased. Java is
> better than you think :-)

The problem is that there are several different Javas out there. When I write a
program in Java, I limit myself to what will work on the Java included in the
old Netscape or Internet Explorer that the user might be using.  So that colors
my impression of the language. Of course I can get much better results by
requiring that the user download Java 2 (like the wiredX people do) and that
they only use IE on Win98 or later, but then what is the point?

-- Jecel

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