for me self is still one of the most beautiful languages I know, but the lib's are not so shapelily. So we have a kind of an Ugly Duckling here... a lady with amazing intrinsic values and horrible "lips"...
Of course, we can start with some cosmetics.. We can change the UI and other stuff, but for me that doesn't look like the right way... Self has so many unfinished stuff, that I guess we will not make it better to open another bottle.
Jan-Paul, if you really want to bring that stuff to the next level, let us finalize Klein first, as it is. A new platform would be cool, for sure! But this seams to me, is not the first step. This will need a lot of refactorings on different places. Over the last years a lot of people tried to enhance and clean up the self language - with more or less success. From my point of view, the main problem was that they/we tried to much in one step.
So let us start with a "small" step first... let us finalize Klein and then let us make the next step.
When I can help in any way, give me a note. My C++ knowledge is not really good enough, but maybe I can help in another way. If you want so, I can have a chat with your professor. I quite good connected to the german federal ministry of research and technology. if he/she is will to support you and maybe other students to work on self, i can take care of the fund raising for this project.