Morphic (the graphical object framework underlying Kansas) was originally designed to support arbitrary scaling
It's funny, I stumbled upon that piece of legacy code that hinders transparency when looking for places were I could put my scaling code :P To me it seems that one of the reasons to go into 3d space was because ui2 clutteres quickly. It really does once you start messing with the worldMorph which has enough slots to fill 20 screens in total and will fill 2 when just browsing one category^^. But I think the key problem is really zooming the radar simply doesn't cut it here. 3d wouldn't solve that too, simply more stuff behind more stuff^^. This may be not that horrible to implement when the scaling is done in the canvas. Quartz for example should support that out of the box.
On Nov 13, 2010, at 11:13 PM, Jecel Assumpcao Jr. wrote:
Randy Smith wrote on Sat, 13 Nov 2010 13:12:29 -0800
We had an attempt at ui3, connecting a 3D library (was it open GL?) to objects in Self.
John Maloney mentioned XGL in:
This work was done by a student of Andy VanDam at Brown. A sample environment or two were created in 3D, but a full 3D programming environment felt just too clunky at the time.
Interesting! I had seen this later discusion and it had given me the impression that Brown wasn't involved in the GUI work:
Their course was great - too bad it died out.
One environment had a bunch of bouncing boxes in a 3D world ... you could grab and move a box with the mouse. There was a special key combo with which to "go meta" -- which in this case meant going "out of body." Your point of view backs away and you see the frame and camera through which you had been viewing the world. With the frame and camera as reachable objects, you could move them around, attach the frame to a bouncing box, or pull the camera away from the frame to give it a more telephoto view of the environment. There was an "anti-meta" operation to let you resume use of any frame-camera pair you might find.
This was a very good idea. In Teleplace (commercial version of Croquet) you can use the mouse scroll wheel to "step back". Your avatar doesn't move, so this changes from a first person viewpoint to a third person viewpoint. You see your cursor as a ray shooting out of the avatar, but you don't see the old frame you were using.
The meta idea fits in well with the Morphic ideal. But sometimes it is nice to have more direct ways to navigate. Moving a long way in Kansas, for example, is very awkward when you have to carry along an object because you have to keep dropping it to deal with the radar view for the next little step. I added navigation using the arrow keys in one Self snapshot I used a lot to avoid this.