Squeak running on iPad

17 June, 2010

Bert Freudenberg has recently got Squeak working on the iPad, and has the video to prove it!

Bert’s work is based on John McIntosh‘s original port of the Squeak Virtual Machine to Apple’s touch-based OS, modified slightly to enable multi-touch and keyboard input. Bert also added multi-touch handling to Morphic. Interestingly, he notes that “Morphic was designed to handle multiple ‘hands’ (pointing devices) from the beginning”, so Squeak has always been multi-touch capable, and just let down by operating systems until now!

Bert’s work will help the Etoys team prepare their application for the next machine from OLPC, the XO-3, which will also be a touch device. The new version of the Sugar OS for the new device is still being developed, so it looks as though Etoys is well ahead of the curve.

Given the recent changes to Apple’s licence terms for iOS developers, it’s looking increasingly likely that we will see Squeak-based applications appearing for the iPad in the future. After a forty year wait, the Dynabook is nearly here!

4 Responses to “Squeak running on iPad”

  1. Mark Miller Says:

    I understand that Freudenberg was able to get it on the iPad, but how would others get it? It seems like it would have to be specially installed on select iPads through a developer package setup. My understanding is that Squeak nor anything developed in it can be obtained through the AppStore anymore due to Apple’s new AppStore developer license.


  2. I think it is premature to claim that Etoys is well ahead of the curve. Bert’s blog post has several warnings about usability, and suggests that the Etoys user interface may even have to be redesigned from the ground up to work with touch devices. I tend to agree with him. iSqueak is a monumental achievement, but there is some distance from simple iSqueak applications, like Blob and Swirl, to full-blown Etoys. Much of Etoys relies on tiny targets or mouseover events. (Many user projects, including those in the Etoys gallery, will also need to be rethought.) There is plenty of work for Etoys volunteers.

  3. Matthew Says:

    Assuming Apple allows an interpreted code exception for Squeak, they may not allow it since it “creates a desktop” and “has widgets”. Not that they couldn’t allow Squeak today then pull the plug next week. See http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/06/01/apple_boots_widgety_apps_from_app_store/


  4. [...] and of course the iPad. John MacIntosh’s port of the Squeak Virtual Machine to iOS, and Bert Freudenberg’s work on multi-touch support will prove very useful resources in getting keen developers up and running [...]


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