Qwaq - Intel

For those of you who want to see Croquet in action, check out the keynote by Justin Rattner from Intel’s developer forum in San Francisco this morning:


The topic is “The rise of the 3D Internet” and Croquet is featured both in the talk in general (as an example of P2P collaboration environment) and live via a Qwaq Forums demonstration (about 15mins into the talk).

Also, a link to the press release of the Qwaq/Intel collaboration:


Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth has been recently interviewed by the Economist magazine. Amongst the many topics covered in the interview, Shuttleworth also talked about Croquet and how Canonical (Shuttleworth’s company) uses it for planning and building Ubuntu:

One area where he sees this happening is in real-time collaboration. E-mail is widely used as a collaborative tool, but has severe limitations. When a team, such as a group of software developers, wants to work together on something in real time, something more elaborate is needed. Mr Shuttleworth points to an open-source platform called Croquet, an immersive environment that is similar in many ways to Second Life, a popular online virtual world. “You can see your collaborators’ avatars looking at a spreadsheet in a virtual room,” he says. “People change things in different colours—newer stuff glows. We’ve started to use this for planning and building Ubuntu.”

Canonical, which is based in London where Mr Shuttleworth now lives, cannot afford to pay for all its programmers to come to planning meetings for new versions of the software, which are held every six months. Rather than demote some participants to a “second class” of virtual participation, he would prefer to have everyone participate virtually.

You may find the whole interview here.


29 May, 2007


By Daniel Lanovaz

I’m ready! Sophie, Croquet, Seaside, Scratch, Plopp, OLPC … The Era of Squeak and Smalltalk is upon us!


16 May, 2007


Croquet SDK 1.0 released

27 March, 2007

The Croquet Consortium has released version 1.0 of Croquet, the 3-D virtual environment based on Squeak.
Nonprofit ‘Croquet Consortium’ Releases Open-Source Software Toolkit to Promote Collaborative 3-D Virtual Environments

DURHAM, N.C. – March 27, 2007 – A nonprofit consortium of academic and corporate partners today announced the release of a free software toolkit for developers to use in creating 3-D “virtual environments.”

“We’re seeking to enable the creation of a rich series of interconnected ‘Croquet worlds’ where people can engage in productive collaborative interactions in support of learning and commerce – worlds that can be created, maintained and continually modified without the constraints of proprietary computer code,” said Julian Lombardi, assistant vice president of Duke’s Office of Information Technology.

The Croquet Consortium’s new “3-D Virtual Environments Software Developer’s Kit” (Croquet SDK 1.0) will promote collaboration among far-flung research teams working on everything from cancer cells to hurricanes, as well as active learning among students and their instructors. These networked 3-D teams from research, education and industry will be able to work together across a variety of computer platforms and devices, from laptops to cell phones.

“This will change the way people think about software and computation, from today’s device-oriented perspective to a perspective of computation as a persistent, pervasive service,” said Patrick Scaglia, vice president and chief technology officer of HP’s Imaging and Printing Group.

Croquet 3-D virtual environments can support live discussion among worldwide collaborators who come together in “real time” within a 3-D virtual space. They may view, manipulate and revise documents, dynamic visualizations or large amounts of data from sources such as laboratories or supercomputing centers.

Added Greg Nuyens, chief executive officer of Qwaq Inc., “we have found Croquet to be a compelling platform technology for developing very large scale, richly featured and interlinked virtual environments. With the release of the Croquet SDK, we are excited about the new possibilities for using Croquet in our products and see benefits for developers everywhere.”

For example, public health officials and epidemiologists across a country could use the Croquet environment to track the spread of an infectious disease by sharing a dynamically changing display of infection data. Similarly, architects and engineers could collaborate on a building design, or chemists and biologists could prototype different chemical compositions for a new drug.

The free kit provides developers with a flexible tool to create virtual spaces with built-in networked telephony and a “late-binding object-oriented” programming language that allows multiple users to jointly create, animate or modify 3-D objects and dynamic simulations. Developers can also import and share resources, such as 2-D web applications or multimedia content, from their own systems. Working together across multiple locations, they can change simulations while they are running and work together to create new applications – all in “real time.”

The kit can be downloaded from the consortium’s website, http://croquetconsortium.org.

The newly formed Croquet Consortium is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to developing and promoting the widespread adoption of open-source, Croquet technologies for research, education and industry. Its institutional supporters include Duke University, the University of Minnesota, HP, 3dSolve Inc. and Qwaq Inc. Croquet was initiated by Alan Kay – winner of the Kyoto Prize and the Turing and Draper awards – working in collaboration with David A. Smith, Andreas Raab, David P. Reed, Mark P. McCahill and Lombardi.


It’s much harder to get lost in a virtual world. Qwaq poked its head out of hiding today and released its first product: A virtual forum that enables collaborators to interact in real time. It’s not hard to imagine what an impact this new technology will have on business collaboration. Read the rest of this entry »

Smalltalk window

In our last article we spoke with Michael Rueger.

Today we talk with Steve Hunter. Steve started with OO languages way back in 1985 at General Electric. He used Eiffel, C++, and Objective-C which were the “hot” OO languages at the time. Steve says that he was strongly influenced by Bertrand Meyer’s OO Software Construction Book. His educational background in software/systems analysis and design techniques lead Steve to contribute to the work Object Modeling Technique by GE, and have continued to inspire Steve throughout his career.

Steve’s joined ParcPlace and was impressed by the ease of use and powerful development environment of Smalltalk. Particularly impressive was the VisualWorks debugger, and the cross platform nature of the VM and the dynamic prototyping nature which showed such great potential in market growth.

Steve believed strongly in the benefits of business modeling and saw the merger between Digitalk and ParcPlace as a mismatch of intention between R&D and commercial engineering. In 1995 Steve started Hunter Object Systems and then in 2000 created Agilense. He created EA WebModeler which is a metadata driven modeling solution for Enterprise Architecture and took it to market. Agilense has many very large customers including Sun Microsystems. The most notable component of EA WebModeler for our community is the Squeak based graphical modeler.

I spoke with Steve about EA WebModeler, what it is like depending on Open Source software like Squeak, and more. Read the rest of this entry »

Minding Your Business With Smalltalk
There has been a lot of talk about the future of Smalltalk. There are number of Object Oriented Languages that are candidates for replacing Smalltalk. Why has Smalltalk lasted so long? Why do business software suppliers still choose Smalltalk? Who are the people that still bet on the future of Smalltalk and how do they manage to succeed. Read the rest of this entry »

CIO Insight magazine has published an interview with Smalltalk’s and Squeak’s father, Alan Kay. The interview, titled “Alan Kay: The PC Must Be Revamped—Now”, covers many topics such as the past, present and future of computing, Squeak and Croquet, the OLPC project and the other initiatives of ViewPoints Research Institute, and the need to reinvent the PC in order for computing to leap forward.

Taking the Beat of Cadence

29 January, 2007


Gilad Bracha is a legend in Object Oriented Programming. He is the Co-Author of the Java Language Specification and one of the major contributors to Strongtalk which has just been released by Sun under an Open Source License.

Gilad is forming a team at Cadence and is raising eye brows with his latest hires. Eliot Miranda and Vassili Bykov recently left Cincom to join Gilad at Cadence . Eliot is well-known known as a Master of Smalltalk Development. Vassili Bykov was the lead tool builder of VisualWorks. We can’t help wondering about the team of Gilad, Eliot, and Vassili. I spoke with Gilad about Cadence, Smalltalk, and Open Source. Read the rest of this entry »