Sean DeNigris has been doing some great archaeology recently, and with help from some of the original Sophie team, he has managed to get some of Sophie’s rich multimedia capabilities working in mainstream Squeak images.

Sophie is a multimedia editing environment that was originally written in Squeak, although more recently it has been rewritten in Java.

The screenshot above shows a video being played by the QuickTime plugin, and being presented as a morph in Squeak. Sean shows in his blog post how to get this up and running in a few minutes in Squeak on OS X. There’s also a great discussion on the squeak-dev mailing list.

There’s still lots of gems to be uncovered in the Sophie code base, but this is a great starting point!

Janko Mivšek is delivering his Christmas presents early this year, with the announcement of  the first beta of the “Christmas edition”(6.2) of Aida/Web. Aida/Web is a Smalltalk web application framework with integrated Ajax support, a rich collection of web components, REST-like URLs, and integrated session and security management and much more.

Among the many new features in this version are mobile device detection and rendering, HTML5 support, WebSocket support for bidirectional communication between server and browser, nestable AJAX-enabled forms, and the introduction of a unified JSON-based message format between server and browser.

Aida/Web is supported on six Smalltalk platforms: Squeak, Pharo, Gemstone/S, VisualWorks and ObjectStudio, Dolphin Smalltalk, and Smalltalk/X.

See the Aida/Web download page from more information. Janko has also provided an interesting analysis of the codebases of Aida/Web, Seaside and Iliad.

Etoys 4.1 now available

30 September, 2010

Bert Freudenberg announced on the squeak-dev mailing list that Etoys 4.1 is now available. Etoys is a media-rich authoring environment and visual programming system with a simple, powerful scripted object model, ideal for teaching children powerful ideas in compelling ways. Based on Squeak, Etoys is available for free, with an open-source licence. You can run it on Mac OS X, Windows, and Linux (using the Etoys To Go version), or even use a plugin to run it directly in your browser. Etoys is also available on the XO OLPC laptop.

This release includes new features such as DrGeo for exploring geometry, speech bubbles for objects, new tiles and Quick Guides in a number of languages. It also includes a large number of bug-fixes and cleanups. A number of new projects have been created to showcase the new features. Some of the new features were developed as part of Smalltalk’s participation in this year’s Google Summer of Code, which was co-ordinated by ESUG.

You can find out more about Etoys 4.1 by reading the release notes, or by downloading the new version.

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!

Rita Freudenberg has announced that “The official Squeakfest website is now live and ready for you to propose a presentation, workshop, or panel.”

Squeakfest is an annual conference where developers and users of the Etoys media-rich authoring and experimentation environment (based on Squeak) get together to share ideas, experiences, and their enthusiasms with colleagues from around the world.

This year’s conference will be held at University of North Carolina in Wilmington, North Carolina, in the USA from 26th—28th July, and the theme for will be “Etoys in the STEM classroom.”

The conference will offer an opportunity to reflect on the achievements of the NSF-funded project “Using Squeak to Infuse Technology (USeIT)” which is now reaching its 3rd year.

The team are keen to hear from individuals and groups with experience teaching with Etoys, as well as non-classroom Etoys use, particularly as it relates to OLPC pilots or homeschooling. More information will be added to the website as it becomes available, but the organisers ask presenters to get presentation information to them by completing and submitting the online form no later than 11th June, 2010.

To get a flavour of what to expect at the conference, have a look at our report from last year’s Squeakfest.

Scratch is the cover story of the November 2009 issue of CACM, the monthly magazine of the Association for Computing Machinery.

Scratch is a visual programming language, developed in Squeak, that makes it easy to create interactive stories, animations, games, music, and art — and share these creations on the web. Aimed at children between the ages of 8 and 16, Scratch has developed a thriving community, with over 1000 new projects being uploaded to the site every day.

In inviting the Scratch team to submit an article, the editor of CACM explained his motivation: “A couple of days ago, a colleague of mine (CS faculty) told me how she tried to get her 10-year-old daughter interested in programming, and the only thing that appealed to her daughter (hugely) was Scratch.”

The submitted article is also available for viewing online.

Etoys 4 released

31 October, 2009

Following his announcement of the release candidate last month, Timothy Falconer of Squeakland has now announced the full release of Etoys 4, which you can now download from their website.

The Squeakland Fall newsletter has the Etoys 4 release notes which detail the changes you’ll find, in English and Spanish. The newsletter also has some thoughts by Scott Wallace on this release which completes the hand-over of Squeak Etoys from Viewpoints Research to the newly formed Squeakland Foundation.

To publicise some of the work being done using Etoys, the Squeakland site has a new feature: the Squeakland Showcase. Everyone can now share their projects directly from Etoys to the website, where the Etoys community can then benefit from the many surprising and useful Etoys examples that are available.

Timothy invites anyone using Squeak or Etoys, to consider adding their name to their Squeakers list. More than 175 people from 35 countries have signed, which really shows the enthusiasm and reach of Etoys throughout the world.

Timothy adds “Special thanks to the Squeakland software team, particularly Bert Freudenberg, Yoshiki Ohshima, and Scott Wallace for their tremendous efforts in the last month. Your hard work really shows!”

Squeak Etoys release candidate

30 September, 2009

Etoys

Timothy Falconer wrote to the squeak-dev mailing list to announce the Squeak Etoys 4 release candidate, in preparation for final release on 21st October.

This release is the product of nine months of work by the Etoys software team, and several weeks of sprinting by Bert Freudenberg, Yoshiki Ohshima, Scott Wallace and Timothy.

The Etoys team are now looking for your input: Timothy says “Please help us test the new Etoys! We want to make sure that it’s rock solid before getting used in schools and homes throughout the world”.

You can download the Etoys 4 release candidate at http://squeakland.org/download under “Release Candidates”.

Highlights of Etoys 4 include:

  • loading and sharing projects directly to the central Squeakland Showcase
  • fully “license clean”, so that it can be included in Linux distros
  • improved toolbar and viewer
  • optional drop-down categories for the project info box
  • lots of fixes and new translations throughout

To learn more about what’s new in Etoys 4, you can watch an interview with Scott Wallace or an introduction to the new beta showcase.

If you find any problems in the release candidate, you can try the Etoys chat channel, or post in the forums, or if you’re able to reproduce the error, add a ticket to the issue tracker.

Timothy passes on special thanks to everyone who made suggestions or helped the team to test the betas, saying “We’d be nowhere without our community!”

appsavailable

Phil Schiller led the keynote presentation today at Apple’s Worldwide Developers’ Conference. One of the many causes for celebration he had was the phenomonal success of the iPhone App Store, which now has 50,000 applications available for download.

Although he was careful to be even-handed in giving credit to all iPhone developers for helping Apple achieve this success, he must have secretly been thanking John McIntosh, who is turning into a one-man app wave. Without John’s recent batch of new Squeak-based applications, Phil would have been left announcing the much less satisfactory figure of 49,99749,994 applications.

In case you missed it, John’s latest announcement was that his Fraction app is now available for calculations involving unlimited sized fractions and factorials, as it attempts to preserve numerical accuracy to an unprecedented degree. The new app joins the two apps based on his WikiServer that John already has on the App Store.

We look forward to seeing if the notoriously byzantine App Store approval process will be able to keep up with John’s flood of new applications.

ScreenShotMagicWordsSwedish

Mikael Kindborg and colleagues at comikit.se have announced that their Magic Words application is now available as Open Source software.

Magic Words gives children (of all ages!) the ability to create interactive animated worlds. It has been used to allow its users to make their own friendly non-violent computer games and explore the meaning of words as part of learning how to read.

The team have made the source-code available under the MIT licence, and have provided some sample resources including pictures, text, and sounds to get you started.

The application is of course based on Squeak, and the Comikit team give detailed instructions on how to load it into a standard Squeak image.