Chris Muller has released a thoroughly updated and documented version of his user interface framework Maui. Chris has described Maui as a “naked objects” Morphic-based UI builder that allows rapid UI creation based on object-message composition.

Maui includes a number of light satellite frameworks that supply various application services like documents, object-search, background process management with progress monitoring. It also provides a number of tools which allow applications to be synthesized quickly, without the need to write any user-interface code.

Chris has written a fifty page document describing Maui and giving examples of how to use it to build user interfaces for complex applications. In this document he also discusses future work for Maui, including the tantalising possibility of extending it to support the development of web applications.

Aliens coming to Squeak

8 December, 2008

Aliens approaching Squeak

John McIntosh has ported Newspeak‘s Aliens FFI implementation to Squeak. John notes that the port is in its early days, and more work and support will be needed to implement Aliens support across the full range of Squeak platforms.

As a result of this interest in Aliens, Gilad Bracha has written a post giving an overview of Aliens, the thinking that went into it, and how it works. FFI allows a programming language to make use of services written in another language, and Gilad suggests that the lack of a standard, fully-featured FFI has been an ongoing problem for Smalltalk developers. In particular, John writes that “Squeak VM’S existing FFI has been found to be buggy bloated and slow” (though see Andreas’ comments on this below).

John’s code, under the Apache licence, is available at, and more information on his implementation can be found at the Alien swiki page.


Germán Arduino writes with news of a very interesting multimedia application his company has been developing for the Spanish state of Extremadura. The application consists of a number of units, each developed in Squeak using the multimedia-application framework FMA, originally developed by Diego Gómez Deck. The application will be available in Spanish, English and Portuguese, and is intended to be used by visitors to the region. It includes a variety of games, puzzles and quizzes to help the user test their understanding.

Germán notes that, as usual with all the Extremadura projects, the software is open sourced and is available to download from Squeaksource, under the name Albaplata project.

Germán’s post on the project has more information and screenshots.

The Squeak mailing lists have recently seen a surge of interest in getting videos published to help explain Squeak and Smalltalk to developers coming to the language and environment for the first time.

In response to this Randal L. Schwartz has set up a new Squeak Smalltalk group on to allow Squeakers to easily upload and share their videos.

Videos can be a great way to help people quickly pick up a lot of complex information, which makes this an opportunity for Squeakers old and new to help promote Squeak. If there are any topics that you think would suit a short video, why not try recording one and publishing it? If you’re the developer of a powerful Squeak developer tool, and you’re amazed that no-one seems to use all of its functionality, this would be a great way to expose all of those features in a compelling way.

If you’re a new developer struggling with Squeak, let us know what topics you’d like to see covered in video tutorials. If you’ve got any recommendations for recording and editing software for Windows, Mac or Linux, please leave a comment.

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: