Brie Demos

I gave a demo of Brie at the OOPSLA Croquet workshop in October, and Julian gave one a couple weeks ago at C5. Alas, no video, but the Brie papers are here and here.

This terrific video of the Alternate Reality Kit was made at Xerox PARC in 1987. So, of course, it’s not actually Brie, but it does give a lot of the feel of what we’re going for. There are a few UI differences and the ARK is only 2D, but the main thing is that Brie is synchronously collaborative, and therefore eminently shareable.

Another related thing (without a cool video) was PARC’s Thing Lab.

My thinking is that we need to get a minimal, clean, and solid Hedgehog out as soon as possible, rather than cramming it full of more code and half-finished, un-integrated demos. So rewriting Brie for Hedgehog persistence can be done as an update later, and the above will be all there is to see of Brie for a while.

We never did have time to get Brie into our interim Dormouse version of Croquet, but like the ARK, it is somewhat suggestive of the concept. In Dormouse, you can build up your own world by interactively adding to and arranging stuff you find in other worlds. (What kind of world can you build? One kind is the meta-medium 3D wikis described here and here.) Dormouse has some very limited hard-coded Brie-like behavior transfer ability, in which you can reach into a (e.g., found) object and pull out its material or its sound, and then transfer that material or sound to another object. For example, you can put one character’s clothes onto another. The distinction with real Brie is that any such behaviors can be pulled out (e.g., that the object can jump, or that this jump is invoked by clicking on the object) rather than just those predefined behaviors (like material texturing or sound) that some programmer predefines as being able to be pulled out and recombined.

About Stearns

Howard Stearns works at High Fidelity, Inc., creating the metaverse. Mr. Stearns has a quarter century experience in systems engineering, applications consulting, and management of advanced software technologies. He was the technical lead of University of Wisconsin's Croquet project, an ambitious project convened by computing pioneer Alan Kay to transform collaboration through 3D graphics and real-time, persistent shared spaces. The CAD integration products Mr. Stearns created for expert system pioneer ICAD set the market standard through IPO and acquisition by Oracle. The embedded systems he wrote helped transform the industrial diamond market. In the early 2000s, Mr. Stearns was named Technology Strategist for Curl, the only startup founded by WWW pioneer Tim Berners-Lee. An expert on programming languages and operating systems, Mr. Stearns created the Eclipse commercial Common Lisp programming implementation. Mr. Stearns has two degrees from M.I.T., and has directed family businesses in early childhood education and publishing.


  1. Any more images/video for Brie. I read both the papers and I wonder if there’s more material available.


  2. Alas, no more images/video for Brie at this time.

  3. Another really impressive video. It prompted me to go play with Thinglab a bit again. Another really good implementation in Squeak of something related was Skeleton by Takashi Yamamiya. And of course Josh’s work with Cassawary is related too.

    It seems to me that Skeleton could be upgraded to Tweak and possibly be really useful in Hedgehog.

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