Summer Heat

I have no news. Or too much.

I thought summer was supposed to be “off season” in academia, but things have been incredibly busy. Some of the stuff we’ve been doing:

We wrapped up a set of work with Japan’s National Institute for Information and Communication Technology, including a paper. Much of this has gone into Jasmine point-releases. Some more has been using our new Brie framework. We will be continuing this work.

A month ago, Brie reached a stable point that illustrates a lot of the ideas. Andreas is coming out to work with us on his way to Squeakfest. (Josh and I will be going, too.) Brie has gotten a great reaction from those who have seen a controlled demo of it. (Julian gives great demos.) I admit to being childishly proud of an enthusiastic response from Adele Goldberg. Anyway, I think we’ve got just a manageably few more hard things before we’ve got all the basics, and should be able to work this into Croquet Release 1.0.

We’ve got an exciting project starting with a very forward thinking art professor to use Croquet in guiding and assessing students as they go through constructive collaborative criticism of their 3D art work.

I’ve been doing an awful lot of both administrative and technical work, while Julian has been like a whirlwind with stuff that I’m sure he’ll blog about at some point. We’ve just been too busy to write.

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. 1) Sound cool. Congrats.

    2) When do we get to play with it? Presumably with a Wetmachine special guided tour?

    3) We heard about the July Massacre in HP, in which Alan Kay went bye-bye. I was holding my breath to find out what you were going to say about it, but you said nothing. Can you tell us what, if any, significance to attach to HP’s pulling the plug on Kay?

    (It’s funny, I still think of him of a wunderkid. When I read in the press accounts that he is 65 I thought, “yes, of course.” But that only means that I am old. I does not mean that younger readers who may dismiss him as “some old guy” correctly place him in their mental constructs. . .

    Oh well. Time marches on. Tell us about croquet in the post HP-Kay world.

  2. Alan has this great boyish aura that comes through both in person and in pictures. Pics with a bit of grey hair today still have this characteristic that stands out in that picture in the middle of “What the Dormouse Said.” (_bbs_1/104-2653742-2920765?v=glance&s=books&n=507846″ rel=”nofollow”>…) I think that contributes to the wunderkind thing.

    There’s quite a few “Dormouse” and “Mouseketeer” folks at HP. There’s a lot of stuff on the Web about HP’s “Invent” future, and at least some of it is wrong. (Although I’m impressed with how much is correct, too!) All anyone can say is that the actual outcome is yet to be known. HP has been very supportive of this project. It truly remains to be seen what form that support takes going forward. (Aint it always the truth? Amen.)

    In the mean time, it’s pretty much just a distraction, as everyone is hard at work on release 1.0, due out this fall. There’s big Croquet stuff at OOPSLA (…) and Educause ( I’ll have to put together some sort of Brie tour for you by then.

    And of course, release 0.3 is out now…

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