welcome Joshua!

<%image(20050317-josh-gimped.jpg|400|400|Josh)%>We are excited to have a new developer joining us on Croquet at U.Wisconsin. Joshua Gargus is moving to Madison all the way from Atlanta, which is quite a big step for such a young man. And he and has wife had just bought a house in Georgia! Both my boss and I have moved our families cross-country for new jobs, including a period where our wives had stayed at the old house, and we know it’s not easy.

Joshua has already clearly dedicated his work to highly interactive applications on the cutting edge of technology. A haptic controller that lets you physically mold “digital clay,” including the ability to pull the molded surface out as well as merely pushing it in. (Think about it.) A sketchbook that recognizes individual strokes (not bitmaps) on a timeline for playback, annotation, and hardware rendering in various styles. Much of his work has been in Squeak, done at the leading centers for Squeak development. (Croquet is built on top of Squeak.)

I’ve looked at some of Joshua’s code, and I’m excited that we’re getting such a talented developer. Coming up: what we’ll both be working on…

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. Well good morning indeed!

    I did my wetmachine-check with my cup-o-coffee this morning, expecting the normal dark, dreary wetmachine (the way I like it). Imagine my surprise!

  2. So I checked on the digital clay paper and it looks pretty cool. Kinda reminded me of when I first heard of "haptic" computer stuff– probably at a SIGCHI symposium in the early 90’s.

    Here’s an early (1990) paper on the subject, "Feeling and Seeing: Issues in Force Display" http://portal.acm.org/citat

    Note that the lead author is Margaret Minsky. Oliver Steele is a co-author.



    Oliver Steele, Chief Architect of the LZX language, is my boss at Laszlo Systems, Inc. Through him I’ve become friends with his wife, Margaret Minsky.

    Also note, in the "Geek Street Cred" department that Fred Brooks is another co-author. Yes, THAT Fred Brooks, author of the mythic "The Mythical Man Month."


    Adding this kind of "skin" on top of Croquet sounds fascinating, and, dare I say it, futuristic.

  3. Thanks for the welcome.

    I don’t have an ACM account to check the haptics paper, which I don’t think that I’ve read. In any case, a lot of our initial UI work will be to make Croquet approachable to people familiar with current GUIs.

    I’m very excited to be working with Howard et al!

  4. Hi Josh, Good luck in your new position. How in the world did they ever lure you away from the Georgia Tech Squeakers? Maybe the promise of snow on the ground and late, cold Springs? Looking forward to seeing your Sketchbook project.

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