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.

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Back to the Future

In working on Brie, I had been vaguely aware that the ‘Self’ language was similarly based on copying prototypes rather than instantiating classes. So I kind of went ‘yeah, whatever’ when Rick McGeer and others told me to check up on this ’80’s Xerox PARC project.

Wow. I hadn’t realized that Self was so close in both the domain and the solution spaces. If there’s interest I’ll try to produce a comparison later, but for now, check out the Self site and, in particular, this paper.

intregration with document-oriented applications

How do we integrate Croquet with the Web? How do we integrate with legacy applications in general?

We interact with computers now in a document model developed by Alan Kay’s Xerox PARC team a long time ago. (Xerox: The Document Company.) It is as is if we have our head bent over our desktop, looking at a piece of paper. We slide other pieces of paper in and out below the face of our bowed head. In Croquet, Kay’s team today lets us lift our head up off the desk and look up at the world around us, including our coworkers. But just as the 3D world has paper within it, shouldn’t the Croquet world have document-based software within it? Yes!

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Inventing the Future: players

So, you join a university team that is in the middle of a project that is throwing away the models of how computer programs and interfaces work and starting again from scratch. Where do you begin?

There’s a nice outside review of the scope and implications of the Croquet project in
this person’s blog.

This is deep stuff — too deep for me to fully grasp in my first two months. So I started by sorting out the people and their projects.

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