Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Modern UIs

Just read an article about the Language Workbench Competition 2011. There the MetaEdit+ tool was demonstrated and highly praised. According to this article by Cincom the tool is implemented using Cincom Smalltalk. Looks like the tool really rocks:

Steven Kelly demonstrated the MetaEdit+ implementation of the assignment. In fact, he implemented most of the assignment from scratch during his demonstration! Very impressive and the only one who did it this way. For me, this shows the productivity and ease of use of MetaEdit+.

But yet again someone complained about the old-style UI:

The main comment on twitter about MetaEdit+ was that its UI looks a bit old-fashioned. That's of course a matter of taste, but their next version (5.0 - to be released soon) will have a new, Windows 7 looking UI.

So the next version will have a Windows7 UI. CST catches up with current trends - good.

But the question to me still is what is next step in UI development? Is it really worth to following UI design of the native platform.

Or should we focus on the nice things that can be done in browsers and other rich clients today? Or should we focus on 3D Smalltalk?

If I look at all these new devices and apps then I think an application that looks "modern" should at least support graphics and animation. Mhhh ... time to look at morphic again?

What is the (Smalltalk) application with the most "fashionable" UI?

I would vote for DOM and html5 based UI. It would be portable and pretty.
I just had a quick look at the MetaEdit+ website and it is not something I would call a "modern UI" ... ugh.

I reckon the browser and rich clients are the way to go, which is also why I think the best looking Smalltalk app is: yesplan.be go Inceptive :)
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