Thursday, July 12, 2007

Squeak UI improvements

There is a discussion on the Squeak mailinglist about some simple ergonomic adjustments in the look and feel of the standard image. Gary Chambers reported about commercial work done in Squeak and an add-on package ready to release back into the community.

This package provides a nice UI for some standard (business application like) services, choosing colours, selecting a font etc.
It also provides a framework for creating "standard" morphs (checkboxes, drop-lists etc). His desktop looks like this (click one of the images to see more):


A few years back there we had something similar: the Zurgle Project by Jim Benson. It includes a theme for installing a Windows XP style interface:


I used Zurgle in my Developer Workspace project (which is now replaced by Damiens squeak-dev image, unfortunately with the standard Squeak look).

I think Squeak requires some more UI improvements and at least support for common widgets found on other platforms to build standard applications.
This would open the project to a broader audience and also allow to experiment with new GUI approaches. I was impressed by the Squeak UI work done back in the Exobox days:


And I look forward for 3D user interfaces as in Croquet:


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