The "no applications" idea first surfaced for me at PARC, when we realised that you really wanted to freely construct arbitrary combinations (and could do just that with (mostly media) objects). So, instead of going to a place that has specialised tools for doing just a few things, the idea was to be in an "open studio" and pull the resources you wanted to combine to you. This doesn't mean to say that e.g. a text object shouldn't be pretty capable -- so it's a mini app if you will -- but that it and all the other objects that intermingle with each other should have very similar UIs and have their graphics aspect be essentially totally similar as far as the graphics system is concerned -- and this goes also for user constructed objects. The media presentations I do in Squeak for my talks are good examples of the directions this should be taken for the future.(Anyone who has seen one of Kay's talks -- as I did at the ECOOP conference in 2000 -- can attest to how stunningly engaging they are.) To which I would add that it's equally important today that their data work together seamlessly too, and with the other tools that we'll develop along the way. The use of the browser as a desktop isn't new, of course: it's central to Google Chromium and to cloud-friendly Linux variants like Jolicloud. But it hasn't really been used so much as a development environment, or as the host for a language that lives inside the web's main document data structure. I'm not hung-up on it being Smalltalk -- a direct-manipulation front-end to jQuery UI might be even better -- but some form of highly interactive programming-in-the-web might be interesting to try.
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