Inventing the Future

What the Dormouse Said

Everyone’s been waiting patiently for Hedgehog. There’s no way to know when the next step of David Reed’s Tea Time will be available. As David Smith and Andreas Raab began working on Simplified Tea Time for Hedgehog, there was no way to know when that process would produce results.

The Croquet group at the University of Wisconsin is not in the Computer Science department. We’re not driven by the theoretical concepts of Croquet for its own sake. We are in the Academic Technology department of the Division of Information Technology, and our interest is in building educational applications in Croquet. Adding stuff to the Croquet core is fun, but what we really need is to build learning environments with faculty. Last summer, we had the opportunity to just that, and we took it, even though we knew that the existing Jasmine proof-of-concept version of Croquet would not meet our needs. What to do?

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Inventing the Future

Enter Hedgehog

The first real release of Croquet is nigh….

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Inventing the Future

Collateral

It’s been heads-down hard work around here ever since OOPSLA in October. Haven’t even filed my expense report yet. (Coding is more fun.) So I’m pretty late in posting that…

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Inventing the Future

Inventing the Future: information as a game

I’ve written before about how I’d like to never be forced to enter a name into Croquet. A consequence of achieving this is that you wouldn’t often need a keyboard. (A keyboard can be incredibly useful. I’m not proposing banishment. I just want to be able to get along without it. Also, there’s still access to legacy apps with their textual forms that need to be filled out.)

Croquet is built on the Squeak platform. This weekend I discovered that the older PlayStation II has an Ethernet adapter, the new one has it built in, that there’s a guy porting Squeak to the PS2, and that Croquet’s own Andreas Raab has demonstrated in the past that Squeak can be ported to the PS2. I’d sure love to have game boxes be Croquet information appliances.

Now add to that the ability to create content from within the Croquet environment itself, and think of kids creating their own connected persistent worlds. Screw the “information age”, it’s the “age of imagination”.

At C5, Croquet anchorman David Smith laid out a vision of Croquet running on an iPod-sized device connected to a heads-up display in your eyeglasses. (Never mind that by then, most folks who need vision correction will have laser surgery rather than glasses.) Noting that the basic technologies needed for this already exist today, and the pace of development and adoption over, say 20 years (c.f. the Apple Macintosh and what it has wrought), David feels comfortable looking at this sort of technology horizon. I’d like to see Croquet on a PS2 be a step in that direction.

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