Inventing the Future

Distributed Systems Part 2: Off-Island Data

The Core Croquet model describes a complete independent simulation, in which changing behavior is automatically synchronized between all participants. The model is best thought of as describing replicated objects with behavior over time, rather than as older models of program and data (or state). The collection of objects in a given replicated simulation is called an “island.”

However, one of the nice things about the Croquet model is that it can co-exist with other models. It is perfectly reasonable to use a “data” model for immutable objects (which do not change their behavior over time).

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Inventing the Future

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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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

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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