[Pharo-project] Morphic 3, Cuis, Simple Morphic and Esug's sponsoring

Juan Vuletich juan at jvuletich.org
Sun Nov 7 04:00:58 CET 2010


Hi Folks,

All what Stef said wrt these issues is correct. I just want to (perhaps) 
make some detail clearer.

Esug agreed to sponsor Morphic 3 about one year ago. At that time I 
expected to have a working and usable system by the end of this year. 
This is not going to happen. Main reasons are:
1) I underestimated the effort.
2) Inflation and other issues meant I needed to make more money that I 
was currently making. So I had to reduce the hours I devote to volunteer 
work to spend them in paid work.
3) I failed to get sponsors for this project outside the Smalltalk 
community (although I did try).
4) Some of the ideas in Morphic 3 are novel enough that I need to 
protect them from being patented by others from, before disclosing them. 
I don't like software patents, so I believe the best way to do this (and 
get more people to know these ideas) is to submit a paper to a journal 
such as ACM Transactions on Graphics. This will obviously require 
additional time.
So work on Morphic 3 is not stopped, but right now it is paused.

It seemed to me that instead of just telling Esug "I'm sorry, but you'll 
get nothing by the date I promised results", I could do a more 
practical, down to earth contribution to the Smalltalk community in 
return for Esug's support. I believe that many in the Pharo community 
share my opinion that the current Morphic implementation is obfuscated, 
that it is too hard to write applications with it, and that it is too 
hard to fix bugs and evolve it.

The Morphic implementation in Cuis is the main result of many (I guess 
about 6) years of part time work on simplifying the system. I think it 
could be of great value for Pharo, and an enabler for evolution. So, I 
did a request to Esug, to deliver this, naming it "SimpleMorphic", ready 
to run in Pharo, instead of Morphic 3. Esug approved it, and I thank 
them for this. SimpleMorphic is the result of this. I started by 
extracting the Morphic in Cuis. This was not trivial, as I had to think 
carefully where to draw the line between what I'd migrate to Pharo and 
what I'd use from Pharo. Then I adapted it to some differences between 
Cuis and Pharo, and also tweaked Pharo to enable using alternative UIs. 
I worked about 80 hours on this and delivered this week.

After all this, I think it is fair to say that Esug sponsored Cuis as 
SimpleMorphic is part of it. I hope this helps and does not add confusion.

Cheers,
Juan Vuletich




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