Dan Ingalls demos Lively Kernel

From Google+

Hat Tip to The Weekly Squeak for this (http://news.squeak.org).

Dan Ingalls demos an updated version of Lively Kernel at JSConf in AZ. Ingalls said his goal was kind of to recreate Smalltalk in a browser. It looks like he did it, but using JavaScript as the base language that programmers of the system use.

He hints that the objects he pulls out of a library are actually pulled live off of a server somewhere. When he tries to select a few objects, a nasty exception stack shows up. He just chuckled and said, “Someone’s working on this right now,” and picks a different one. Pretty cool, that.

Another cool thing he showed off was the “live coding” you can do. You can pull up the class for an object that has instances being executed in threads, edit its code, and update the instances while they’re running.

What I love about this is it reminds me of what the atmosphere around computing and programming was like 25 years ago, at least what I saw at the time. The idea was to have a collection of materials that followed some rules, to be conscious that they were all things you could manipulate using computational principles/code, and to have some fun making something out of them. Enjoy.

Should private interests have a say?

From Google+

Sen. McConnell has been a feckless conservative, as far as I’ve been concerned, but I was riveted to this speech he gave yesterday. He gets down to the root of an issue I’ve seen swirling around ever since Obama got elected: There are some in this country who do not believe that private interests should influence politics at all, that professionals in office should be the sole arbiters of what is in the public’s interest. Thereby speech should be regulated by these same professionals. With the DISCLOSE Act in 2010 the threat of this felt very real to me.