Smalltalk leads to Squeak, the open source implementation, and through one if its main contributors (Alan Kay) leads to the Croquet Project. I don't even know where to begin to describe this project. It's an open and programmable 3D environment designed for communication and collaboration. Or something. You have to see it to believe it. And maybe not even then.
2006-01-09 - (version not recorded) on (distribution not recorded)
2006-01-09 - (version not recorded) ∞
Croquet took a very long time to download, and there was no BitTorrent link.. even though the download page talked about it.
After downloading it and unpacking it.. there was a simple script to run and away I went. Then came the updates. Oh man.. what a terrible interface. I can't believe they would have such a critical function which is so spectacularly poorly implemented. Clicking yes yes yes ok sure whatever ok go ahead again yes .. repeatedly is not particularly interesting. Especially with long delays between the clicking..
The basic interface is very ugly. The windows, buttons and mouseover text is all amateur-night. It's like a portal into the deepest darkest past, where nobody follows the interface ideas which have ruled popular computing for centuries now.
But.. but. I play around. I play around and go through tutorials, and figure out widgets. I paint and I play cards.
All along, my intuition was screaming "potential, potential!" (actually, it translates more closely as "oh my god" repeated multiple times). This.. this hit me. There is a streak of consistency throughout it. It's all horrifically ugly and clumsy.. but it's consistent. It's well-designed. Ish. It has hope. Very big and dexterity-of-a-three-year-old hope. I can feel it.
Then I summon up a movie player. I launch a Music video. (Ah-Ha's "Take on me") It plays. Then I rotate it. I rotated a live video as it was playing.
It hit me.
Croquet is like a young and clumsy acne-cursed brunette .. with soulfully beautiful brown eyes.