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In 2002 a new initiative based on Squeak was being announced. It was first called Tea an now is called Croquet and seems to be intended to become what Java should have been - but in a 3D environment. Those who want to try have an url here

http://www.opencroquet.org/about.html

but should be warned all there is at the moment is a rather sketchy pdf file and a 90 MB download of apparently rather bugged code. (Try http://www.opencroquet.org/ to find these.)

Two of the men from Squeak Central involved in Croquet are Alan Kay and Andreas Raab, and Croquet aims at being officially released for the general public somewhere in the summer of 2003. There also is a new foundation, called Viewpoints, that aims to develop Croquet.

I have read the pdf file on Croquet but have not yet downloaded or played with Croquet.

My own - none to wellinformed - guess is that Croquet is not a good idea. My reason is that too much attention seems to be given to working in 3D. This is itself somewhat gimmicky and not at all essential to computing. Also, there is the great conceptual and mathematical setback that computer screens are flat i.e. effectively 2D, and that any 3D effect on it is due to what amounts to mathematical trickery (that involves a considerable amount of computing).

The working in apparent 3D may be managed by building on the present Squeak, and certainly has its charms, but I doubt this is easily developed in a good programming environment, and I also doubt it is is useful outside contexts where 3D-appearances are important or essential.

In any case: This is an additional layer of complication on top of Morphic, which is based on Smalltalk - and so there would be three layers which are either not well (Smalltalk) or hardly (Morphic) or not at all (Croquet) documented. This is another reason why I am not very optimistic about Croquet - and indeed it was not released in 2003.

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