[Pharo-project] Pharo on iOS w/ faster graphics

J.F. Rick self at je77.com
Tue Mar 27 08:31:30 EDT 2012

Hi everyone,

I've been lurking a little while here and thought I would jump in to see if
Pharo would be appropriate for what I want to do.

First, here's a little background about myself. I'm an academic researcher
in human-computer interaction and educational technology. I've been
programming in Smalltalk since the early days of Squeak. For those who
remember, I wrote Swiki. I'm now doing work on multi-touch interfaces, such
as interactive tabletops and tablets. There's a huge difference between
designing interfaces for mouse / keyboard and designing for multi-touch. My
current research interests are in creating interfaces that are optimized
for the latter, rather than the former. Smalltalk is a great environment
for that, because you really can rebuild the GUI from the ground up. I've
gone ahead and worked off the work that John McIntosh did on iSqueak to
create several applications for iPad.

I'm thinking of transitioning from Squeak to Pharo as the current
development state of Pharo is a bit cleaner than Squeak. I'm glad to see
that there is some interest in getting Pharo on iOS (though there do seem
to be problem). I'm not an Objective-C or C expert, so I wouldn't be good
at getting the VM to work, but I would be able to go from there to creating
some interesting widgets, frameworks, and apps that I could share with the

One major hurdle I see in my work is that Morphic is just too slow on
iPads. While I have been able to optimize the speed of my applications to
have them work on Morphic, it is a lot of extra work and I may eventually
get to a point where it won't work for what I need it to do. Is there some
sort of magic bullet for addressing this? Cairo? Does anyone have any
recommendations for addressing this inside Pharo? I'm not interested in 3D
interfaces, but rather fast 2D interfaces. Any advice would be greatly



Jochen "Jeff" Rick, Ph.D.
Skype ID: jochenrick
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