[Pharo-dev] Explaining Spec2 and why Bloc is on the roadmap

ducasse stepharo at netcourrier.com
Thu May 2 05:27:36 EDT 2019


Dear Pharoers

We would like to explain what is Spec 2.0 and how Bloc is on the Pharo roadmap. 

Spec is a way to support a way to express and reuse application interaction logic. 
Spec was first developed by Benjamin van Ryseghem and others while supervised 
by Stéphane Ducasse. 
Over the years we cleaned Spec, but we never took the time to really revisit it, and Spec 
was never stressed outside the scope of Pharo tools (even if there is some people who 
used it in their projects, this was not the general case). There was a need to deeply rethink
the way we express and reuse interaction application logic.

Spec 2.0 revisits fundamentally Spec. The consortium wants to acknowledge the strong financial 
support of Schmidt in this new development. Here is a list of points we are working on to support companies 
to build modern applications with Pharo. 

	- adding support for many widgets and at the same time improving existing widgets such as fasttable
	- adds much better layouts (we will deprecate the interpreter design)
	- introducing a new way to architecture an application: 
	Spec20 introduces the notion of application to better handle resources and window flow
	- revisiting the internal logic of Spec (to remove useless parts and enhance the ones that works)
	- adding many tests

In addition we want that Spec 2.0 is not tight anymore with Morphic. 
Why? Because we want to make sure that:
	- companies can deploy desktop applications
	- we can reuse all the tools logic of Pharo with new widgets sets such as Brick (widgets on top of Bloc) 
	without having to rewrite everything. 

This is why Spec2.0 can optionally render using Gtk3.0. It also means that in the future we can have native widgets. 

Now that Bloc/Brick is finally reaching a point where it can be tried and eventually adopted, we want to 
make sure the transition to it will not force us to throw away the tools we developed last ten years. 
We think that Bloc needs some effort to clean and structure it and Spec2.0 gives the time to let Bloc and Brick
mature. Also, we want to make sure that in the future we will be able to adopt other backends in case we 
decide it (Remember new now is old tomorrow and while Bloc/Brick is new and modern,  it will not remain 
new and modern forever).

Brick needs to be ready for Pharo consumption, and to make it possible we need to move the image to converge. 
With Spec 2.0, in future versions we will just need to define a new backend to get all our tools working.

The Pharo Board





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