[etoys-dev] [gsoc-mentors] [GSoC ideas] Squeak/Etoys

Bert Freudenberg bert at freudenbergs.de
Sun Feb 16 11:07:02 EST 2014

1. Make Etoys work on SqueakJS

Increasingly, there are systems that do not support web browser plugins, or that even disallow installing certain software without "jailbreaking". Even if the system would support it, some administrators disallow installing of custom plugins. This presents a problem for Squeak/Etoys [1] which is used in schools world-wide, but cannot be installed on more and more systems. The single commonly supported runtime system is HTML5 + Javascript. SqueakJS [2] is a Squeak VM running on top of Javascript, on various platforms.

In this project, a student would extend SqueakJS to be able to run an Etoys image. It should provide an experience similar to running the Squeak Plugin VM in a web browser: load a project from a URL and allow uploading modified projects. The initial version does not need to be very performant, speed optimizations can be done when we have a working system.

Level: advanced
Skills required: JavaScript, Smalltalk

Mentor: Bert Freudenberg <bert at freudenbergs.de>

[1] http://squeakland.org/
[2] http://bertfreudenberg.github.io/SqueakJS/


2. Port Squeak/Etoys to Chrome OS

Many schools are buying Chromebooks [1] because they are cheap and easy to maintain. Squeakland [2] has gotten multiple requests to make Etoys work on these machines. The best way to do this is running a Squeak VM via Native Client [3].

Yoshiki Ohshima started such a VM port [4] demonstrating the feasibility. His sources are available on github. They need to be updated to work with a current NaCl SDK, and a portable VM must be built (PNaCl). It needs to be tested on actual Chrome book hardware as well as a Chrome browser on PCs. Support for downloading and uploading projects must be implemented so it can be used as a direct replacement for the Squeak browser plugin.

Level: medium
Skills required: C, Smalltalk

Yoshiki Ohshima <yoshiki.ohshima at gmail.com>
Bert Freudenberg <bert at freudenbergs.de>

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chromebook
[2] http://squeakland.org/
[3] https://developers.google.com/native-client
[4] http://lists.squeak.org/pipermail/vm-dev/2011-May/007991.html

- Bert -

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