November 15, 2004
SK8 Lives


Skate is a an attempt to create an updated, open source version of SK8, which is Apple's old multimedia rapid development GUI builder. Mikel Evins, who actually worked on SK8 back when he worked for Apple's Advanced Technology Group, is organizing the project.

Having posted those comments stimulated me to contact Ruben Kleiman, who created SK8. I asked whether he would be willing to contribute to an effort to develop an open-source project in the spirit of SK8, and he said he would

Ruben conceived of Skate's ancestor, SK8, as a system for building applications by drawing them. Like its ancestor, Skate will be a system that enables you to assemble applications by dragging visual elements together and giving them behavior. It will be possible to 'open up' any object in the environment, inspect its innards, clone it, modify it, attach new appearances and behaviors to it, and, when the environment has been customized to the point where it is your application, it will be possible to deliver that application by saving the state of the environment to an executable file.

Skate is meant to be free and open-source, and to run on Mac OS X, Windows, and Linux

The source for Apple's SK8 is available via FTP. An old lemonodor post has screenshots of SK8 from Rainer Joswig. Ruben Kleiman has some photos of the original SK8 development team.

Finally, here's the comp.lang.lisp thread started by Mikel's proposal.

So, for those Lisp enthusiasts who pine for a media-rich, cross-platform, GUI application development platform in Lisp, here's your chance: you could volunteer to help out building a new generation of SK8 on one of the free Lisps.

Posted by jjwiseman at November 15, 2004 12:31 PM

Is this something like Squeak, with Lisp in place of Smalltalk?

Posted by: boffo on November 15, 2004 03:17 PM

From the Fabrik URL :

Fabrik is a visual programming environment - a kit of computational and user-interface components that can be "wired" together to build new components and useful applications. Fabrik diagrams utilize bidirectional dataflow connections as a shorthand for multiple paths of flow. Built on object-oriented foundations, Fabrik components can compute arbitrary objects as outputs. Music and animation can be programmed in this way and the user interface can even be extended by generating graphical structures that depend on other data. An interactive type system guards against meaningless connections. As with simple dataflow, each Fabrik component can be compiled into an object with access methods corresponding to each of the possible paths of data propagation.

Posted by: Bill Paterson on November 18, 2004 08:29 AM

I've used Fabrik. It was cool in its way, but not very much like SK8. I mean, a description of Fabrik will tend to sound a lot like a description of SK8, but the experience of using Fabrik is not very much like the experience of using SK8. For one thing, the Fabrik view of the world is very abstract; SK8 is for the most part extremely concrete.

Using SK8 is much more like using HyperCard, except that you have a real, extensible data structure library (instead of a fixed, impoverished set of data structures with an arcane C escape hatch), and all the annoying hard limits you bump up against in HyperCard vanish in SK8.

SK8 abandoned the card-and-stack metaphor, but was in other respects very much like using HyperCard: you dragged graphical thingies together and opened them up to edit their properties and behavior.

One difference: you were not limited to the set of graphical objects provided, but could easily build arbitrary new ones within the environment--often just by drawing them the same way you would use any drawing program.

Another difference: SK8 projects could be saved as self-contained executables; HyperCard stacks needed a separate HyperCard runtime application.

Posted by: mikel evins on November 27, 2004 01:25 PM

sk8 or die

Posted by: on December 10, 2004 09:39 AM

IM in rotc i been sk8ing for two yaers

Posted by: Michael on February 28, 2006 10:44 AM

la verdad el sk8!!
es de lo mejor.. y todos lo q entran en la pajina lo saben perfectamente!!!

el q siempre lo va a querer a el sk8 va a ser leonel

Posted by: lutaro on August 23, 2006 04:17 PM

esta la raja

Posted by: on November 30, 2006 01:59 PM
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