Virtual Reality using Smalltalk 
Author Message
 Virtual Reality using Smalltalk

Does anyone know of a virtual reality application or demo written
using Smalltalk? I just tried out a demo of Gossamer 1.1 on the Mac
which is written in ThinkC, it's good, but I prefer Smalltalk
(Mac or Unix).

I would appreciate any clue. Thanks.



Sat, 18 May 1996 04:10:11 GMT  
 Virtual Reality using Smalltalk

|> Does anyone know of a virtual reality application or demo written
|> using Smalltalk? I just tried out a demo of Gossamer 1.1 on the Mac
|> which is written in ThinkC, it's good, but I prefer Smalltalk
|> (Mac or Unix).
|>
|> I would appreciate any clue. Thanks.

This does not seem likely to have occured, since Smalltalk is
usually interpreted, and a good virtual reality application
needs at least 10 frames/sec. to maintain user immersion.  I
do not think that most versions of Smalltalk have the capability
to draw that quickly.

If I am wrong, however, I would like to see such a demo.

Jared Dahl
Opinions are mine, not my employers





Sun, 19 May 1996 05:57:32 GMT  
 Virtual Reality using Smalltalk


 ||> Does anyone know of a virtual reality application or demo written
 ||> using Smalltalk? I just tried out a demo of Gossamer 1.1 on the Mac
 ||> which is written in ThinkC, it's good, but I prefer Smalltalk
 ||> (Mac or Unix).
 ||>
 ||> I would appreciate any clue. Thanks.
 |
 |This does not seem likely to have occured, since Smalltalk is
 |usually interpreted, and a good virtual reality application
 |needs at least 10 frames/sec. to maintain user immersion.  I
 |do not think that most versions of Smalltalk have the capability
 |to draw that quickly.

All I could do was sigh when I read this.  I don't want to start a
long thread about whether or not ST can be used in compute intensive
applications.  I know it can cause I've worked on them.  

Use the best tool for the job.  I'm NOT saying ST is best.  Just that
you can't dismiss it out of hand because you may not be able to draw
1,000,000 3D polygons/second in ST code.  There is no requirement for
the *whole* VR system to be written in ST.  I do my 3D graphics in
hardware on a SGI!  This doesn't prohibit the use of ST to figure out
what to draw, when to draw, what to do next...

The more I look at complex applications (which many VR systems are)
the more I see that the straightforward computational techniques used
in traditional applications are not enough.  The problems are just too
overwhelming.  Think adaptive.  Is it better to run 5 times faster
doing unnecessary computation or to spend a bit of time and figure out
that you don't need that computation?  Answer: It depends!

I would argue that environments like ST give you a better (than
traditional procedural... languages) platform for making the decision
and in fact giving you the choice.
--
ato de, |m        -- Jingles!  You're a clown!



Sun, 19 May 1996 10:46:32 GMT  
 Virtual Reality using Smalltalk

Quote:
>This does not seem likely to have occured, since Smalltalk is
>usually interpreted, ...

That hasn't been true for a while now.  The commercial Smalltalks that I
know of compile to byte codes (for size), then translate to machine code
(for speed) on demand.  If your working set fits within whatever compiled
code cache the particular Smalltalk keeps, execution is at full speed.
Granted, the translated code isn't as good as one could get with an
optimizing compiler, but most of the time that really doesn't matter.
Where it does matter, as it likely will when doing VR applications, many
Smalltalks allow C code to be linked in (or accessed dynamically).

Dave



Sun, 19 May 1996 10:08:51 GMT  
 Virtual Reality using Smalltalk

Quote:
>This does not seem likely to have occured, since Smalltalk is
>usually interpreted, and a good virtual reality application

Existing Smalltalk implementations may not be as fast as C for a
variety of operations, but most modern Smalltalks are decidedly NOT
interpreted.
--




Sun, 19 May 1996 15:26:17 GMT  
 Virtual Reality using Smalltalk

OK, OK I deserve a few kicks to the head for stating one
of the "facts" that probably pisses people here off.  I do
know that non-interpreted Smalltalk has existed for some
time, but did not know to what extent it was being used.
Sorry for posting a no-no!!  :)

The reason I found it improbable that Smalltalk would be
used is that the original poster was looking for a demo
for the Mac or PC.  Most Macs and PCs barely have enough
power to do the job when the code is written in assembly
or C.  I was also under the impression that the poster
wanted one written exclusively in ST.

Here's a question for you then.  Are the current Mac and PC
Smalltalk implementations capable of handling VR well (with
or without C routines) ?

Jared Dahl
Opinions are mine, not my employers





Mon, 20 May 1996 00:36:35 GMT  
 
 [ 6 post ] 

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