There’s a new version of Squeak out — 3.7. The look of it is much prettier than previous versions; much more at home in a world full of Windows XP and OS X installs (not to mention GTK2 GNOME installs and whatever’s the latest and greatest KDE/Qt stuff).
It also has a package browser, which makes it way easy to snag and install groovy things other people have written.
Which is why in 30 seconds after I opened up Squeak for the first time, I had myself a (bare-bones) blog reader. Scoff at the ugly look if you like, but it does more than the current stable version of NetNewsWire can do — BlogBrowser reads atom feeds. (Of course, power users all use the NetNewsWire beta version but I’m just sayin’.)
Gads, I just realized I don’t have a “software” category for this blog yet. Gotta add one.
UPDATE: While Squeak is a wildly sophisticated programming environment, one of its main purposes was to create an environment children could comfortably program in. Squeakland is the educational part of Squeak, and features a bunch of “etoys” created by children in Squeak. Most of ’em are simple animations. You can download and install a squeak plugin for your browser and view them yourself, like a Flash animation.
The difference between a Squeak project and a flash animation is that you can go in and edit the Squeak project yourself, play around with the images, do whatever you want with it, and save your own copy.
It’s like a Creative Commons dream come true!
And if you have any doubt that the example animations were created by children, just go to this page and check out Barfin’ Bill. Authentic to a fault. :)