A multi-player web app needs a backend, right? What if I told you, it doesn’t? Read on for how Croquet gets rid of servers. No, really . Instantaneous Shared Experiences is how we describe Croquet on our website. And while that excellently describes What Croquet does, as Croquet's Chief Architect, I wanted to share a bit about How we do that. So I wrote a Twitter thread . Here it is in blog form, slightly extended. Click the animation above if it does not play automatically Croquet lets you build completely client-side multi-user web apps. Read that again. Client-side. Multi-user. No I’m not kidding. I built it, I know it works. 😁 Croquet apps run completely client-side: can be hosted as a static web site no server-side code needed no networking code needed Croquet is literally virtualizing the server: Instead of running code on a server (or in a serverless function) we run it as a virtual machine (VM) on each client. Croquet carefully controls the inputs to these identi
If you got as excited as me about Dan Ingalls' live Smalltalk-76 demo on an actual 1970's Xerox Alto, you may have wanted to try it yourself. For one, you could try my Smalltalk-78 VM. Smalltalk-78 is a leaner version of Smalltalk-76 but very much identical in syntax semantics. It is also possible to run the full Smalltalk-76 environment, and here is how: First, you need an emulator for the Alto computer. Ken Shiriff posted a nice piece on how to run ContrAlto on Windows . It is written in C# and I got it to work on my Mac using Mono. So here's a step-by-step: Install Mono from http://www.mono-project.com/download/ Download ContrAlto-mono.zip from https://github.com/livingcomputermuseum/ContrAlto/releases Download this Smalltalk-76 disk image: http://www.bitsavers.org/bits/Xerox/Alto/disk_images/chm/xmsmall.zip Unzip both ContrAlto-mono.zip and xmsmall.zip in the same folder. In a terminal, change to the ContrAlto directory and run mono Contralto.exe .