Sun Labs Lively Kernel

Lively Kernel is another one of these technologies from Sun that is tantalizingly cool, but hopelessly unfinished enough that you really can’t commit to develop against it in a non-trivial way. Having it only work properly in Safari pretty much dooms it to obscurity. It is supposed to work in Firefox, but for me it only displays about the top two inches of the demo and that is it.

I think one of coolest features of all is that it is SVG-based under the covers. I think that SVG is a real sleeper technology that is going to emerge as an extremely powerful way of getting scalable user interfaces that go from mobile to desktop (and beyond).

Intro from Sun’s site:

The Sun Labs Lively Kernel is a new web programming environment developed at Sun Microsystems Laboratories. The Lively Kernel supports desktop-style applications with rich graphics and direct manipulation capabilities, but without the installation or upgrade hassles that conventional desktop applications have. The system is written entirely in the JavaScript programming language, a language supported by all the web browsers, with the intent that the system can run in commercial web browsers without installation or any plug-in components. The system leverages the dynamic characteristics of the JavaScript language to make it possible to create, modify and deploy applications on the fly, using tools built into the system itself. In addition to its application execution capabilities, the Lively Kernel can also function as an integrated development environment (IDE), making the whole system self-sufficient and able to improve and extend itself dynamically.

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