We are really pleased to announce another major advancement in the development of the moldable editor, and most of it was enabled because of one new feature: expandable elements. We think this will impact significantly our day to day interactions.
To exemplify what we mean, we will make use of two more alpha projects that we did not announce yet: GT Documenter (a set of documentation tools based on Pillar and GT Examples) and GT Mondrian (the graph visualization engine), both of which are being implemented in Bloc.
Please take a look at the following pictures showing the documentation Pillar file that ships together with GT Mondrian. What stands out are the two embedded pictures. These are actually not pictures, but visualizations rendered live during the viewing of the document out of a referenced GT Example.
Now, GT Examples are likely also new for most people. We introduced them a couple of years ago based on the original idea of Markus Gaelli. These are a kind of tests that return an object and that can be built out of other examples. The nice thing is that they are always executable and testable. So, of course, if you see the resulting object, you can also see the code that created it, and if you see the code, you can even execute it live, right in place (notice the preview of the second snippet).
Perhaps the most controversial part of GT Examples is that they offer a mechanism to define static dependencies via pragmas. Please, let’s leave this debate to another occasion, but please also notice that tools can use that static information to unfold the code of the referenced method (notice the nested code editors).
A side note: if you look closer at the list with three items at the top of the Tutorial section, you will notice numbering next to #. That is actually syntax highlighting and so is the mechanism that embeds the expandable elements. It’s really cool.
Taking step back, when we introduced the editor a few weeks ago, we called it moldable because we said we can make it take different shapes easily. GT Documenter with everything you see in the above screenshots has currently ~500 lines of code, and all this while still having an editor that is highly scalable.
We think that Bloc and Brick will change dramatically face of Pharo and now we can start to get a glimpse of what is possible. For example, the use case presented above is more than a technical tool, and we think this will change both the way we write documentation and the way we consume it.
All these will be presented at ESUG both during presentations and at the Innovation Awards competition. In the meantime, those that want to play with it can execute the following in both Pharo 6.1 and Pharo 7.0:
And then inspect:
The feenk team
"Innovation comes in the least expected form.
That is, if it is expected, it already happened."