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Every line of JavaScript and JSON that I write takes inspiration from NeWS! But that's just me.

NeWS differs from the current technology stack in that it was all coherently designed at once by James Gosling and David Rosenthal, by taking several steps back and thinking deeply about all the different problems it was trying to solve together. So it's focused and expressed in one single language, instead of the incoherent fragmented Tower of Babel of many other ad-hoc languages that we're stuck with today.

I summarized the relationship of NeWS with modern technology in the wikipedia article:


NeWS was architecturally similar to what is now called AJAX, except that NeWS coherently:

- used PostScript code instead of JavaScript for programming.

- used PostScript graphics instead of DHTML and CSS for rendering.

- used PostScript data instead of XML and JSON for data representation.

Here's an article I am in the process of writing about the most amazing thing ever done with NeWS, which was inspired by HyperCard:


>SimCity, Cellular Automata, and Happy Tool for HyperLook (nee HyperNeWS (nee GoodNeWS))

>HyperLook was like HyperCard for NeWS, with PostScript graphics and scripting plus networking. Here are three unique and wacky examples that plug together to show what HyperNeWS was all about, and where we could go in the future!

Another thing that REALLY inspires me, which goes a hell of a lot further than NeWS ever did, and is one of the best uses of JavaScript I've ever seen, is the Snap! visual programming language!


It's the culmination of years of work by Brian Harvey and Jens Mönig and other Smalltalk and education experts. It benefits from their experience and expert understanding about constructionist education, Smalltalk, Scratch, E-Toys, Lisp, Logo, Star Logo, and many other excellent systems.

Snap! takes the best ideas, then freshly and coherently synthesizes them into a visual programming language that kids can use, but is also satisfying to professional programmers, with all the power of Scheme (lexical closures, special forms, macros, continuations, user defined functions and control structures), but deeply integrating and leveraging the web browser and the internet (JavaScript primitives, everything is a first class object, dynamically loaded extensions, etc).

Here's an excellent mind-blowing example by Ken Kahn of what's possible: teaching kids AI programming by integrating Snap! with existing JavaScript libraries and cloud services like AI, machine learning, speech synthesis and recognition, Arduino programming, etc:

AI extensions of Snap! for the eCraft2Learn project


>The eCraft2Learn project is developing a set of extensions to the Snap! programming language to enable children (and non-expert programmers) to build AI programs. You can use all the AI blocks after importing this file into Snap! or Snap4Arduino. Or you can see examples of using these blocks inside this Snap! project.



I am very glad I asked. Thank you, Don!

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