General Questions to the Squeak Community

Previous Topic Next Topic
 
classic Classic list List threaded Threaded
6 messages Options
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|  
Report Content as Inappropriate

General Questions to the Squeak Community

epeld
This post has NOT been accepted by the mailing list yet.
Hi All!

I just discovered Squeak on my summer vacation and I think it is plain awesome.

A couple of questions that came to mind as I was looking around:

1. The community seems TINY for such a cool project. At this point it seems to mainly consist of people in academics and "old-timers" that have stuck around since a time when Squeak was more popular. Is this correct or am I maybe not looking in the right places?

It seems a shame if such an amazing project were to die out because of lack of popularity, considering all the possibilities that this level of intractability with the programming environment enables.


2. How do people generally work with squeak? My first 'feeling' when looking around was that I could use the available tools as a reference for creating the personal IDE that best would suit MY needs. I then started changing the code to fit my needs; Installing custom keyboard shortcuts for quicker navigation, customising menus, removing widgets and panes I didn't need and so on.

Is this generally how people do it? They start with an image and then change it more and more until it completely diverges from the original?


Similarly, it was hard to know which tools are the 'de-facto' way of working - there are quite a lot of package/source management tools - Gofer, Monticello, Metacello, Installer, FileTree etc. The same with code browsers.


3. The VM. I've seen some mentions about benchmarking Squeak against e.g Java in terms of performance. My question is: Java has a VM for running an Object-Oriented, multithreaded environment with good performance, JIT etc. Could squeak not be run on top of the JVM with increased performance, GC and multithreading?


4. The obvious use case for an interactive environment such as Squeak would be as a sort of 'graphical wiki'. That is, basically running a multi-user morphic session on a server somewhere. Are there any projects I can look at along these lines? I tried running Swiki but couldn't get it to work.

Anyway, I know this was quite a lot at once but I feel like this mailing list could probably use a bit of activity :o). Any feedback is much appreciated. Thanks!

Erik
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|  
Report Content as Inappropriate

Re: General Questions to the Squeak Community

Joseph Alotta
>
> 1. The community seems TINY for such a cool project. At this point it seems to mainly consist of people in academics and "old-timers" that have stuck around since a time when Squeak was more popular. Is this correct or am I maybe not looking in the right places?
>
> It seems a shame if such an amazing project were to die out because of lack of popularity, considering all the possibilities that this level of intractability with the programming environment enables.

I’m trying to change that.  I’ve started a meetup group in the Chicago area for learning Squeak.  I am hoping to have a lot of young people get interested in it.

I have programmed in many languages and I find smalltalk to be the easiest to read and understand.  I’ve written code in come languages, that 6 months later was completely foreign to me.  I couldn’t remember what I was thinking when I wrote it, nor even if I wrote it.

With smalltalk, I don’t find that.  I actually enjoy programming.

Sincerely,

Joe.



Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|  
Report Content as Inappropriate

Re: General Questions to the Squeak Community

Michael Rice
Back in the late '80 everyone was waiting for Smalltalk, the exemplar object-programming language.

If you want to know "what happened to Smalltalk" then google the preceding quoted text. But that was then

This is now: the programming community has moved on to yet another panacea -- functional programming, one that can take advantage of modern multi-core processors, something for which Smalltalk, with its multitude of state variables, was ill-suited.

That's the short story.

Functional is interesting. But having to rethink/restructure every problem for it might have you asking, "I have to do all THAT to do what I want to do?"

I wonder if anyone is working on a Smalltalk based functional programming language as Richard Hickey was working on a Lisp based functional programming language.


Just the other day I was wishing for a Clojure with mutable collections.

On Wed, Aug 3, 2016 at 11:00 AM, Joseph Alotta <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> 1. The community seems TINY for such a cool project. At this point it seems to mainly consist of people in academics and "old-timers" that have stuck around since a time when Squeak was more popular. Is this correct or am I maybe not looking in the right places?
>
> It seems a shame if such an amazing project were to die out because of lack of popularity, considering all the possibilities that this level of intractability with the programming environment enables.

I’m trying to change that.  I’ve started a meetup group in the Chicago area for learning Squeak.  I am hoping to have a lot of young people get interested in it.

I have programmed in many languages and I find smalltalk to be the easiest to read and understand.  I’ve written code in come languages, that 6 months later was completely foreign to me.  I couldn’t remember what I was thinking when I wrote it, nor even if I wrote it.

With smalltalk, I don’t find that.  I actually enjoy programming.

Sincerely,

Joe.





View this message in context: Re: General Questions to the Squeak Community
Sent from the Squeak - Beginners mailing list archive at Nabble.com.

_______________________________________________
Beginners mailing list
[hidden email]
http://lists.squeakfoundation.org/mailman/listinfo/beginners



_______________________________________________
Beginners mailing list
[hidden email]
http://lists.squeakfoundation.org/mailman/listinfo/beginners
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|  
Report Content as Inappropriate

Re: General Questions to the Squeak Community

Offray
In reply to this post by Joseph Alotta

Hi,

I think that Smalltalk community is larger that the Squeak one. Some healthy forks like Cuis or Pharo have small but dynamic communities behind to serve different interests and community dynamics. So I think that people interested mostly in education for children gravitated towards Squeak, others about minimal design surround Cuis and the more focused on software and data visualization are around Pharo. I don't think that all the people is trying to go the next big thing/trend (i.e. functional, multicore, whatever) and there is a lot of good vibra acroos Smalltalk communities, as you can see on the Smalltalks (South America, Argentina) or ESUG (Europe, itinerant). Just last week we were doing a workshop on data activism and visualization using moldable tools in Medellín, Colombia, that is more related with young and adults "data literacy" and critical education (details and galleries on [1]).

[1] http://mutabit.com/offray/blog/en/entry/ds-twitter-mockup

So is not like forking as a Holy War between dialects, but forking as a way to explore interconnected diversities with Smalltalk and its legacy. I don't know what is happening in the United States, closely since 2007, but I think that Smalltalk is pretty alive and diverse if you know where to look.

Cheers,

Offray

On 03/08/16 10:00, Joseph Alotta wrote:
>
> 1. The community seems TINY for such a cool project. At this point it seems to mainly consist of people in academics and "old-timers" that have stuck around since a time when Squeak was more popular. Is this correct or am I maybe not looking in the right places?
>
> It seems a shame if such an amazing project were to die out because of lack of popularity, considering all the possibilities that this level of intractability with the programming environment enables.

I’m trying to change that.  I’ve started a meetup group in the Chicago area for learning Squeak.  I am hoping to have a lot of young people get interested in it.

I have programmed in many languages and I find smalltalk to be the easiest to read and understand.  I’ve written code in come languages, that 6 months later was completely foreign to me.  I couldn’t remember what I was thinking when I wrote it, nor even if I wrote it.

With smalltalk, I don’t find that.  I actually enjoy programming.

Sincerely,

Joe.





View this message in context: Re: General Questions to the Squeak Community
Sent from the Squeak - Beginners mailing list archive at Nabble.com.


_______________________________________________
Beginners mailing list
[hidden email]
http://lists.squeakfoundation.org/mailman/listinfo/beginners


_______________________________________________
Beginners mailing list
[hidden email]
http://lists.squeakfoundation.org/mailman/listinfo/beginners
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|  
Report Content as Inappropriate

Re: General Questions to the Squeak Community

Offray


On 03/08/16 14:29, Offray Vladimir Luna Cárdenas wrote:
>
> Hi,
>
> I think that Smalltalk community is larger that the Squeak one. Some
> healthy forks like Cuis or Pharo have small but dynamic communities
> behind to serve different interests and community dynamics.
>

Woops that sound a little weird. The first part I meant active
communities and the second one more related with politics.

Cheers,

Offray

_______________________________________________
Beginners mailing list
[hidden email]
http://lists.squeakfoundation.org/mailman/listinfo/beginners
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|  
Report Content as Inappropriate

Re: General Questions to the Squeak Community

epeld
This post has NOT been accepted by the mailing list yet.
In reply to this post by Michael Rice
What I found so appealing about Squeak was not its object-orientedness so much the philosophy of total openness. When working in other languages - be they functional or not - I always had the feeling of: How much better can it get when all we are doing is changing programming paradigms?

That is, the starting point in other languages is that you are essentially given a set of tools, e.g a GUI, a compiler, a standard library and you are stuck with them for better or worse. Granted, most of the time they work OK but there is always SOME aspect of your programming environment that doesn't fit your current needs or gets in the way. I had the same experience in Squeak, but the first thing I did there was to go into the source for the GUI and remove all the shortcuts I didn't think I would need, and then install hot keys for my own stuff. I then wrote a utility for turning any BlockClosure into a GUI button so that I could quickly automate new tasks.

Programming big projects these days in conventional languages always involves interfacing more or less incompatible tools with each other. Your project might be written in X, but your build environment uses language Y, and your OS requires you to script in language Z, and then you have to manage configuration files for your compiler/environment on top of that. Not so in Squeak where everything is the same language and environment; Your 'script utilities' can talk directly to a running GUI window and vice versa.

I believe this is what Alan Kay talks about in his presentations. Sure, functional programming has a lot of merit (just like OO does) but in the end this is just 'optimisation' in some sense. The alternative to just optimising your current process ('taking the blue path') is to backtrace and to consider a completely new approach to how you work (red path). I think this approach makes Smalltalk unique.

Alan also mentions that Squeak was originally intended as a bootstrapping process for 'the next big thing'. That is, Squeak would supply the tools and the interactive environment for building new and better tools - AND programming languages I suppose. So in this sense I don't see any incompatibility with the current functional programming 'fad' because it could just as well be incorporated into the Squeak environment.
Loading...