Whatever helps in keeping the community together is always a good
idea, regardless of whether some efforts are shared or not.
I don't know if the idea is to reach beyond the opensmalltalk-vm
"cousins" (pharo/squeak/cuis), if that's the case I'd name it
"Smalltalk Alliance" or "Smalltalk Federation", otherwise I'd replace
"Smalltalk" with "Open Smalltalk". But I'd leave the word "nation" out
of this :-)
Esteban A. Maringolo
On Thu, Jun 4, 2020 at 1:17 PM Sean DeNigris <[hidden email]> wrote:
> I believe that the Squeak/Pharo/Cuis communit(ies) share one very special thing, which most of the world has completely missed, and which the world sorely needs if the true power of computing to unleash and evolve the human mind is ever to be realized: a love and appreciation for personal technological augmentation/amplification available to all as represented by the Dynabook and/or its prototype software (Smalltalk as a concept, not any version/implementation e.g. Smalltalk-80).
> Like a few survivors after the sinking of Atlantis, we can pick up the remnants of this dream and resume marching toward the objective (or at least keep its memory alive until an auspicious time when it can be realized)… or, like most groups of human beings throughout history who start with a common aim, we can bicker among ourselves about e.g. historical discrepancies, personal slights, and conflicting subgoals, and allow those squabbles to distract us and derail our primary mission. This would be disappointing but not surprising: it is how every war is started.
> I have contributed, hacked, conferenced, and visited with many members of our wider community for over a decade now and, maybe because I had the “luxury” of finding Smalltalk after some of the political lines had been well-drawn, I can clearly see that we are fundamentally united. I cringe every time I see cynical, caustic exchanges - both for my participating colleagues who are obviously in pain - probably exacerbated by their passion for our shared endevour - and for the counterproductive effect the antagonism is sure to have on our common goal. Virtually every exchange is between two people who I personally know to be good and competent.
> Here is my proposal: Let’s form an informal committee - a United Nations of Smalltalk if you will - including at least one member of each community, who will collaborate on cooperation between the dialects and mediate any friction before it boils over.
> I’d be happy to participate, I guess as a representative of the Pharo community. Although I have no official role in the Pharo leadership, I have much of my professional life invested there. I often wish I had the time to keep all my projects compatible with Squeak, but I usually feel like I’m barely keeping up as it is!
> I hope I’m not alone in these feelings and look forward to the response of our community (most emphatically singular). This message is being cross-posted to Pharo-Dev, Squeak-Dev, and Cuis MLs (I think I’m still a member of all three - fingers crossed…)
> - Sean (DeNigris)
Thank you for your feedback on all three MLs. Here are three important clarifications:
1. My idea is actually very small and humble. Maybe “Dialect Ambassadors” would better capture the intent. Although my title was grandiose, I meant it in the “J.C.R. Licklider Intergalactic Network” sense because people tend to deliver the minimum ha ha. My actual proposal/idea is not to "reinvent XYZ", or "merge Squeak, Pharo, and Cuis into one layered system" - although I’d be overjoyed if any of that happened :) My proposal is simply to have a group of 1+ representatives from each community who believe in the importance of sticking together enough to remain calm and objective to resolve misunderstandings before they explode. Of course, there may be unintended positive consequences, like “hey, did you see the improvements we made to ABC? You may want to steal that!”
2. “We tried that when we XYZ and ABC ruined it by ____”. Yes, I’ve been a despondent bystander during many of these. That’s exactly what I’m trying to repair! Maybe the next one will succeed if we have some facilitators who are objective and impartial who can go to ABC and say, “so-and-so is worried you might be thinking about doing _____. What about XYZ isn’t working for you?” Etc, Etc. Who knows, maybe we could even get one of these stalled initiatives back on track…
3. "Why not include dialect ABC, and XYZ, too?” There’s really no reason to exclude anyone. The reason I specifically included Squeak, Pharo, and Cuis is that, as more immediate family members, we seem to experience more "sibling rivalry”. I just happened to personally know of a need in these cases (especially the first two). In fact, after some of the responses, I realized that I probably should have included Gemstone, which is clearly an important part of our shared ecosystem; again, I only left them out because I’m not aware of any problems there!
Since there is interested, and not to distract too much from the Dev MLs, maybe we could just pick a place for interested parties to “meet”. I’m familiar with Discord (which Pharo uses), which is free but not threaded (and so can get confusing for long-running topics). Any other suggestions?
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