Why Aren't People Using Smalltalk?

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Why Aren't People Using Smalltalk?

horrido
https://medium.com/@richardeng/why-aren-t-people-using-smalltalk-80de31b6e3f4

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Re: Why Aren't People Using Smalltalk?

Guido Stepken-2

Should give you to think, that, for the Pharo team, it almost took them 8 years now (beginning may 2008) to clean up all that mess, squeak hackers produced over time. And they aren't even finished yet.

Running stable? No.

Smalltalk definitly is not suited for being processed in enterprise environment with changing personal. No clean, "named" interfaces that can be communicated and trained.

Instead, it's Smalltalk code mostly a complete mess of objective neurons, sending, exchanging messages between each other. Amorphic strucures. Not communicable. That's the main problem.

Have fun!

Am 17.08.2015 14:12 schrieb "Richard Eng" <[hidden email]>:

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Re: Why Aren't People Using Smalltalk?

philippeback

As if Java was....

Le 17 août 2015 15:27, "Guido Stepken" <[hidden email]> a écrit :
>
> Should give you to think, that, for the Pharo team, it almost took them 8 years now (beginning may 2008) to clean up all that mess, squeak hackers produced over time. And they aren't even finished yet.
>
> Running stable? No.
>
> Smalltalk definitly is not suited for being processed in enterprise environment with changing personal. No clean, "named" interfaces that can be communicated and trained.
>
> Instead, it's Smalltalk code mostly a complete mess of objective neurons, sending, exchanging messages between each other. Amorphic strucures. Not communicable. That's the main problem.
>
> Have fun!
>
> Am 17.08.2015 14:12 schrieb "Richard Eng" <[hidden email]>:
>>
>> https://medium.com/@richardeng/why-aren-t-people-using-smalltalk-80de31b6e3f4
>>
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Re: Why Aren't People Using Smalltalk?

Martin Bähr
In reply to this post by Guido Stepken-2
Excerpts from Guido Stepken's message of 2015-08-17 15:27:55 +0200:
> Smalltalk definitly is not suited for being processed in enterprise
> environment with changing personal. No clean, "named" interfaces that can
> be communicated and trained.
>
> Instead, it's Smalltalk code mostly a complete mess of objective neurons,
> sending, exchanging messages between each other.

and that is different from any other object oriented language how?

you can create clean structures or messy systems in any language.

what do you mean by "no clean, named interfaces"?
are you talking about java interfaces?
i doubt it because that would mean that java is pretty much the only usable
language out there, and python, ruby, php and many others should suffer the
same fate as smalltalk.

that can't be it.

do you mean that none of the current interfaces in smalltalk are clean enough to be
communicated and learned? ever looked at php? now that's messy. didn't stop it
from becoming the most popular web development language for more than a decade.

> Amorphic strucures. Not communicable. That's the main problem.

i have used object oriented programming languages for more than 20 years now. i
only used smalltalk for a few months. all i can say is: same old, same old.

there are classes, methods, arguments, data structures, just like any other language.
the syntax is different, and control structures are a bit odd, and then there
is the builtin IDE, the ability to introspect and analyse code at runtime.

but other than that, i can't tell the difference between writing code in
smalltalk, or lisp, python, ruby, java. it's all the same. you have your logic,
process data, use and build modules, load them, call them, etc.

it's all one and the same.

greetings, martin.

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Re: Why Aren't People Using Smalltalk?

blake watson
>>it's all one and the same.

So then why would anyone use Smalltalk? 

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Re: Why Aren't People Using Smalltalk?

Martin Bähr
Excerpts from blake watson's message of 2015-08-17 17:24:38 +0200:
> > >>it's all one and the same.
> > So then why would anyone use Smalltalk?

because of the IDE, introspection capabilities, live coding.
in other words better tooling around the language.

because i like the syntax, it's elegant, minimalistic.

because smalltalk came first. (why would i use any other language that doesn't
add anything to what smalltalk already has)

because i like the image concept. (it's a matter of taste though, if you don't
like it, maybe smalltalk is not for you (or use gnu-smalltalk))

these are all subjective reasons though. i do not believe that there are any
objective reasons for choosing any language. only sometimes language-choice is
restricted by outside requirements.

greetings, martin.

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Re: Why Aren't People Using Smalltalk?

philippeback
In reply to this post by blake watson
Because it is not the same.

And you can't know it unless you use it for real on something complicated where it all makes sense.

And as Pharo is not Smalltalk but Smalltalk inspired, Why aren't people using Pharo?

BTW a smaller community has advantages, among which people sticking to it are quite a fine bunch and are inspiring.
It kind of beats a lot of other aspects of some communities where StackOverflow Q&A is now the Tao of Programming.

Phil

On Mon, Aug 17, 2015 at 5:24 PM, blake watson <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>it's all one and the same.

So then why would anyone use Smalltalk? 

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Re: Why Aren't People Using Smalltalk?

kilon.alios
Smalltalk is both a lovely environment and a set of very successful ideas.  I am using it and I invest my precious time in it while I could have used pretty much any other things out there. Squeak is great and I am very happy to see Pharo continue the path and keep pushing Smalltalk forward. Of course its great seeing project like Amber push things forward.

For me Smalltalk is what I was looking all my life in terms of coding, and there is nothing like it out there. On the how to make Smalltalk more popular, I think the secret is to make it better and better. Create a bigger more powerful library, support modern technologies, great documentation, a more modern IDE, native GUI look, GUI designers etc. Of course all these things take a lot of work and effort.

But even if Smalltalk never becomes very popular, if we keep pushing it forward is more than enough at least for me.

On Mon, Aug 17, 2015 at 9:03 PM [hidden email] <[hidden email]> wrote:
Because it is not the same.

And you can't know it unless you use it for real on something complicated where it all makes sense.

And as Pharo is not Smalltalk but Smalltalk inspired, Why aren't people using Pharo?

BTW a smaller community has advantages, among which people sticking to it are quite a fine bunch and are inspiring.
It kind of beats a lot of other aspects of some communities where StackOverflow Q&A is now the Tao of Programming.

Phil

On Mon, Aug 17, 2015 at 5:24 PM, blake watson <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>it's all one and the same.

So then why would anyone use Smalltalk? 

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Re: Why Aren't People Using Smalltalk?

Herby Vojčík


Dňa 17. augusta 2015 21:04:36 CEST používateľ Dimitris Chloupis <[hidden email]> napísal:
> there is nothing like it out there. On the how to make Smalltalk more
> popular, I think the secret is to make it better and better. Create a
> bigger more powerful library, support modern technologies, great
> documentation, a more modern IDE, native GUI look, GUI designers etc.

Yeah, documentation :-/

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Re: Why Aren't People Using Smalltalk?

Jeremy Shute-2
(Why Aren't People Using Smalltalk?)

...because people aren't using Smalltalk.

Google+ was an arguably better product than Facebook.  Doesn't mean it wasn't a ghost town.

Jeremy

On Mon, Aug 17, 2015 at 3:09 PM Herby Vojčík <[hidden email]> wrote:


Dňa 17. augusta 2015 21:04:36 CEST používateľ Dimitris Chloupis <[hidden email]> napísal:
> there is nothing like it out there. On the how to make Smalltalk more
> popular, I think the secret is to make it better and better. Create a
> bigger more powerful library, support modern technologies, great
> documentation, a more modern IDE, native GUI look, GUI designers etc.

Yeah, documentation :-/

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Re: Why Aren't People Using Smalltalk?

jtuchel
In reply to this post by Guido Stepken-2
Guido,

your comment is unfair. Pharo has completely different goals than Squeak has - and the code quality in Pharo is also not always excellent. But hey, who writes perfect ode, anyways? Do you think code quality in Ruby or C# projects is much better? I doubt it. Objective-C is a mess. Ruby even more.
Even more important: Smalltalk is so much more than just Squeak and Pharo. So I am not sure your comment really qualifies as an answer to the (stupid) question.

Joachim


Am Montag, 17. August 2015 15:27:58 UTC+2 schrieb Guido Stepken:

Should give you to think, that, for the Pharo team, it almost took them 8 years now (beginning may 2008) to clean up all that mess, squeak hackers produced over time. And they aren't even finished yet.

Running stable? No.

Smalltalk definitly is not suited for being processed in enterprise environment with changing personal. No clean, "named" interfaces that can be communicated and trained.

Instead, it's Smalltalk code mostly a complete mess of objective neurons, sending, exchanging messages between each other. Amorphic strucures. Not communicable. That's the main problem.

Have fun!

Am 17.08.2015 14:12 schrieb "Richard Eng" <<a href="javascript:" target="_blank" gdf-obfuscated-mailto="ZsTj1GaSAwAJ" rel="nofollow" onmousedown="this.href=&#39;javascript:&#39;;return true;" onclick="this.href=&#39;javascript:&#39;;return true;">horrido...@...>:
<a href="https://medium.com/@richardeng/why-aren-t-people-using-smalltalk-80de31b6e3f4" target="_blank" rel="nofollow" onmousedown="this.href=&#39;https://www.google.com/url?q\75https%3A%2F%2Fmedium.com%2F%40richardeng%2Fwhy-aren-t-people-using-smalltalk-80de31b6e3f4\46sa\75D\46sntz\0751\46usg\75AFQjCNE0FlV3c1bBYlWJpQWsLMqR6-Zm5w&#39;;return true;" onclick="this.href=&#39;https://www.google.com/url?q\75https%3A%2F%2Fmedium.com%2F%40richardeng%2Fwhy-aren-t-people-using-smalltalk-80de31b6e3f4\46sa\75D\46sntz\0751\46usg\75AFQjCNE0FlV3c1bBYlWJpQWsLMqR6-Zm5w&#39;;return true;">https://medium.com/@richardeng/why-aren-t-people-using-smalltalk-80de31b6e3f4

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Re: Why Aren't People Using Smalltalk?

kilon.alios
Pharo is for a fork of Squeak. Pharo are far more similar than they are different . Pharo may have a goal to be a smalltalk inspired language / environment but still a very long road ahead to severe its deep ties with Squeak and Smalltalk. At this time is a modern smalltalk and a Squeak fork with a ton of legacy code.

Personally I find this whole obsession about popularity , kinda pointless. It does not matter how much popular something is , but it a matter a lot more how much useful can be for a user.

On Tue, Aug 18, 2015 at 11:15 AM Joachim Tuchel <[hidden email]> wrote:
Guido,

your comment is unfair. Pharo has completely different goals than Squeak has - and the code quality in Pharo is also not always excellent. But hey, who writes perfect ode, anyways? Do you think code quality in Ruby or C# projects is much better? I doubt it. Objective-C is a mess. Ruby even more.
Even more important: Smalltalk is so much more than just Squeak and Pharo. So I am not sure your comment really qualifies as an answer to the (stupid) question.

Joachim



Am Montag, 17. August 2015 15:27:58 UTC+2 schrieb Guido Stepken:

Should give you to think, that, for the Pharo team, it almost took them 8 years now (beginning may 2008) to clean up all that mess, squeak hackers produced over time. And they aren't even finished yet.

Running stable? No.

Smalltalk definitly is not suited for being processed in enterprise environment with changing personal. No clean, "named" interfaces that can be communicated and trained.

Instead, it's Smalltalk code mostly a complete mess of objective neurons, sending, exchanging messages between each other. Amorphic strucures. Not communicable. That's the main problem.

Have fun!

Am 17.08.2015 14:12 schrieb "Richard Eng" <[hidden email]>:

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Re: Why Aren't People Using Smalltalk?

jtuchel
Pharo is evolving into its own direction, as it is intended to start from a Smalltalk basis and become something even more powerful than Smalltalk. So Pharo is increasingly isolating itself from Smalltalk. Whether that is a good or a bad thing is to be judged in the future. Pharo has started as a fork of Squeak and cut the rope. If Pharo were as similar to Squeak as you say, maintainers of projects that are primarily written on Squeak wouldn't have much trouble keeping their code current on Pharo. But they do. In Pharo, you don't currently realize much of it because the community keeps coming up with new alternatives. There is some really great stuff coming out of the Pharo world, and so far, most of it is portable to other dialects, but we will see the day when this is not true any more. Progress sometimes hurts, either the progressors or the ones left behind. We'll see.

Are you saying most of the bad code in Pharo is old Squeak code? Dream on. A community can be as small as it wants, it will produce great code, mediocre code and rubbish code. Pharo is no exception. I write far more bad code than I like to admit. So do most of us, right?

But this has little to do with the inital question that is implying the wrong thing anyways. Is there much point in whining about nobody using Smalltalk? I don't think so. It has its value and we happily use it for our product (www.kontolino.de), because it is the most productive language WE could find for ourselves. Did we test all other languages? No, we didn't, we just chose between a hand full of alternatives, and none came close (Java, Ruby, JS and ST as a backend, Objective-C for an Apple island, NodeJS and EnyoJS).

We are in the middle of a complicated operation on our object model. We need to heal a wrong design decision in a very central part of the system without hurting our customers. I cannot imagine doing what we are doing without Smalltalk's excellent dynamic introspection support. The Debugger and Inspectors of Smalltalk are what make this possible without risking our business completely. We could probably achieve the same with an army of really clever developers and a few weeks or months of downtime in which nothing else happens. But we can't afford either.

So why don't people use Smalltalk? I don't know. I do. For a good reason.

Joachim



Am Dienstag, 18. August 2015 12:41:20 UTC+2 schrieb Dimitris Chloupis:
Pharo is for a fork of Squeak. Pharo are far more similar than they are different . Pharo may have a goal to be a smalltalk inspired language / environment but still a very long road ahead to severe its deep ties with Squeak and Smalltalk. At this time is a modern smalltalk and a Squeak fork with a ton of legacy code.

Personally I find this whole obsession about popularity , kinda pointless. It does not matter how much popular something is , but it a matter a lot more how much useful can be for a user.

On Tue, Aug 18, 2015 at 11:15 AM Joachim Tuchel <<a href="javascript:" target="_blank" gdf-obfuscated-mailto="ZV-Qx-PXAwAJ" rel="nofollow" onmousedown="this.href=&#39;javascript:&#39;;return true;" onclick="this.href=&#39;javascript:&#39;;return true;">jtu...@...> wrote:
Guido,

your comment is unfair. Pharo has completely different goals than Squeak has - and the code quality in Pharo is also not always excellent. But hey, who writes perfect ode, anyways? Do you think code quality in Ruby or C# projects is much better? I doubt it. Objective-C is a mess. Ruby even more.
Even more important: Smalltalk is so much more than just Squeak and Pharo. So I am not sure your comment really qualifies as an answer to the (stupid) question.

Joachim



Am Montag, 17. August 2015 15:27:58 UTC+2 schrieb Guido Stepken:

Should give you to think, that, for the Pharo team, it almost took them 8 years now (beginning may 2008) to clean up all that mess, squeak hackers produced over time. And they aren't even finished yet.

Running stable? No.

Smalltalk definitly is not suited for being processed in enterprise environment with changing personal. No clean, "named" interfaces that can be communicated and trained.

Instead, it's Smalltalk code mostly a complete mess of objective neurons, sending, exchanging messages between each other. Amorphic strucures. Not communicable. That's the main problem.

Have fun!

Am 17.08.2015 14:12 schrieb "Richard Eng" <[hidden email]>:
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Re: Why Aren't People Using Smalltalk?

Sean P. DeNigris
Administrator
In reply to this post by philippeback
philippeback wrote
people sticking to it
are quite a fine bunch and are inspiring.
+1. Becoming a fad language like Ruby overwhelms a community with hordes of Pink Plane thinkers, whereas our group is mostly self-screened for people who "get it". This colors everything we do. GT, which has rocked our developing world, appeared overnight in Pharo core. I can't imagine that happening in an ecosystem where millions of instrumental thinkers dominate. Imagine the uproar! "Invent the future? We need to deliver XyzWidget today!!" Obviously, I have nothing against being practical and delivering products, but our core values are only possible /because/ we are not "popular". As Alan Kay frequently mentions, ~85% of people are driven by their own personal goals, not beautiful ideas.
Cheers,
Sean
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Re: Why Aren't People Using Smalltalk?

Markus Gälli-4
In reply to this post by jtuchel
Nice summary, thanks Joachim!

Markus



Am 18.08.2015 um 13:54 schrieb Joachim Tuchel <[hidden email]>:

Pharo is evolving into its own direction, as it is intended to start from a Smalltalk basis and become something even more powerful than Smalltalk. So Pharo is increasingly isolating itself from Smalltalk. Whether that is a good or a bad thing is to be judged in the future. Pharo has started as a fork of Squeak and cut the rope. If Pharo were as similar to Squeak as you say, maintainers of projects that are primarily written on Squeak wouldn't have much trouble keeping their code current on Pharo. But they do. In Pharo, you don't currently realize much of it because the community keeps coming up with new alternatives. There is some really great stuff coming out of the Pharo world, and so far, most of it is portable to other dialects, but we will see the day when this is not true any more. Progress sometimes hurts, either the progressors or the ones left behind. We'll see.

Are you saying most of the bad code in Pharo is old Squeak code? Dream on. A community can be as small as it wants, it will produce great code, mediocre code and rubbish code. Pharo is no exception. I write far more bad code than I like to admit. So do most of us, right?

But this has little to do with the inital question that is implying the wrong thing anyways. Is there much point in whining about nobody using Smalltalk? I don't think so. It has its value and we happily use it for our product (www.kontolino.de), because it is the most productive language WE could find for ourselves. Did we test all other languages? No, we didn't, we just chose between a hand full of alternatives, and none came close (Java, Ruby, JS and ST as a backend, Objective-C for an Apple island, NodeJS and EnyoJS).

We are in the middle of a complicated operation on our object model. We need to heal a wrong design decision in a very central part of the system without hurting our customers. I cannot imagine doing what we are doing without Smalltalk's excellent dynamic introspection support. The Debugger and Inspectors of Smalltalk are what make this possible without risking our business completely. We could probably achieve the same with an army of really clever developers and a few weeks or months of downtime in which nothing else happens. But we can't afford either.

So why don't people use Smalltalk? I don't know. I do. For a good reason.

Joachim



Am Dienstag, 18. August 2015 12:41:20 UTC+2 schrieb Dimitris Chloupis:
Pharo is for a fork of Squeak. Pharo are far more similar than they are different . Pharo may have a goal to be a smalltalk inspired language / environment but still a very long road ahead to severe its deep ties with Squeak and Smalltalk. At this time is a modern smalltalk and a Squeak fork with a ton of legacy code.

Personally I find this whole obsession about popularity , kinda pointless. It does not matter how much popular something is , but it a matter a lot more how much useful can be for a user.

On Tue, Aug 18, 2015 at 11:15 AM Joachim Tuchel <<a href="javascript:" target="_blank" gdf-obfuscated-mailto="ZV-Qx-PXAwAJ" rel="nofollow" onmousedown="this.href='javascript:';return true;" onclick="this.href='javascript:';return true;">jtu...@...> wrote:
Guido,

your comment is unfair. Pharo has completely different goals than Squeak has - and the code quality in Pharo is also not always excellent. But hey, who writes perfect ode, anyways? Do you think code quality in Ruby or C# projects is much better? I doubt it. Objective-C is a mess. Ruby even more.
Even more important: Smalltalk is so much more than just Squeak and Pharo. So I am not sure your comment really qualifies as an answer to the (stupid) question.

Joachim



Am Montag, 17. August 2015 15:27:58 UTC+2 schrieb Guido Stepken:

Should give you to think, that, for the Pharo team, it almost took them 8 years now (beginning may 2008) to clean up all that mess, squeak hackers produced over time. And they aren't even finished yet.

Running stable? No.

Smalltalk definitly is not suited for being processed in enterprise environment with changing personal. No clean, "named" interfaces that can be communicated and trained.

Instead, it's Smalltalk code mostly a complete mess of objective neurons, sending, exchanging messages between each other. Amorphic strucures. Not communicable. That's the main problem.

Have fun!

Am 17.08.2015 14:12 schrieb "Richard Eng" <[hidden email]>:
<a href="https://medium.com/@richardeng/why-aren-t-people-using-smalltalk-80de31b6e3f4" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" onmousedown="this.href='https://www.google.com/url?q\75https%3A%2F%2Fmedium.com%2F%40richardeng%2Fwhy-aren-t-people-using-smalltalk-80de31b6e3f4\46sa\75D\46sntz\0751\46usg\75AFQjCNE0FlV3c1bBYlWJpQWsLMqR6-Zm5w';return true;" onclick="this.href='https://www.google.com/url?q\75https%3A%2F%2Fmedium.com%2F%40richardeng%2Fwhy-aren-t-people-using-smalltalk-80de31b6e3f4\46sa\75D\46sntz\0751\46usg\75AFQjCNE0FlV3c1bBYlWJpQWsLMqR6-Zm5w';return true;">https://medium.com/@richardeng/why-aren-t-people-using-smalltalk-80de31b6e3f4

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Re: Why Aren't People Using Smalltalk?

horrido
In reply to this post by jtuchel
From a technical position, this doesn't make much sense. There is no one "Smalltalk," but rather a variety of dialects where :each "Smalltalk" chose to extend itself and make improvements to the language and the tools. So how is Pharo's evolution different from the splintering of Smalltalk into VisualWorks, VA Smalltalk, GemStone/S, Dolphin, etc.? Perhaps in the more distant future, Pharo's improvements will be so far ahead of the field that it might as well be a new language. Perhaps. But for now and the foreseeable future, Pharo looks to all the world like just another dialect.

From a PR standpoint, however, I think Pharo is trying to separate itself from Smalltalk. It's not working, because you can't fool the public. If the fundamental language syntax is the same (and it is), and if the live coding & debugging environment is largely the same (and it is), then people will recognize it as (a dialect of) Smalltalk. Period. End of story.


On Tuesday, 18 August 2015 07:54:31 UTC-4, Joachim Tuchel wrote:
Pharo is evolving into its own direction, as it is intended to start from a Smalltalk basis and become something even more powerful than Smalltalk. So Pharo is increasingly isolating itself from Smalltalk. Whether that is a good or a bad thing is to be judged in the future.

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Re: Why Aren't People Using Smalltalk?

horrido
In reply to this post by kilon.alios
The most critical thing is probably the dearth of Smalltalk "libraries." Time and again, developers complain about the lack of libraries and frameworks. Unfortunately, this is difficult to remedy because there is no one "Smalltalk" to which you can develop supporting libraries. (There is one Java; there is one C++; there is one Python – at least, if you work your way around the different versions.)

If Pharo can become the "hero" Smalltalk dialect that surpasses all others in terms of popularity, then there is hope here. A de facto standard would allow libraries to be written and easily ported, perhaps gently "coercing" other Smalltalks to "fall in line." However, I am not sanguine.


On Monday, 17 August 2015 15:04:47 UTC-4, Dimitris Chloupis wrote:

For me Smalltalk is what I was looking all my life in terms of coding, and there is nothing like it out there. On the how to make Smalltalk more popular, I think the secret is to make it better and better. Create a bigger more powerful library, support modern technologies, great documentation, a more modern IDE, native GUI look, GUI designers etc. Of course all these things take a lot of work and effort. 

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Re: Why Aren't People Using Smalltalk?

Martin Bähr
In reply to this post by horrido
Excerpts from Richard Eng's message of 2015-09-05 01:28:25 +0200:
> >From a technical position, this doesn't make much sense. There is no one
> "Smalltalk," but rather a variety of dialects where :each "Smalltalk" chose
> to extend itself and make improvements to the language *and the tools*. So
> how is Pharo's evolution different from the splintering of Smalltalk into
> VisualWorks, VA Smalltalk, GemStone/S, Dolphin, etc.? Perhaps in the more
> distant future, Pharo's improvements will be so far ahead of the field that
> it might as well be a new language. Perhaps. But for now and the
> foreseeable future, Pharo looks to all the world like just another dialect.

that is true, but Pharo (and Squeak) are the only dialects available as Free
Software and Open Source. if there is a smalltalk dialect that is poised for
popularity, then it is one of those two, and none of the non-free ones.

> >From a PR standpoint, however, I think Pharo is trying to separate itself
> from Smalltalk. It's not working, because you can't fool the public. If the
> fundamental language syntax is the same (and it is), and if the live coding
> & debugging environment is *largely* the same (and it is), then people will
> recognize it as (a dialect of) Smalltalk. Period. End of story.

i believe Pharo is trying to separate itself from pressure to remain compatible
to smalltalk-80 standards. if you want to innovate, sometimes you need to break
the rules. whether doing so is a good idea or not, can only be found after
trying it.

greetings, martin.

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Re: Why Aren't People Using Smalltalk?

horrido
If you think of "Smalltalk" as Smalltalk-80, then breaking away from Smalltalk-80 can legitimately mean that you are no longer Smalltalk, yes. I'm not sure that matters, though. Does anyone really care??? What's the ultimate objective? To be not Smalltalk? To become more popular?


On Friday, 4 September 2015 21:17:18 UTC-4, Martin Bähr wrote:
Excerpts from Richard Eng's message of 2015-09-05 01:28:25 +0200:
> >From a technical position, this doesn't make much sense. There is no one
> "Smalltalk," but rather a variety of dialects where :each "Smalltalk" chose
> to extend itself and make improvements to the language *and the tools*. So
> how is Pharo's evolution different from the splintering of Smalltalk into
> VisualWorks, VA Smalltalk, GemStone/S, Dolphin, etc.? Perhaps in the more
> distant future, Pharo's improvements will be so far ahead of the field that
> it might as well be a new language. Perhaps. But for now and the
> foreseeable future, Pharo looks to all the world like just another dialect.

that is true, but Pharo (and Squeak) are the only dialects available as Free
Software and Open Source. if there is a smalltalk dialect that is poised for
popularity, then it is one of those two, and none of the non-free ones.

> >From a PR standpoint, however, I think Pharo is trying to separate itself
> from Smalltalk. It's not working, because you can't fool the public. If the
> fundamental language syntax is the same (and it is), and if the live coding
> & debugging environment is *largely* the same (and it is), then people will
> recognize it as (a dialect of) Smalltalk. Period. End of story.

i believe Pharo is trying to separate itself from pressure to remain compatible
to smalltalk-80 standards. if you want to innovate, sometimes you need to break
the rules. whether doing so is a good idea or not, can only be found after
trying it.

greetings, martin.

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Re: Why Aren't People Using Smalltalk?

Sean P. DeNigris
Administrator
This post has NOT been accepted by the mailing list yet.
In reply to this post by horrido
horrido wrote
From a PR standpoint, however, I think Pharo is trying to separate itself
from Smalltalk. It's not working, because you can't fool the public. If the
fundamental language syntax is the same (and it is), and if the live coding
& debugging environment is *largely* the same (and it is), then people will
recognize it as (a dialect of) Smalltalk. Period. End of story.
The best way to understand the rationale for Pharo's marketing decision is to read one of the many long threads about it on the Pharo lists. I doubt rehashing it will provide new value. I am, however struck by the presumptuousness of your above quote. Firstly, what are you trying to accomplish? Secondly, what is your evidence for it "not working" and that there is an attempt to "fool the public", that leads you to believe that your little paragraph has told the "end of [a] story" that's been unfolding for years before you graced us with your decree?

The issue boils down to the fact that the term Smalltalk has been overloaded. The original meaning was prototype Dynabook software that was used to bootstrap its replacement every 4 years. This true definition, by design, leaves plenty of room for innovation. Unfortunately, when Smalltalk-80 was released to the world, that became what people mean when they use the word Smalltalk. Obviously, people already familiar with Smalltalk are going to look at Pharo and go, "oh look, it's Smalltalk"*. But that is not the target market. The audience for the Smalltalk-inspired campaign is the other 99% of programmers who would never get past: "Smalltalk = 1980 = dead = not worth checking out".

Anyway, I'd rather get back to hacking than waste more time in these IMHO mostly-pointless debates. In fact, I disagree that unpopularity is a problem at all. I would say that our biggest advantage is not being popular. I'll take a small community of true-believers over a mob of trend followers any day.

* Although they'd probably base that opinion on the syntax, which is the least important part of Smalltalk (the live environment being first, and libraries second). In fact, if Ruby had a live, dynamic, turtles-all-the-way-down environment, with a Morphic-like uniform, live interface, and Smalltalk-like tools, I probably wouldn't have gravitated to Smalltalk
Cheers,
Sean
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