[Newbies] I am not sure if choose squeak/smalltalk oranotherlanguage. HELP

Offray Vladimir Luna Cárdenas offray.luna at javeriana.edu.co
Fri Sep 1 12:39:08 UTC 2006

Hi Antonio,

Antonio San. escribió:
> Hi!
> I'm a total newbie at all ;-)
> I don't know about squeak, I'm not a programmer... I
> only know about linux ;-D So sure I will say a lot of
> stupid thinks.
So I'm in both senses (newbie on Squeak and user of Linux).

> I want to learn to develop programs for building
> simple tools for children, math quiz, games for learn
> the multiplications, learn vocabulary, etc... I'm a
> teacher (in a poor school). I can't afford to buy
> computers. We have 4 pentiums 300Mhz with 64 Mb and 4
> pentiums 200Mhz mmx with 32Mb RAM. Is squeak /
> smalltalk for us? Or it would be better to choose
> another language like C,  python or ruby...? (java is
> ruled out because the programs in java are veeeery
> slow in this PCs) 
Have you tried LTSP (Linux Terminal Server Project)? If you can afford 
to get only one powerful computer you can make all your old computer run 
the same software in the newer one at (almost) the same speed. I have 
implemented it on a public School and a small enterprise long time ago 
and was the solution to make all the hardware work with ultimate 
software. Cheap empower of older hardware to run newer software seems a 
nice solution to your problem (of course you still need to get the 
powerful computer) and better that run older software on older hardware 
(but you could get still an older version of squeak that run on them, I 
have readed that in the future we will have a modular and smaller squeak 
but I don't know how long it takes).

In the meantime you can use may be python and some of the development 
environments for it [1]. There is and option for teaching python using a 
robots like programming environment but I don't remember the name. 
Anyway I think that the best first experience to teach programming and 
computing to children is Squeak if we consider that they live in a media 
rich environment (TV, Radio, News, Videogames, Movies).

[1] http://wiki.slec.net/LenguajePython/HerramientasParaPython

> Forth, is it possible the comunication with the
> exterior of squeak? What I mean is, if we could do,
> for example, a gui interface for a console program (a
> frontend). Or a program with needs comunication with
> special devices like webcams or scanners...?

I see Squeak some kind of too much self contained (may be is because of 
the "borg" assimilation strategy) but would be nice to have Squeak 
communicating with external programs and languages (may be XmlRCP)... 
ummm.... at this moment I'm thinking in some kind of XServer and Scheme 
implementations inside Squeak (if I'm not wrong) and trying to run 
external linux programs inside Squeak... something similar to the java 
VNC client for X.

> Thank you.
> Regards.
> Antonio.



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