[Newbies] Software computer

Jens Lincke jens at impara.de
Sun May 13 09:09:40 UTC 2007


the Idea behind this went even further, Alan used the Computer metaphor
for every Object:

    In computer terms, Smalltalk is a recursion on the notion of
    computer itself. Instead of dividing "computer stuff" into things
    each less strong than the whole--like data structures, procedures,
    and functions which are the usual paraphernalia of programming
    languages--each Smalltalk object is a recursion on the entire
    possibilities of the computer. Thus its semantics are a bit like
    having thousands and thousands of computer all hooked together by a
    very fast network. Questions of concrete representation can thus be
    postponed almost indefinitely because we are mainly concerned that
    the computers behave appropriately, and are interested in particular
    strategies only if the results are off or come back too slowly.
    (Alan C. Kay: The Early History of Smalltalk)

So if every squeak / smalltalk object is like a computer, the whole 
image is one too ;-)

But besides this theory and history I like your metapher because it is a 
realy strong

- Jens -

subbukk schrieb:
> Hi,
> When trying to explain the Squeak 'image' file to young learners and non-tech 
> friends, the term 'software computer' popped into my mind. Squeak allows one 
> to create a 'software computer' that holds text, sounds and pictures. It is a 
> computer that you can carry along on a floppy, hard-disk or USB flash memory.
> Just as we use microscope to look into minute stuff, we use a physical 
> computer (and squeak vm) to look into our software computer and make changes 
> to it. The computer can be used to record sounds, make drawings, access 
> web-sites or chat with others and so on. This computer can even hang or crash 
> like a physical computer :-). But unlike physical machines, perfect copies 
> (images) are easy to make and share with friends. If the computer breaks 
> down, you can send it for 'repairs' over email while continuing to work on a 
> older copy. One can create potentially infinite varieties of copies without 
> worrying about hazardous waste or recycling. Each copy will be a 'perfect 
> image' and we dont have to worry about loose nuts or bolts :-).
> I tried this metaphor on some (unsuspecting) folks and they could get it 
> faster than when I used the book or toy metaphor.  One can't crash a book by 
> coloring it, for instance, so they dont see a need to snapshot an image 
> often. For most people, "toys" are not for serious work, while Squeak can be 
> used to produce serious essays or music too.
> Is the metaphor appropriate?
> Subbu
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