[Newbies] Squeak vs. Smalltalk

Mark Volkmann mark at ociweb.com
Tue Apr 21 22:11:39 UTC 2009

On Apr 21, 2009, at 4:52 PM, Michael van der Gulik wrote:

> On 4/22/09, Mark Volkmann <mark at ociweb.com> wrote:
>> On Apr 20, 2009, at 10:28 PM, David Mitchell wrote:
>>> Very trippy but sometimes frustrating to someone who
>>> just wants to build a CRUD GUI.
>> This was a key factor in me setting Squeak aside for a bit. I love  
>> the
>> syntax of Smalltalk and the tools, but I was amazed at how difficult
>> it was to build and deploy a simple GUI application. For example, I
>> just wanted to build a GUI with a text field for entering a name and
>> an OK button. When the button is pressed I wanted to display a dialog
>> box that contains the text "Hello" and the name. The most frustrating
>> parts were the layout of widgets and the packages of the application
>> which involves a large number of steps.
> +1. It's on my TODO list.


>> A more recent concern for me is the lack of support for taking
>> advantage of multi-core processors. I know someone is working on
>> improving this.
> Unfortunately the situation here is rather dire. I blogged about it:
> http://securesqueak.blogspot.com/2009/03/concurrency.html.
> It's fully possible to make a Smalltalk VM that does fine-grained
> concurrency, but nobody concurrently has the time(/money), energy and
> raw creative intelligence to make one. Until then, Igor's Hydra VM is
> the best we have. I'd love to make one, but I haven't put it on my
> TODO list because I don't need a concurrent VM. My single cored 1Ghz
> Celeron CPU is plenty fast enough.
> I'm fascinated by concurrent computing, and I've dabbled in it a bit
> as a hobby, but most of what I do isn't CPU bound. There's a lot of
> very interesting stuff you can do before you're limited by your CPU
> speed.

To be honest, it's not so much that I have applications in mind that  
require use of multiple CPUs as it is fear for the future. While one  
core may seem fast enough today, what will we think when machines  
commonly have 16 or more? The thought that I may really be asked to  
write software that takes advantage of multiple cores has prompted me  
to start dabbling in functional languages. At the moment my functional  
language of choice is Clojure. That said, I'd rather work in Smalltalk  
if it could do that too.

Mark Volkmann

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