[Newbies] Squeak vs. Smalltalk

Avidan Ackerson avidan.ackerson at gmail.com
Wed Apr 22 01:54:02 UTC 2009

Thank you for all your answers, as it has given me a good idea about the 
nature of Squeak. But what can you tell me as far as performance ability 
goes? I recall reading somewhere that Squeak can cause a drag in 
processing at times.

David Mitchell wrote:
> What makes Squeak special is the Squeak community. Fantastic history
> and tradition. Inspiring thinkers. Colorful ideas.
> For someone used to commercial Smalltalk development, Squeak is a bit
> of a siren song. I've certainly felt that way. Much of Squeak's GUI
> wasn't built to satisfy commercial developers, but to get some wild,
> crazy, next generation media playground for kids and adults to
> experiment with. Very trippy but sometimes frustrating to someone who
> just wants to build a CRUD GUI.
> If you want to build for the web, Squeak is a nice home for Seaside
> development. I'm currently using Pharo, which is still Squeak to me,
> but it may diverge in the near future.
> Now to get a little pedantic:
> Squeak is a Smalltalk. It is written in Squeak Smalltalk*.
> Visual Works is a Smalltalk. Most of it is also written in Visual
> Works Smalltalk.
> All Smalltalks have little variations. There is no downloadable,
> runnable thing called Smalltalk proper. You might call Smalltalk-80
> Smalltalk proper. Squeak and VisualWorks both descend** from
> Smalltalk-80**. You might also call ANSI Smalltalk proper, but there
> is no implementation of Smalltalk that is only ANSI Smalltalk.
> If you want to write code that you can take from one Smalltalk into
> another, you're in for a bit of a bumpy ride. The Seaside team
> probably has the most broad and most current experience here. Looking
> at the work they are doing for 2.9 (as well as their coding standards)
> are a good things to emulate.
> Squeak and GNU Smalltalk are both open-source. GNU is GPL, natch.
> Squeak predates the OSI definition of that term and so has a more
> colorful license history, but it will (soon) be MIT with bits of APSL.
> VisualWorks and GemStone are not open-source, but each provides
> professional commercial support and licenses that make it easy to
> start exploring and developing. VW is probably the most mainstream,
> commercial tool. GemStone is the leader for big Object-Oriented DBs.
> Instantiations still supports VisualAge Smalltalk (formerly IBM
> Smalltalk). Also good commercial support.
> Lots of other Smalltalks I'm leaving out.
> Between Squeak and GNU, Squeak is the more traditional, image-based
> Smalltalk. GNU keeps its code in files, which makes sense to most
> non-Smalltalkers. But, as MarkusQ wrote recently:
> "Trying to get your head around smalltalk without using the IDE is
> like going to Paris and eating at McDonalds. Sure, you're in Paris,
> but you aren't really exposing yourself to what it's all about."
> Footnotes:
> * There are a few parts of the Virtual Machine that are written in C,
> but even those are actually written in a pidgin (reduced) Squeak
> Smalltalk called Slang. It really is a C subset with Squeak Smalltalk
> style. The benefit of this is you can simulate the VM using Smalltalk
> tools as you develop.
> **and lore has it they may actually both still be running some of the
> same bits as an ancient Smalltalk image.
> On Mon, Apr 20, 2009 at 9:44 PM, Avidan Ackerson
> <avidan.ackerson at gmail.com> wrote:
>> I know that Squeak is written in Smalltalk, but are there specific
>> advantages to Squeak over Smalltalk proper?
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