Squeak and the Internet

Dan Shafer dan at gui.com
Fri May 29 16:10:48 UTC 1998

Sorry if this has been discussed before; if it has, please just point me
to the right place and I'll go read all of it.

I'm contemplating doing a column for CNET's BUILDER.COM (where I write
the "Master Builder" column every week for people who build Web sites)
on the subject of Squeak as a possible tool/platform for Web developers.

One place it seems to me that Squeak has some intriguing potential is in
the VM universe, where Java has kind of staked out the turf. There would
be some obvious advantages to a Smalltalk VM vs. a Java VM, not the
least of which is the relative maturity and completeness of the whole
Smalltalk world as evidenced by Squeak.

The VM is clearly under 500K. What isn't clear to me is how much would
have to be added to the VM to create a browser-usable (applet-like) or
stand-alone, networkable application relying on the VM. Clearly that is
to some extent application-specific, but what is the general feeling of
the community?

Does Squeak's VM really have the potential to be a replacement or
alternative to Java VMs?

>From the famous "Back to the Future" paper, I observe:

"Squeak is a portable, malleable, full-service computing environment,
including browsing, split-second recompilation,
and source debugging tools, all in a 1-megabyte footprint. Though many
of its strengths are rooted in the past, Squeak is
suited to the intimate computing potential of PDAs and the Internet, and
our work is, now more than ever, inspired by the

This gives me a lot of hope, but is it hope I can safely convey to the
hundreds of thousands of Web designers who will read my column on this
subject? Is there any working code anywhere that would exemplify what
I'm trying to get at here?
|   Dan Shafer, Executive Technical Producer and  |
| Editor-at-Large,  CNET's Site for Site Builders |
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