Thoughts for development from a lurker

Kevin Fisher kfisher at
Thu Oct 8 12:53:47 UTC 1998

Mark Wai <mwai at> wrote:

> As a side note, I would have to say that Squeak is not only good for
> learning Smalltalk/OO but a good live document for computer science in
> general.  I think Squeak would be an ideal environment to teach, demo,
> explore and even change/extend for any computer science class ranging
> from
> graphics, compiler, electronic music, internet programming, networking,
> ....
> and you name it.. and I won't be surprise that one day when I open my
> Squeak
> image,  I don't ever need to open up any applications (e.g. Word,
> netscape,
> Eudora) since I can do all these from within Squeak.  

Hear hear!  That's exactly my feeling...I would LOVE to be able to totally 
work within the Smalltalk/Squeak environment.  I already have plans to add 
some of the functionality I would need (a text editor, something equivalent to 
Xterm, a more general file manager etc).  I've already created a custom X11 
startup that forgoes any window management and jumps directly into full-screen 
Squeak...It's more of a pre-emptive move, but I expect soon I WILL be able to 
do everything I need to from within Squeak.  Plus, it gives me a warm feeling 
to turn my X-terminal on and watch it go directly into Squeak. :)

On the subject of the 'look' of Squeak...I've been playing around with other 
X11 environments (KDE and Enlightenment).  The big 'thing' that is coming out 
of these projects is total customization...not just a set of background images 
and colour combinations, but the ability to craft the shape, style and bitmap 
of things like window borders.  Enlightenment has gone even further in ways I 
won't get into here...but the end result is a mechanism is starting to form in 
certain groups for creating a custom look to an interface.  I believe 
Enlightenment is being created WITH a customization program, and one is in the 
works for KDE.  Perhaps it is also time to begin work on a set of classes 
designed specifically for the customization of the Squeak/Morphic UI?  There 
are a lot of arguments that claim having a single, unified UI should be a 
paramount goal...after almost a decade of Windoze I have to disagree with 
that.  The ability to custom-tailor an interface to your own liking is a very 
powerful thing, and I think Squeak is ideally suited for something like this.  
Maybe it is a superficial thing, but I believe that everybody has their own 
concept of what they are comfortable using...I prefer the ability to customize 
everything, from scrollbar bitmaps to iconify buttons. :)

Another thing:  although Enlightenment is doing things with X11 that probably 
have never been done before, it is _only_ for X11....Squeak could bring this 
type of philosophy to a number of platforms.

(References:, )

> In short, I would very much like to see the future improvement of Squeak
> documentation focus on within rather than external.
> --
> Mark Wai
> Wator Innovision
> mailto: mwai at or:[ mwai at] 
> __

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