Smalltalk scripting (was Re: jpython anyone?)

Bijan Parsia bparsia at
Mon Dec 11 14:25:32 UTC 2000

On Mon, 11 Dec 2000, Lex Spoon wrote:

> Bijan Parsia <bparsia at> wrote:
> > Ok, clearly the minimal 2M image is going to include a compiler, etc. So
> > why not do the Python thing and let users compose their sciprts as text
> > files and compile them on first run to .stc (analogous to .pyc) files
> > (aka, image segments)?
> > 
> > Make everyone happy!
> I'm going to echo Apple and Microsoft and say, nobody really wants this,
> they just think they do.

And, echoing them, you'd be wrong :)

>  Why edit Smalltalk in emacs or vi, when
> Smalltalk has very nice browsers already?

Because people want to? The trick I'm talking about is *not* hard to do,
so it's not like a huge implementation burden. Thus, I'd claim, the burden
of proof is on *you* :)

> Smalltalk has senders-of, help with class definitions, and easy storage
> of static data.  Files have grep, long-form class definitions, and a
> myriad of choices for initializing static data.  Why go back
> to text files to hold Smalltalk stuff?

Well, only for Smalltalk *scripts* eh? In particular, it can make a lot of
sense for short (e.g., < 20 line) jobbies or minor changes. And Squeak's
remote tools aren't quite up to snuff (i.e., it's prolly easier for most
folks to remotely edit a text file than use Squeak in such a

> I'll grant, this mythical 2M image doesn't exist right now, and neither
> does the necessary support in the regular image.  But it seems like a
> better way to go.  Snapshot loading is much faster than its made to out
> to be!  In fact, it seems fast enough already to be tolerable as is.

Right, and I didn't argue against that. I argued *for* it and proposed a
way to make it transparant to those poor deluded souls stuck in a text
based world. Think of it as a transition measure, Lex :)

But tell you what, if you supply the 2M image with nice scripting support
(OSProcesses inclusion is a must!), I'll do the Pythonesque auto compiling

Bijan Parsia.

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