Newbie questions (advocacy included)

Bijan Parsia bparsia at
Fri Apr 12 11:03:19 UTC 2002

On Fri, 12 Apr 2002 goran.hultgren at wrote:

> jennyw <jennyw at> wrote:
> > The book I'm reading says that Squeak is currently developed by a team led 
> > by Alan Kay at Disney. The Web page also says this.  However, I've also 
> > read that Alan Kay left Disney a while ago.  Also, the page "Where is 
> > Squeak Headed" on the Web site only has information from late 
> > 1999.  How active is this project?  I assume it's pretty active since a 
> > lot of people are posting on this list, but I thought I'd ask.
> The so called "Squeak Central" group of people is still active but they
> are no longer at Disney.

More importantly, things are (slowly) being turned over to the "Squeak
foundation". Squeak Central will still"central", but it will be
more like Squeak Southeast (i.e., GaTech). This is all to the good, I
> > Also, what do people use Sqeak for?

Everything. Though personal, education, and research use dominate. Swikis
make up a significant percentage too.

> > How does Squeak compare to commercial Smalltalks?  I've been kind of out 
> It compares very good:
> - Cross platform capability second to none.
> - Very good multimedia support, probably second to none.
> - Very good development tools/environment. Might lack a few things like
> extensive support for team development (most development in the Squeak
> community is done individually I think).
> - Good performance. If you benchmark Squeak it might look "slow" (but
> not worse than many commercial Smalltalks like Dolphin)

Be careful...Dolphin may lack a JIT but *man* it can be *really* fast in
places where Squeak is rather slow. I remember dorking around with things
like #at:/#at:put: and getting some quite stunning results from
Dolphin. Dolphin's transcript is also much much faster. In general,
Dolphin's interface is very nippy and smooth.

Not that this detracts from Squeak, of course.

Squeak has also fared well agains Python, though, as usual, these are
shifting targets.

The best way to put it, IMHO, is Squeak is quite fast enough for a wide
range of people on a wide range of hardware for a wide range of systems.

Another, decent, way to put it is that there's still plenty of speed left
to be wrung out of the system :)

> > of the loop for a while, but I kind of figured that Smalltalk was on the 
> > decline when ParcPlace and Digitalk merged then were bought(?) by Cincom.  
> Cincom is probably good for Smalltalk.

Unquestionably. Not only did they save Visualworks, but they've hired lots
of Big Names in the Smalltalk community to improve it. VisualWorks has
been in the process of transforming itself into something quite stunning
over the last year. They also contribute *lots* to the general smalltalk
community, including sponsering events (like camp Smalltalk 2), releasing
code (like their XML parser), and general Good Works. Yay Cincom!

> They seem to be much more in
> touch with reality than... well. Enough said. I just hope they make
> money on the Smalltalk side.

>From what I understand, they do.

Bijan Parsia.

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