To be live or not to be live!

Bruce Cohen brucecohen at
Mon Apr 22 20:27:11 UTC 2002

At 2:38 PM +0000 4/22/02, Jecel Assumpcao Jr wrote:
>Each alternative has its advantages. Blueprint systems, due to their
>short lived natures, are more forgiving of mistakes. How many
>applications with memory leaks were shipped in the 1980s and 1990s? It
>wasn't considered a big deal - the user just killed the program and
>called a fresh version of it again. Compare that with Squeak: some bits
>in there are simply cloned versions of what was originally created in
>the 1970s! A memory leak would have been fatal.

One of the reasons the Smalltalk-based oscilloscopes made by 
Tektronix were such a successful product was *because* you could be 
confident there were no memory leaks.   Electronic instruments like 
oscilloscopes are often used in long-running measurements (hours, 
days. weeks-long sometimes) where it can be very inconvenient, even 
downright disastrous to an experiment to have to restart the 
equipment.  So not having to worry about the firmware memory (which 
is usually pretty small to start with) filling up and hosing the 
scope's sampling controller or user interface is a very important 

I like to think that if it weren't for Ada (and you think Java is 
bad!), Smalltalk might have become the common language for avionics 
for this reason among others.

"The joke is over when the head falls off." - Scotts' proverb
Bruce Cohen
5908 SW California St.
Portland, OR 97219
brucecohen at

More information about the Squeak-dev mailing list