Ricardo L. A. Bánffy
rbanffy at utopia.com.br
Fri Jun 7 13:33:37 UTC 2002
I am sorry for the huge post, but several ideas were screaming to get out.
A Squeak Foundation could be a very smart move.
As I see it now (forgive and correct me where I am wrong) Squeak has a
couple major drawbacks when it comes to market penetration:
- Nobody outside very restricted (and selected) circles knows about it. It
did (among other things) hurt Smalltalk and now hurts Squeak because no one
sees Squeak articles in magazines, there are no Squeak oriented magazines
and so, nobody will _feel safe_ choose Squeak for anything real.
- Maybe because of what I described earlier, but Squeak looks and feels way
too alien for most computer users. Sure it may look like the original ST
system, but it was, indeed, quite alien to Windows and Macintosh users who,
in the end, use our software. The Squeak windows-within-a-window appearance
certainly doesn't help this perception. Please remember that the levels of
dumbness among end-users can reach very high levels. Here in Brazil we say,
when we want to call someone stupid, that if grass were to change color,
he/she would starve to death. In Squeak, all windows have different colors
- Squeak lacks a killer application. It hurts Squeak because when you become
aware of a killer application you instantly become aware of the underlying
infra-structure. It is said, in Zope circles, Zope (a web application server
written in Python) is the killer application of Python as there seem to be
more programmers who learn Python because of Zope than for any other reason.
When I was invited to work with Zope I joked we almost had to apologize to
our customers for not using a Java-based app server.
I am a relative newcomer to Squeak, but by no means it is my first contact
with Smalltalk. I recall being shown Smalltalk/V running under DOS on a
PC/AT back when the dominant PC virus was ping-pong. I blame my early
contact with Smalltalk and Actor (an ST-like language for Windows) with my
(largely successful) refusal to learn C++ and my reluctance and utter
unhappiness using Java.
As I see it, a Squeak Foundation should have some clear goals
- To increase media-awareness of Smalltalk as a stable, mature and reliable
development tool. This could be achieved by giving presentations on
trade-shows (I intended to present Squeak in the upcoming COMDEX/SP, but
missed the deadline bad - I will try again next year). There are many others
all over the place and it is clear to me that many subscribers of this list
would have a lot (much more than I would - I intended to do a primer) to
show in many different places. Having grabbed a critical-mass of attention
among journalists, frequent press-releases could keep the subject hot.
Squeak World Tour could also be interesting, but infiltrating mainstream
events could reach more people.
- To increase Squeak awareness in academic circles and curricula. Way too
many students are introduced to OOP with Java. When it comes to the
traditional edit-compile-link-run cycle, Java's single progress is dropping
the "link" part ;-)
- To promote work done in Squeak. Because maybe we already have a killer app
and we just don't know it.
- To encourage a consistent look and feel for Squeak apps. It helps when you
see a screenshot of something and you can say "Gee. it seems done in Squeak"
- To find out how to induce IBM to invest a billion dollars in Squeak ;-)
- To provide a unified and consistent set of documentation, tutorials and
how-tos. This could be achieved largely by adapting current tutorials to a
single look and feel. Remember ST is quite alien for the average programmer
and those smart people with brains damaged due to excessive use of Java or
C++ should get all our help and compassion.
- To provide a single reference point for all things Squeak.
And, before I am under a flame-war, where are the squeakfoundation list
archives? I would love to read them.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Roger Vossler" <rvossler at qwest.net>
To: "Squeak Developers" <squeak-dev at lists.squeakfoundation.org>
Sent: Wednesday, June 05, 2002 12:31 PM
Subject: Reality Check
> Hi Gang,
> Since there appears to be little or no activity on the squeakfoundation
> I would like to receive some information concerning the following
More information about the Squeak-dev