Need feedback on simple idea

Swan, Dean Dean_Swan at Mitel.COM
Fri Apr 11 19:01:52 UTC 2003


	Indeed, you did not say we should change <<Squeak>>.  You proposed a change to <<Smalltalk>>, which is both more and less than Squeak.  Why would you publicly pose such a question if you didn't want to know how people *really* feel about the idea???

	As with many such proposals, some love it, some hate it, and there doesn't seem to be a clear consensus, but everybody who replied indicated a strong preference.  Many also delved into some of the technical issues to be worked out in pursuing this proposal.  Hopefully these things were all helpful and were the kind of feedback you were hoping for.

	You also must consider that as a steward of the "kernel", inquiries about such interesting research topics coming from you can no longer be "innocent inquiries".  People will infer intent to change the "kernel" for which you are one of the care-takers.  "You're in 'management' now, so you can't pal around the water cooler anymore without the 'workers' taking it differently than they used to." use a metaphor.

	Not that I want to "throw another log on the fire", but I tend to prefer things as they are.  Smalltalk is done.  There's ANSI Smalltalk, Smalltalk-80, Smalltalk/V, VisualWorks, Smalltalk X, Dolphin, VisualAge ST, etc.  If you do this kind of research in public view, for god's sake, give it it's own name.  It isn't "Smalltalk" anymore.  For me, Smalltalk means the blue book.  For the sake of enabling practical interactions with others, I'll allow for some of the other "Smalltalks" to fall under the "Smalltalk" umbrella because they are substantially similar to "blue book Smalltalk", and most code written for blue book Smalltalk will work in them.

	Frank Sergeant had a very valid point in that he doesn't want to see changes in Squeak that break things that used to work.  3.3 was not the only time this happened.  It's happened too many times with Squeak (not without "good" reasons, by some appropriate definition of "good", but still...), and many people don't like this.  I have only recently made the jump from 2.7 to 3.2 myself, and I was unpleasantly surprised by some of the things that worked just fine in 2.7 and don't in 3.2 (see "-- all --" Category browser changes thread from January...) overall, I think the pain was worth the gain, but it was not painless.

	IMHO, your idea is interesting, has technical merit, and is worth exploring, but it's not right for 'the masses' at this time.  You knew that before you asked, so again, why did you ask?  I got the impression that you were upset or angered or offended by some of the replies.  Your reply below sounds defensive.


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Stephane Ducasse [mailto:ducasse at]
> Sent: Friday, April 11, 2003 3:56 AM
> Subject: Re: Need feedback on simple idea
> Did I say that we should change squeak?
> here is what I wrote:
> "I would like to know what you would think of the following change in 
> Smalltalk.
> We are really in the mood to make some change in the compiler to play 
> with the idea
> for our research."
> Stef

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