Need feedback on simple idea

Stephane Ducasse ducasse at
Fri Apr 11 19:13:47 UTC 2003

On Friday, April 11, 2003, at 09:01 PM, Swan, Dean wrote:

> Stef,
> 	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???

I asked the question to get pros and cons and this helped us to really 
be more precise. Now I never said that I wanted those changes to be 
incorporated into Squeak.

> 	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.

I have no problem with that at all. I have problems with people telling 
me to not change Squeak. This was not the point.

> 	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.

So people do not listen again because if they would read the wiki page 
our plans are clear. If those people would read the emails in the SqF 
mailing-list (some are there too) they will know our intentions also.

> 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.

So VisualWorks is not smalltalk anymore.
> 	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.

But have you looked at the code inside Squeak? really! I can tell you 
that some parts are really scary. and what was true in 80 is not true 
anymore. I think that why smalltalk survive is because it was flexible. 
Now in Squeak changing cleaning things are hard. I think that all the 
efforts around modules packages are ***key*** for the future.

> 	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.

Because I got interesting answers from people even privately so this 
was good to
check if what we were thinking still holds after some bold guys 
defending direct access.
Research is not about consensus but about sound discussions.

> 		-Dean
>> -----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
Prof. Dr. Stéphane DUCASSE
  "if you knew today was your last day on earth, what would you do 
different? ...  especially if,
  by doing something different, today might not be your last day on 
earth" Calvin&Hobbes

"The best way to predict the future is to invent it..." Alan Kay.

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