What is Squeak? (Was Re: A roadmap for 3.9)
ducasse at iam.unibe.ch
Mon Dec 13 07:13:44 UTC 2004
A final point mark, is that we have a different vision of what is a
community: for us this is not a bunch of forks
not communicating not sharing between them. At least this is what we
tried to avoid but there is one instrument missing a
REAL space for communication and milestone maker.
>> It shouldn't come to anyones surprise that if you leave a community
>> that this community will go into a different direction.
> I think that Marcus is dead-on with this comment. People shouldn't be
> surprised if parts of the system that they contribute get abandoned if
> they're not there actively promoting and maintaining them. (And I
> disagree with Andres: Andreas is actively promoting and maintaining
> his pieces of Squeak, and as an active developer, it's certainly part
> of that role to critique what others do and encourage what he wants to
> But I think that Lex's point is also quite valid: What about the
> newcomers to Squeak? What is their expectation about Squeak, and do
> we them (and the community) a disservice by not making some effort to
> meet that expectation? Expectation failure doesn't encourage people
> to join a community. The important question for the community, then,
> is to define: What is Squeak? By answering that, we can more
> effectively promote that definition and encourage the appropriate
> I'm biased here, but I think that one of the ways that people discover
> Squeak is through the OOPSLA paper by Dan et al. and the White and
> NuBlue books. We certainly don't want to let EVERYTHING in those
> publications define Squeak -- that would completely limit the
> community's ability to change. But I do think that the NuBlue book's
> title, "Squeak: Open Personal Computing and Multimedia" is a pretty
> good definition, and one that the other publications agree with.
> Squeak is about open personal computing and multimedia.
> That's what concerns me about the current process in Squeak -- it's
> setting aside the personal computing and multimedia aspects (for now
> -- I do understand that) in favor of improving the underlying base. I
> understand that current members of the community consider those
> "goodies" (such as Wonderland and eToys) to be "hacks," but those
> "hacks" brought in many people to Squeak.
> I do appreciate what Stef and the Berne group have brought to Squeak,
> and I think that the environment that they propose for 3.9 sounds like
> an exciting one to work in. But here's my suggestion: It's not
> Squeak, at least not as it has been defined and communicated in the
> past. When the base is improved and the personal computing &
> multimedia "goodies" are ported back (if they are), then it might be
> Squeak again. But as Marcus points out, that will only happen of the
> multimedia developers are still around then, and they might not be
> during the interim -- it's not clear that people interested mostly at
> the level of the base image are the same kind of people who want to
> build things like eToys and Wonderland.
> I make two concrete proposals -- they're alternatives:
> A. Call the new thing something else. Let "Squeak" end at Version 3.7
> or 3.8, unless someone wants to continue it as a tool for personal
> computing and multimedia. Don't let the expectations of "Squeak"
> limit where the current community wants to go. Use the new name to
> attract new attention (maybe get Slashdot to notice?) and to signify a
> new set of emphases.
> B. Or, call the 3.9 version "Squeak 4.0," and make it clear that there
> is no promise of compatibility or multimedia features across the
> boundary from 3.X->4.0. Say that clearly on the Website, and make the
> final 3.x version forever available. If people want "personal
> computing and multimedia," they can download the final 3.x. If they
> want the coolest open source Smalltalk on the planet, with the base
> hooks to grow one's own personal computing and multimedia (like the
> really interesting eToy/Wonderland substitute whose URL Marcus sent
> around), then let them grab the latest 4.x version.
> If a day comes when the "goodies" get folded back in, maybe we can
> re-merge. But nobody should hold their breath waiting for it. The
> Georgia Tech group and Andreas' Croquet group can decide which
> version(s) they want to develop from, and perhaps fork if they want.
> (FYI, the "Scratch" project at the MIT Media Lab is building on Squeak
> 2.7 -- the forks are already happening, so we might as well be honest
> about it and stop battling over the name.) But by making a clear
> break with the past, Stef and the Berne group have a freehand to take
> the base image in the directions that they want, and people who come
> to Squeak with the "personal computing and multimedia" expectation can
> make a choice.
> Mark Guzdial : Georgia Tech : College of Computing/GVU
> Atlanta, GA 30332-0280
> Collaborative Software Lab, http://coweb.cc.gatech.edu/csl
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