environments vs. files

Craig Latta craig at netjam.org
Wed Aug 17 19:18:39 UTC 2005

Hi Daniel--

 > In the world we currently inhabit, everything from a PC with any OS to
 > an iPod can hold a file, but few things can be infected by streams of
 > objects.

	Well, if they can hold files, those files can be Squeak virtual 
machines and object memory snapshots, and then we're in business. :)

 > But of course... the solution is not to work like everyone else. I'm
 > just saying that it is important to take practical sharing into
 > account in shaping the way we work, and images are not the solution to
 > that.

	How are images impractical? It almost sounds like you're saying that 
because they aren't already popular, we shouldn't advocate them.

 > If you're claiming objects talking to one another live can be more
 > practical for sharing than files...

	Yes. :)

 > ...I'm saying that that has yet to be shown. I've seen compelling
 > demos on occasion, but it hasn't become a permanent situation yet.

	And if people just work on incremental improvements to file-based 
concepts instead, that doesn't seem likely to change. :)

 > I think the most immediately promising directions for sharing Squeak
 > code at the moment are things that could be build on top of
 > Monticello...

	Fair enough, I'm just putting in a word for an approach which I think 
is more worthwhile, despite taking longer to realize (because the work 
is less incremental).

	I must say, though, I'm continually surprised how the "everything 
happens by sending messages" idea goes out the window at physical 
machine boundaries. It's just weird. Pervasive remote messaging seems to 
me like something that should have been done along with the rest of 
Smalltalk-80; it was only as impractical as having a megapixel display 
on your desk. :)  The file meme is certainly more entrenched, but I 
don't think that makes it better.


Craig Latta
improvisational musical informaticist
Smalltalkers do: [:it | All with: Class, (And love: it)]

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