Alan Kay's Relevance
brad at sonaural.com
Fri Jul 7 15:45:00 UTC 2006
sheess.... my president comment was tongue-in-cheek... just a joke.
I do agree with you on some aspects: squeak needs more class
documentation, tutorials, etc.
I disagree with you that you can't do what Alan demos. I'll check out
your blog, though to get your full scoop.
Chris Cunnington wrote:
> Let's see. Where to start. I said "still". I said why is Alan Kay "still"
> relevant. And, yes, it means I have a beef with this pioneer. But as I say
> in my blog, let's back up.
> It has been acknowledged that he is a pioneer, and has done things ... in
> the past. That¹s why I used the word "still" to qualify my question. Mac's,
> Turing award, object-oriented language pioneering. In the past. Why is he
> still relevant?
> A sense a whole lot of hero worship here, people. That's not good for
> anything. Alan Kay says all the time that he wants things to be made
> obsolete, so that they can be reinvented. Everything except himself, of
> course. You will never exceed your masters if you revere them too much.
> There is a time for putting them aside and doing YOUR thing. As they say in
> the Japanese martial arts: enter form; exit form. Learn, and then go
> I'll say the two things (that I know about) that make him relevant, and why
> he gets on my nerves.
> I want to see WYSIwiki. I glimpse the vast potential of Etoys. I want the
> Smalltalk Flash plug-in. I want the 3D virtual reality demo that Kay did
> (and you can see in Google Video) available to everyone, so that World Of
> Warcraft could be written in Smalltalk.
> I also think Kay is useful in licensing. He has thawed up the Apple/Squeak
> license problem. I want a Linux distro to carry Squeak AROUND THE WORLD.
> What annoys me is his ability to be the Pied Piper nobody else can follow.
> Here is a guy who goes around the world making killer demonstrations to
> audiences. If somebody in the audience says "I want to do that too", then
> they have a huge problem on their hands. Etoys is the perfect example. Go to
> Google Video, look up Smalltalk or Squeak and find the American teacher, who
> made three videos of his use of Etoys, and how he had to abandon it. I
> wrote about it in my blog.
> The Smalltalk/Squeak world has a HUGE documentation and support problem. You
> don't think so because YOU HAVE DRUNK THE KOOL-AID. Can you show me stats of
> people who tried to entered this world and were deterred by a variety of
> If you want to lionize someone, then lionize Adele Goldberg. She wrote the
> books, people. Not as flashy or aggressive a personality as Alan Kay. But
> Dan Ingalls says she was the only documenter of the group. A song without a
> song sheet is a rumour. She's done more for the continuance of Smalltalk
> than Alan Kay for all his presentations. To my knowledge Alan Kay has never
> written a book in his life. Great talker, though.
> Chris Cunnington
> P.S.: I may not be able to answer anything until Monday. I'm off to Toronto
> Trek 20. Mr. Sulu is here in Tdot!
More information about the Squeak-dev