Smalltalk: Requiem or Resurgence? {Dr. Dobb's Journal (05/06/06) Chan, Jeremy}

Kendall Shaw queshaw at
Thu May 11 22:51:03 UTC 2006

I'm a total squeak novice still, even though I've poked at it 
occasionally for a while.

The big problem is, with respect to typical desktop applications, Squeak 
is a tiny isolated Universe. It's really it's own platform. So, it can't 
be compared to Python, Ruby etc. It's more comparable to AppleScript, 
except AppleScript is not nearly as restrictive, because your not locked 
into an AppleScript only platform.

If you have an application in mind, do you want to make it be an 
application that is only usable by a tiny group of people using the 
Squeak platform? Or, do you want to make it available to the vast 
universe outside of Squeak?

I like the language Smalltalk, but I have trouble justifying the time it 
takes to comprehend the undocumented and terminally obscure Squeak 
platform. The main justification I use is that I want to learn more 
about smalltalk and the alternative smalltalks are much less developed 
or are closed and corporate proprietary.

Michael Latta wrote:
> I really do not have an issue with the Squeak UI.  It is different from the
> platform UI but seems reasonably well implemented and such.  The size of
> scroll bars and borders is a bit small for my taste and eyes these days.
> But, since this is Smalltalk I can always change them!
> Mostly I was referring to the perception of Smalltalk as a language/system
> that had its day and was on the decline.  That is generally the response I
> get when mentioning it to those that have not actually used it on a project,
> or who have been converted to the mainstream of Java or .Net.
> The VisualWorks UI is a bit dated and still has the annoying 10 year old bug
> of not always repainting windows properly.  That bug alone makes it look
> dated.
> Michael
> -----Original Message-----
> From: squeak-dev-bounces at
> [mailto:squeak-dev-bounces at] On Behalf Of Bob Erb
> Sent: Thursday, May 11, 2006 3:03 PM
> To: The general-purpose Squeak developers list
> Subject: Re: Smalltalk: Requiem or Resurgence? {Dr. Dobb's Journal
> (05/06/06) Chan, Jeremy}
> On 5/10/06, Michael Latta <lattam at> wrote:
>> While Squeak can do far more than Ruby or Python, they
>> get much more press.  In part this is because Smalltalk is seen as old.
> The out-of-the-box UI is very old-fashioned; quaint, with the mousey
> eyes, and the little window with the balloon, and the quirky colors. Maybe
> a slick update -- for programmers, rather than kids -- would help dispell
> the "old" image. Maybe LCARS . . . :-)
> - Bob

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