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

Kendall Shaw queshaw at
Fri May 12 01:17:43 UTC 2006

Brad Fuller wrote:
> Kendall Shaw wrote:
>> 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.

> Gee... I see it as just the opposite. Why do you think Squeak is
> restrictive?

I'm really just talking about squeak for desktop applications. For games 
or web applications etc., it's not as much of an issue.

The fact that squeak has it's own desktop, effectively makes it it's own 
platform for the purposes of desktop applications.

If your program doesn't look exactly like every other program and use 
exactly the same procedure they've had to use for every program, then 
game over, you might as well not have even bothered to write the program.

In squeak, the controls don't look or behave like the other controls a 
user will use on their computer, so game over, you might as well not 
have even bothered to write the program.

It doesn't matter what I think about it. It's what the user is likely to 
think about it.

Most importantly though, I can't open emacs on squeak's desktop.

Also, I can't easily check a squeak application into a version control 
system, separate from other squeak applications, but together with other 
source files in other languages, and other files.

I can't run find on a combination of squeak classes and other files.

I can't easily include it in a test procedure involving multiple languages.

I don't think you could easily distribute it as an rpm or a debian 
package etc. and deal with dependencies between squeak applications. I 
can't use installshield to integrate it into someone's squeak applications.

>> 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?
> Hmm... Squeak runs on multiple OSs and you can deploy a run-only version
> of your "app".
> So... I don't understand the statement. Can you elaborate?

For all practical purposes, a desktop application written in squeak will 
only be used by squeak programmers. Note the term: "desktop application".

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