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

Bert Freudenberg bert at
Fri May 12 14:41:52 UTC 2006

Am 12.05.2006 um 14:45 schrieb Ralph Johnson:

> On 5/12/06, Bert Freudenberg <bert at> wrote:
>> Am 12.05.2006 um 03:17 schrieb Kendall Shaw:
>> > 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.
> This is a real problem.  It doesn't stop everybody from using Squeak,
> but it stops many people from using Squeak.

The point actually wasn't about using Squeak, but writing desktop  
apps with it. Who cares what Emacs looks like?

>> So Firefox shouldn't have been written? iTunes? Winamp? Etc.?
> Firefox is different from earlier browsers, but it fits seamlessly
> into Windows.
> As a long time Mac user, I thought that iTunes was a brilliant Mac
> application.  I never read a manual, which is one of the tests of a
> good Mac application.
> I have never used Winamp.  But I think that the first two are not
> counterarguments.

IMHO they are. The claim was that "if your program doesn't look  
exactly like every other program" it's a failure from the start. And  
these are examples that prove that claim wrong.

>> > 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.
>> I think your utterly wrong here.
> So, explain how.  It is impolite to just say "you are wrong" and not
> to explain why.

Maybe I'm being impolite, but really, what's so hard about it? You  
stuff a VM, an image, and a startup script into an RPM and you're  
*done*. You design your app with support for loadable modules (its  
not actually hard to load a class from a file) and have this  
extension installed by installshield. Where's the problem?

I can answer this myself - nobody did it, yet. We're a small  
community, compared to others. But as soon as someone needs it, it  
will get written.

We *do* have a regular windows installer for our Squeak app. On the  
Mac it's even simpler, you drag the program icon from our CD to your  
program folder and you're done.

>> > For all practical purposes, a desktop application written in squeak
>> > will only be used by squeak programmers. Note the term: "desktop
>> > application".
>> And I think you'll be proven wrong with Sophie:
> I hope Sophie will be an exception.  But even if it is a success, it
> does not prove that the general public readily accepts applications
> that look like Squeak.  If you do something profound enough, people
> are willing to compromize to get it.

I did *not* say the app should "look like Squeak". We're talking  
about "written in Squeak" (see the quoted lines above).

- Bert -

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