Smalltalk: Requiem or Resurgence? Push for business application

Bill Schwab BSchwab at
Tue May 16 21:49:21 UTC 2006


My issue is one of operation and windows.  If the mouse moving means we
loose focus and users can not use a form heads down, or if the UI
support multiple windows, much is lost.  

I am in _full_ agreement on the mouse/keyboard focus.  You might take a
look at 0003590 on Mantis.  The multiple windows point is a little gray.
 Morphic does a reasonable job of hanlding its system windows, and the
result is not all that different from MDI.  While I have not yet done
this for any real work, my expection is to field software with "one big
alignment morph" taking up the world desktop, making the main window,
well, the main window.  Again, you are bang on right about the keyboard

I think that supporting frameworks
for widgets like wxWidgets is a good idea.  Integration of wxSqueak

As an option, I'm all for it.  I might even use it, though I have never
been one to scream for native widgets, and frequently emulate for
performance reasons.

A second issue is one of usability and business support.  We have had a
number of people including myself trying to read and write files without
understanding CrLfFileStream.  This is really an issue for me.  I
that we need to have a way to do aStringOrCollection writeToFile: aFile
aStringOrCollection readFromFile: aFile that should just work without
to know the ins and outs of the streams or any particular platform.  The
response I got from the community was this is a language not an
and since we can support what needs to be done developers need to
the tools.  If this is the case then we need a business squeak that
applications not just tools, we need more support for processes and

You might lose me here.  With respect, if you are trying to avoid the
stream I/O, then you need to do some more Smalltalk programming (streams
will grow on you).  If you are looking for better support for platform
independence, then I am not the best person to help you.

EDI, ASN.1, Cryptography, Workflow, Reporting, Bluetooth,
personally I would like to see support for X12, HL7, NCPDP...  We should
have preBuilt applications that can be used or modified that can solve
world business problems.  

HL7 is a world of its own.  Which version of the spec?  Which
information system's dialect?   It gets ugly in a hurry.  Cryptography
is pretty basic and should be well supported.  I get the sense the
Croquet will address it, and hopefully it can be folded back into
Squeak.  IIRC, I grabbed and tested a public key implementation that
worked nicely.

We should be encouraging web hosts to offer
Seaside and provide applications that run on it.  

No argument.  However, I doubt the market is large enough to justify a
sysop's learning the ropes, and they will be worried about "one more
process" chewing up memory, CPU time, and providing a hook for hackers. 
I would like to be proven wrong, but I doubt the idea will get traction
for those reasons.

Why is .net and python and
perl and php so successful?  

I was hoping you could tell me ;)  Perhaps best left to another thread,
is .NET really all that successful?  It's been out for six years or so,
right??  I just don't see it crashing down on my installed base.

Well when I can go and install an application
to use without knowing anything about the language it encourages me to
to know more and to learn to develop or modify packages.  Besides
downloading and installing a finished application is also a good way to
learn what a finished application looks like.

Fair enough, but I think there is also a big hype factor at work. 
Beyond that, keep in mind that Squeak as you see it today was written in
Squeak; ditto Croquet.  There must be something to it. 


Wilhelm K. Schwab, Ph.D.
University of Florida
Department of Anesthesiology
PO Box 100254
Gainesville, FL 32610-0254

Email: bills at
Tel: (352) 846-1285
FAX: (352) 392-7029

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