Whither Squeak?

Chris Muller chris at funkyobjects.org
Fri May 19 20:16:35 UTC 2006

Although I've never had the time to try it (yet), philosophically, I think Spoon is the way to go.
> - Retry. Declare Spoon to be Squeak 4.0, declare that that is all that
> is going to be "officially" supported for the time being, and refuse
> to support anything additional that doesn't have a proven team backing
> it (scale up).

 This is the best and only way (that I can see) for each Squeaker to have completely their own custom experience, while also, through Naiad or MC, being able to have a *repeatable* experience with other Squeakers (i.e., a "3.8 full" experience, for example).  Its the best of both worlds.  Its the two desired, but divergent, properties that only a machine (the Spoon system) can balance efficiently and effectively.
 Once "Squeak" is just this tiny Spoon engine, the Naiad modules become the "content".  Think about how future versions of the now-tiny Squeak-engine will be able to focus much more easily on just the core technical stuff; i.e., a 64-bit Squeak now won't worry so much about about... say, BookMorph compatibility (whatever).  Only the persons who care enough about "BookMorph content" to load it from some master image will be the first to care about that.
 The "content" of Squeak will be managed by anyone building Naiad (or MC) modules in Smalltalk.  By having Configurations, content can be shared, or personalized (not shared).  Think about how many "issues" just go away under this model; how many "decisions" and "compromises" and arguments just go away, how many compatibility issues from should be significantly reduced.  It's all up the individual and the Spoon system will keep your image minimized.  Wonderful.
 Of course, this all assumes Spoon works as well as I hope it does in my head.
 I think a way to get this jumpstarted would be for the standard Squeak download to be an *easy-to-get-started* Spoon system.  A super-tiny image (and necessary VM for each platform) plus the existing [3.8 | 3.9] images as "masters".
 I realize this is very bold, but it offers the opportunity to "fail fast" should it fail.  It would probably take a lot longer for the image to start the first time, but maybe that can be mitigated by a) having slightly more than a 2K image to start with or b) explain it in the start-up documentation.
 If it actually works, then both worlds can have what they want.  The people who want a small spoon image have it, the people who want content-rich image have it.
 Go Spoon!

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