Serious Squeak (other "survey")

Bill Schwab BSchwab at
Sun Oct 15 14:14:11 UTC 2006


> No argument there, but some of us do things that require meeting
> expectations imposed from the outside. To be blunt, I'd expect you
> would be glad we would like to do it using Squeak.

Oh absolutely I'd prefer to see people doing it in Squeak, no doubt
about that at all. What I dislike intensely is that 'expectations
imposed from the outside' bit. The pressure for stultifying,
dehumanising unformity is .... well, I dunno. Horrible.

It's not horrible, it's reality.  I am gradually starting to mine a few
years worth of data that could not have been collected w/o meeting

I suspect Ron will back me up in saying that the lowly hospital clerk
_types_ (they hate taking their hands off of the keyboard because it
slows them down) mundane data that can be turned into very valuable
information.  A clerk complaining that "this thing looks funny" will be
told to try it anyway; a clerk saying "this thing is slowing me down
because I have keep using the mouse" will have sold the competition's

That won't mean much to you.  You will be able to relate to the
following: the Squeak community consists of researchers interested in
all aspects of software.  Some of us have to meet expections in order to
get stuff used to yield data that drives the real work.  We are trying
to lower some barriers to making that happen.

> At the risk of sounding a bit hostile, Jim Benson "put some damn
> effort
> into it" and was treated horribly IMHO.

Not by me so far as I recall. I thought it was a valiant effort and I
really liked jim's sense of humour too. After all the requests from
people for a windows-ish UI suite I thought it was ridiculous that no-
one amongst the requestors appeared to want to join in. I loaded it
and tried it out but it was more than a bit weird running a windows
look on a RISC OS machine!

I did not understand it either.  I felt that Jim made a strategic error
by being too detailed, and by emulating the (sorry) UGLY interface of XP
(though I understand that he had the art readily available).  

> I know it is not a popular
> statement (or at least it wasn't the last time I pointed it out), but
> there is still a glass ceiling in terms of affecting Squeak. If you
> want people to "put some damn effort" into Squeak, the leaders
> needs to
> "put some damn effort" into reviewing their work. Reject it if you
> will, but do not ignore it.

Time, Bill, time. Like most of us I'm swamped most of the time. I get
to look at a few of the things I'm interested in and that's it.
Mostly I do VM and low level stuff so I look at that and I can't even
cover all of that tiny area. Other people claim interest and passion
about various aspect of UIs and I can only leave it for them to look
at it. I wish I had time to do UI stuff since that is what I
originally got my M.Des and IBM fellowship for.

Fair enough, and thanks for taking my response in the spirit in which it
was intended.  BTW, my first venture into Squeak hacking was a VM tweak
I needed for debugging a deadlock.  I altered the stack dump to cover
all non-dead threads, and cleaned up some loops that add new lines under
erroneous conditions.  I might be able to find it for your


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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