Squeak is a social community

Lex Spoon lex at cc.gatech.edu
Fri Oct 27 15:10:13 UTC 2006

Howard Stearns <hstearns at wisc.edu> writes:

> Who is Squeak for? What are the guiding principles for decisions?
> There's been a lot of discussion about this lately -- as always. So I
> thought some folks might (or might not!) be interested in the
> philosophy that Squeak is defined not by technical nor procedural
> means, but as a social phenomenon among the people who happen to
> consider themselves Squeakers (or Smalltalkers).
> Many years ago, Kent Pitman made this argument about Lisp, and I think
> he said it well:  http://www.nhplace.com/kent/PS/Lambda.html

Thanks for the link, Howard, I look forward to reading it.

I view Squeak as a common area for a lot of different groups, and thus
the social aspect cannot be ignored if you want to understand Squeak.
It's not a project with a single goal and a 5-year plan for getting

Brenda Laurel compares the situation to Renaissance Festivals, and has
a great way of putting it: "Everyone there is having a good time, but
everyone there is having a *different* good time."

As a quick stab, we have:

- The Squeakland project, Alan Kay's favorite branch, which uses
  Squeak as a new kind of media.  Squeakland tries to

- Myriad computer-science research groups who love having a free,
  malleable Smalltalk as a base to experiement from.

- Classroom usage for teaching how objects work.

- Development.  Smalltalk is very productive, and Squeak is 
  a good one.

- ... and maybe a part of the Hundred Dollar Laptop.

An older article I wrote tries to make the same enumeration, as well
as sketch what kind of bilaws would make any sense for such a diverse


Anyway, I'm sure I left some folks out.  What do others think?


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