Squeak for the masses? [was: primitiveApplyToFromTo]

Ralph Johnson johnson at cs.uiuc.edu
Mon Sep 18 10:42:39 UTC 2006

On 9/18/06, Klaus D. Witzel <klaus.witzel at cobss.com> wrote:
> Hi Stef,
> on Mon, 18 Sep 2006 09:11:16 +0200, you wrote:
> > me too :)
> > I always have in mind the nice sentence of dan about the fact that
> > someone alone could understand smalltalk
> Look into data centres where the big servers run applications or look into
> offices where thousands of workstations run applications.
> If you can save them a significant portion of CPU time then you save them
> $$$ investment, and perhaps win a contract against your competitor.

Scientific applications can be CPU bound, but most business
applications are not.  Usually they are limited by the network or the
database.  In a typical office with thousands of workstations, most of
them never are CPU bound, and the processors on average is 90% idle.

> Also, look into complex applications which can neither be created nor be
> maintained by a single person, or understood by a single person.
> Why shouldn't Squeak become a #1 choice in such situations.

Smalltalk in general, and Squeak in particular, is no better at very
large applications than other languages.  Its lack of modularity can
make it worse.  Where it shines is when it allows a system that would
otherwise need 50 people to be built with a small number.

There have been a number of Smalltalk projects with dozens, sometimes
hundreds, of people on them.  None have been successful.  On large
projects, politics and management issues overwhelm technical decisions
and the value of Smalltalk gets lost.  If you can keep the group of
developers small then the technical advantages of Smalltalk can

-Ralph Johnson

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