Strongtalk vs Exupery etc

Ron Teitelbaum Ron at
Tue Sep 19 13:26:44 UTC 2006

I don't see any of this in terms of either/or.  While it is true that some
effort may be diverted by working with Strongtalk to develop a Squeak VM it
doesn't mean that it will derail all other efforts.  

The question is should we as a community work with Strontalk to help make a
Strongtalk VM for squeak possible.  Even if we do nothing else but make
Strongtalk better, does that really hurt smalltalk in general or Squeak
specifically?  It appears that Strongtalk will have its own community and
will move forward with or without support from Sun, and with or without
support from Squeak.  Since the work will proceed anyway, and since
strongtalk is already going to benefit from contributions from the squeak
community, shouldn't we benefit from that work?  

I would think that we should not limit our options.  The opportunity we have
now is clear, work to support a Strongtalk vm version for squeak, and we
could have a close relationship with another open source community, or pass
on this opportunity, lose some people anyway, and further fragment the
general open source Smalltalk community.

Jecel may be right and it is not possible because of competing self interest
to get the community to think of the benefit of the community as a whole,
but I would think that now is the time to try.  Decisions like this are
difficult, if people feel that their efforts are being minimized.  We really
need to stress that the work that has been done on the squeak VM, and
Exupery is extremely valuable and will continue to be very important.  We
can help Strongtalk and benefit the general Smalltalk community at the same
time by creating a bridge between Squeak and Strongtalk for those in the
community that might benefit from it.

Ron Teitelbaum

> From: goran at
> Sent: Tuesday, September 19, 2006 6:37 AM
> Hi folks!
> (personal reflection follows)
> There has been a lot of talk recently on this list regarding Strongtalk
> and how we could possibly benefit by that work in the Squeak community.
> Personally, having tracked Bryce's work on Exupery since he started, I
> think Exupery is *much* more interesting and especially much more
> realistic:
> - It is written *in* Squeak. This is a biggie.
> - It is written *for* Squeak. Bryce is one of *us*, it is being designed
> and tailored for Squeak use in Squeak projects by Squeakers. Don't
> underestimate this factor.
> - It works *today* in Squeak (even if we want it to be even faster). Not
> vapour.
> - Since it is an "offline" compiler it can go even further (than
> Strongtalk or a JIT) performance wise.
> - It integrates and interoperates with the current VM. This is probably
> crucial for large scale adoption in the community.
> Then we also have Ian's work on Pepsi/idst etc which is very
> interesting, but in a much longer time perspective. That work is also
> being done with Squeak "in the back of his head" - which of course makes
> it much more likely to benefit the Squeak community if it gets
> completed. It could then offer us an alternative lower level platform
> (replacing the VM essentially).
> So while I also think Strongtalk is "cool stuff" (but it has been around
> for ages) I actually don't think it will end up having much practical
> "impact" on Squeak. But I am happily proven wrong.
> My money (for a jump in low level performance) is on Exupery and
> Idst/Pepsi - and in general I think we should be starting to take
> Exupery into our long term planning since it is now becoming a real
> practical option. Sure, send speed is still not super duper - but when
> it goes up I bet people will start paying real attention.
> regards, Göran

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