Making Squeak more accessible and used - reversing the trend

mike clemow gelfmuse at
Wed Jan 31 19:10:21 UTC 2007

Hi all,

I'm going chime in with my $0.02 here, for what it's worth.  I'm
positive that Brad is on the right track here.  But it seems to me,
being that Smalltalk and hence Squeak is such a radical approach to
computing, that the ideas behind the applications we're considering
here change completely within the context of this platform.  I know
that no one's suggesting this, but I would hate to have the team put
their blood, sweat, and tears into replicating the same use-paradigm
within which these applications normally manifest themselves on their
current technology stacks.  That is to say, what Squeak/Smalltalk is
to computing, it's applications should be to their problem domain.
I'm sure those are high standards, but that is just what will make
this work so well.  We should not be afraid to make paradigmatic
improvements to the idea of an email application, say, or a
word-processor, or a calendaring application.  IMHO, it would would
only be in keeping with the spirit of the Dynabook and Squeak itself.

That being said, it's a wonderful idea we're discussing.  I'm
certainly not saying that I have any genius ideas, but this group as a
whole, I think, could make some great improvements.


On 1/31/07, Brad Fuller <brad at> wrote:
> Ralph Johnson wrote:
> > Celeste is an e-mail reader.  Scamper is a web browser.  Both need
> > improvement before they are killer apps, though I think some people
> > ues Celeste every day.  See
> >
> > Croquet is in some ways a radical rethinking of what the web could be
> > like.  Sophie is very definitely a radical rethinking of what a book
> > could be like.  You should take a look at those projects.
> >
> > Squeak is more likely to attract people by doing something unique like
> > Croquet or Sophie than by trying to compete with the rest of the world
> > with e-mail and web browsing.  But, if you can get people to make
> > Celeste or Scamper good enough that a lot of people use them every
> > day, more power to you!
> Thanks all for your comments.
> I completely agree that competition with today's email and browser apps
> would be tough considering the competition and the ingrained usage and
> preferences of users. I was only thinking of the best way to motivate
> new users to squeak with something they already understand but with much
> cooler features.
> Another way is to create a squeak app that satisfies an unfulfilled user
> need but make it extremely easy to use (so they don't give up because
> it's "too radical".) I like this approach better, but that requires more
> brain power on the frontend of the squeak community.
> So, it came down to a decision of what could be successful.
> There's nothing wrong, though, in doing both, like Yann's idea of the
> multipurpose bag that eliminates the usage of a filesystem or Derek's
> multimedia management system or social networking tools coupled with
> Scamper and Celeste completion.
> --
> brad fuller


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