ANSI Smalltalk

Jecel Assumpcao Jr jecel at
Thu Nov 15 17:03:16 UTC 2007

Göran wrote on Thu, 15 Nov 2007 11:39:17 +0200
> "Bruce Badger" wrote:
> > On 15/11/2007, Colin Putney wrote:
> > > On 14-Nov-07, at 10:11 AM, Bruce Badger wrote:
> > > > On 14/11/2007, Jecel Assumpcao Jr wrote:
> > > >> Note that ANSI = AMERICAN National Standards Institute
> > > >> Does it make sense for non US people to participate?
> > > >
> > > > I think so.  This is not a matter of jingoism but rather a matter of
> > > > reusing what we already have instead of starting from scratch.

What I was actually trying to ask was if ANSI rules allow such
participation? If you take ABNT (which is the brazillian equivalent) as
an example, people from around the world are free to follow its
standards (supposing they can read Portuguese ;-) but I am pretty sure
only individuals and companies from Brazil would get to vote on these
same standards.

> > > Whether that's valuable or not depends on what you want to accomplish.
> > >
> > > What do you want to accomplish?
> > 
> > I'd like to see increased consistency between Smalltalk dialects so I
> > can write an app or library on one dialect and run it on another.  I
> > already can do that with Sport, but I would prefer that Sport was not
> > needed.
> > 
> > ANSI is a workable means to that end.

I have the draft standard open on my screen whenever I am making some
design decision in my own Neo Smalltalk project (which doesn't happen
much yet since I am still mostly at the transistor level and working
up), so I very much agree with this. If there is a really good reason to
be different, then so be it. But pointless incompatibilities just hurt
the Smalltalk community needlessly.
> Please note that not all share the "idea" that Squeak is "just another
> Smalltalk". IMHO Smalltalk *as a standard* is dead - the existing ANSI
> hasn't evolved for ages AFAIK.

Neo Smalltalk is far more radical than Squeak and I am putting in the
effort to make it as ANSI compatible as possible.
> I much rather see Squeak move ahead at the front (for example by
> introducing Traits) and start reshaping - than to exist solely as an
> "open source Smalltalk".

Traits actually make it easier for Squeak to be compatible with the
standard. A Smalltalk doesn't even have to have classes (mine doesn't)
to comply. And a revised standard could be even more careful not to
limit the evolution of the language than what we currently have.

-- Jecel

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