[squeak-dev] Re: What is Squeak? What is Smalltalk? (why is the list munging subject headers with "[squeak-dev]"?)

Greg A. Woods; Planix, Inc. woods at planix.ca
Sun Dec 7 23:25:43 UTC 2008

On 7-Dec-2008, at 5:16 PM, Bert Freudenberg wrote:
> Traits are actually quite cool.

Traits may be cool, and/or they may just be a fad like I think Aspect  
Oriented Programming is.

However from what I can tell so far Traits are not really Smalltalk-80  
at all.

I Squeak still supposed to be Smalltalk-80?  Is it supposed to be  
Smalltalk + Traits?  Is it supposed to be a standards-compatible  
Smalltalk?  What is Squeak?  Who definitively can answer that these  

> I think people do not hate Traits but just object to the way they  
> were added to the system.

 From what I know at this moment I personally think trying to include  
Traits in the core basic image, and especially any attempt to make use  
of them in the basic core image, is fine just so long as you call the  
result something other than Smalltalk-80.

I do not yet know how Traits have been introduced into Smalltalk, but  
it is my very strong impression that the result is not compatible with  
strict Smalltalk-80.

At this point I (naively) think Smalltalk with Traits _must_ be a fork  
and it _must_ be called something else.  I may be very wrong, and I  
may be starting from the wrong impressions, but that's where my  
understanding takes me to right now.

So, in that sense, I think I would object to the fact they were added  
to the system, not just the way they were added to the system.

I personally would really like Squeak to be a strong, viable,  
Smalltalk-80 implementation with full standards compatibility and with  
a good strong community which provides add-ons, extensions, and such  
as additional packages.  Perhaps for a poor analogy, Squeak should be  
the equivalent of the Linux kernel in GNU/Linux systems, thus allowing  
for variant distributions which might ship ready-to-run images which  
contain specific sets of pre-loaded packages and modifications, but  
which hopefully all derive from the same core image and VM.  A  
slightly better analogy might be the full NetBSD (or FreeBSD) core  
OS.  It's a full base operating system (not just a kernel), but there  
are thousands of additional add-on packages available to any user.   
Even X11 is often considered to be just an add-on package.

					Greg A. Woods; Planix, Inc.
					<woods at planix.ca>

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