[squeak-dev] Re: ESUG selected as GSoC 2010 mentoring organization!!!!

Casimiro de Almeida Barreto casimiro.barreto at gmail.com
Sat Mar 20 16:17:32 UTC 2010

Stéphane Rollandin wrote:
>> Some people said and still says that Smalltalk is old and that it is
>> dead. Ok, we have been selected by the major Informatics and Software
>> company all over the world.
> man, I didn't realize Google was the ultimate authority on programming
> languages...
> I like Smalltalk, I know it is alive, and weither Google or any other
> company/governement/people/pope agree with me on that, well, I don't care.
> let's keep some dignity please...
Let's face some facts: C was around in 1960ies. It became popular around
end of 1980ies because hardware became available and Unix systems
started to sell. Then, in 1994 there was Java that caught because Sun
invested loads of bucks in it, created astounding documentation prior to
product launch, favored all kinds of formation programs around the
product and distributed it for free. When Java was launched, most
smalltalks weren't fit to that day hardware (image size among other
things). Then smalltalk was plagued by a whole wave of bad marketing and
proprietary code.

During most of the period encompassed between 1994->2008 most "market"
was satisfied with java & the likes. Around 2004 some people started to
mind about limitations of the "java model" & investment in things like
python/ruby/etc increased. There was also a peak of interest in
smalltalk (not only squeak things but also slate, etc). Interesting
enough, things converged (like python moving in several senses toward
ideas originally devised in smalltalk communities).

As I put in my first postings in this list, smalltalk is still posed to
future. In several senses it is solidly better than java things and has
much bigger basis for development. So, what is preventing greater
investments (academic/industrial) in smalltalk? IMO, first problem has
been addressed by SOB: it is necessary to make squeak really open source
& it had to be done via re-licensing code (something that's painfully
slow). The second thing has also been dealt with SOB: the availability
of a "trunk" which is centrally managed & consistent. The third
limitation is the lack of "official" documentation. There is a wiki but
it is also absolutely outdated & in many instances it is necessary to
refer to, let's say, Cincom to find docs... This problem must be solved.
When we talk about popularization we look far away from academic groups
or geek groups (90% of current community) and start thinking in terms of
software houses that employ people with little more than high school,
people who have to deliver code really fast paced without thinking much
about what they're doing...

I guess that after dealing with licenses & 4 & "trunking" 4 a little
thought on documentation would be good.

Good weekend all of you !!!

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