[squeak-dev] Fork Proposal: Cuis & Killer Apps.

Levente Uzonyi leves at elte.hu
Wed Sep 7 21:24:04 UTC 2011

On Wed, 7 Sep 2011, Overcomer Man wrote:

> I suggest a new fork or possibly a new orientation for the next Squeak
> release:

I guess we have too many forks already (compared to the number of active 

> Adopt Cuis as the core image and focus on killer applications to attract new
> Smalltalk users.

Cuis is nice, but lacks features that are important for those killer apps 
(e.g. internationalization). Also throwing aways years of work (3.8, 3.9, 
4.1, 4.2 and 4.3) sounds like a bad idea. We should pick good stuff from 
Cuis (and Pharo) instead.
To make the image smaller we should do two things (in parallel):
- craving (make packages unloadable, remove dependencies, split packages)
- building (use Spoon to rebuild the current image)

To make this happen we have to start with writing tests, which "document"
the expected behavior of the system. So when we change it, we can be sure 
that we didn't lose anything important.

> Thousands of downloads are recorded on CNet for simple apps like a voice
> recorder.
> They could all be using and learning Smalltalk.  Same for many other
> applications.
> That would help make Smalltalk popular again.

If popularity is the goal, then this is a possible path, though most users 
won't care about the language their software is written in.

> Recently I found Squeak / Cuis contains many Sound classes.  So I wrote up
> an email suggesting it to a community college teacher friend who had asked
> for a sound recorder.  Imagine my embarrassment when I found the files
> Squeak supports doesn't include .mp3.

I guess it does (there's Mpeg3Plugin). Btw I think using PortAudio or 
LibVLC may have advantages over the current platform specific 
implementations of audio and video support.

> Squeak has so much unfinished half starts at programs, why not adopt Juan's
> work to flush the unnecessary, then get started on building a serious
> applications team to build truly useful free code.

See above.

> Another example, Roxio is a million dollar software company making a video
> recorder app. which is not as good as an ordinary VCR and not supported
> (they have a staff but try getting any real help).  Squeak could be
> capturing a slice of that market and enticing users to learn Smalltalk!  And
> source code can substitute for most support.
> Another example, Solid Works is a 3D object drafting program that is simple
> and gets many thousands of users away from AutoDesk.  Can Smalltalk deliver
> most or all of that function with a FFI to openGL and some programming?
> Certianly!
> Finally, the one complaint I've heard on the job about Smalltalk is it's
> slow.  I recently added several thousand classes and find simply clicking on
> the class in a browser is now slow to respond.  When end-users, not

Interesting. Did you add all classes to the same class category? In that 
case it will be slow, but this is a unrealistic case. I'm not saying we 
shouldn't fix it, but it's something that has a pretty low priority.

> programmers, can type at 80 words a minute and more in a C app. or they can
> be limited to 30 wpm or less in a Smalltalk app. they demand C.  The new VM
> was a good improvement, now try to solve the speed issues in the image.

Are there other speed issues?


> Thanks,
> Kirk Fraser

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