[Squeak-e] squeak-e and ANSI Smalltalk

Mark S. Miller markm at caplet.com
Fri Feb 7 09:37:10 CET 2003

At 04:59 PM 1/31/2003 Friday, Allen Wirfs-Brock wrote:
>I just want to mention that when I read Lex's "Object as Capabilities in 
>Squeak" I was struck by the number of similarities between it and much of 
>what is in the ANSI Smalltalk specification.  [...] 
>To do so, we needed to strip away all the meta-level 
>and implement artifact messages that clutter all conventional Smalltalk 
>implementation.  This sounds very similar to what you need to do to define a 
>secure dialect of Smalltalk.

So what's the relationship between ANSI Smalltalk and Squeak?

Does Squeak conform to the ANSI spec?

Is Squeak a superset of ANSI Smalltalk?

Are the above two questions equivalent?

If the answers are approximately yes, would it be a useful exercise on the 
way to Squeak-E to identify what subset of ANSI Smalltalk we are confident 
obeys capability discipline and should be included in Squeak-E? Let's say we 
call this subset SafeSmalltalk. SafeSmalltalk would not necessarily be 
expected to be a workable language, in that critical stuff may have been 
left out and SafeSmalltalk doesn't say what it's replaced with. 

We could then define the first <adjective>-Squeak-E (eg Core-Squeak-E) as 
SafeSmalltalk + those additions we are confident maintain capability 
discipline, and are needed to get back to a language approximately as 
functional as ANSI Smalltalk. Such an effort would postpone the 
implementation questions of how Squeak-E and Squeak coexist in the same image.

Does this sound like a useful exercise to anyone?

Btw, I am quite aware that I'm coming in from outside y'all's community and 
culture. I greatly appreciate the open arms with which I've been welcomed, 
but I do remember that y'all's way of doing things may be different than 
what I expect. So if this is just off track as a way to proceed, please let 
me know. Thanks.

Text by me above is hereby placed in the public domain


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