Cees de Groot
Thu, 26 Apr 2001 13:33:27 +0200
> "Stable Squeak" is a project. "Better Documentation" is a project.
> "Hosting Conferences" is a project.
> "Ensuring Reliable Technology" is a purpose. "Advancing Computer
> Literacy" is a purpose. "Encouraging Collaboration" is a purpose.
Isaw that one coming. I do think the SqF needs to stick to Squeak and that the
reasons for doing this for Squeak should probably not be part of the purpose -
maybe somewhere in the Constitution. You run the risk that Squeak is obsoleted
or replaced by another project, but I think it is easier to accept Squeak as a
given now that we think is worthwhile to make available as broadly as possible
than to define a broader purpose which may have a longer lifecycle but will
see us meandering all over the purpose map during the next few months, getting
caught up in too broad discussions and eventually choking in (aaaargh)
OTOH, there's a lot of merit in everyone here trying to answer the question
"why Squeak?". It may give useful input to the process, and will certainly
help in defining the scope of SqF.
I think that Smalltalk is a very important language for a very broad range of
applications - not in the least for web-enabled software, which is my first
interest at the moment because of my business. I also think that Smalltalk is
much better than other languages for teaching purposes; sadly enough, teachers
teach what the market wants (Java, C++) and not what helps in making good
programmers. Smalltalk, IMHO, excels in transferring the principles of
programming as a craft, and I believe in these principles. Programmers/CS
students/... need this knowledge, and if a teacher teaches what the market
wants, one way is to make the market want Smalltalk. Teaching people about
computers is my second interest - partly professional because I see so many
badly trained programmers, partly personal because I am still looking for
something that helps me introduce computers and programming to my kids.
Together with many others I have been wanting a good, stable, free (speech)
Smalltalk implementation, and found 95% of that in Squeak. Thanks to all the
goodies (Morphic, Etoys, PWS/Comanche) it is frustratingly close to granting
both wishes at once. That'd be a first, and that really raised my interest in
Squeak. It is a unicum in that it is appliable in such a broad range of
environments (as a teaching tool, a teacher's tool, but also a tool for
professional programmers, students, hobbyists), and to make the most of that
is what I wish for the SqF.
That narrows the scope of a SqF, in my opinion, to the support of Squeak. One
could try to abstract what Squeak is and write that in the purpose, and that
would probably produce an organization that would have a longer life, but I
like short, to-the-point discussions and well-focused organizations - I'd
rather put money in an organization that is good at Squeak and only Squeak
than in some club of people who want to make the world a better place (I'm a
schizofrenic, because at the same time I own a domain meant for excatly such
an organization, the Software Guild ;-)).
Cees de Groot http://www.cdegroot.com <email@example.com>
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