[Squeakland] Squeak vs. Python for this task on hand...

Jeffrey McGrew JMcGrew at huntsmanag.com
Thu Dec 11 10:11:01 PST 2003

Hello all,

    I'm an Architect here in the S.F. Bay Area who has in mind a few programs I
would like to create. However, I haven't done any programming in a very long
time, and am pretty much starting from scratch.

    The programs I want to create pretty much fall into two different camps,
one is taking plaintext & ODBC output from a CAD program (AutoDesk Revit)
and doing various things to it, like parsing it to generate other documents, and the
other is making some tools to issue commands to and generate plaintext files for
Radiance, a command-line *nix rendering tool.

    I've been playing around with Squeak, and love how elegant and easy to learn
it is. However I'm concerned, for most of what I want to do is not so UI-orientated,
but more little auto-utilities and/or scripts, that will possibly become command-line
utilities. The intent is for these to become stand-alone tools that people could use
alongside of their CAD software. As such, I'm worried that Squeak's 'all-in-one'
image approach might not be the right way to approach generating these tools,
for I don't understand how one would make a stand-alone application using
Squeak. I also don't know how well Squeak deals with plaintext and ODBC
files that live outside of it's image. This is totally due to my general lack of
knowledge, and has nothing to do with any lacking in Squeak. :)

So my other thought is to learn Python; however the Architect part of me
just loves Squeak, loves everything being OO and everything being able to
be taken apart and modified on the fly- and the beginning programmer
part loves how much is taken care of for me 'behind the scenes' leaving
me to focus on the task at hand. However not understanding Squeak, and
seeing that Python is already used by people to do similar tasks as the
ones I'm thinking of, it makes me feel split between the two.

I see that there are such things as webservers and wikis that run
within Squeak, do these run 'headless' or something? Can someone
more knowledgeable chime in and talk about Squeaks ability to parse
and modify exterior data?

Thanks all for your time,

Jeffrey McGrew
Huntsman Architectural Group
50 California Street, Seventh Floor
San Francisco, CA 94111
Phone: (415) 394-1212
Fax: (415) 394-1222
Cell: (415) 505-4689 

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