Thoughts for development from a lurker

Lex Spoon lex at
Mon Oct 12 18:15:52 UTC 1998

"Ken G. Brown" <kbrown at> wrote:
> One thing that might be holding back acceptance of Squeak is the unusual
> look and feel of the user interface. That along with perhaps the somewhat
> whimsical name 'Squeak'...maybe something like PowerRamboPRO-8thGeneration
> would do better for the masses, who knows? The unusual UI is one more thing
> that end users need to learn and perhaps is a bit of a turn-off. Browsers
> are becoming a significant UI, having more and more capabilities via
> plug-ins. Maybe decoupling Squeak programs from their UI by utilizing a www
> browser instead, could be an interesting way to go. How about wrapping
> Squeak programs in XML or whatever is the best standard? This way, the UI
> would look native on different platforms. Comments?

The benefit of putting stuff on the Web is really availability, not ease-of-use.  If you put something on the Web, then consumers across America will step away from their TVs and start poking at your Web buttons and links and such.  If you ask them to install a program, they'll just shift and click some channel-changing buttons--it's too much trouble.

That said, it would be kinda neat if there was a Squeak plugin-writing platform.  The "master" plugin would have to be recompiled and distributed for different platforms, but individual plugins could then be written in Squeak and then distributed as portable images.  The master plugin should probably provide some easy installation/de-installation system for the end users.

With such a platform in place, Squeak programmers can tap into that massive market of computer users who just want to press buttons and see things happen.  But you get what you pay for; this market is bigger, but you have to limit what you provide if you want to hold its attention.


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