Thoughts for development from a lurker

Markus Kohler markus_kohler at
Wed Oct 7 10:06:31 UTC 1998

Gvran Hultgren wrote:
> Hi everybody!
> I have been working with VW/GemStone/VA earlier but the last year
> mainly in "that other popular OO language you all know...". The Squeak
> list is a way for me to hang on to the Smalltalk world.
> Squeak is SOO very nice, my congratulations to all involved! ...but
> still I would like to bring up a couple of things that would make
> Squeak truly usable for me personally. I have no idea if these things
> are just plain silly or if someone else perhaps share my thoughts:
> 1. Is there a way (in that case, excuse my ignorance) or would it not
> be great if there was a way to use Squeak as a script language for
> scripting purposes like Python & Perl are used today?

I have been thinking about that too.
In fact the only thing needed would be an additional command line
argument to
load either Smalltalk source code or maybe even byte code. 

Visualworks for example allows to filein source code and also execute
some statements embedded in the same
file. That should also be possible with Squeak. 

Another option would be to use the file-in mechanism without any
embedded statments and just construct
an image which executes for example a method "main" in class "Script". 

> If I could develop a fairly complicated script in the Squeak
> environment and then deploy it easily with for example the
> "#!/bin/..."-feature in UNIX systems as a script with only "my" source
> in one easily read and editable file, I would truly considering using
> Squeak for all those things due to Smalltalks speed of development!
> Now I am instead leaning towards Python - and even though Python is
> quite appealing - it would feel much better to be able to do it in
> Smalltalk!
> 2. Would it not be interesting to be able to develop fullblown
> commercial GUI apps with Squeak?
> This would certainly make Squeak my personal choice for "hobby
> projects", but as it looks now, Squeaks UI is just not right for that.
> Do not get me wrong here, I think Morphic looks truly cool, and I
> certainly would like to stay within the Smalltalk paradigm as much as
> possible. I have heard about Cheese, but I have not seen it. I have
> recently discovered wxWindows
> ( and if it could be
> done - a "wrap-up" of wxWindows from within Squeak - looks like it
> would open up a lot of deployment possibilites. Do you think it would
> be doable/useful? As above, I would like to work within Squeak and
> then, when it comes to deployment, choose to deploy using a wxWindows
> library for a specifik platform.

As I said already sometime ago I would vote for a GTK or QT based

> 3. Number 2 would of course include an ability to call external C/C++
> librarys in a simple way. This would in itself open up a lot of other
> interesting possibilites. This is also a strength of Python, by the way.

Agreed. I would also like to use Squeak for applications where I have to
a bunch of C/C++ functions. For Python,Perl and others there's a package
SWIG ( that allows to
automatically extend 
interpreters with C/C++ functions 

> Ok, I think these two things would make a lot of people look twice at
> Squeak. It sure would make me  consider using Squeak for a lot of
> things...

Yes. Python is really not a bad language, but to me it seems the
based on reference counting instead of a true garbage collector is much
than the implementation of Squeaks's VM.

Markus Kohler  mailto:markus_kohler at

More information about the Squeak-dev mailing list