Multimedia (was re: HyperSqueak)

Andrew C. Greenberg werdna at
Wed Mar 15 13:58:23 UTC 2000

>In the end, the opensource mantra "code it yourself" doesn't wash for
>basics.  Those *must* be available without coding, otherwise only
>programmers will be using Squeak.

That's hooey, even my kids (9 and 11) are programming in Squeak now.

And with all due regard, the second sentence does not prove the 
first, or else it proves too much.  If having to program is a sin for 
Squeak, then the opensource mantra "code it yourself" doesn't wash 
for ANYTHING requring programming, basics or otherwise.

The truth is rather more interesting.

Squeak is a work-in-progress.  It is what it is.  It already is many 
things, and has promise of being more.  Like all things, of course, 
it is not what it is not.  Still, when things matter, somehow it 
becomes what matters.  Watch and learn -- or come back after awhile 
and be pleasantly surprised.

I reject the propositions of those who suggest that Squeak is not 
what it is, or who criticize Squeak for not being what it is not.  To 
those who make such assertions, I refer them to the "opensource 
mantra."  If the community (or they) deem it important, it will come. 
Otherwise, it will not.

In short, the opensource mantra "code it yourself" has been working 
fine.  In bringing Squeak to its present state, SqC and the 
contributor community has been awesome.  We are all presently writing 
to evolve the system toward different ends, but somehow it is 
evolving well as a general purpose tool, retaining all the virtues 
previously cited.

It is naive and non-responsive to say, "well then, if you won't do my 
thing, it will never be marketable to <group X>."  Get this: we 
aren't marketing it, we are making it.  No harm, no foul.  Of course, 
one of the genuine downsides of an open source project is that it is 
not particularly market-driven -- development tends to reflect the 
interests of its creators rather than market requirements.  Yet 
somehow the market tends to be served by the collective interests of 
its competitors.  That surprise is presently the subject of recent 
economic research -- it appears that some found open source 
development much more efficient and effective than one might have 
otherwise expected.

So we don't really worry about marketing Squeak all that much. 
Saying it isn't marketable, whether true or false, really isn't 
proving anything.  But even that being said, I have had no problem 
selling Squeak thus far -- discovering quite well that it sells 
itself.  Even to my kids.

At least for now, if it isn't what you want it to be, make it so.

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