team laptop reports failure (was: Yet Another SBC)

Jecel Assumpcao Jr jecel at
Thu May 26 22:38:04 UTC 2005

Bob Courchaine wrote on Thu, 26 May 2005 14:12:12 -0500
> Tim, in your opinion, would this be worth trying one more time?

This reminded me that I should have done a follow up to my "Squeak for
MIT Media Lab laptop project" proposal a while ago.

When the end of April came and went with nobody joining the team I
decided to consider it a failure and to retract my offer to lead such a
group in whatever direction the Squeak community thought best. I did
enjoy the related discussions on this list, however, and learned much
from them. So much so that I am still doing this, but on my own and in
the direction *I* think is best.

In this case I took Lex's "old code is good code" advice very seriously
and came up with a way to start out with a modified Squeak and then
build my Neo Smalltalk *under* it (no license worries ;-) piece by
piece. I had always planned to include Squeak compatiblity, but the
previous idea was to leave that for later and add it slowly.

Instead of running Squeak bytecodes directly the hardware will run
Plurion bytecodes (an early draft can be found in with a small software
layer on top of that (which is later to grow into the full Neo
Smalltalk) to support the Squeak bytecodes. The next layer up will be a
small Squeak image including all of the virtual machine but the bytecode
interpreter. This will probably be based on Spoon. The top layer will be
a regular Squeak image.

Meanwhile, I have been trying to get something close to my original
option 2 (Squeak on hidden Linux layer) running on my next web server
machine. Fflinux seems too specific to the ITX motherboard, so that
wasn't a good option. Other very small Linuxes seem to be based on 2.0.x
kernels and that probably isn't a good idea for what I want to do. I
tried the "Linux From Scratch" route but can't even compile glibc
properly. Suddenly rewritting a whole TCP/IP stack in Smalltalk doesn't
sound so bad ;-)

-- Jecel

More information about the Squeak-dev mailing list