Promoting Squeak/Smalltalk

stephane ducasse stephane.ducasse at
Thu Jan 31 21:26:32 UTC 2008

but squeak b example is not about developing application nor  
developing squeak.
Is it about making people understanding squeak.

On Jan 30, 2008, at 4:24 AM, David Zmick wrote:

> i agree, but i also think that we should develop client  
> applications, not just the language. For example in "Squeak By  
> Example" you make quinto, and the rest is about developing, you dont  
> really make anything, just learn how to make the language better.   
> In my java book, there are at least 20 applications you write.  My  
> point is, i think smalltalk should be used for application  
> development instead of just developing smalltalk.  It seems  
> pointless to me to develop a language so that people can continue to  
> develop the language, its like an infinite loop.  Thats what i see.

but this is not the case. Fixing bug in library is important too. But  
we do not fix the language,
except traits and {} smalltalk did not change in the last 30 years.  
Compare to java or any other language to understand (beside Cobol)
what a stable syntax means.

> On Jan 29, 2008 6:51 PM, Colin Putney <cputney at> wrote:
> On 29-Jan-08, at 3:42 PM, Joshua Gargus wrote:
> > The benefits of popularity seem clear.  There would be more smart
> > people with more spare time to contribute good ideas and code.
> > There would be more jobs and a better chance of making a living
> > using the language.  The second benefit would feed into the first,
> > and vice-versa.
> Well, I agree that smart people contributing to the community would be
> a good thing. But popularity doesn't necessarily imply smart people,
> it just means *more* people. I think the community we have today is
> actually quite good. The "unpopularity" of Smalltalk acts as a filter.
> To be a Smalltalker you've got to be smart enough to recognize the
> benefits, confident enough to leave the mainstream, and resourceful
> enough to overcome the obstacles that working in an "unpopular"
> language entails. If Smalltalk were more popular, I doubt we would
> actually get all that many more "smart people" than we have now.
> Now, making a living using the language. Popularity would probably
> bring more jobs, but it would also bring more programmers to compete
> for those jobs. It would probably also lower the average salary of
> Smalltalk jobs. That might or might not be a good thing.
> > The question is whether the benefits outweigh the costs.  Since the
> > benefits seem obvious to me, I'll assume that you're really
> > expressing skepticism about whether the benefits outweigh the
> > costs.  What do you think the costs are? (I can think of a few, but
> > I'm curious about what others think)
> I guess there are two costs. One is the effort and sacrifices required
> to make Smalltalk popular. For example, we might try creating a Ruby-
> on-Rails clone in Smalltalk, in order to take advantage of the current
> vogue in web apps. That would be a fair amount of work, presumably
> done by people who might otherwise be working on things that benefit
> the existing community. Or perhaps Seaside could be "dumbed down" so
> it could be marketed to the kind of developer that doesn't like the
> "magic" of continuations. That makes Seaside worse for the rest of us.
> The other cost is all the noise that would get introduced into the
> community. Sure, Java has more libraries than Smalltalk, but most of
> them are just crap. All they do is make it harder to find the good
> stuff, and diffuse the energy of the community.
> In general, I think we'd be better to focus not on popularity, but on
> community. Yes, a certain size is required for the community to
> function well, but beyond that there are diminishing returns from
> further growth. As long as the VM gets maintained, libraries written,
> bugs fixed, questions answered, newbies encouraged - as long as the
> community is functioning - Smalltalk is sufficiently popular.
> Colin

More information about the Squeak-dev mailing list