[squeak-dev] Squeak Oversight Board Election 2023

Benoit St-Jean bstjean at yahoo.com
Thu Feb 23 05:51:59 UTC 2023

Hello everyone,

I think it's finally time for me to run for the Squeak Oversight Board 
and give back to the wonderful Squeak/Smalltalk community!

First, let me introduce myself.

I've been following/loving Squeak since Dan Ingalls announced the birth 
of this "new Smalltalk" in 1996!  Besides being a fan of Squeak since 
day 1, I have been professionally a Smalltalker since 1992. I started 
with ObjectWorks 4.0 and quickly moved to VisualWorks 2.5.  Since then, 
I've been working mostly (and equally) with VisualAge and VisualWorks.  
Did a few years of coding with VSE (plain) and VSE/PARTS as well.  Throw 
in some Gemstone and some Glorp and some TOPLink and you get a good 
picture of my professional background. In all occasions, I was lucky 
enough to work on big projects with big databases (DB/2, Gemstone, 
Oracle, MySQL, SQL Server, Sybase & some MQSeries).

Besides "Smalltalk at work", I enjoy other Smalltalks I haven't used 
professionally: ObjectStudio, Dolphin, Cuis, Pharo and, obviously, 
Squeak! And yes, I'm sometimes nostalgic of "The Smalltalk Report", 
JOOP, BYTE and the "Dr. Dobb's Journal" magazines!  ;)

I have a particular interest in:

-Smalltalk communications with the "outside world", aka web services but 
MOSTLY databases
-runtime image packaging mechanisms (i.e. VSE SLL, VW parcels, VAST 
Runtime Packager, VW ImageStripper or building from a minimal image)
-modularity & modularization (no wonder, the first programming language 
I learned was Modula-2!)
-development tools (Dolphin's IdeaSpace, Pharo's Playground, Refactoring 
Browser, CodeCritics/SmallLint, GUI Builder, GToolkit)
-last, but not the least, Squeak's place on the current Smalltalk scene.

I have been under the impression, in recent years, that Squeak was 
trying to find its place between Cuis & Pharo and be everything to 
everyone and nice/compatible with everything & everyone. But Cuis is 
Cuis. And Pharo is Pharo.  And both forks have a clear path in mind but 
I'm not sure Squeak knows what it is anymore and what it wants to be or 
become. Add to that confusion, SqueakJS & PharoJS ! A few symptoms can 
tell we're in a delicate place, starting with code compatibility and 
code repositories!

Repositories (SqueakMap, SqueakSource, SqueakSource3, SmalltalkHub) are 
filled with versions alternating from Pharo to Squeak and back! We lost 
Scratch. Major projects like Glorp, Magma, Seaside, Moose, Roassal, 
Magritte, PolyMath and others seemed to have moved away from Squeak. So 
I think we need to take a step back and ask ourselves a few 
philosophical questions:

-do we want to retain the original goal of being a 
multimedia/education/experimenting development platform?
-do we want compatibility with other Smalltalks or just go our own way?
-can we target Raspberry Pi & cell phones as a possible and serious 
Squeak platform?

So I would like to run for the SOB 2023 because I am a user, a developer 
and... a Smalltalk lover.

P.S. Other non-Smalltalk related interests include: genetic algorithms, 
chess, French literature (long story!), mathematics
P.P.S. I also like to code in Modula-2, Julia, R, Pascal, BASIC and 
Oberon if that helps!
P.P.P.S. I'm on Windows and speak French : trouble ahead!  ;)

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