[Esug-list] Spreading Smalltalk

Geert Claes geert.wl.claes at gmail.com
Fri Apr 8 07:33:03 EDT 2011

Hi Sean, I liked Simon's talk too.  So following Simon's theory and start
with the "why", then "how" followed by "what":

Why: Why does Smalltalk (still) exist, what does the Smalltalk community
believe in and probably most importantly why should anyone care?
How: How does Smalltalk do what it does, how is it designed, is it usable,
intuitive, powerful ...?
What: What does Smalltalk do, following Sean's examples; provide developer
productivity, platform independence ...

Looking at the above I really have a feeling that Smalltalk's "Why" already
is - and always has been - very strong.

The "what" is probably another reason why Smalltalk is still around after
all these years.  Smalltalk does provide powerful developer productivity and
did lead the way in a myriad of other areas ... which other languages and/or
IDE's have since taken on board.

The "how" is where Smalltalk's Achilles' heel is.  Recent success stories
did create a resurgence of interest in Smalltalk as it did wonders for
Smalltalk's perceived usefulness.  Smalltalk still needs to focus more on
the "how" in order not to lose those all important opinion leaders and early
adopters that are fascinated by the "why" but have a gut feeling and feel
like given the "perceived ease-of-use" Smalltalk may not be exactly what
they are after.  Find the right recipe to improve the "how", the design,
look-and-feel and usability and these early adopters will stay and Smalltalk
will cross the chasm and influence the early majority :)

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