[Esug-list] "Pharo is Smalltalk inspired"

Frank Shearar frank.shearar at gmail.com
Thu Jul 31 09:58:03 EDT 2014


This seems like a remarkably appropriate paper to read -
http://www.nhplace.com/kent/PS/Lambda.html "Lambda, the Ultimate
Political Party" - in which Kent Pitman describes events in the Lisp
community that sound an awful lot like the discussions that sometimes
take place in the Smalltalk community. Especially around "what is
Smalltalk".

frank

On 31 July 2014 14:49, Andres Valloud <avalloud at smalltalk.comcastbiz.net> wrote:
> Surely that can be cast in a more positive light, perhaps sharing your
> thoughts on how to get to a qualitatively better place.  Before we write
> more emails, though, please consider the following...
>
> We experience periodic bursts of unhelpful self inflicted injury.  Our lives
> and energies would be better spent getting stuff done in an organized
> fashion.  It is essential to keep conversations open, professional, and
> widget focused.  However, email's high latency tends to promote an
> increasingly defensive posture.  So, ideally, those interested in tackling
> these challenges would get on the same page in person.  We can start doing
> that just two weeks from now (*and* over beer or equivalent).  I'm looking
> forward to it :).
>
>
> On 7/31/14 5:26 , Reinout Heeck wrote:
>>
>>
>>> Smalltalk as a technology, philosophy and community has always evolved
>>> - to the future (to what else?). Claiming that one leaves a community
>>> in emphasizing that one wants to move to the future silently implies
>>> that that community didn't move to the future, i. e. stays as is. I
>>> don't think that this is a correct observation with regards to Smalltalk.
>>
>>
>>
>> The problem with the Smalltalk community is that it holds itself back.
>> For example there are no Smalltalks with a decent namespace
>> implementation (although there was Dave Simmons' S# for a while). The
>> single survivor seems to be NewSpeak which clearly chose to 'divorce'
>> itself from Smalltalk 'proper'.
>>
>> I recall Pharo was created because Squeak did not cater to the
>> professional market and Pharo would conquer the FLOSS portion of that
>> niche. Seeing that Pharo did not get host window support, nor decent
>> namespaces it seems fair to say that the community did not get its act
>> together -- and if we stretch it we might say that the community held
>> Pharo back.
>>
>> What I see in the Smalltalk community is a giant circle-jerk (direct
>> object manipulationz! refactoringz! TDDz! xUnitz! we are greatz!) with
>> people wallowing in past greatness.
>>
>> The reality (a 'correct' observation as per the above?) is that people
>> are experimenting with new(ish) software development methodologies in
>> *other* environments nowadays.
>> The example-du-jour is of course Bret Victor who proposes an IDE where
>> we can flatten abstractions (like time) into 2d so our brains can
>> readily grasp and predict consequences of code alterations. Seeing that
>> Apple xCode IDE adopts this paradigm (with Swift) before the Smalltalk
>> IDE did is telling.
>>
>> Seeing that Pharo and Squeak are still producing browser framework after
>> browser framework and -oh yeah- let's reify packages as objects and we
>> still need a JIT, I observe a lot of ant-like activity at ground level
>> and very little 'giants' activity at the 'how to encode my abstractions'
>> level. (Another example: there still is no accepted paradigm in the
>> Smalltalk community that instructs us how to document implementation
>> requirements and decisions -- go figure).
>> So the programmer's discourse with the Smalltalk machine has not changed
>> many times in the past, perhaps just once during the introduction of
>> refactorings and TDD at roughly the same time.
>>
>>
>> What the Smalltalk community seems to miss is that 'Smalltalk 2.0 is
>> dead, long live Smalltalk 3.0' feeling.
>>
>> Perhaps it behooves ESUG to create a session where the community
>> *finally* buries Smalltalk 1.0 and perhaps also pick the date where we
>> sunset Smalltalk 2.0.
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> Go Doru,
>>    Pharo desperately wants to escape Smalltalk 1.0 but the community
>> won't let you.
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> Reinout
>> -
>>
>>
>>
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>
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