[Esug-list] Smalltalk and the list of popular programming languages

Alexandre Bergel abergel at dcc.uchile.cl
Tue Sep 10 19:56:37 EDT 2019

Hi David,

> "Python’s popularity is driven in no small part by the vast number of specialized libraries available for it, particularly in the domain of artificial intelligence, where the Keras library <https://keras.io/> is a heavyweight among deep-learning developers: Keras provides an interface to the TensorFlow <https://www.tensorflow.org/>, CNTK <https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/cognitive-toolkit/>, and Theano <http://www.deeplearning.net/software/theano/> deep-learning frameworks and tool kits.”
> and:
> "dramatic increase in computing power <https://spectrum.ieee.org/geek-life/hands-on/machine-learning-thats-light-enough-for-an-arduino> found in microcontrollers means that embedded versions of Python, such as CircuitPython <https://spectrum.ieee.org/at-work/tech-careers/scott-shawcroft-is-squeezing-python-into-microcontrollers> and MicroPython <https://micropython.org/>, are becoming increasingly popular among makers.”
> I’d love to be able to say, when people challenge me about Smalltalk, that we have those, or the logical equivalent of this.

The Python library catalog is indeed very appealing. Making Python libraries accessible in Smalltalk is an obvious and significant gain for Smalltalk. This is exactly the problem we worked on. We built the Python Bridge, available here: 

https://github.com/ObjectProfile/PythonBridge <https://github.com/ObjectProfile/PythonBridge>

This Python Bridge can be specialized for particular Python libraries, in particular all the AI libraries. We did this for the Keras library:

https://github.com/ObjectProfile/PythonBridge <https://github.com/ObjectProfile/PythonBridge>

As benefit, you can use Keras (and therefore Google’s tensorflow) without even knowing that you are talking to a Python libraries. 

One of the cool aspect of our work, is that it works for both VisualWorks and Pharo, as it was demonstrated at ESUG a few weeks ago.

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