[Pharo-project] [squeak-dev] Re: usability of Pharo and Squeak

Stéphane Ducasse stephane.ducasse at inria.fr
Thu Jun 2 14:44:44 EDT 2011

On Jun 2, 2011, at 8:32 PM, Andreas Wacknitz wrote:

> Am 02.06.2011 um 13:53 schrieb Stéphane Ducasse:
>> and what do you do to change the situation?
> I have reported what I have been told after promoting Smalltalk.

I know :)
I have the same. 

> Alas I neither have the luck to work with Smalltalk on my daily job nor much free time due to my family.
> I am not able to follow the pace Pharo is developing at. So the best thing I can do is to try to convince people
> to have a look at Smalltalk. But that is hard. Most developers don't even bother to have a look at it because
> it's not mainstream (they never heard of it).

Continue. This is important. 
Do you know that several companies are looking for Smalltalkers in germany, london....?

> And if they do, they will complain immediately about not working on
> files, the user interface (strange widgets, misuse of buttons, missing integration in the host os) and lack of version management.
> If, in the rare case, someone takes a closer look, he will complain like my friend: annoying window sizes and positions,
> cluttered windows all over.

What you should show them is that they can change that. 

> The new generation of developers is used to use tabbed window IDE's like Eclipse, NetBeans and VisualStudio.
> Smalltalk systems have to fight against these well supported products.

yes clearly.
We are slowly but steadily cleaning the UI. 

> And furthermore I like to emphasis what I wrote before: Squeak's and Pharo's problem is also, that they are seen as tools and not products.
> Tools are being developed and used for a certain problem to solve. Pharo seems to have two major fields of use:
> 	1. web development (in combination with Seaside)
> 	2. research

Not only this is top of the iceberg. 

Is ruby a tools or a product?
Pharo is just a Smalltalk with an ide. 

> Of course this is fully ok because it's free and nobody can ask you or other people involved for certain enhancements.
> But if you want to spread the use of Smalltalk you should hear to voices from the outside.

We do. 
Note also that our level of exigence is certainly much higher than the one of non smalltalker but to go on the top of the himalaya it is better to 
do it step by step when you have only your feet and no rocket. 

> The quality of the code and Smalltalk's
> elegance and kind of OO are only seen after the first hurdle is being taken.

Indeed this is why even if some people did not like the code of polymorph we integrate it and we are still fixing/improving. 

> And I count the user interface and the development tools as the first hurdle.
> In other words: It takes time to convince people that Smalltalk's way of doing things has big advantages over C# or Java. But most people don't give us the time...

show them seaside. Soon with Javascript everywhere it will not even be possible :)

> Regards,
> Andreas

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