[Pharo-project] New IDE alternative (was Misc. newbie questions)

Andreas Wacknitz a.wacknitz at gmx.de
Tue Jan 17 15:16:55 EST 2012

Am 17.01.2012 um 13:26 schrieb Frank Shearar:

> On 17 January 2012 03:20, blake <dsblakewatson at gmail.com> wrote:
>> On Mon, Jan 16, 2012 at 2:43 PM, Frank Shearar <frank.shearar at gmail.com>
>> wrote:
>> Frank,
>> I agree with what you said EXCEPT that I don't see the NIH mentality in
>> Smalltalk. What I do see, and have seen a lot of over the years, is people
>> coming in and banging on Smalltalk's differences without taking the time to
>> learn the whys and wherefores. I don't think it's knee-jerk defense so much
>> as a creeping sense that the person complaining maybe isn't in the best
>> position to do so. (And I say this as someone who's been on several sides of
>> the argument.)
> I'm aware of the reasons why the NIH arises, and I'm sure that's part
> of why the reaction arises in many other communities. I reserve the
> right to say "ahem, take the time to actually read what the person's
> asking for, because they might actually have good ideas".
> And, in particular, Gerry raises concerns _this very list_ has raised.
> Living permanently in the image is _bad_, which is why we're moving to
> Metacello for everything so we can _construct_ an image. Look at
There is a big difference between rescuing artifacts outside the image for distribution, reuse and storage
and working outside the image. I would like to be able to remotely debug Smalltalk but not for the price of giving up what we already have.
For me there is a big advantage to have the "living objects world". There might be alternatives to the image
concept in order to have it. But Eclipse, NetBeans, Emacs, vi and Visual Studio don't provide anything better.
Each these IDE's are in itself bigger and more complex than Pharo.
These IDE's provide tools to deal with big muds of dead code - quite the opposite of a "living objects world".
With each new release the get a little bit nearer to what our "living object world" gives us but with the big price tag
of overwhelming complexity and never being able to really overtake.

So yes, we should be open minded to enhance our world. Eg. Pharo lacks some standard widgets like a grid. The whole
GUI framework should be modernized. Polymorph is a step in the right direction in my opinion.
Our versioning systems should be able to deal with artifacts (documents, drawings and so on) from the outside world.
But unless the versioning system of the outside world will provide what we need there is no real advance in
using them for Smalltalk.

There are already alternatives to the standard Smalltalk systems. GNU smalltalk left behind the image and is using
a standard GUI framework. You can edit the code in your preferred editor.
F-Script is an example for embedding the Smalltalk syntax in the Mac world. The Cocoa framework is directly accessible.
There are other Smalltalks directly embedded into Java, DOT.NET and even Javascript.
So a lot of people already had the idea to move outside the traditional Smalltalk world and did that in several projects.
But to my knowledge they didn't get much attention. No revolution happened. 


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