[Pharo-project] Smalltalk for small projects only?

dimitris chloupis thekilon at yahoo.co.uk
Sun Jan 29 02:46:22 EST 2012

Very good point . The tools and the libraries sometimes can play more important role than the language itself. However Java seems to constantly loosing developers because if something is a mess for small project for big projects becomes a big mess , just take a look how many gazillion scripting languages Java has , way more than C/C++.  

I think Java is not that ideal for large project as people think. I will go as far as saying that if it was not such a well marketed product would be an abandoned product by now and not a dominating platform. Companies may like , but coders certainly do not . Companies are attracted by good marketing, but coders are not. 

Coders are attracted , pro coders that is, from what can bring food to their table and pay their bills. And in that respect Java is phenomenal. If I was a big company however Java would be the last thing I would use for big project. As a matter of fact python has gained quite a momentum with huge projects and it is afterall a smalltalk child. Why not smalltalk ?

 From: Janko Mivšek <janko.mivsek at eranova.si>
To: Pharo-project at lists.gforge.inria.fr; dimitris chloupis <thekilon at yahoo.co.uk> 
Sent: Saturday, 28 January 2012, 22:08
Subject: Re: [Pharo-project] Smalltalk for small projects only?
S, dimitris chloupis piše:

> I think this is a post that clearly illustrates the big problem with
> smalltalk. The very fact that is compared with Java and Java survives.

Yes, that 4-5 peole can do what 50 Java people are needed is both a
blessing and a curse :) Blessing because of productivity, curse because
we are not able to scale beyond one highly connected development group.
We don't have project management practices and tools, while Java guys
have because they need them from the start.

> You know I dont find it mysterious at all that smalltalk is unpopular as
> it is. If I go to the python website I know in 4 second why I should use
> python, if I go to a Java site in 10 seconds I know what Java is good
> for, if I go to a C/c++ again in seconds it becomes clear what is the
> goal, even Assembly websites explain in a few lines what the language is
> all about.

> With Squeak and Pharo on the other hand it took me literally hours to
> figure out what they are good for and by the time I did I was amazed how
> underhyped smalltalk is. For me at least is the most underhyped piece of
> software I have ever used.

This is a valuable point to consider in the future.

> The issue with image here its easy to totally miss the whole point. An
> image is loading lighting fast , a java application is not, its also
> great way to organise object orientated code because it allows you to
> quickly navigate through it, loading files , is expensive and frankly
> quite archaic. The idea behind filesystem was created on the basic that
> computer could only load just a few kbs or even less because of limited
> memory.
> In the age we live , filesystems are unnecessary anyway. I am not saying
> that hardware storage  is , just file systems,  and I think smalltalk
> moves towards that direction. You dont really need files and extensions
> to separate data and  code,  OO  can do the job just fine in that area.
> I cant comment on the specifics of the image I am new to smalltalk and
> still exploring the basics, but let me say that I would love to take the
> idea of image abit further maybe following the brilliant architecture of
> our brains which stores information not in packages but via association,
> I think this kind of workflow is alot closer to what OO tries to be.
> For me the image play a pivot role inside the OO of smalltalk, which
> unlike Java does not stop at class definition. Besides an oversize
> clumsy library , smalltalk has very little to be envious of Java.
> Regarding huge project I will boldly say that inside a system of
> gazillion files a single file can easily lost its identity, OO can plays
> a huge role here, it can create that association I was talking about
> earlier and it can make sure that the user and coder has immediate
> access to information that he want to focus on at that particular moment
> but also has a structure that is obvious and simple to navigate.
> About the limitation of an image , i think that is a matter of
> implementation , obviously smalltalk has not been used as extensively in
> large projects as Java. But then what stops us from implementing an
> image that can brake any barrier, even do direct streaming from disk
> when the memory is not enough or when we dont want to occupy its entirety ?
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> *From:* Janko Mivšek <janko.mivsek at eranova.si>
> *To:* "Pharo-project at lists.gforge.inria.fr"
> <Pharo-project at lists.gforge.inria.fr>; Squeak
> <squeak-dev at lists.squeakfoundation.org>; 'VWNC' <vwnc at cs.uiuc.edu>
> *Sent:* Saturday, 28 January 2012, 17:46
> *Subject:* [Pharo-project] Smalltalk for small projects only?
> Hi guys,
> Ralph Johnson in his InfoQ interview made an interesting observation:
> 2:55 minute: "Smalltalk made an fundamental error ... image ... you can
> build something with 4-5 people what 50 people can build in Java, but if
> you take 200 people in Java ... it is really designed for small systems
> ...  "
> Are we because of the image really destined for relatively small
> projects and small systems (of Java 50 people project size)?
> Are we really not able to scale to bigger projects/systems because of that?
> Ok, there are few exceptions of course (JPMorgan, OOCL, ..), but still...
> [1] http://www.infoq.com/interviews/johnson-armstrong-oop
> Best regards
> Janko
> -- 
> Janko Mivšek
> Aida/Web
> Smalltalk Web Application Server
> http://www.aidaweb.si
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