[Pharo-users] About "it's not pharo but smalltalk"

horrido horrido.hobbies at gmail.com
Fri Feb 7 09:49:38 EST 2020

> The audience for the Smalltalk-inspired campaign is the other 99% of
programmers who would never get past: "Smalltalk = 1980 = dead = not worth
checking out".

Never? This is what I've been trying to overcome for the past 5 years with
hundreds of blogs.

> Have already made up their mind and will not likely be convinced by a
> soundbite anyway

Agreed. However, hundreds of blogs over 5 years is much more than a

I agree that Pharo's current "marketing" strategy is working, if by working
you mean slow but steady growth. It may never become as "popular" as, say,
Kotlin or Rust.

I have a greater ambition for Smalltalk: to restore its popularity from 25
years ago. Or even from just 7 years ago  when it was #37 at TIOBE
. (Sadly, today it's not even in the Top 50.)

I *believe* Smalltalk can have a bright future. Unfortunately, few people
share this sentiment.


Sean P. DeNigris wrote
>> pharo is not smalltalk 
>> TedVanGaalen wrote
>>> Pharo IS Smalltalk, whether you like it or not.
> An ancient parable goes...
>> A group of blind men heard that a strange animal, called an elephant, had
>> been brought to the town, but none of them were aware of its shape and
>> form. Out of curiosity, they said: "We must inspect and know it by touch,
>> of which we are capable". So, they sought it out, and when they found it
>> they groped about it. In the case of the first person, whose hand landed
>> on the trunk, said "This being is like a thick snake". For another one
>> whose hand reached its ear, it seemed like a kind of fan. As for another
>> person, whose hand was upon its leg, said, the elephant is a pillar like
>> a
>> tree-trunk. The blind man who placed his hand upon its side said the
>> elephant, "is a wall". Another who felt its tail, described it as a rope.
>> The last felt its tusk, stating the elephant is that which is hard,
>> smooth
>> and like a spear.
> And from its Wikipedia article:
>> In some versions, they stop talking, start listening and collaborate to
>> "see" the full elephant.
> TL;DR 
> Two parts of the same elephant:
> 1. Pharo is Smalltalk (in the sense that St-72, 76, and 80 are)
> 2. Pharo is not Smalltalk (in the sense that most non-Smalltalkers think
> that "Smalltalk" = St-80, so they would be mislead and unnecessary turned
> off by #1)
> The *marketing* decision's logic is something like the following: Given
> that
> both of these soundbites are equally (un)true, which one is more likely to
> bring people to Pharo?
> |-----------------|-------------Audience--------------------|
> |--Sound Byte--|--Familiar w ST--|------Unfamiliar------|
> ____________________________________________|
> |--Pharo = ST---|-----N/A*-------| Ew! Last century!----|
> |-Pharo ~= ST--|-----N/A*-------| Hmm, interesting...--|
> * Have already made up their mind and will not likely be convinced by a
> soundbite anyway
> While one can certainly understand disagreeing with the possible
> effectiveness of the strategy, these threads usually IMHO have the feel of
> a
> holy war from the camp touching the "Pharo = ST" part of the elephant. 
> In the unlikely event that anyone is still reading this, I'll paste my
> longer explanation from a similar 2015 thread [1]
> Sean P. DeNigris wrote
>> The best way to understand the rationale for Pharo's marketing decision
>> is
>> to read one of the many long threads about it on the Pharo lists. I doubt
>> rehashing it will provide new value.
>> The issue boils down to the fact that the term Smalltalk has been
>> overloaded. The original meaning was prototype Dynabook software that was
>> used to bootstrap its replacement every 4 years. This true definition, by
>> design, leaves plenty of room for innovation. Unfortunately, when
>> Smalltalk-80 was released to the world, that became what people mean when
>> they use the word Smalltalk. Obviously, people already familiar with
>> Smalltalk are going to look at Pharo and go, "oh look, it's Smalltalk"*.
>> But that is not the target market. The audience for the
>> Smalltalk-inspired
>> campaign is the other 99% of programmers who would never get past:
>> "Smalltalk = 1980 = dead = not worth checking out".
>> Anyway, I'd rather get back to hacking than waste more time in these IMHO
>> mostly-pointless debates. In fact, I disagree that unpopularity is a
>> problem at all. I would say that our biggest advantage is not being
>> popular. I'll take a small community of true-believers over a mob of
>> trend
>> followers any day.
>> * Although they'd probably base that opinion on the syntax, which is the
>> least important part of Smalltalk (the live environment being first, and
>> libraries second). In fact, if Ruby had a live, dynamic,
>> turtles-all-the-way-down environment, with a Morphic-like uniform, live
>> interface, and Smalltalk-like tools, I probably wouldn't have gravitated
>> to Smalltalk
> 1. Why Aren't People Using Smalltalk?
> http://forum.world.st/Why-Aren-t-People-Using-Smalltalk-tp4843473p4848195.html
> -----
> Cheers,
> Sean
> --
> Sent from: http://forum.world.st/Pharo-Smalltalk-Users-f1310670.html

Sent from: http://forum.world.st/Pharo-Smalltalk-Users-f1310670.html

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