[Pharo-project] Popularity of Smalltalk in Software Industry

Igor Stasenko siguctua at gmail.com
Fri May 6 15:35:17 CEST 2011

On 6 May 2011 08:04, Jimmie Houchin <jlhouchin at gmail.com> wrote:
> On 5/5/2011 8:19 PM, Igor Stasenko wrote:
>> On 6 May 2011 01:03, Jimmie Houchin<jlhouchin at gmail.com>  wrote:
>>> On 5/5/2011 4:25 PM, Igor Stasenko wrote:
>>> On 5 May 2011 21:39, Jimmie Houchin<jlhouchin at gmail.com>  wrote:
>>> On 5/5/2011 12:21 PM, Igor Stasenko wrote:
>>> On 5 May 2011 18:57, Jimmie Houchin<jlhouchin at gmail.com>    wrote:
>>> [Big Snip]
>>> Well said.
>>> Except that i'm not sharing your view that its hard to interface with
>>> foreign libraries.
>>> Its not hard at all. Of course to connect two different worlds, you
>>> need to have knowledge
>>> in both of them. But this requirement not a bit different when you
>>> take any other pair of languages and try to
>>> connect them.
>>> Thanks,
>>> I have no knowledge of either the knowledge or the challenges involved in
>>> using external libraries in Pharo or Squeak. I have no knowledge of
>>> FFI/Alien or using C/C++/C# or compilers.
>> So, read about it. It doesn't bites. :)
> Yes, I know. But like many, my time is limited. I program my app in my spare
> time. I have a full-time+ job and a very large family who want some of my
> time.

No-no-no. Don't say that. We're all having own constraints.  :)

>>> As I said, I am totally unaware of the limitations of the system, but
>>> that
>>> it did what I need, and would have liked to do that from Pharo/Squeak. I
>>> know Dolphin has/had certain capabilities. But I don't prefer to use
>>> non-open source software if at all possible for development. I also am
>>> very
>>> preferential towards cross-platform software. Dolphin fails on all
>>> accounts.
>>> I would choose my Python/Pharo blend over Dolphin any day. I know it
>>> introduces some pain, but I am willing to accept the pain. I like tools
>>> that
>>> allow me to use them where ever I am and whatever I am doing.
>>> However, that said, when I look at the facilities Python offers for such
>>> capabilities it on appearances looks quite impressive.
>>> http://docs.python.org/library/ctypes.html
>>> """
>>> ctypes is a foreign function library for Python. It provides C compatible
>>> data types, and allows calling functions in DLLs or shared libraries. It
>>> can
>>> be used to wrap these libraries in pure Python.
>>> Loading dynamic link libraries
>>> ctypes exports the cdll, and on Windows windll and oledll objects, for
>>> loading dynamic link libraries.
>>> You load libraries by accessing them as attributes of these objects. cdll
>>> loads libraries which export functions using the standard cdecl calling
>>> convention, while windll libraries call functions using the stdcall
>>> calling
>>> convention. oledll also uses the stdcall calling convention, and assumes
>>> the
>>> functions return a Windows HRESULT error code. The error code is used to
>>> automatically raise a WindowsError exception when the function call
>>> fails.
>>> Here are some examples for Windows. Note that msvcrt is the MS standard C
>>> library containing most standard C functions, and uses the cdecl calling
>>> convention:
>>>>>> from ctypes import *
>>>>>> print windll.kernel32 # doctest: +WINDOWS
>>> <WinDLL 'kernel32', handle ... at ...>
>>>>>> print cdll.msvcrt # doctest: +WINDOWS
>>> <CDLL 'msvcrt', handle ... at ...>
>>>>>> libc = cdll.msvcrt # doctest: +WINDOWS
>> So? Why do you think that you cannot do the same in Pharo?
>> Have you digested what is available before doing it in Python?
> I never said it couldn't be done in Pharo or Squeak. What I said is that I
> lack the skills to do so in Pharo.
> It isn't a two lines of code an your off and running. Which is what Python
> provided me. Ok, in total, my Python code is more like 500 lines. It
> interfaces the COM DLL and serves the data to my Pharo app which provides
> all of my business logic. The Python app is simply an interface and gateway.
> No business logic.

Check the

It may not work with Pharo out of the box. But then it is really up to
people who care about it:
- do you want it to be working? Then do something, ask people, ask for
help, organize & communicate.

>>> """
>>> It has examples for windows and linux.
>> I feel that you are seriously under-informed.
>> Just try googling for:
>> Squeak + FFI
>> Alien
>> NativeBoost
>> and just check what you can do using it:
>> http://www.squeaksource.com/NBOpenGL/
>> also check mail archives.
>> Forgive me, but i really can't understand , why you can't just look
>> for what you need by yourself?
>> Are google.com banned by your ISP?
>> For me this subject is interested in aspect, why this information
>> (while being available openly) didn't catch your
>> attention , so you using python instead.
>> (Okay, you might miss some functionality like being able to
>> automatically generate bindings to COM interfaces).
>> But again, i am sure that if you surf the net or ask right questions
>> on mailing list, you will probably discover that
>> there is already work being done in that direction.
>> And at last, if you feel that there is missing some key functionality
>> which you want, and you expect that it is also
>> could be useful to community, you can always implement it and share
>> with people (instead of using Python ;).
>> So, next who will come after you won't find himself in a desert with
>> couple of oasises few hundred miles away.
> Oh, I've Googled and searched and read the mailing lists. I've had off-list
> conversations with people who have used Alien/FFI about what I need. It is
> presently beyond my current skill and knowledge and time to acquire said
> knowledge. I am not saying it isn't doable. I am saying at the moment it
> isn't anything I have the time to pursue. I already have in place a working
> solution. It isn't as nice as  I would like, or an all Pharo solution. But
> it is working.
> The current working solution is simply version 1.0 of my application. When
> it is up and running and I have further time I will explore other options.
> Ok, as far mentioning this before here I go. :)
> My messages

> As I stated, I am not a professional programmer. I have no computer science
> background. I have no C/C++/C# skills. The more time I spend doing low level
> stuff or learning how to do so, the less time I have to spend on what my app
> is intended to do, the business logic.

But you still need someone to do it.

> My goal is more along the lines of getting my business up and running and
> hiring knowledgeable people like you to do the things that enable people
> like me.
> I find Smalltalk enabling for the guy with an idea. Its the most enabling
> and empowering tool I've found for my ideas. I would like to see it improve
> in its enabling ability.
> I get excited about executing my ideas.
> If I had no options but to learn Alien/FFI or ctypes, or C/C++/C#/F3, in
> order to build my application. I would. But it would delay me considerably.
> I have more ideas, than time.
So, find people who will help you.

Apparently, if you decide to live with the status-quo and there is no
any initiative from your side to improve the situation,
then nothing will change.
And then expect that next guy who will come here, will keep saying the
same: yes i would love to use smalltalk,
but i can't because it missing X, Y, Z.. so i will use Python instead.

> I would like to see Pharo's story for interfacing external libraries to be
> better than Pythons. It would be very enabling for those of us with less
> skills, and less time for those who have the skills.

We're working on that. But i'd like to say that situation is not so
different that in Python.
Comparing to ctype , we have complete analog for it - FFI , Alien or NativeBoost

> Thanks.
> Jimmie

Best regards,
Igor Stasenko AKA sig.

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