[Pharo-project] Popularity of Smalltalk in Software Industry

Stefan Marr pharo at stefan-marr.de
Fri May 6 23:23:11 CEST 2011

(and here we go again...)

On 06 May 2011, at 18:55, Miguel Cobá wrote:

> El vie, 06-05-2011 a las 18:32 +0200, Stefan Marr escribió:
>> Well, I think my work on the RoarVM is some contribution, no? Perhaps, I would be more interested in Pharo if it would actually run nicely on the RoarVM, but I am stuck with a Squeak 3.x MVC image for my day to day work. And without anyone from the community approaching the work to make Pharo thread-safe that won't change. It is nice to change the world with Pharo, but the future is multi/manycore and Pharo does not support it. Ah, and the day has just 24h so don't expect anything from me beside the VM work, thats already enough to keep a whole team busy.
> I found your post very contradicting and without internal consistency.
> You don't care about smalltalk but are creating a vm should run
> smalltalk (squeak or pharo) in multiple core. Don't get it. Or you care
> that you dedicate time to it or you don't care and don't know why you
> build a multicore vm for a system you don't care (maybe the money, the
> papers, the citations, don't know)

I am interested in VMs, so why do I need to care about the language on top? Actually, I do research in how to support all kind of different languages on top of the same VM, because there is not a single language that is the ultimate answer to all problems. That is why I do not care about any particular language.
Just look at the JVM. How much of its technology was developed in the pure Java context? Not a lot. Most was actually conceived for Smalltalk.
As long as the languages have some commonalities and are not based on graph-reduction like Haskell, then they usually don't require a completely new designed VM, but a nice set of common abstractions. So why, as a researcher, should I care about Smalltalk? Smalltalk is not the final answer, and will never be. Neither is any other single language.

>>>> That's what I mean. From my perspective, books about programming languages are a wast of effort.
>> That is BS.
>> How often do you see your colleagues going to the library, or the
> shelf next door to grab a book while they are programming?
>> It has been 10 years ago that they stopped doing so.
> That is the reason that O'Reilly books is broken and stop printing books
> 5 year ago right. Also this other publisher, I think they use to call
> themselves the pragmatic progammer, what a bunch of loser, trying to
> publish new books in this days that google has everything that is to
> know. 
> Wait, no, they exists and publish books, maybe is for having something
> to do with their free time.
Just answer the question! How often do your colleagues grab a book from the shelf? How often a day, how often a week?

>> Today, they google. Well, at least if they use another language than Smalltalk.
>> And I don't think there is something inherently wrong with that.
> Yes but isn't the only way to get knowledge.
No, but to my experience books can only be a help to get an initial overview. How often do you come across a book that covers a topic in such a depth that you actually can use it when you have a specific question while working?

Especially the Pragmatic Programmer books you refer to, most of them talk about the basic concepts. They are not full references.
Nice introductions, but nothing to actually work with when you solve a deeper going problem.

> Maybe assembler should be
> lectured no more, because we have high  level programing languages and
> nobody needs that old tech anymore!
What are you talking about?

> You said:
>>> That's what I mean. From my perspective, books about programming
> languages are a wast of effort.
> and then:
>> I think, Stef's efforts of writing books should be supported,
> inconsistent!
Right, it is indeed inconsistent, since that statement now also includes having books for introductory purposes.
But again, that was not the initial point of the discussion.

Still, there is already a good thing coming out of the whole flame war. Laurent took the time to look into how to make the books web-accessible. All it took was a small nudge in the right direction.

Best regards

Stefan Marr
Software Languages Lab
Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Pleinlaan 2 / B-1050 Brussels / Belgium
Phone: +32 2 629 2974
Fax:   +32 2 629 3525

More information about the Pharo-project mailing list