Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Is Eclipse the next computer revolution ...

James Governor blogs about Eclipse and he is so excited about it that he calls it
the next computer revolution

I dont think Eclipse is a revolution - it only assembles good ideas mixed with good marketing. Nothing really new. It also helps Java developers finding more acceptance for their applications by providing a native look.

Even with nice plugins Eclipse is still not the most powerfull tool since it's weakest point is IMHO Java. That wont change - even with the money of respected IT vendors.

Any Smalltalk IDE is much more flexible as a system since it is based on pure objects not on files, static typing and static languages. Some questions you should ask yourself:

Can I fix a bug in Eclipse itself while it is running without restarting or debugging from another eclipse session? Can I add a feature to the debugger even when there is no extension point defined - just since I have to fix it or want to include a tool I need for faster development?
Can I save the complete object environment (Object memory) in an image while debugging and continue debugging at exactly the same point the next day or on a different computer?
Can I add a new control structure to the underlying language while the IDE is running and without changing the parser/scanner/compiler?

Can I script the whole Eclipse environment like I can change any Smalltalk IDE using the Smalltalk language. In Smalltalk I can write:

TestCase allSubclasses do:
[:each each removeFromSystem]

to get rid of all unit tests in the IDE for example? I also use the same language to build and deploy my applications. There is no need for a different technology like Ant and remembering xml-tags/ant tasks. Anything is open, accessible and changeable. Even the language itself is just assembled from objects.

I agree that Eclipse does a good job in providing a nice platform for RC applications, frameworks and tools. Nothing else. But people should have a look at more dynamic environments since our world is constantly changing and so should our tools.

Just download a Smalltalk system like Squeak or VisualWorks and try it for yourself. Or have a look at: Download and try it. I would call Croquet a revolution, but not Eclipse.

But as Alan Kay says:
"The Computer "Revolution" Hasn't Happened Yet!" (see

Squeak on Google Video

There are now two Squeaky videos on Google Video:

(a short Seaside Demo by Stefan Ducasse and a half-hour demo from Marcus Denker at EuroKo03. Nothing great, this was more for testing. More to come.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Seaside Job Offering is looking for an experienced Smalltalk developer at Bern, Switzerland mainly doing web applications with Seaside on Squeak. Interested? Then read more here.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Parla - a LittleST derivate

Parla is a Little Smalltalk 3 derivate. You can download it from It instantly compiles - the executable VM is 64k and the minimal image is 100k. Note that the 100k includes the source. You can easily build custom images

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

TOPLAP and Squeak

TOPLAP - an informally-organized group collective of software artists and musicians interested in the performative nature of algorithms met in Berlin. Craig Latta (Squeaker and music composer) took part on this event. There is a first video available giving you an impression on how to create music performances using Squeak and other live coding environments.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Another frustrated Java developer...

Instead of being frustrated and running in circles on the Java islands
more people should have a walk on the seaside and have a Smalltalk. See:

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Squeak Web Activities

Have a look at the "NASA Connect" page. It has some ready to start examples of the Squeak Browser Plugin from Squeakland.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Bitwise Magazine and Smalltalk

The Bitwise ( magazine, which launched online last week, has a two part beginners' tutorial to Smalltalk. Based around Squeak, this is very much intended for complete newcomers to the language. However, they also plan to review the forthcoming Dolphin Smalltalk v 6.0, and to have a feature on Cincom Smalltalk some time in the next few months.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Some news from OSVM

The OO VM (now known as OSVM) from Lars Bak is getting more attention. It's a smalltalk VM with some restrictions for blocks. Read more here. If it is possible to build Smalltalk VM's in 32kB why not build a small, full functional and portable Smalltalk VM for plugging into web servers and other applications?