[squeak-dev] What is the plan for 4.2?

Hannes Hirzel hannes.hirzel at gmail.com
Wed Apr 28 12:15:35 UTC 2010

Thank you Michael for your detailed and interesting answer.
I put in some comments below


On 4/26/10, Michael Haupt <mhaupt at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi Hannes,
> On Mon, Apr 26, 2010 at 9:52 PM, Hannes Hirzel <hannes.hirzel at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>> However for the vision part you brought up the idea of
>>   "Squeak as the best documented Smalltalk system"
>> I like this idea.
> cool, thanks. :-)
>> A friend of mine is a 70 year old mathematician who used to work for
>> IBM 40 years ago. She says that she was taught at that documentation
>> is 50% of the product. I think this still applies. ...
> It certainly does!
>> API documentation is fine but process oriented documentation is needed
>> in addition.
> Absolutely. I don't really know about others, but I usually learn much
> better from tutorials, extrapolating usage patterns, than from sheer
> API documentation. Recently, I learned how to use Java 7's
> INVOKEDYNAMIC by reading the API documentation from alpha to omega.
> That was interesting, but not much fun, I can tell you.
> A much different but very interesting approach is the one Bruce Tate
> takes in his upcoming book "Seven Languages in Seven Weeks" (Pragmatic
> Programmers), in which he introduces (in the given order) Ruby, Io,
> Prolog, Scala, Erlang, Clojure, and Haskell. Each language is briefly
> introduced at a high level, and then there are examples. Lots of them,
> and they very very quickly leave "Hello, world" style things behind,
> introducing the really interesting bits of those languages without
> getting overly complicated. (The Haskell chapter has not yet been
> written, but the Clojure one has just been released in beta stage.)
> Another great text is "Real World Haskell" by Bryan O'Sullivan, Don
> Stewart, and John Goerzen. A wonderfully practical book on a
> supposedly academic language. During the first few chapters, the
> authors walk you through accessing the file system already, and some
> chapters on, there is a complete bar code reader, from parsing the
> input file (GIF, I think) over adjusting the layout of the code to
> scanning the bars and emitting the code. *Cool*.
> What I want to say is that such things are needed for Squeak. Not at
> the same order of magnitude (I'm talking about books with several
> hundreds of pages each), but in the same vein. I'm also not talking
> about SBE - it's wonderful and important, but concentrates on the
> tools more than on building mid-scale or larger-scale applications.
>> Maybe we could have a goal of motivating 30 people contributing to
>> documentation. Everyone writing a little tutorial and with a small
>> sample application.
> Or 15 people with 2 tutorials each, or 10 with 3, or whatever.

One or two people probably will provide 5 tutorials, maybe three
people 3 tutorials and the rest two or one tutorials.

30 tutorials is a reasonable goal I think. There are people in the
documentation thread who have shown interest.
and more here


Some of them might have tutorials where just some dusting off is
needed and a check if it still works in 4.1.

For writing the tutorials my recommendation is to use Torsten
Bergmann's HelpSystem. As it is now it is good enough I think. And it
can by loaded through the help menu entry 'Extending the system' as of

>> A calculator, a game, puzzles, a scrapbook, a world clock, ToolBuilder
>> examples, a small parser, some simulations, a little spreadsheet for
>> doing a simple budget, a flash card came, a sound library browser, an
>> outliner, the HelpSystem (with tags), a browser for flickr, a curl
>> plugin example, example accessing this NON-relational databases (JSON
>> based), a website done with Http view, links to Seaside more
>> examples,.... you name it.
> I could contribute a Z80 emulator. And probably a Smalltalk VM. ;-)
> Best,
> Michael

You mention the upcoming book of Bruce Tate "Seven Languages in Seven
Weeks" (Pragmatic Programmers), in which he introduces (in the given
order) Ruby, Io,
Prolog, Scala, Erlang, Clojure, and Haskell.

You mention that it will contain 'lots of examples'.

That is what we need.

Regarding the Z80 emulator. Yes I think that is a good idea. I assume
it runs old Z80 games at a reasonable speed these days?

And maybe that example could be used for an implementation of the MMIX
RISC computer

And this would lead to a generic set of classes for implementing these
kinds of emulators.....

Anyhow it need not be. The Z80 emulator as such is fine.
Other people on the list might provide other interpreters.

As the heading of this thread is 'What is the plan for 4.2?' we should
try to come up with a list

- title
- summary
- main responsible,
- other contact persons
- status

(it's OK for the time being if this list stays within this email thread)

Going through the wiki could be helpful as well. A suggestion, please,
for all people who start doing this, may I kindly ask you to "earmark"
pages on that wiki you think are useful with the tag


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