[squeak-dev] Re: A little 4.1 press coverage

Igor Stasenko siguctua at gmail.com
Wed Apr 28 22:38:35 UTC 2010

On 29 April 2010 01:05, Ian Trudel <ian.trudel at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> That caught my eye. How do people actually develop with "one-click
>>> images"? I mean, I came up with that concept in the first place, but it was
>>> meant for deploying applications, not for development. You can't even save
>>> the image under a different name. So while I see the appeal to people giving
>>> it a casual look, do you really think that should be the default download?
>>> - Bert -
> Bert, saving an image under a different name in the installed
> directory will result into opening a dialog box to select an image.
> There is something to be clear about the whole thing, having to
> download a VM, an image and source files separately is newcomers
> unfriendly.
> Imagine a newcomer saying to himself...
>        “Squeak, right... funny name... download page... (click)”
>        “What do I download again? So much text on this page...”
>        “Right, never mind that, I'll take the exe file!”
>        “Gee, there's no exe file! Win32, right, I'll take that. (click)”
>        “What do you mean no source file? (download source file or giving up)”
>        “What do you mean no image file? (download source file or giving up)”
>        ...etc...
> Early in my career I was working on eCommerce technologies. There were
> pretty much nothing alike during these days. Few years later, in 1999,
> Amazon came up with the 1-Click concept. This was brilliant! It
> reduced many hurdles people could have to buy products. It went even
> further because some people are bit compulsive when they buy and if
> it's easy, they buy it.
> Squeak is a product but it just happen to be free-of-charge. Having
> multiple downloads to get Squeak running and going is a major hurdle
> for newcomers. It will make the curious go away. Curiosity is often
> not strong enough to be persistent and go through the hurdles. Then it
> turns in a no sale.
> It may not be the most practical approach but it's a hell of a good
> thing to get newcomers.

Indeed. Easy and fast acquaintance is what a one-click images should serve for.
Everything else is secondary and can be explained/uncovered once you
hooked in the user.

>> The great thing about the one-click image is that it's such a powerful way
>> to get people hooked. If you've got, say, a Mandelbrot generator that you
>> want to show to people, it's great to be able to drop it into a one-click
>> image, put it and an appealing image on your blog and say to the world "just
>> download it and run it, it works identically on Windows, OS X and Linux, oh
>> and if you want to understand how it works, the source code's included, oh
>> and it's got a powerful development environment in there as well". People
>> can then get a taste for the Squeak environment and perhaps explore the
>> development tools without even caring that there's an "image" there. Once
>> you've captured their interest and they start thinking about using Squeak
>> themselves, they'll be more willing to put in that little bit of effort to
>> understand what images and sources and changes and FFI and DLLs and VMs and
>> changesets and mczs and packages all mean.
>> I wouldn't make a one-click image the default download that you're pointed
>> to on squeak.org, but you question did make me think; perhaps there should
>> be a "Taste of Squeak" one-click image based on the 4.1 release, with a few
>> of the more appealing packages pre-installed - a combination of 4.1's
>> un-threatening UI and in-image help, with some of Edgar's FunSqueak ideas
>> could be really attractive.
> I like the idea. We need to make sure there is no hurdles to use
> appealing applications within Squeak; if packages don't cut it off at
> the moment, we could include few interesting apps (without bloating
> the image too much :P).
> However, it's important to put some thoughts in it. What would be the
> benefits from including a Mandelbrot generator? People will look at it
> for 5 minutes then what? It sounds directly out of some 90s demos.
> It's underwhelming and trivial even by 90s standard.
> One may argue the benefit from having a Mandelbrot generator is that
> people can then look into the code. They may or may not. Your guess is
> as good as mine. Or, for example, we could instead include some games
> (SameGame, Tetris, etc) along with the famous Laser Game tutorial (at
> least a link but preferably in HelpSystem).
>        “Play games, make games!”
> 2010/4/28 Michael Davies <mykdavies+squeak at gmail.com>:
>>> > If you want to promote the use of Squeak, you need to find people with a
>>> > Squeak-shaped hole in their lives, help them recognise that the hole
>>> > exists,
>>> > convince them that Squeak can fill the hole, and make filling that hole
>>> > as
>>> > enjoyable as possible [note to self, never use this uncomfortable
>>> > metaphor
>>> > again].
>>> Are you a golfer? :)
>> No, golf was not what was disturbing me...
> All right. I believe I understand what you initially meant. However,
> educating people in what their “real” needs are is costly, lengthy and
> difficult. We may not even be the ones who benefit from this
> education. People may end-up using something else.
> I remember reading about this in the book “The Knack : How
> Street-Smart Entrepreneurs Learn To Handle Whatever Comes Up” (I wrote
> a bit about it on my blog [1]) written by Norm Brodsky. Brodsky wrote
> that he'd much rather do business where there is a lot of competition
> because it costs too much to educate customers. My experience in my
> area of expertise correlates with his commentary.
> [1] http://mecenia.blogspot.com/2010/04/statement-analysis-on-books.html
>>> How about we have a great programming environment? It's called Squeak.
>>> Clear and simple. Squeak has its own features. Can't we show them off
>>> (screenshots, videos, etc)? Perhaps I don't understand anything you're
>>> writing. :)
>> No, that's where we're totally in agreement. If people are happy to produce
>> videos etc, go for it.
> Great. What would you show in a video? Perhaps, if we share our ideas,
> it might be easy enough that one of us (or someone else) will just do
> it. It's much easier when there is some kind of plan. :)
> As a side note, I made such a plan before taking screenshots shown in
> my article “The History of Squeak in Pictures”. I have determined in
> advance what I wanted to show and what should be present that were
> pertinent to my goal (convince graphic designers that we need their
> help).
>>  [snip, then "Developers"]
>>> I think it's a good target audience. What kind of efforts have been
>>> deployed to reach them on the sites you have mentioned?
>> Whenever I post an article on news.squeak.org, I write it thinking of that
>> wider audience. I include images to help people engage with what's being
>> discussed and the most useful links I can find. If I think it will be of
>> particular interest, I post it to a few of the sites I mentioned. If I see a
>> discussion in one of my RSS feeds that touches on Smalltalk or Squeak, I see
>> if I can contribute to that discussion by adding information and correcting
>> misunderstandings. I recognise a few other names of contributors on some of
>> these sites also making similar efforts, so there's a few of us out there
>> already doing this, but the more of us who do that, the clearer the
>> understanding of Squeak will be.
> Once again, the articles you post on news.squeak.org are really good.
> I have noticed that you have spruced the original announcement for the
> 4.1 release and even included a partial screenshot. I like it better
> (than the original one). :)
> Still – sometimes doing a fine work is not enough. This website is
> mostly attractive to people already interested in Squeak. It is also
> equivalent to a blog. As I wrote, blogs have important shortcomings.
> For example, I have been writing in-depth articles on my blog for some
> 2 years (62 articles). Some of my articles are very popular
> (especially those related to RPG Maker) but I get very few comments
> (and pretty much from the same person under different names). I do see
> many other great blogs and they don't get any more active readership
> than I do. Me, personally, I have chosen to NOT be aggressive or even
> straightforward in promoting my blog. I however think our community
> should be a bit more straightforward and try to reach others (since
> they may not be coming on their own).
>>> Blogging about Squeak is a good idea but it may have its shortcomings.
>>> For example, Squeak related blogs are unlikely to attract newcomers.
>>> Anyway, I wrote a bit about Squeak on my blog and I certainly did my
>>> part in that respect. Others reading this should consider writing
>>> about Squeak on their blog as well; this is a form of contribution!
>> Absolutely, I noticed your posts, and look forward to seeing more of them!
> I believe there will be more. I am trying to increase my contributions
> and Squeak-awareness. :)
>> Cheers, Michael
> Best regards,
> Ian.
> --
> http://mecenia.blogspot.com/

Best regards,
Igor Stasenko AKA sig.

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