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Here's the link to the text in MS Word squeak.doc, or just read the text below:
Squeak, what is it, and where it came from?
Squeak is an object-oriented, open-source-code programming language based on and written in Smalltalk-80. It is platform-independent and, like Java, requires a virtual machine for each platform on which it runs. Originally developed on the Mac OS, and now it has been ported to many platforms: Windows 95, Windows NT, Windows CE, the major Unix platforms like Solaris, SunOS, Linux, OS/2, DOS, NeXT, BeOS and Acorn. And it also runs on the Mitsubishi M32R/D chip. Development of Squeak started in 1995. The project was launched to develop an educational platform that could be programmed by everyone, even kids. The developers also wanted to create a platform for PDAs or Internet access devices where a compact, fast and highly portable OS is required. They considered using Java but decided it was too immature. Smalltalk, on the other hand, didn't have the audio and graphics capabilities they wanted. The developers decided to build a version of Smalltalk that met their requirements, and thus Squeak was born. Today the team that developed Squeak is at Walt Disney Imagineering, and they continue to develop and advance their work. True to the behavior of the open-source community, a great deal of other work with and about Squeak is available all over the Internet.
The neat things about Squeak is the way it handles objects, real-time audio and music capabilities, and color manipulation. It runs bit-identical images on all platforms and does animation and Web serving. Because it's written in Smalltalk, everything about a Squeak application–the code, the virtual machine, etc.–can be manipulated or edited. In addition, the platform is really small–under 2MB for Squeak, the virtual machine and a Smalltalk-to-C translator (which speeds up Squeak). A Win CE version can run in under 1MB. Squeak can be used for commercial applications royalty-free, although the license stipulates that any ports of Squeak or changes to the base class library must be made freely available on the Internet. So, if someone makes a change, everyone is entitled to receive it.
So at the end, Squeak is an object-oriented development environment that can be run on any platform using a VM and supports lots of multimedia capabilities. And it's got an open source code that enables developers to tweak any part of a Squeak applications.
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