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Squeak Research

By: Mike Maniscalco
Note: This is a work in progress, it is not complete so there are mistakes, broken links... If you find anything wrong, have suggestions, or just want to say anything please add a comment to the bottom of the page. Thanks - Mike.

Why am I writing this?

Towards the end of the cs2340 class I was curious about some of the research and commercial projects using squeak in the "real world". The lecture provided a good overview of what was being done but I wanted to know more. In this case, I hope to answer the question "Why are we programming in squeak? Does anyone even use squeak? why?" I will provide you with information on some current research being done with squeak and smalltalk. I will be taking some of the topics discussed in the squeakeresearch.ppt lecture slides and exploring them in a little more detail, providing short descriptions and links to current projects. There are a lot of interesting research projects going on that you may not know about, so read on and if you are interested find out how you can How do you get involved in Squeak Research projects? in squeak research. There is a large list of current projects currently being researched in squeak and in this essay I will be focusing on some projects being worked on at Georiga Tech and Squeak Central, as well as some other projects that I found interesting. If you are new to Squeak and are not sure were Squeak can be used in practical applications, you may want to learn more about Squeak's Place in the Universe.

Squeak Central

Squeak Central is run by a core group of squeak developers who are currently working at Disney. Squeak Central projects are either internal or external projects. An interal project is a project on which squeak central is working on and an external project is one that the squeak central team has decided is important to the future of squeak and "have a committment to integrate useful resuts as they appear." Squeak Central Projects are those which have a large amount of interest on the Squeak mail list and the group decides that the problem is important enough to the future of squeak that they committ time and resources to completing that project. Some of the current projects that Squeak Central is working on include better support for first time users, exception handling, and Modular squeak.


Collaborative Software Library at Georgia Tech

The Collaborative Software Library at Georgia Tech focuses on the creation of collaborative Dynabooks. The group is made of of Faculty, Graduate, and undergraduate students at Georgia Tech. They have many projects, focusing on small pieces of the overall goal to create a collaborative dynabook. The CSL is currently evaluating how students are using the coweb, this will help to gain an understanding about how students work in colaborative learning enviornments. Some of the projects that the CSL is working on include MuSwiki, iScream, and 2Cool.

Pocket SmallTalk

Pocket SmallTalk is an implementation of the SmallTalk programming languuage for the Palm Pilot. Pocket SmallTalk gives the developer the full power of SmallTal, including the class libraries. This makes it easy to write applications for a Palm Pilot in smalltalk. A cross-compiler generates palm executables from your smalltalk code and does not require any runtime libraries. The result is the a compact but paower tool for developing software for a palm piolt. Here are some screenshots of a Pocket smalltalk demo that is only 38K.
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References:
Squeak Central
Squeak Info
Collaborative Software Library
Pocket SmallTalk Homepage
GT CS2340 & its CoWeb


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