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Future of Squeak

Future of Squeak by Dan Shafer

Current Draft: futuresqueak2.pdf

Promised Reviewers:
Henrik Gedenryd
John Tobler (squeaker@diganet.com)


Comments:

Dan,

Unfortunately, I could not find anything wrong with this draft. It made me feel like I was not doing a good job. Fortunately, it is great. I found it very informative. Thanks.

Jerome


Trying to be constructively critical:

It is a bit difficult to say something "The future of Squeak". It appears to be an attempt to hype Squeak to some extent, as it contains a great deal of rather loosely founded speculation or even wishful thinking, but this may not be a flaw given those ambitions.



Just to name two things.

But, since most of the chapter is entirely speculative in nature, it seems inappropriate to give any comments on a more detailed level. The chapter strikes me as the first book version of an Internet rumor site. A problem with this genre, which the author notes, is that the text will probably be obsolote before it is printed.

Style-wise, I find it a little bit too journalistic and "cheery" for my taste. But that is subjective, and again, that may be the desired effect.

As for typos, if that kind of feedback is desired,

page 8, next-to-last paragraph, right after "traipsing"

Otherwise, it gives quite a finished impression.

Henrik Gedenryd
I think I found a mistake in the paper, it says:
"Squeak has also been successfully ported to the Palm Pilot...."
Squeak has not been ported to the Palm Pilot.

Thank You
Sebastian Wain

Dan,

This chapter had more the feel of an magazine article to me than of a book chapter.This was given by the multiple use of short quotes from various sources and the "by the time you read this..." reference.

I don't know enough else about Squeak to comment more fully.

What about OpenGL support in Squeak or perhaps some other 3D engine?

One thing that I did miss w.r.t. distributed, enterprise computing is the ability of Squeak to interoperate with existing databases, servers, and vertical systems. Where is Squeak on these things?

Lastly, while I found the parallels to Linux interesting, I think the biggest thing going for Linux, which you missed, is the general industry loathing of Microsoft Windows. It could be argued that there is growing animosity to both C++ and Java.Nevertheless, such a parallel comparison with Linux is tenuous and the success of Linux could prove to be short-lived (in other words, sadly dating this comparison).It may be more appropriate to point out how Linux with the addition of Squeak provides an immensely rich, flexible, and powerful combination for a wide variety of uses.

It might be useful, either in this chapter or somewhere else in the book, to identify the contributors and their contributions, much like the "Who's Who" of Squeak pages.

Respectfully,
Jeff Szuhay

Mark's Review of "The Future of Squeak"


WOW! This was the first chapter that I read, and one that got me very excited about the scope of the vision that we were describing.

A couple of over-arching questions that occurred to me reading this chapter:

Issues:




Dan,

This is a very exciting chapter to read, even for someone working at Squeak Central. It strikes a nice balance between near-term and long-term (and more speculative) predictions, and it reads well. I love that opening quote from Nietzche.

I agree with some of the other readers that the tone sometimes gets somewhat breezy and chatty–more like a magazine article than a book. Since the writing is strong overall, I know you could tighten up the prose if you wanted to, so I'll leave that up to your best judgement.

I did find a few factual errors. Understandable, given how fast we talked during our interview with you, but they definitely should be fixed. There are also one or two things that just shouldn't be printed here, such as the speculation about why the Squeak project at Interval was shut down.


p 3. "...successfully ported to the Palm Pilot..."
No, Squeak doesn't run on PalmPilot. It does run on Windows CE
devices from HP, Compaq, Casio, and others.

p.3 "Squeak team brought in"
"worked with" is more accurate; we didn't select the student;
he was a summer intern for the semiconductor company

p. 3 "In three weeks"
Actually, it was eight weeks. But that's still really fast.

p. 4 "origins in LISP"
The original Alice is based on Python.

p. 4 (and elsewhere): "chapter X"
Search for and fill in these references, since the chapter
numbering is now decided.

p. 5 "speech recognition and synthesis"
Squeak doesn't yet do speech recognition that I know of.
I'd replace this with "sound, music, and speech synthesis"

p. 6 "form factors entirely in Squeak Morphic"
Drop the word "Morphic" here.

p. 6 "Mahoney"
Typo. Should be "Maloney".

p. 6 "entirely feasible." All of"
Extra double-quote; the quotation continues.

p. 6 footnote on Interval Research:
Yikes! Please don't include the bit about Squeak being killed
in favor of WinCE. First, that was only speculation. Second,
all of Interval Research was shut down in April of this year.
I suggest that you add "and Interval Research has since
closed its doors" right after "the project was shelved"
and delete the remainder of that sentence and the following
sentence.

p. 9 "at the home address of some famous rodent."
Please delete this phrase. It's too obvious and the reference to
Disney has already been made clear.

p. 13 "Ingall's and Kaehler's work"
Make that "Kay's and Kaehler's work".

That's all. Thanks!

The previous comments are from John Maloney. I just forgot to include my name before submitting them. You can reach me at "John.Maloney@disney.com".

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