[ANN] SqueakOS

Jecel Assumpcao Jr jecel@lsi.usp.br
Tue, 12 Oct 1999 21:52:40 -0300

Brian Rice wrote:
> Well, there's a new kid on the block among bootable languages... With a
> little work, this VM could be turned into a Self/R clone.  Any comments?

I can't hard avoid commenting on that, right? ;-)

This is a *very* nice development. Too bad this Squeak OS is
so stripped down for now (no graphics, and that is very nasty
for a Smalltalk). But this is only one of the many nice things
that are happening in Squeak right now. One of the most interesting
things, from my viewpoint, is the new "image segments" which
are the first step to a decent persistent object store.

But I had two reasons from going with Self 4.0 on a Sparc
instead of Squeak on a PC for my development environment:

 - Self just feels much more like a heavy duty system. The compilers
   get the job done and the GUI is very simple and functional. In
   Squeak you have to convert parts of your code into primitives
   to get good performance or deal with messy external libraries
   and the GUI feels a little fragil, though with many more

 - I am making some radical changes and in the Squeak community
   you have to waste too much effort keeping things compatible.
   It is very hard to get something accepted into the "core"
   Squeak (exceptions took nearly two years) and if you go in
   your own direction you will have to do a lot of work to keep
   your system working as new releases come out.

Squeak has a huge advantage over Self 4.0 (it runs on your
machine) and an even bigger one over Self/R (it is here NOW!).
More reflection would be nice, but won't be practical until
there is an optimizing compiler in the VM. Perhaps Jitter II
(the future threaded code compiler) will be it. If not, Self/R
and Squeak might make a very interesting combination someday...

> Of course, this only re-inforces my faith in using Squeak (a.k.a. Tunes LLL
> candidate) to bootstrap Arrow, since squeak already supports a simple
> abstract language, has a large library of very usable code, and supports a
> Lisp development environment.

And people are porting other stuff that would help Tunes, like
the ThingLab constraints system.

One more thing - I am not actually working on Self/R right now
because I am trying to finish a much simpler system that I can
sell before my money runs out. See


It is a computer for children and the language is called NeoLogo
(see, I can do Lisp too :-)

-- Jecel