Is dolphin dying ?

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Peter

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Mar 14, 2005, 4:26:38 PM3/14/05
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I'm contemplating an idea of buying Dolphin Smalltalk XP Pro. But I
could not help but notice some signs of deterioration on object-arts
web site: outdated content (6.0 is still promised to be released at the
end of 2004), difficult navigation, documentation for 5.0 is missing
for more than a year, etc.
I just don't want to invest in a company that will seize to exist soon.
On the other hand the product itself looks solid and well done, and by
all means the most available among commercial Smalltalk implementation.

Could someone confirm/dispel my concerns please ?

Peter.

Fernando

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Mar 14, 2005, 5:45:52 PM3/14/05
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Hopefully, Object-Arts is doing fine. However, if they did get out of
business, VW is not THAT expensive for the little guy. Last time I
checked it was US$500 per year.

OTOH, I do agree that OA should release a new version ASAP. I don't
think the delay is caused by its imminent death, but rather by the
perfectionism that all of us, obsessive-compulsive programmers suffer.
;-)

It's usually difficult to realize that while the 'unfinished' product
is laying on your HD, it's not helping your customers. Sometimes, you
just need to have the _balls_ to release a product that is not
_exactly_ what you wished it to be. There will be other versions, and
remember: worse is better
(http://www.dreamsongs.com/WorseIsBetter.html).

Anyway, my recommendation is to buy it and start writing some code. If
later on, an asteroid falls on OA offices, you can always move on to
some other vendor. It's not like there was only one implementation.

Günther Schmidt

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Mar 14, 2005, 10:38:32 PM3/14/05
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Peter schrieb:


Peter,

a few months ago similar thoughts ran through my head as I also considered buying a license, and apart of 350 USD leaving quite a gap in my budget, of course one also has to consider the effort of learning something new that hopefully pays of some day.

I eventualy bought a license and haven't regreted it. AFAIK the people from object arts are focusing on some sort of trading software for either selling it or using it themselves, don't know which is true and don't realy care. However that software seems to be based / developed with Dolphin itself.

IMHO Dolphin 6 is thus eventualy going to show up, no rush as far as I'm concerned, DST 5 is already better than anything I've seen sofar.

One thing I don't realy have hope for is an improvement on documentation, but please guys, surprise me! ;-)


Günther

mario bancos

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Mar 15, 2005, 8:26:58 AM3/15/05
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Günther Schmidt <gue.s...@web.de> wrote in message news:<42365c79$1...@news.totallyobjects.com>...


Ok. But don't you think when it arrives it will be too late. Now
Dolphin XP doesn't have any official Web Framework besides some
goodie you can find ported to, or ready to port. Dolphin XP (5.0) is 3
years old (if I'm not wrong), now we are in 5.1.4 but this is only
because fixed bugs in the VM or in the Smalltalk code. Using Dolphin
XP you lost competitivity versus other Smalltalk distributions, and
other languages. Furthermore don't you think that a year delay in any
technology product is to much. Now every development tool is facing
the .Net or Mono integration, as other Smalltalk distributions. I
think (only based in the list post) that D6 will not have any .Net
integration (neither Mono). So maybe OA is perfectioning D6, but If D6
don't follow any market trends, Dolphin will die even though the
perfectionism that all of obsessive-compulsive programmers suffer. On
the other hand, don't you think the (cheaper) VW per year licences is
a marketing decision to win in the low budget segment of the Smalltalk
market, where Dolphin, MT and VS (another St. ditribution killed by
Cincom) are the principal rivals.

Günther Schmidt

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Mar 15, 2005, 9:37:11 AM3/15/05
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mario bancos schrieb:

Mario,

first of all nothing I said before was meant to be interpreted as a "qualified statement", mereley a personal opinion.

Yes I'm quite aware of the gaps and "late" schedule myself, but the original question was wether or not Dolphin is a dying product, rather than if Dolphin is the wisest choice.

From my little experience even merely deciding getting into (any) Smalltalk may not be a *wise* choice, from a commercial perspective. (With C#, C++ or Java being where the money is). The later I say with some authority as I have been on the freelancer market..

Günther

Andreas Wacknitz

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Mar 15, 2005, 1:22:42 PM3/15/05
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mario bancos wrote:

MS Visual Studio 2003 is also 2 years old and nobody thinks it is dying.
Dolphin XP is a very mature development environment as Smalltalk is as a
language. Sure, Dolphin has some areas where improvements are possible.
But there is nothing that holds you back from writing great applications
with it.



> because fixed bugs in the VM or in the Smalltalk code. Using Dolphin
> XP you lost competitivity versus other Smalltalk distributions, and

There also weren't VAST releases for quite some time. And VW is IMO outdated
in regard to its GUI and Pollock will take quite a while before it will
replace the traditional GUI. So I don't agree with you here.

> other languages. Furthermore don't you think that a year delay in any
> technology product is to much. Now every development tool is facing
> the .Net or Mono integration, as other Smalltalk distributions. I
> think (only based in the list post) that D6 will not have any .Net
> integration (neither Mono). So maybe OA is perfectioning D6, but If D6
> don't follow any market trends, Dolphin will die even though the
> perfectionism that all of obsessive-compulsive programmers suffer. On
> the other hand, don't you think the (cheaper) VW per year licences is

Either I missed an important license fee change or you didn't read the
license conditions thoroughly. AFAIR $500 per year and developer is the
MINIMUM you have to pay for VW. Cincom really wants a part of your revenues
you earn with the products created with VW!

> a marketing decision to win in the low budget segment of the Smalltalk
> market, where Dolphin, MT and VS (another St. ditribution killed by
> Cincom) are the principal rivals.


Andreas

Christopher J. Demers

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Mar 15, 2005, 2:26:56 PM3/15/05
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"mario bancos" <mba...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:a5cd1e1c.05031...@posting.google.com...

> Ok. But don't you think when it arrives it will be too late. Now
> Dolphin XP doesn't have any official Web Framework besides some
> goodie you can find ported to, or ready to port. Dolphin XP (5.0) is 3
> years old (if I'm not wrong), now we are in 5.1.4 but this is only

Too late for whom? I don't think that a large percentage of Dolphin users
are running it on web servers or intend to do so. It would seem to me that
there are already other Smalltalks in more dominant positions in those
areas. I see Dolphin as a really excellent environment for writing
stand-alone or client programs.

> because fixed bugs in the VM or in the Smalltalk code. Using Dolphin
> XP you lost competitivity versus other Smalltalk distributions, and
> other languages. Furthermore don't you think that a year delay in any
> technology product is to much. Now every development tool is facing
> the .Net or Mono integration, as other Smalltalk distributions. I
> think (only based in the list post) that D6 will not have any .Net
> integration (neither Mono). So maybe OA is perfectioning D6, but If D6
> don't follow any market trends, Dolphin will die even though the
> perfectionism that all of obsessive-compulsive programmers suffer. On

I was eager to play with Dolphin 6.0. But I really did not have any need
for it, Dolphin 5 works very well for my needs. I don't feel that I have
lost any competitive advantage vs other Smalltalk distributions, rather I
have benefited from what Dolphin is: a great environment for developing
stand-alone Windows programs. The other large Smalltalk distributions
always had more bells and whistles than Dolphin. I did not need most of
them then, and still don't. Dolphin Smalltalk was better for my needs
developing stand-alone Windows programs than competing products were.

.Net is interesting. It might be cool if Dolphin supported that. However
there would be disadvantages also. My understanding is that a fairly large
support package is required for .Net applications. I would not want my
deployment process to become more complex unless I really needed the
benefits .Net offers.

Market trends can be tricky. Sometimes they represent real innovation, and
sometimes they just represent marketing innovation. I tend to take a
cautious view of market trends. For a while Java was the big deal, now .Net
is the big deal. I was happy with Dolphin while Java was the big deal and I
am still happy while .Net is the bid deal.

> the other hand, don't you think the (cheaper) VW per year licences is
> a marketing decision to win in the low budget segment of the Smalltalk
> market, where Dolphin, MT and VS (another St. ditribution killed by
> Cincom) are the principal rivals.

Someone mentioned a $500 price tag for VW, but as far as I know they still
want royalties for distributing products developed in it. But price is not
the biggest reason I chose Dolphin. I really like the way the system works
and feels. I like that it really feels like a native Windows application.

I think that people should choose the best tool for the job. For me,
developing stand-alone Windows applications, Dolphin still seems to be the
best tool. If I had to develop server software I might choose a different
Smalltalk.

Object Arts does not try to be all things to all people. For now I am happy
with the trade-offs they have made. However I am not a blind loyalist. If
something much better for my business comes along I will evaluate it.
Object-Arts needs to remain competitive in its own market space (it is
fairly unique amongst Smalltalks).

Chris


David Gorisek

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Mar 15, 2005, 3:54:04 PM3/15/05
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Christopher J. Demers wrote:
> "mario bancos" <mba...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
> news:a5cd1e1c.05031...@posting.google.com...
>
>>Ok. But don't you think when it arrives it will be too late. Now
>>Dolphin XP doesn't have any official Web Framework besides some
>>goodie you can find ported to, or ready to port. Dolphin XP (5.0) is 3
>>years old (if I'm not wrong), now we are in 5.1.4 but this is only
>
>
> Too late for whom? I don't think that a large percentage of Dolphin users
> are running it on web servers or intend to do so. It would seem to me that
> there are already other Smalltalks in more dominant positions in those
> areas. I see Dolphin as a really excellent environment for writing
> stand-alone or client programs.
>

We are running multiple web server applications developed in Dolphin
Smalltalk. Everything is 100% Dolphin Smalltalk code (altough we use a
dialect portability layer just in case so that we could move to other
Smalltalk anytime). When I say everything I mean everything, starting
from the web server up to the business domain and persistency code. You
can even download an example of Dolphin web app - WikiDoc server - from
our wiki at http://wiki.gorisek.com.

Speaking for myself I miss none of the things you've mentioned. If there
is something missing I can usually write it in Smalltalk in less time
than it would take me just studying the documentation for some Java/EJB
app server. Also, frameworks are a very little part of any big
application and writing web frameworks isn't really a rocket science.
The frameworks usually just grow along with the app in the direction you
need them to grow.

Best regards,

David Gorisek
http://www.gorisek.com

Message has been deleted

cstb

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Mar 15, 2005, 5:25:11 PM3/15/05
to mario bancos

mario bancos wrote:
> Günther Schmidt <gue.s...@web.de> wrote in message news:<42365c79$1...@news.totallyobjects.com>...
>
>>Peter schrieb:
>>
>>>I'm contemplating an idea of buying Dolphin Smalltalk XP Pro.


Good choice.


>>>But I could not help but notice some signs of deterioration on object-arts
>>>web site: outdated content


Have you tried running an editable web service lately?
Without a DNS entry for the IP address, it takes less than
15 minutes for something to start probing it, looking for
vulnerabilities.

But the content doesn't sustain much damage until it
is reachable via DNS. At which point, spam happens.

Whoops - that's a full-time staff position to
keep the site clear of defacing and trojans, etc.
Or a reconsideration/redesign of the 'openness'.
Seems they chose to freeze it, rather than consume
that much resource. Good choice.


>>>(6.0 is still promised to be released at the end of 2004),


Hmmmm, *promised*, or planned?
How much is the dev license, and the maintenance
contract? Times number of seats you need?
Equals how many engineering salaries, roughly?

Just pointing out the realities involved.
This is an extrordinary product, produced by
a small company. There are always pluses and minuses.
But the current product is still in the 'best of breed'
class, before even looking at the price. (As are most,
if not all, Smalltalk offerings.)


Now for the "I agree with you" part.
It would be a good idea to update the 'expected delivery'
dates on the wiki, even if it is done by hand.

For the same reason it is a good idea to call the
wife if you're going to be later than expected.
The advice holds even if, god help you, that was days ago...


>>> difficult navigation,


Can't comment - don't know what you mean here.
Examples?


>>>documentation for 5.0 is missing
>>>for more than a year, etc.


Yup. Could always be better. Tradeofs again.
But one should also keep in mind the
advantage of having ALL THE SOURCE right there
in front of you, all cross indexed, and browsable.
And most of it is easy to experiment with, *live*,
and with ease, in a workspace.


>>>I just don't want to invest in a company that will seize to exist soon.


You worry too much. ;-)

Buy it.

1) It is a *very* good deal.
2) It is *very* high quality already.
3) Look at it, play with it, get familiar.
Now ask yourself - the guys who did this,
are they going to do more? Or die?

And - same question, what about you?

Ya never really know. But if you're going
to put your chips down somewhere, I think
Dolphin is one of the best bets available.


>>>On the other hand the product itself looks solid and well done, and by
>>>all means the most available among commercial Smalltalk implementation.

>>>Could someone confirm/dispel my concerns please ?


Sure. Buy it. Buy ten. (And get some VW licences, too).
Maybe try some other versions as well. Surest way to enhance
whatever you're betting on.

You haven't even *mentioned* the actual downside,
which is quite real. Know much about addiction?
Try enjoyable stimulus, succesful response, and instant
reinforcement. Be sure and read the warning labels...


Regards,

-cstb

Sean Malloy

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Mar 15, 2005, 7:33:27 PM3/15/05
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> We are running multiple web server applications developed in Dolphin
> Smalltalk. Everything is 100% Dolphin Smalltalk code (altough we use a
> dialect portability layer just in case so that we could move to other
> Smalltalk anytime). When I say everything I mean everything, starting
> from the web server up to the business domain and persistency code. You
> can even download an example of Dolphin web app - WikiDoc server - from
> our wiki at http://wiki.gorisek.com.

David,

I still say you should release the web server code as a product itself :)

Or even the portability layer you've developed.

I know probably a pain to manage on top of the other products...

On another note. I'm still working (albeit slowly) on a release of Seaside
for Dolphin. STS is helping me with the porting issues. I still don't have
it working yet though. I'm hoping that I can get Seaside to a point where
development work can be done in Dolphin, and either deployed directly in
Dolphin,or filed out, and directly imported into Squeak, as a multi-platform
target environment. Best of both worlds.

I keep hoping that D6 will come out now because as far as I understand some
changes have been made to the VM to better handle continuations (which is
available in D5, but gets quite ugly behind the scenes). Aside from all the
other modifications that have been made since D5 was released oh so long
ago.

Fernando

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Mar 16, 2005, 5:20:48 AM3/16/05
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On Tue, 15 Mar 2005 21:54:04 +0100, David Gorisek
<da...@remove-this.gorisek.com> wrote:

>We are running multiple web server applications developed in Dolphin
>Smalltalk. Everything is 100% Dolphin Smalltalk code (altough we use a
>dialect portability layer just in case so that we could move to other
>Smalltalk anytime).

Could you elaborate on this (the portability layer)?

Thanks

German Arduino

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Mar 16, 2005, 6:42:37 AM3/16/05
to
Only two little comments:

Christopher J. Demers wrote:
>
> .Net is interesting. It might be cool if Dolphin supported that. However
> there would be disadvantages also. My understanding is that a fairly large
> support package is required for .Net applications.

Agree.
By example a +20MB runtime. How to say a customer: "ok, to use my app of
2MB you need to download by your dial-up connection more than 20MB of
stuffs."

>
> Market trends can be tricky. Sometimes they represent real innovation, and
> sometimes they just represent marketing innovation. I tend to take a
> cautious view of market trends. For a while Java was the big deal, now .Net
> is the big deal. I was happy with Dolphin while Java was the big deal and I
> am still happy while .Net is the bid deal.
>

FULL AGREE, to a wide market niche (small and medium companies and
applications) I think that is really better to stay as far as is
possible of the "marketing innovations" that usually only want the $ of
customers giving in exchange almost nothing.

Cheers.
gsa.

David Gorisek

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Mar 16, 2005, 8:55:44 AM3/16/05
to

Well, a socket object in Squeak and a socket object in VW do not have
the same methods as do socket objects in Dolphin. The same goes for
other classes too. So let's make wrapper classes for each specific
Smalltalk dialect and use wrappers instead of Dolphin specific code.
Put this wrappers in a package and you have a dialect abstraction layer.
This way you can move application code from one VM to another without
having to change anything. For web apps this is easy because you mainly
need sockets, streams and process + exception handling. There's no GUI
code which one would need for a fat-client application.

kuo

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Mar 16, 2005, 11:52:17 AM3/16/05
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"Sean Malloy" <nosuchu...@arcturus.com.au> wrote:
> I still say you should release the web server code as a product itself :)
>
> Or even the portability layer you've developed.
> I know probably a pain to manage on top of the other products...

I hoped eagerly even in my dreams, too, since I was quite discomfortable by
the unnatural conditions that the wiki editing pages cann't show our
unicode-coded words correctly.

> On another note. I'm still working (albeit slowly) on a release of Seaside
> for Dolphin. STS is helping me with the porting issues. I still don't have
> it working yet though. I'm hoping that I can get Seaside to a point where
> development work can be done in Dolphin, and either deployed directly in
> Dolphin,or filed out, and directly imported into Squeak, as a
> multi-platform
> target environment. Best of both worlds.

Totally agreed. Seaside is a wonderful innovation but unfortunately stuck
deeply in the dialect-specific environment, IMHO, it depended too much on
Squeak's unique VM mechanism, AFAIK, it was almostly tangled inside it, you
had to be quite familiar with Squeak so that you could extract it out from
Squeak faithfully to port successfully to other dialects without any
distortions.
It would be better if the original authors could take account of this
condition and go instead to release a dialect-neural edition, I think this
way it would open more markets and earn more money for them in the future if
they will charge on it finally.

> I keep hoping that D6 will come out now because as far as I understand
> some
> changes have been made to the VM to better handle continuations (which is
> available in D5, but gets quite ugly behind the scenes). Aside from all
> the
> other modifications that have been made since D5 was released oh so long
> ago.
>

Long live the DST


Best regards,

tkkuo


David Gorisek

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Mar 16, 2005, 4:26:26 PM3/16/05
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kuo wrote:
> "Sean Malloy" <nosuchu...@arcturus.com.au> wrote:
>
>>I still say you should release the web server code as a product itself :)
>>
>>Or even the portability layer you've developed.
>>I know probably a pain to manage on top of the other products...
>
>
> I hoped eagerly even in my dreams, too, since I was quite discomfortable by
> the unnatural conditions that the wiki editing pages cann't show our
> unicode-coded words correctly.
>

Which windows code page is it? Or do you need to serve utf-8 encoded pages?

Best regards,

David Gorisek

Yanni Chiu

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Mar 16, 2005, 8:31:06 PM3/16/05
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kuo wrote:
>
> Totally agreed. Seaside is a wonderful innovation but unfortunately stuck
> deeply in the dialect-specific environment, IMHO, it depended too much on
> Squeak's unique VM mechanism, AFAIK, it was almostly tangled inside it, you
> had to be quite familiar with Squeak so that you could extract it out from
> Squeak faithfully to port successfully to other dialects without any
> distortions.

It was ported to VW, IIUC, by someone other than the
orignal author. Here's what it says on http://www.seaside.st/Download.

<quote>
Seaside is not available for other Smalltalks at this time.
Many Smalltalk VMs do not support the
stack-copying techniques Seaside uses to implement backtracking.
The status for various dialects is:

* Dolphin: definitely possible; a very early version of Seaside was successfully ported
* Smalltalk/X: not feasible
* VAST: not feasible
* Gnu Smalltalk: believed to be possible, but never tried
* Ambrai: unknown
</quote>

I have a prototype app. that I fileout of Squeak,
and then filein to VW (with Seaside), and it just
works. I currently have to do one manual edit
because of VW's namespaces though. I'm hoping that
this will work on all ST's that support Seaside.

Sean Malloy

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Mar 16, 2005, 8:32:49 PM3/16/05
to
> It was ported to VW, IIUC, by someone other than the
> orignal author. Here's what it says on http://www.seaside.st/Download.

It definitely works on Dolphin. The old version worked, and the
Continuations definitely work.

I'm currently working on a Dolphin version. It's taking a lot longer than I
expected because I have a lot less spare time to spend on it than I
expected.


Louis Sumberg

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Mar 17, 2005, 12:00:35 AM3/17/05
to
Hi Sean,

> I'm currently working on a Dolphin version.

I just wanted to make sure you know that Steve Waring put out a Dolphin
5 port of Seaside some time ago. It can still be reached via
http://www.dolphinharbor.org.

-- Louis

Sean Malloy

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Mar 17, 2005, 12:25:24 AM3/17/05
to
Louis

> I just wanted to make sure you know that Steve Waring put out a Dolphin
> 5 port of Seaside some time ago. It can still be reached via
> http://www.dolphinharbor.org.

Yeah, I've played with that version. Seaside has changed a lot since that
initial port. (It was based on Seaside 0.9) The whole rendering system is
different. Templates don't exist anymore, there are a whole lot of other
changes too.

However it has been useful getting my head around continuations and serving
as an example of how the original port was actually done.


Eliot Miranda

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Mar 25, 2005, 2:54:11 PM3/25/05
to

mario bancos wrote:
[snip]

> On the other hand, don't you think the (cheaper) VW per year licences is
> a marketing decision to win in the low budget segment of the Smalltalk
> market, where Dolphin, MT and VS (another St. ditribution killed by
> Cincom) are the principal rivals.

This is almost funny, but also deeply mistaken.

<rant>
First VS was killed by ObjectShare, not by Cincom; Cincom has done their
best to make VS available, including maintennance releases, e.g. for
WinXP; i.e. the VW team puts effort into keeping VS alive, even if in a
coma. Further, note that some of those behind the "killing" of VS at
ObjectShare were senior figures at Digitalk. VisualWorks did not kill
VS, people in control of PPD/ObjectShare who were interested in making
money killed it, and they ended up loosing the company a lot of money,
and a lot of engineering talent in the process.

One major mistake ParcPlace and Digitalk management made was assuming
they were each other's competition and hence a merger eliminated each
other's major competitor. Java was just a few months away...

Second, Dolphin is not VW's competition, it is our ally. .Net and Java
are our competition (and to a lesser extent python, perl et al). It is
to compete against MS, IBM, Sun et al that we've provided a lower
entry-point for the single programmer, not to steal market share away
from Dolphin.

In fact the situation is quite the reverse. VW wants Dolphin to succeed
and we're worried whenever any dialect seems to be suffering. If one
looks at Smalltalk from an MIS perspective it can be perceived to be a
tiny niche with very few stable players. Market analysts denigrate
Smalltalk as a dead language that is going away and one that management
should leave in favour of typically Java and .Net. [But these analysts
are playing to the choir, not providing objective advice].

The more healthy vendors and active open source dialects there are in
the Smalltalk community the more the above misperception can be
countered and the more confident MIS types can be in choosing Smalltalk.


If one looks at market share as available dollars to be spent on
development and deployment technology then the choice is obvious. One
can wear blinkers and go after 100% of the few millions of dollars being
spent on SMalltalk development projects, attempt to eliminate the very
people that help bolster your own sales, and have a larger slice of a
rapidly shrinking pie. Alternatively, one can look at the total market
and attempt to gain a share of billions of dollars being spent on
development and deployment technology across the industry, and gain a
growing share of a growing pie. For the Smalltalk sector to to do the
latter it helps if it attempts to be a community and recognizes its
members can be of enormous help to each other. Being fearful of each
other is not the answer.

One important aspect of this is the evolution of Smalltalk. When
Smalltalk was developed it was funded by the most rapidly growing
technology company the world had seen and it was developed by a
relatively small team. Certainly the number of people working on Java
at IBM and Sun dwarf the amount of people working on hardware and
software at PARC in the 70's. i.e. it was relatively cheap for Xerox to
fund in the 70's, but funding a successor now would be much more costly
if Java and .Net are at all representative (which they may not be).

Now, if Smalltalk is to evolve, or a successor invented to obsolete it,
I think it extremely unlikely that this will happen in the context of a
corporate funder. i.e. I doubt that Alan Kay will be able to get HP to
provide sufficient commitment to do this.

Where else might it happen? The two obvious candidates are in
universities and in the "open source community". But since it is
universities that populate the open source community anyway we should
concentrate on universities. That is a place where people get exposed
to new ideas, fall in love with them, and often come up with good new
ideas. Companies like MS recognize this, which is why they are
targeting universities with technologies like Rotor (the open source
.Net platform) and funding for research. They are fighting for hearts
and minds.

Over the past two decades the university sector has become more
vocational in its teaching. Alan Kay lambastes no less than Stanford
university in his Croquet presentation for using Java for teaching.
When I was teaching in London University in the early 90's much debate
was between those that wanted to teach concepts and those that wanted to
"provide marketable skills". Government, with pressure from industry
(almost always short-sighted), sided with the vocationalists and good
computer science teaching suffered.

So if universities are to be places where people get exposed to the good
stuff like Smalltalk, Lisp and Prolog, one thing that will definitely
help is if the commercial members of these communities can demonstrate
that in fact their technology is not dead, is not esoteric, but in fact
in widespread and extremely demanding use in industry. [side note:
VisualWorks and VW/GemStone combinations are used in sectors such as cpu
manufacture, container shipping and derivatives trading on a world scale
(i.e. they handle a substantial fraction of the world's activities in
these sectors). But for nearly two decades the corporations who have
built these applications have viewed their use of Smalltalk as a
strategic advantage, and hence prevented the vendors from using the
applications in marketing material.]

The more the Smalltalk community can demonstrate commercial viability
and relevance the more widely it will be adopted by the universities
and the more minds will follow the arc of falling in love with
smalltalk, finding its limitations and dreaming of something better.
</rant>
--
_______________,,,^..^,,,____________________________
Eliot Miranda Smalltalk - Scene not herd

Avi Bryant

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Mar 26, 2005, 7:50:31 PM3/26/05
to

kuo wrote:

> Totally agreed. Seaside is a wonderful innovation but
unfortunately stuck
> deeply in the dialect-specific environment, IMHO, it depended too
much on
> Squeak's unique VM mechanism, AFAIK, it was almostly tangled inside
it, you
> had to be quite familiar with Squeak so that you could extract it out
from
> Squeak faithfully to port successfully to other dialects without any

> distortions.

This was arguably true at some point, but these days we're actually
quite careful to keep Seaside dialect indepedendent. I don't know
exactly what process Michel goes through on every release to do the VW
port, but from what I understand it's almost entirely automated;
certainly, he tracks the Squeak version extremely closely. Every once
in a while we catch something that gets in the way of portability
(usually stuff like assuming #foo = 'foo' is true), fix it, and move
on, but it doesn't happen that often.

I'm looking forward to an active Dolphin port to keep us even more
honest in this area.

Avi

Thomas Gagne

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Mar 28, 2005, 6:55:07 AM3/28/05
to

Eliot Miranda wrote:
>
>
<snip>


>
> Over the past two decades the university sector has become more
> vocational in its teaching. Alan Kay lambastes no less than Stanford
> university in his Croquet presentation for using Java for teaching. When
> I was teaching in London University in the early 90's much debate was
> between those that wanted to teach concepts and those that wanted to
> "provide marketable skills". Government, with pressure from industry
> (almost always short-sighted), sided with the vocationalists and good
> computer science teaching suffered.
>

I've heard that complaint a lot lately. I wonder if it has more to do
with the demand for "coders" than a demand for "computer scientists".
As long as government and business require unsophisticated programmers
for unsophisticated expectations vocational training is the most
efficient producer.

That kind of training is probably easily accomplished in a 2-year
program. Perhaps CS students should be able to attain masters degrees
in 4-years compared to their 2-year counterparts. Perhaps colleges and
universities could help make that differentiation by handing out
associates degrees for their vocational programs.

Little-to-no Smalltalk? Little-to-no Lisp? Less theory?
Congratulations, you've learned less and here's your
less-than-a-bachelor's degree.

Fernando

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Mar 28, 2005, 9:58:47 AM3/28/05
to
On Mon, 28 Mar 2005 06:55:07 -0500, Thomas Gagne
<tga...@wide-open-west.com> wrote:


>Little-to-no Smalltalk? Little-to-no Lisp? Less theory?
>Congratulations, you've learned less and here's your
>less-than-a-bachelor's degree.

I wonder if those would be able to compete against the folks in India
with a better background and less salaries...

dan

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Mar 28, 2005, 12:26:05 PM3/28/05
to


Even more worrying - what if those folks in India pick up and run with
Smalltalk/Lisp. Remember what happened to the western car industry when
Japan picked up TQM?

Bill Schwab

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Mar 28, 2005, 1:32:07 PM3/28/05
to
Dan,

> Even more worrying - what if those folks in India pick up and run with
> Smalltalk/Lisp. Remember what happened to the western car industry when
> Japan picked up TQM?

Yes - US car makers got clobbered, and then improved their products in
response to the competition. Fair?

Whether it's better ways to build cars, or better ways to build
software, the more, the merrier :)

Bill


--
Wilhelm K. Schwab, Ph.D.
bi...@anest4.anest.ufl.edu

Günther Schmidt

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Mar 28, 2005, 2:22:23 PM3/28/05
to
dan wrote:
> Fernando wrote:
>
>> On Mon, 28 Mar 2005 06:55:07 -0500, Thomas Gagne
>> <tga...@wide-open-west.com> wrote:
>>
>>
>>
>>> Little-to-no Smalltalk? Little-to-no Lisp? Less theory?
>>> Congratulations, you've learned less and here's your
>>> less-than-a-bachelor's degree.
>>
>>
>>
>> I wonder if those would be able to compete against the folks in India
>> with a better background and less salaries...

Hi Dan,

let's do some Indian bashing here. When I started working as freelancer after a little while I was also worried that projects may be moved to India. Subsequently I had a look at what they produce in India, or are capable of producing, in short:

DO NOT WORRY ABOUT IT COMPETITION FROM INDIA, DON'T!

The quality what they deliver there is SO FAR BEHIND, just don't worry about it.

Guenther

Mark Pirogovsky

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Mar 29, 2005, 12:03:28 AM3/29/05
to

Günther Schmidt wrote:
> dan wrote:
>
>> Fernando wrote:
>>
>>> On Mon, 28 Mar 2005 06:55:07 -0500, Thomas Gagne
>>> <tga...@wide-open-west.com> wrote:
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>> Little-to-no Smalltalk? Little-to-no Lisp? Less theory?
>>>> Congratulations, you've learned less and here's your
>>>> less-than-a-bachelor's degree.
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> I wonder if those would be able to compete against the folks in India
>>> with a better background and less salaries...
>
>
> Hi Dan,
>
> let's do some Indian bashing here. When I started working as freelancer
> after a little while I was also worried that projects may be moved to
> India. Subsequently I had a look at what they produce in India, or are
> capable of producing, in short:
>
> DO NOT WORRY ABOUT IT COMPETITION FROM INDIA, DON'T!
>
> The quality what they deliver there is SO FAR BEHIND, just don't worry
> about it.
>
> Guenther
>

WE still have to worry and here is why:
In short sighted corporate accounting word nobody give a S. about
software quality. Everybody is concerned with the quarterly results.
And with that folks in India even with their zero quality software win
hands down with their fraction of the labor cost. The sad thing --
those Corporate Execs will not be there when a true cost of outsoursing
will be calculated few years later, they will collect their "golden
parachutes" and move on to screw another company using the "labor cost
reduction" as their greatest achievement.

Chris Uppal

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Mar 29, 2005, 2:01:01 AM3/29/05
to
Günther Schmidt wrote:

> DO NOT WORRY ABOUT IT COMPETITION FROM INDIA, DON'T!
>
> The quality what they deliver there is SO FAR BEHIND, just don't worry
> about it.

Um, before this thread gets too unpleasantly racist[*]...

Can I remind people that:

a) this group has a genuinely international readership.

b) comp.lang.smalltalk.dolphin (which is where I am reading this) has
traditionally been a pleasant place, where such discussions are neither
relevant nor (in my opinion) welcome.

Thanks.

-- chris

([*] check my surname.)


israel

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Mar 29, 2005, 4:15:39 AM3/29/05
to
Fernando <f...@easyjob.net> writes:

>>Little-to-no Smalltalk? Little-to-no Lisp? Less theory?
>>Congratulations, you've learned less and here's your
>>less-than-a-bachelor's degree.
>
> I wonder if those would be able to compete against the folks in India
> with a better background and less salaries...

Those who graduate from the elite IITs in India have a strong mathematical
and traditional computer _science_ background.

I suspect that they would dramatically outperform the vocationally trained.

Fernando

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Mar 29, 2005, 8:36:35 AM3/29/05
to
On Tue, 29 Mar 2005 09:15:39 GMT, israel <ram...@bigpond.net.au>
wrote:


>>>Little-to-no Smalltalk? Little-to-no Lisp? Less theory?
>>>Congratulations, you've learned less and here's your
>>>less-than-a-bachelor's degree.
>>
>> I wonder if those would be able to compete against the folks in India
>> with a better background and less salaries...
>
>Those who graduate from the elite IITs in India have a strong mathematical
>and traditional computer _science_ background.

Not just in India. Many developing countries have world class
colleges, such as Brasil or Chile.

So investing in a 'vocational' education, while living in the first
world, adn therefore lacking the competitve advantage of a low salary,
is a waste of time and money. I don't think that anyone with this sort
of knowledge will be able to compete in a global market anymore.

Anyway, this has become rather off topic...

Thomas Gagne

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Mar 29, 2005, 10:20:45 AM3/29/05
to
Getting back on-topic...

Would there be value to having two separate degrees? Have too many
colleges become Java vocational schools? Are they learning Java or are
they supposed to be learning OO? If they're learning OO Java is not a
good place to do it. Python, Ruby, Smalltalk are better for learning
the disciplines of OO than Java can ever be with all its primitives,
iterators, and non-OO idioms.

Bob Nemec

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Mar 29, 2005, 11:13:30 AM3/29/05
to
I would like to see a "Software Engineering" degree, vs. a "Computer
Science" degree.

Based on the resumes we get for our co-op program, the U. of Waterloo
computer science program no longer teaches the 'science' of computers. They
teach how to program... in Java. That's more or less it. Virtually no
Lisp, Prolog, Smalltalk, APL, etc.

And very little comp. sci. history; the OS course is on how Linux works, not
about *why* an OS does what it does (I learned OS theory from a historical
point of view; much better in my opinion).

No wonder Smalltalk has a hard time breaking through.

The state of computer science is disheartening.
--
Bob Nemec
Northwater Objects


"Thomas Gagne" <tga...@wide-open-west.com> wrote in message
news:OY6dneR3Q4T...@wideopenwest.com...

panu

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Mar 31, 2005, 12:21:30 AM3/31/05
to
Bob Nemec wrote:

> I would like to see a "Software Engineering" degree, vs. a "Computer

> Science" degree. ... Based on the resumes we get for our co-op program, the U. of Waterloo

> computer science program no longer teaches the 'science' of computers.


I think we can compare this to giving vocational training
to people to become TV-repair -technicians, vs. teaching
others to become scientists studying super conductivity.

It seems so far that the technicians always vastly outnumber
the scientists.

-Panu Viljamaa


israel

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Mar 31, 2005, 5:24:02 AM3/31/05
to
panu <pa...@nospam.com> writes:

> It seems so far that the technicians always vastly outnumber
> the scientists.

Seems to be true of most fields.

Geoff

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Apr 5, 2005, 2:09:26 PM4/5/05
to
Ahhhhhhhhh yes, we haven't had a . . .

'is <insert your favorite smalltalk here> dying?'

. . . thread for a while, lol.

-g

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