Smalltalk, Seaside, and Evangelism

Randall Schwartz gave a presentation on Seaside at SCALE 8x.

He made an offhand comment about not knowing how to install GNU Smalltalk.

Several of my friends were quite impressed with the demonstration; maybe not so much with Seaside, but with the language itself. Some of them muttered "Why haven't I looked at Smalltalk before?"

Randall used Squeak, but several of my friends know that I tend to prefer GNU Smalltalk. I'm a command-line junkie, after all, and Squeak doesn't play so nice there. Today one of 'em used macports in an attempt to install GST, and it failed miserably.

This is why I'm not much of an evangelist, I fear. Suppose I *did* get someone excited... only to have 'em shot down by technical difficulties. I'd be mortified.

Although I don't blame you for misunderstanding, since I was talking 110 miles an hour.

I know how to install GST. What I don't know how to do is install Seaside into GST.

-- Randal

No problem, even with all the misunderstandings we should thank you for your effort promoting Smalltalk and Squeak in general!

Not just talking 110 miles an hour, but an off-hand comment while you were trying to track down a bug, digressing, and generally being entertaining, all at the same time.

To be fair, I wasn't the only one who heard it that way in my corner of the room. The comprehension failure wasn't limited to just me.

Here are some fairly simple instructions for building GNU smalltalk from sources (on OS X and others). I do this on a regular basis so I can keep up with the Iliad trunk. It's pretty straightforward other than some CFLAGS / LDFLAGS settings and the fact that you have to install GNU awk.

I would personally suggest to anybody interested in learning Smalltalk that they start with Squeak or Pharo anyway and there is no IDE on the planet as easy to install at Squeak. Once they have grasped the philosophy and power of the language, they can fairly easily make their way to other versions.

I must say that macports has some failings which exceed those of any package within it, and it's a bit disappointing that downloading a tarball plus make aren't considered easily-reachable replacements, since they don't require institutional approval of any kind.

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