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[Help-smalltalk] GNOME Smalltalk?

From: Paolo Bonzini
Subject: [Help-smalltalk] GNOME Smalltalk?
Date: Sat, 09 Aug 2008 08:49:48 +0200
User-agent: Thunderbird (Macintosh/20080707)

Sorry syx people for the double post, I wanted to include help-smalltalk.

Vincent Geddes <address@hidden> wrote:

Why don't the three of us all support each other in creating a GNOME/
GTK+ IDE and community class library? I think it would be a great
folly for each of us to re-invent the wheel.

I think its quite clear (to me at least) that merging VM code is not
going to happen. I am very attached to Panda, and Luca to Syx. So lets
at least rectify the situation above the VM level. I think this is
very doable, in the current technical and legal climate.

I suggest creating a "GNOME Smalltalk" commons project which will
consist of bindings for the entire GNOME stack, as well as a fancy
development environment. We could put all sorts of other goodies in
this project as well. The bindings FFI/API should more or less follow
the GST's implementation (as it is the most advanced). The code would
be kept in a neutral repository, under a license suitable to all three
parties. I hope GST's copyright assignment still allows for retaining
copyright for use in non-GST contexts. The code could possibly be
licensed under the LGPL to allow crossbreeding with the strong GST

There is this new tool in GNOME called gobject-introspection. Its
primary aim is help create language bindings. For a long time in
GNOME, language bindings were third-class citizens, as it was very
hard and tedious to wrap GObjects. However, gobject-introspection
makes things easier by allowing runtime introspection of GObjects,
amongst other things. For instance, Colin Walters did a cool hack in
which he generated GTK+ Java bindings at *run-time* using gobject-
introspection (

For GNOME Smalltalk to work, we will need to agree on the subset of
our class libraries that need to be compatible with each other. I
don't think this should be too hard.

As I mentioned to Paolo, I am very interested in Vassili Bykov's
Hopscotch IDE ( From what I have read of
it, their rationale and usability principles seem to be very sound.
With that in mind, I am certainly not keen on doing a straight port of
the Squeak browsers to GTK+. I get irritated by the modality of the
Squeak class browser. For instance, If I am editing a method, and want
to quickly view another method, I have to cancel editing. Only being
able to view one method at a time is also restrictive. Someone very
aptly called it a "pinhole" style of browsing.

PS: I called this hypothetical project "GNOME Smalltalk", but we can
improve on the name if needed.


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