What’s the difference?

31 March, 2008

Fully Functional Babbage Difference Machine

The following was posted to the Squeak-Dev Mailing list by Markus Denker. The quote speaks for itself and it does give one pause to consider the implications to our community. It also strikes me as relevant to a lot of other development communities too. Great ideas are still very powerful and inspiring, but the idea alone is still seen as only half the process. We all know that there is a lot of very interesting problems that arise while we transform our ideas into working code. We also know that it is much easier to build onto a working system, or take what we learned from the process of building a working system to the next generation. While the idea itself can be seen as a great accomplishment, the realization of the idea by itself confers even greater benefits to the community. What projects have you left undone? What’s the difference?

“One of the sad memories of my life is a visit to the celebrated mathematician and inventor, Mr Babbage. He was far advanced in age, but his mind was still as vigorous as ever. He took me through his work-rooms. In the first room I saw parts of the original Calculating Machine, which had been shown in an incomplete state many years before and had even been put to some use. I asked him about its present form.
‘I have not finished it because in working at it I came on the idea of my Analytical Machine, which would do all that it was capable of doing and much more. Indeed, the idea was so much simpler that it would have taken more work to complete the Calculating Machine than to design and construct the other in its entirety, so I turned my attention to the Analytical Machine.'”

“After a few minutes’ talk, we went into the next work-room, where he showed and explained to me the working of the elements of the Analytical Machine. I asked if I could see it. ‘I have never completed it,’ he said, ‘because I hit upon an idea of doing the same thing by a different and far more effective method, and this rendered it useless to proceed on the old lines.’ Then we went into the third room. There lay scattered bits of mechanism, but I saw no trace of any working machine. Very cautiously I approached the subject, and received the dreaded answer, ‘It is not constructed yet, but I am working on it, and it will take less time to construct it altogether than it would have token to complete the Analytical Machine from the stage in which I left it.’ I took leave of the old man with a heavy heart.”

— Lord Moulton

Marcus Denker http://www.iam.unibe.ch/~denker

Randal Schwartz and Leo

Don’t miss this fun new video from Randal Schwartz and Leo about Squeak, EToys and OLPC.  Randal builds a very nice car demo.

Nepal and Japan

Hi Squeakers,
Enclosed kindly find the information about International Squeak Live Video Conference in Nepal and Japan to be held Feb 28, 2008.  If you are interested to contribute or participate, you are most welcome.

Best regards,
Yogesh Shrestha

International Squeak Live Video Conference (pdf)

Legal Books

The Software Freedom Law Center just released a terrific readable guide to Free Open Source Software Legal Issues.

A Legal Issues Primer for Open Source and Free Software Projects (html / pdf)

Our thanks to the SFLC and all the terrific people there for their tireless efforts to support open source software communities!


16th International Smalltalk Joint Conference – Call for Contributions

August 25-29, 2008 – Amsterdam, the Netherlands


For the past 16 years, the European Smalltalk User Group (ESUG) has organised the International Smalltalk Conference, a lively forum on cutting edge software technologies that attract people from both academia and industry for a whole week. The attendees are both engineers using Smalltalk in business and students and teachers using Smalltalk both for research and didactic purposes.

As every year, this year’s edition of the largest European Smalltalk event will include the regular Smalltalk developers conference with renowned invited speakers, a Smalltalk camp that proves fruitful for interactions and discussions. Besides, this year will be held the 4th edition of the Innovation Technology Awards where prizes will be awarded to authors of best pieces of Smalltalk-related projects.

You can support the ESUG conference in many different ways:

* Sponsor the conference. New sponsoring packages are described at http://www.esug.org/supportesug/becomeasponsor/
* Submit a talk, a software or a paper to one of the events. See below.
* Attend the conference. We’d like to beat the previous record of attendance (116 people at Köthen, Germany in 2004)!
* Students can get free registration and hosting if they enroll into the the Student Volunteers program. See below.

The conference features the following events:

* Camp Smalltalk – There will be a Smalltalk camp the 23-24th of august
* Developers Forum
* Technology Forum

Developers Forum : International Smalltalk Developers Conference
This year we are looking for YOUR experience on using Smalltalk. The list of topics includes, but is not limited to the following:

* XP practices
* Development tools
* Experience reports
* Model driven development
* Web development
* Team management
* Meta-Modeling
* Security
* New libraries & frameworks
* Educational material
* Embedded systems and robotics
* SOA and Web services
* Interaction with other programming languages

Submissions due on 1st June 2008
Notification of acceptance on 15 of June 2008 More information at http://www.esug.org/conferences/2008

How to sumbit?
Pay attention: the places are limited so do not wait till the last minute to apply. Prospective presenters should submit a request to esug-info@esug.org
following the template below. Please use this template since the email will be automatically processed!

Subject: [ESUG 2008 Developers] + your name

First Name:

Last Name:

Email where you can always be reached:




Any presentation not respecting this form will be discarded automatically

Technology Forum
We are proud to announce the 4th Innovation Technology Awards. The top
3 teams with the most innovative software will receive, respectively, 500 Euros, 300 Euros and 200 Euros during an awards ceremony at the conference. Developers of any Smalltalk-based software are welcome to compete.
More information at http://www.esug.org/conferences/2008

Student Volunteer Program
If you are a student wanting to attend ESUG, have you considered being a student volunteer? Student volunteers help keep the conference running smoothly; in return, they have free accommodations, while still having most of the time to enjoy the conference.
More information at

Esug Student Volunteers Program

We hope to see you there and have fun together.

XO in the US Virgin Islands

12 February, 2008

Waveplace XO Day

Great video of the Waveplace XO Laptop Day.

Brought to you by ESUG!

23 January, 2008


The European Smalltalk Users Group – ESUG has generously agreed to support international smalltalk presentations.

From Prof. Stéphane DUCASSE :

Hi all

as announced at Lugano ESUG is putting in place new action to promote the use of smalltalk http://www.esug.org/promotionactions/publicationpromotion/

ESUG offers 150 Euros for each international conference paper whose concepts involves an implementation in Smalltalk

• After notification of acceptance, one of the authors sends to the ESUG board the article, a CV, and a brief explanation of how Smalltalk was used
• In case the ESUG board decides to support the promotion, the author has to send to ESUG after the camera-ready deadline a PDF of the article, where ESUG is referenced in the acknowledgment section, including a link to esug.org
• During the presentation at the conference, the author must mention ESUG support
• After the presentation at the conference the author sends to ESUG a PDF version of the slides, where there is a visible reference to ESUG (e.g. theESUG Logo). ESUG will put the slides on the ESUG website
• The author can then trigger the payment by sending an e-Mail to the ESUG board
• A maximum of 3 supported articles per year per institution is allowed

Prof. Stéphane DUCASSE [ | ]

Open Source Smalltalks: http://www.squeak.org, http://www.gnu.org/software/smalltalk/smalltalk.html
Free books for Universities at http://www.esug.org/sponsoring/promotionProgram.html
Online Free Books at http://stephane.ducasse.free.fr/FreeBooks.html

Boston Digital Media Summit

From Aaron E. Walsh:

Happy New Year, everyone. As we enter 2008 I’m happy to announce that the Boston Digital Media Summit (next weekend) is focused on Immersive Education and will feature Croquet in several sessions (see the schedule of events below; Julian’s keynote is on Day 1 — January 12th).

Please join us if you’re in the Boston area or would like to make a trip for the event. The news release is below, and I’ve attached the PDF version as well.
It’s also in HTML format along with related news items at:


The Summit schedule of events has been set, which you can also see at:

http://mediagrid.org/summit/ (main page)
http://mediagrid.org/summit/program.html (schedule of events)

Best regards,

Read the rest of this entry »

Seaside - One Click Experience!

Philippe Marschall announced the Seaside – One Click Experience!

There has been a lot of talk recently about improving the Smalltalk, Squeak and Seaside experience for new users. Especially to make it easier and faster to get started. The two vendors that support Seaside are working in this area. That does not mean Squeak can not lead the way. Today we present you the Seaside One-Click Experience [1] for OS X, Windows and Linux based on the work done by the Sophie Project [2].

Just download the zip-archive, extract it and double click on the executable for your platform and you have Seaside 2.8 final running.

The Squeak Seaside Team

[1] http://www.seaside.st/download/squeak#167943699
[2] http://www.sophieproject.org/


Bill Kerr is learning by playing. He is building Space invaders in EToys. This should be fun to watch! Great icons!!