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Re: Am I the insane one or what?

    Date: Fri, 2 Apr 1993 04:58 CST
    From: joswig@informatik.uni-hamburg.de (Rainer Joswig)

    A tiny OS with it's own windowing system and usable on PCs at home....

I have recently gotten into something that looks very promising, and I
want to share it with you all.  I know I'll probably be labelled a
heretic and shot for even mentioning this on the mailing list, but...
has anybody else played around with VisualWorks/SmallTalk yet?  I have
done a prototype with it for a proposal, and hope to be doing more very

VisualWorks is a software product of ParcPlace Systems, a PARC spinoff.
It has a lot of the flavor of most interface builders, but with
additional hooks into SmallTalk code development (in other words, it
lives in a much more tightly integrated environment than most).  So far,
I have found it to be considerably more productive than anything other
than Genera, plus it runs on everything from Unix workstations to PCs.
Code is generally 100% portable across platforms, and user interface
look-and-feel is retained, within the limits of pixel and screen sizes,
etc.  Source code is distributed as a matter of course - we even got the
sources along with our one-month evaluation copy.

This is certainly no Genera, but that in itself has some advantages.
One is size - running the development system on a 486 PC is no problem
(the more RAM the better, of course).  They also have a package which
lets you remove unwanted stuff from completed applications to reduce the
image size.

My main complaint about it so far, aside from all the nice Genera stuff
that isn't there, is that the SmallTalk doesn't do multiple superclassing.
Many SmallTalkers view this as some sort of advantage, but some of them
will at least admit that they feel that way only because they've never
seen "multiple superclassing done right" as it is in CLOS and flavors, 
and that multiple superclassing done wrong can be hazardous (so they say,
and I have no reason to doubt that it's so).

Anyway, if you have a chance, give it a look.  It is good enough that
for the first time in over 10 years, I no longer feel uncomfortable
without the use of my Lispm.