[self-interest] Re: licenses and working together

David Ungar David.Ungar at Eng.Sun.COM
Thu Nov 18 01:05:17 UTC 1999


It sounds like there may have been a misunderstanding--

At 5:16 PM +0100 11/17/99, Gordon Cichon wrote:
>Once, I offered my help to the Java/Self guys and to abandon
>Self/Linux in favor of it. They were not interested in cooperating
>with me and I did not get an answer from them.

If you feel that you have been rebuffed by us, that was certainly
never our intention.

- Dave

At 5:16 PM +0100 11/17/99, Gordon Cichon wrote:
>On Wed, 17 Nov 1999, Jecel Assumpcao Jr wrote:
>>  One problem with the Sun Self is that it is much more like the
>>  Mozilla project than Linux. It was worked on by a small group
>>  and then unleased on the world as a very large piece of code. The
>>  effort for outsiders to understand enough of it to actually make
>>  significant changes is very great (since you didn't "grow up with
>>  the code" like the original team did). Squeak avoided this fate
>>  simply by being much smaller, since it was released in the same
>>  way as Self.
>Hi Jecel,
>first one last comment on licensing:
>The main difference between BSD and GPL licenses on the one
>side, and things like the Mozilla license, the Apple license,
>and Suns license is that contributors are not peers is the
>latter case. In this sense, the Self license is much superior
>to the license of Squeak and Mozilla.
>>  I hope I have convinced you that I agree with you that Self/R is
>>  a bad idea in nearly all regards. But I feel very strongly that
>>  the large amount of things that are done in C++ in the Sun Self
>>  is what is holding it back. The X Window problems are an example of
>>  that. My own network problems are another example (I found the
>>  bug, but was way too lazy to recompile the VM). In fact, while
>>  the Squeak way of writing things in Smalltalk and translating
>>  them to C and using an external compiler to get actual machine
>>  code is better, it still is what is holding Squeak back. Self 4
>>  proves that Self code that be translated into good enough machine
>>  code, so I don't think we will have real progress until our Self
>>  is *in* Self. So that is what I am working on.
>Yes, I absolutely agree with you. Let me point out that I am
>not tied to porting Sunlabs Self to Linux unconditionally.
>Once, I offered my help to the Java/Self guys and to abandon
>Self/Linux in favor of it. They were not interested in cooperating
>with me and I did not get an answer from them. Nevertheless,
>if we could agree on a way to proceed, I would certainly adapt
>my own effort to support it.
>I agree with you that the best implementation of Self would be
>in Self. But what exactly is Self? For me, Self is more than
>this angle-bracket-thing. You also defined some extensions
>to the Self language. I think Self is not well-defined enough
>to do an implementation in itself now. Ideally, at least SIC
>should be implemented in Self.
>I think, this is logically the next step at the implementation
>side to lay down a framework onto which optimized compilers for
>different architectures can be plugged in. Just like GCC has its
>framework, Self could have its own, too.
>It would be a nice thing to "squeakify" Self, but please correct
>me if I'm wrong, a squeakified Self would run so slowly that the
>UI would be completely unuseable. And this Mango stuff is IMO
>exactly the right stuff to play around extending Self grammar and
>semantics. I would like to keep this stuff going, and not to
>break it. Say, if you had an arbitrary slow interpreter of Self,
>say written in perl, you would find it pretty difficult if not
>impossible to write demanding code with it without UI. The Self
>language gives you so much freedom that you are completely lost
>without a user interface that guides you through the process.
>And, IMHO I think, what holds back Squeak is that it is too
>old and too late, and it is not even free software. Come on,
>this is just another implemenation of Smalltalk-80. They are even
>proud of not being integrated into an windowing system. Who is
>today going to deploy an application that is not integrated into
>the windowing system?
>I think, Smalltalk could have played the role that Windows plays
>today, i.e. the integrating framework for different applications
>that run on a virtual machine if ParcPlace hadn't been so jealous
>about its licensing policy. If they had sold Smalltalk-80 for 50
>bugs, people would have used it, just like they used Windows. But
>that opportunity is over for a long time already. Any OO environment
>that likes to be used by the people must have 1) a social licensing
>policy, and 2) a social environment. It has to integrate into its
>host environment, window system, operating system, and other object
>models. The time of autism is over and it won't come back.
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>-- Easily schedule meetings and events using the group calendar!
>-- http://www.egroups.com/cal?listname=self-interest&m=1

     David Ungar
     Sun Microsystems Laboratories
     (650) 336-2618

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