[Self-interest] goals for Self

Jecel Assumpcao Jr jecel at merlintec.com
Wed Aug 4 03:43:55 UTC 2021

The discussion in the other thread is very interesting (thanks  Russell
and Nicklas for the descriptions of your projects!) but I realised that
it is about strategies and unless we agree on the goals then we will be
talking past each other.

Here are some example goals:

    - a living museum exhibit

People would be able to experience Self as it was when it came out. This
has a serious educational value. Back in 2000 I met a professor who
taught a course on programming languages and he dedicated two full
lessons to Self. I invited him to visit my office and gave him a demo of
the language and he was completely shocked. I showed him outliners for
doubly linked lists updating themselves as we tried different
expressions as well as the GUI demos. He was teaching his students all
the technical details about Self but could not imagine was the
experience of actually using it was like.

Alan Kay and Long Tien Nguyen imagined a way that people decades from
now might experience was Smalltalk-72 was like:


Dan Ingalls and friends have brought back to life old Smalltalks so
people can try them out instead of just reading about them:


    - fun with retrocomputing

Some people like to mix the convenience of the current world with the
interesting stuff from the past. So they might have a Commodore 64
computer but load the software from a SD Card instead of audio tape.

When playing around with Smalltalk-78 the group was amazed at how
practical it was given current screen resolution and memory sizes, so
they decided to fix things that had been originally been left unfinished
and to add a bit of new functionality.

Russell's efforts with ourself.io and new code he is adding to the
snapshot is very much like this.

    - back to life

Apple did very little with the Smalltalk it got from Xerox for
participating in the project with DEC, HP and Tektronix. It just sat
there bitrotting until the Squeak project. It gained sound, color and
networking to start with. Certainly Self could do the same and become an
alternative to Squeak/Cuis/Pharo.

This would require better integration with the current computing world
as well as enhancements. The privacy thing was set aside in Self 3, for
example, with the idea that it would later "be done right" in Us (or

What other goals would make sense for Self?

-- Jecel

More information about the Self-interest mailing list