[Self-interest] goals for Self

Russell Allen mail at russell-allen.com
Wed Aug 4 09:14:48 UTC 2021

Hi Jecel

> On 4 Aug 2021, at 1:43 pm, Jecel Assumpcao Jr <jecel at merlintec.com> wrote:
> 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.

I think I had a slide on my deck somewhere which made the point that Self (at least at the moment) isn’t really a project. It used to be a project I guess at Stanford/Sun but at the moment it is an artefact and a community of people interested in that artefact.

So I don’t think that we will be able to pick a goal, as if we were a project. 

Take Pharo for example. Pharo is a project, and they basically have a goal of making an IDE - a free Smalltalk derived system which is useful for building software. That’s a perfectly fine goal, and if someone wants to do that with Self I’d be all in favour, but it’s not a goal I’m all that interested in myself. 

But I agree that talking about our goals is good!

OurSelf.io sort of has a goal, which is to explore things I’m interested in. I guess I would describe that as “Self as a human-scale place to live in for small groups and individuals.”

I can see why you see similarities with retrocomputing which is a great insight, but I’m definitely not opposed to big improvements if they fit my personal focus. 

To make this more concrete, if I find time I would love to add better integration with the current computing world to the stock OurSelf image, but also some ‘applications’ such as a terminal emulator, a VNC client, email reader, spreadsheet, rich text editor etc etc. 

These aren’t things which Pharo would be interested in adding to their stock image because it doesn’t fit their goals. A Pharo image is something you use to develop an application not somewhere where an application lives. 

(In fact when I started using Squeak, it used to have things like web browsers, email readers, terminal emulators, Tetris, music synth etc. But instead of embracing those things, it abandoned them. Squeak round about version 3.2 was fab. But I digress!)

The ‘human-scale’ factor means I would be open to, for example, sacrificing a bit of speed to get an understandable VM written in Self.

To give this a label, this is maybe the “Self as Place” goal. 

“Living museum exhibit” is a great idea. It is very doable to get both a basically unmodified 4.4 Self world and also a UI1 (pre-morphic) world on OurSelf.

All these overlap of course. For a start, as soon as I allow OurSelf worlds to listen on a domain name, you will be able to host websites with them.


More information about the Self-interest mailing list