The birth of Squeak
Last updated at 10:40 am UTC on 19 May 2020
Squeak was first announced by Dan Ingalls in a posting in comp.lang.smalltalk on 01 Oct 1996. The original posting is copied below. The links therein are historical and no longer available.
A month later, a separate mailing list was started in email@example.com by Stephen Travis Pope and the patches were posted to this list [archives]
Dan Ingalls sent an email announcing Squeak to comp.lang.smalltalk on 01 Oct 1996:
Message 1 in thread
From: Dan Ingalls (Ingalls@Taurus.Apple.com)
Subject: Squeak - A Usable Smalltalk written in itself
In order to foster collaboration with related groups in academia and industry, we have just made our software development environment available for download over the net. Dubbed "Squeak" it consists largely of a reconditioned Smalltalk-80 system derived from Apple's earlier ST-80 release, along with an interpreter that runs on the PowerPC and most other 68020 or later Macs (but read on...)
The implementation is notable in that it is almost entirely written in Smalltalk. We began with the Blue Book spec to which we added a 32-bit direct pointer ObjectMemory with incremental compacting garbage collection. While getting this to run and converting the image, we wrote a translator from a Smaltalk subset (roughly the subset used for the Blue Book spec) to C. After some tuning this has produced a very usable system. In addition, we have extended BitBlt to color,
added a reasonably portable file system, and we have also included rudimentary support for polyphonic multitimbral music synthesis.
The entire system, including the interpreter written in Smalltalk, and the translator that produced its interpreter, is now available to the outside world. You can find it all beginning with the page
Scroll to the bottom of the page and click on "Squeak". Or you can go direct to our actual page:
There is almost no documentation, but those familiar with Smalltalk-80 should have no trouble putting it to use. Squeak is a work in progress. If we had waited to get clean and well-documented, it would not be available now. We welcome any contributions from the outside, such as animation, 3D, music, and ports to other platforms.
Please do not reply directly to me or other members of the project. Use the mail address given on our page (squeak@Research.Apple.com), and we will do our best to answer reasonable queries.
- Dan Ingalls