links to this page:    
View this PageEdit this PageUploads to this PageHistory of this PageTop of the SwikiRecent ChangesSearch the SwikiHelp Guide
The History of Squeak
Last updated at 6:08 am UTC on 16 December 2021

Paper: Back to the Future

A "must read": Back to the Future: The Story of Squeak, A Practical Smalltalk Written in Itself,
by Dan Ingalls, Ted Kaehler, John Maloney, Scott Wallace, Alan Kay, at Apple Computer while doing this work.

The birth of Squeak The message on comp.lang.smalltalk that announced the release of Squeak.
Squeak's Place in the Universe

Why is it called "Squeak"? This page lists the various explanations for the name.

Where did the name Smalltalk come from?

Where did The Smalltalk Balloon come from?

Smalltalk first run on Xerox Alto Workstations http://www.spies.com/aek/xerox.html

Alan Kay wrote to the Squeak mailing list on 15 Jan. 2000:

You will be interested to learn that the very first version of Smalltalk (Smalltalk-72) had a completely extensible syntax (in fact the writing of a class also automatically supplied the grammar). This worked very well, except ... that too much freedom here leads to a Tower of Babel as far as other users are concerned. This has also been the experience with the few other really good extensible languages (like Ned Iron's IMP).

Extreme extensibility was removed in the next major design of Smalltalk (Smalltalk-76) in favor of a syntax that could read by anyone, regardless of how many classes had been defined ... i.e., getting stronger meanings turned out to be more important in the end than making language structures fit the task.

That being said, I think this process went too far with Smalltalk-80, and needs more experimentation for the next generation, most of whom will be "occasional scriptors", and who need more readable (especially "gistable") code.

Squeak Class Size History contains an interesting overview of the new additions and the number of classes in each version of Squeak.



The History of Smalltalk and Squeak (beginnings, Smalltalk-72, 74, 76, 80, Xerox Research)