Andrew P. Black SqF 2007
Last updated at 2:45 am UTC on 25 February 2007
I'm a Professor of Computer Science in Portland, Oregon. I've been programming since 1972, met Smalltalk in 1981, designed my own object-based language (Emerald) in the period 1984-6, but didn't really "get" Smalltalk until 1994, when I started a new job and taught OO using VisualWorks.
I'm one of the co-designers of the Traits system for Squeak, but have nothing to do with the current kernel implementation.
Why am I running for the board? I owe a lot to Squeak: it reminded me (about 1996) that programming was fun.
I use Squeak for teaching, and while far from perfect, it's the best vehicle that I have found for showing students what objects are all about.
The things that I like least about Squeak are bugs, and lack of documentation. My major contributions to Squeak have been bug fixes, and a book, Squeak by Example, on which I'm currently working with a number of other authors. The plan is to make the book freely available for download.
Fixing bugs doesn't sound like much, but I think that it's important to make Squeak more stable if it is going to be good for anything, and although there may be some shortcuts, much of the path to stability will have to be trodden one bug at a time.
I think that the purpose of the board is to provide infrastructure, not to tell the community what to do. The latter is impossible anyway.
Thus, the current activity of getting out from under the Apple license is a good one: although I haven't found the license a problem for my uses, others clearly have found the current license too restrictive.
Infrastructure can help things: we all like to be productive, and good infrastructure has the effect of amplifying effort.
So, the activities with good infrastructure support will happen, and those without willlag behind.
Whether or not the board should be involved in fund-raising seems to be an issue of contention right now. I don't know anything about the politics of this. However I do know that some things work much better with a little money to grease the skids, and so I am not opposed to raising money on religious grounds.