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Squeak - The Movie
Last updated at 1:06 am UTC on 17 January 2006

a movie that promotes Squeak and its use -
to be made by High School students

Added to the Swiki by dgc on 4/9/2003

You are welcome to change or add to this story, comment on this story, or make the movie! :-)


Squeak the development environment.

Supporting cast:

High School & Jr. High School teachers in a class setting
High School & Jr. High School students in a class setting
Toxic Waste Dump Technicians
University Researchers
Government Authorities
Government IT technician
Military General


A coming-of-age movie where: Squeak changes from a development environment into a reflection of young students’ creativity, motives, expressiveness, discovery, analysis, and life goals. Each step of the unfolding of the plot reveals different strength contained in Squeak.

The "Heart in the Art"

One's personal discovery is exciting but also the emotional peaks lead to emotional valleys and disappointments.

Visual cues:

Starting with teams of students brainstorming in excited bursts with a sense of urgency, shown in quick clips, while student expressions become more thoughtful over time
Colorless classroom furniture (for a documentary effect) contrasting pastel colored Squeak
Squeakie becoming more expressive over time

Basic Conflicts:

Students looking for change vs. resistance to change
Hard fun vs. no effort
Meaningful discoveries take time and effort vs. Meaningless discoveries
Persuasion takes preparation vs. being unpersuasive
Teamwork requires sharing risks & being vulnerable vs. no risk and no accomplishments


Students discover by accident that they can make a major difference in the real world.


Highlights the strengths of Squeak over other environments.


Explore our cultural ignorance of toxic waste dumps and how that the developed countries' rising standard of living increases toxic waste proportionally. For everything that is manufactured, used or not, there is some waste that is deposited somewhere that is left unmentioned.


An illustration on how to break problematic cyclic systems

Story outline:

University research team accidentally seeds a toxic waste dump with a material that self-replicates and grows beyond the limit of the dump, expanding as a thin black film covering everything in all directions and threatening a local community with chemical and bio hazards that the expanding material was carrying with it.

A technician on site at the dump collects data on what’s happening. He runs out of time to encode the data in various proprietary formats. Consequently he encodes the collected data in one single Squeak image and publishes it on the net [because of Squeak’s dynamic data and model representation capacity]. His links to the net and all other communication lines are cut off by the growing threat just before he can alert authorities as to what the data means, where it’s happening and the urgency of the problem.

Students stumble on the technician’s Squeak image while researching a topic for their teacher. First the students and teachers treat it as a simulation to view, then a model to experiment with, then a game to solve.

The class petitions other classes in remote areas to become involved. At each step, the teachers explain various scientific principles that can be brought to bear on the problem. Each class solves a different part of the problem.

One class that uses MS Win tries to follow but can’t keep up due to the rapidly changing discoveries. Their proprietary products can’t change, must use numerous data formats, and support is sketchy. One antagonistic student in the MS Win class discovers that any filed in Change Set can carry a virus and utilizes that knowledge to copy the discoveries of the other classes to make himself look good to his own teacher surreptitiously using Squeak’s output to make MS Win products look good. XML doesn’t contain the code to turn the data into a model.

An IT support technician helps the classes implement the Squeak-E upgrade using eRights in Squeak and suddenly the antagonistic student is cut off from his source of information. Suddenly unable to explain any of the results, he admits to his teacher that he really didn’t understand the concepts he was pontificating about earlier.

Finally, the researching classes realize the Squeak image describes a real and currently unfolding drama. They try to alert authorities.

The authorities don’t believe them so the students work on their presentation and persuasion skills using Squeak as a presentation product that directly links to their data.

The students research personality types as a way to model their target audience and tailor their presentations. The chase scene is a representation of messages trying to reach and failing to reach the targeted authorties as represented in the "Drive a Car" eToy.

They enlist the help of a government IT support person who uses his skills to get the message to the right people by setting the information priority in their communication network sighting that mass media doesn’t tell people what to believe but sets the priority of what is important.

The military is called upon to fire bomb the site and probably killing the original dump site technician (ala “Andromeda Strain”). The students try to explain that that’s the wrong solution which will only worsen the problem because of the light from the fire. The military doesn’t accept the students’ evidence because they wouldn’t allow non-security certified software into their systems. The government IT technician easily exports the evidence into Flash & XML with the proper security.

The military accepts the students’ proofs and use foam bombs (that weren’t needed to put out burning oil wells) to block the sun light that supplied the photo energy that the hazardous material was using to expand, hence breaking the chemical growth cycle.

Superfund cleans up the material in the normal way.

Young students and teachers get accolades, thanks, etc.

Students get to meet dump technician whose life they saved, etc.

Military general says there is no place in the military for Squeak because it promotes free thinking where in the military the staff needs to believe what they’re told and so military will stick with big $ software companies. But, the general wants his children and new cadets to grow up with proper analytical skills and wishes his children and all young students to use Squeak.

New threat arises that makes it obvious that Squeak is the proven solution to solve it.

The end.

A couple scenes

Opening sequence:

Two university researchers who discuss their new invention the “photo-synthetic self-replicating muscle-material” that they’ve created that makes use of an otherwise disposed toxic waste byproduct from a common refining & manufacturing process.

The problem is that, when damaged, the product is still toxic and hence, cannot be used in consumer products, which is their target market. They dispose all the prototype samples via the university toxic waste management system using proper legal methods. We follow the samples until they reach an unnamed toxic waste dump.

[More story details here.]

Ending sequence:

Somehow point out that, because China manufactures most of the material goods for developed countries, they have the most toxic waste as a result of the developed countries’ standard of living.

Cut to Chinese technicians looking at black growing tower in one of their toxic waste dumps. They type into Squeak a broadcast message…”Has anyone seen anything like this?”

A student types back “Yes.”

[Underlining Squeak’s collaborative, multilingual, and reusability features].

Cut to the two researchers who originally sent the “toxic photo synthetic muscle” to the hazardous waste dump. They discuss “this new Squeak environment” that all the researchers are using now and how it links their research to high schools throughout the world. They start by setting up a little interview like a chat show discussing their research to publish on the net. They express how Squeak will allow them to change the lives of students whom they've never met, which they could never do before [while they are totally unaware of the sequence of events that they started months earlier].

They talk how, theoretically, the “photo-synthetic self-replicating muscle-material”, if it slips down through a fault in the earth’s crust, could reproduce itself off the toxic magma in the earth’s mantle and begin to lift the tectonic plates. They speculate that this would cause continual earthquakes and mile high volcanoes.

Pan back from the chat show interview to reveal that it’s running in a Squeak morph on a PC on a student’s computer in a classroom.

The student watching the video has an urgent, worried look on his/her face and vocalizes as he/she types: “Retrieve the map of earthquake faults for the region around the toxic waste dump we just saved. Overlay that map on a road map that shows the location of the toxic waste dump. Command-S, Accept!”

Zoom in on the student’s shocked face.

Cut to another student’s shocked face w/ another school in the background.

Cut to another student, and another, and another.

Cut to Squikie with a shocked expression [reinforcing that Squeak is a reflection of motives and discoveries of young students].

Fade to black.

Roll credits.