[sword-devel] Re: Squeak

Jimmie Houchin sword-devel@crosswire.org
Wed, 15 Jan 2003 23:35:31 -0600

porton@narod.ru wrote:
>>I am not a developer/programmer but am in the process of learning 
>>Squeak. Squeak is an open source Smalltalk system. It is very cross 
>>platform. I personally have run it from my wife's Power Mac 604e 200mhz, 
>>my children's iMac (rev. B), my Linux machine, a Win95 PII 266 machine 
>>at work, and now a WinXP 2ghz Athlon at work. It runs bit identical on 
>>something like over 30 machines. Some people use it on their PDAs, like 
>>iPaq, Zaurus.
> Have you considered other alternatives to Squeak? Consider also Python 
> (www.python.org), however I'm not sure whether Python has a portable GUI among 
> wxPython (but we have at least portable wxPython, which is a portable GUI). I 
> don't know how about Squeak, but you need a programming language which is easy 
> to learn not only by you but also by users, while Python is one of the most 
> easy-to-learn yet powerful languages. It is object oriented.

Yes, I have studied Python. I learned Python before Squeak. Python is a 
nice language. It has many nice features.

> Also you will need to know C++, one of the most hard to learn languages :-( in 
> order to decipher Sword module formats from Sword sources. Sadly there are no 
> document describing such the formats.

I have studied C++ briefly. I have no desire to master it. :)
But I hope it isn't required to be able to use Sword text modules.
I don't know.

If I desired to limit myself to the platform for which Sword libs can be 
compiled. I am sure Squeak could interface them. I have no idea how 
portable the libraries are.

>>When a Bible system is written in Squeak it will instantly run on all 
>>the above platforms and easily portable to future platforms. It handles 
>>all its own graphics and events. This means it isn't a native GUI.
> wxWindows (including wxPython) apps look different on different platforms 
> however can be coded the same. wxWindows is not as powerful as best native GUI 
> but rather powerful.

I have yet to see anything I've liked done in wxWindows. Most everything 
I've seen (Mahogany email) used the latest cvs snapshot. It was an 
incredible pain to get working.

There is nothing to my knowledge which will match Squeak in its ability 
to deliver a graphical programs on many platforms. wxWindows is 
comparatively very limited on platforms.

>>The look and feel is completely at the control of the developer. Its not 
>>  limited to the native UI. It is multimedia. Does MP3, Ogg (or will 
>>soon), MPEGs, JPEGs, MIDI. A 3D OS is being written in it right now.
> Will you draw changed Bible pages in animated multimedia? :-)

Maybe. :)

However, it does offer interesting options for teaching and presenting 
various materials for Bible study. No reason to limit Bibles to a 
bitmapped version of whats in print. :)

>>For example. If a Sword frontend was developed in it, and I wanted to 
>>add a feature, say search for Strongs numbers. (If I remember correctly 
>>you used to not be able to in Windows and still can't in GnomeSword.)
> In GnomeSword we can do it just first showing strongs in the module, and then 
> searching a number.

Last time I tried that in GnomeSword it failed. Probably a month or so 
back. That is also how it works in Windows.

>>A developer could open up a code browser, add the method, save the 
>>method, and then begin using it immediately. He could then share this 
>>new feature via a ChangeSet and email it to the list and it would be 
>>available to everyone.
> The same is possible with Python.

Actually not quite. Python does not bring a its own development 
environment and tools. Squeak is a VM, IDE, and user land environment 
all together. As it provides its own graphics it does not require Tk, 
wxPython, Qt, GTK or any other toolkits.

You never leave Squeak to use it or develop with/for it. It is much more 
analogous to using an OS than most languages.

Squeak runs better on the Mac than Python, wxWindows, Qt, etc...

With Squeak the Mac user base would be well represented, both MacClassic 
and OSX.

>>If anyone is interested in talking about a Sword frontend in Squeak 
>>email me. We can have a private conversation or on this list if it is 
>>deemed sufficiently on topic.
> Almost anything about Sword modules is on-topic here.


Jimmie Houchin