Squeak Running on Vista

December 28, 2010

Squeak Running on Vista

Squeak Running on Vista

Above is an image of Squeak running on a Windows Vista desktop along with Silver Smalltalk.

There are several differences between the two:

Squeak size

  • Squeak’s runtime *.exe is over 1 MB
  • Squeak’s image is nearly 14 MB
  • Squeak’s sources file is over 25 MB

Silver Smalltalk size

  • SST *.exe file is 177 kb
  • SST startup.st file is 77 kb

The main difference, however, is that Squeak creates its own environment for graphic rendering, memory management, process management, and widgets. SST uses the facilities provided by the host (.Net) environment for all of these.

That is the main reason for the difference in size.

Applications built in Squeak always look the same, regardless of the platform that they are running on. Applications built in SST will always look like the native host environment – because SST uses the host environment services (this will be true on Android as well).

SST can access public methods from any host library. For example, a business library written in VB.Net or a game library written in C# could be mapped to Smalltalk classes in SST and used like any other Smalltalk classes.

Also, SST gets all the benefits of the native environment such as threading support, hardware accelerated graphics, or communication services. When new capabilities become available (for example, better video support in Silverlight 5), SST can automatically use them (without a new runtime release) by simply using reflection to map the new .Net methods.

Squeak recreates the Smalltalk environment at the cost of having a large size and limited host integration.

Silver Smalltalk is integrated as much as possible into the host environment which enables very small runtimes. SST applications behave like native applications.

This will make a major difference as applications are developed for browsers and for the mobile arena (smart phone and pads) that need small runtimes and native support for touch screens.

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2 Responses to “Squeak Running on Vista”

  1. Carl Gundel Says:

    I don’t doubt that Silver Smalltalk can be smaller than Squeak, but Silver Smalltalk doesn’t have a mature development environment that can be compared to Squeak’s. How large do you think Silver ST will be when it does?

  2. Carl Gundel Says:

    Please consider supporting the standard Smalltalk process model in Silver Smalltalk.


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