Report on OOPSLA97

There were three Squeak events at OOPSLA (Object-Oriented Programming Systems, Languages, and Applications) 1997 in Atlanta, Georgia:

Alan Kay's Keynote Talk

I came in late to Alan's talk, so let me just offer some one-liners from the talk:

[kaytalk graphic]

UPDATE! Alan Kay's update on the above:

Date: Fri, 10 Oct 1997 06:52:34 -0700
From: "Alan C. Kay" 
Subject: Re: OOPSLA Report
Precedence: bulk

Folks --

Just a slight modification to Mark's nice summary of my talk. Since he missed the beginning (including the best part, which was the celebration of Dan Ingalls' contributions to Smalltalk and OOP), he also, I think, missed that the entities I was describing that could "move their own length in 2 ns" were the ~5000 atom protein molecules *inside* a typical bacterium. Also, it is the bacteria themselves that are 1/500th the size of a typical nucleated cell, etc. A bacterium has about 120M informationally interacting components in the 30% of its mass that isn't water and small ions, etc.

Much more is known now than was in the 1965 1st edition of Watson's "Molecular Biology of the Gene". His book is still in print (with many more authors and much thicker). Also, there is one of the beautiful books of the 20th century: "The Molecular Biology of the Cell" -- a very thick, but wonderful book. For those who are interested in morphogenesis, I recommend "The making of a fly" by Laurence (Blackwell) -- it is too detailed for casual reading, but a quick scan will give the gist of how embryological processes are set up. (Also, Ted Kaehler is a good source for such things, especially the morphogenesis of S. Elegans: a nematode worm that always has the same 900+ cells in the same place....).



Squeak BOF

[ward graphic] Ward Cunningham did a masterful job of hosting the Squeak BOF, which he started with "Hi, I'm Ward Cunningham, and I've been a fan of Squeak for 15 years!" He introduced members of the community and guided a discussion among (my guess) the 100+ people who squeezed into a room aimed at maybe 25-50. (Interestingly: Most people there had never used Squeak!) I took some pictures and jotted some notes.

People in the Squeak Community.

(My apologies for the quality. Cheap but fun digital camera, and inexperienced photographer.)

Squeak BOF Discussion

Some one-liners and observations:


Date: Fri, 10 Oct 1997 08:37:39 -0400
From: (Mark Guzdial)
Subject: Re: OOPSLA Report
Precedence: bulk

>Thanks for the report, Mark! I liked the pictures too. It makes >me hope that next year I can make it.

I'm glad that you (and Mike) enjoyed the report. I only included a small number of points, those that I took written note of. There were lots of things that I missed, such as: - As Mike noted, Alan went into some detail on the analogy with cells, and I only provide the briefest overview. - At the BOF, there were several people who stood up and talked about their work. For example, Ian Piumarta gave a very nice overview of the optimizations that he's building into Squeak (with interesting discussion from Eliot Miranda in the audience). Tim Rowledge gave an overview of what he's doing with Squeak at Interval, which includes getting Squeak to run on machines with no OS (but only an overview -- "if I told you any more, I'd have to hire you" :-) - Humorous moment at the BOF: Ted Kaehler presents the Squeak license, and somebody yells out, "Doesn't that mean that Tim has to post whatever he's doing to the Web?" Tim's response: "But the license doesn't say WHEN you have to post!" Ted's rejoinder: "And the people policing the license are the Apple lawyers, who have already forgotten all about this!"

I hope that others will help fill in the key places I've missed.


Squeak Talk

The Squeak talk was fabulous. (Anecdote: My Java-using graduate student came up to me afterward and said, "I admit it. Squeak is the coolest thing since sliced bread.")

Dan talked about the ideas in the paper, but then he and John gave some jaw-dropping demos.

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