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Saturday, June 18, 2005

Squeak and stdin/stdout

I had a discussion with a couple of squeakers today. The main theme of the meeting was about our new web site for Japanese squeak develpers, but there was another interesting topic in the discussion. Standard input and output support in Squeak should be one of key aspect to make Squeak more populer. Sometimes, I've heard that the difficulty to combine another program is a reason that ordinary programmer feels Squeak unfamilier. Although, most of end users don't use stdio/stdin to connect applications these days. But programing fan including me still like to use such traditional way as its simplisity. For example, I am writing this topic with an emacs derivative in WindowsXP. Frequency, I strike a key Control Alt $ to invoke spell checker, or Control C + w to invoke English Japanese dictionary. These function are not in emacs, but external commands with a pipe stream. That was originaly a common operation style in Unix, and we can share bounty of the philosophy even if we use Windows. So non-support of stdio in Squeak seems a defect for hackers daily use. Fortunately, I found a work about this area named OSProcess. That was a impressive work! but a bad news is OSProcess does not support stdio in Windows. I don't know about how OSProcess works, but I start to think to make Windows support of it. Abe-san said he had used a proprietary Smalltalk as a batch language like /bin/sh. I imagine Squeak also should be good language as such glue.

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