August 15, 2008

Interview with Luca Bruno, the creator of Smalltalk YX

Luca Bruno is the mind behind the Smalltalk YX, a new free environment in the Smalltalk's world. He born the 27th august of 1988 in Paola, Italy. After discovering his work, we want to know more about Luca and his motivations. He accepted to answer some questions.

CS: How did you know Smalltalk?
LB: Well, I like to see new technologies and perhaps new programming languages. So I first looked for the IO programming language. I liked very much the prototype paradigm. I then opened the about page and discovered that it was inspired by Smalltalk. It's been a couple of years ago.
CS: Which was your first Smalltalk?
LB: My first Smalltalk version I've used was Squeak.
CS: What was your first impression?
LB: My first impression was made by a few questions to myself: is this language useful? why has it its own graphical environment? Why isn't such elegant and powerful language is more known to programmers and used in the world?Well all these questions have been answered themselves with the time being.
When I've used Squeak the first time, I didn't reopen it for at least a couple of week because I didn't like it very much. After I reopened it and I've gone through reading the class library in the browser and writing some simple programs: it has impressed me then.
CS: Are you developing with Smalltalk?
LB: No I'm not developing with Smalltalk. There's no good environment yet to create my applications on. I've maintained SqueakGtk for a long time but I haven't created any application with it. There are several reason why I hadn't. The most important one for me is that there's no good GUI environment around, or the ones good don't have the expected VM/flexible image management.
I'm now developing Smalltalk YX to create the most open general purpose language and hopefully create my applications with it, it's my dream.
CS: Why did you decided to choose Smalltalk?
LB: I choose Smalltalk because I like it, it's coherent, powerful, elegant, innovative, easy, well-structured, easy to debug, hard to create bad OOP usage. You can make what you want with Smalltalk. It's awesome how with a few syntax rules you can write good-reading and well-structured programs.
CS: Why do you think Smalltalk is not popular?
LB: It's popular, but not for a general purpose view point. Lots of companies are using it, and many experiments are done with it. Its technology is more used for particular environments instead.
Another issue is the image. Developers are afraid of it, and that's normal. Using the filesystem is more secure than using a single file for everything. Starting from the compatibility ending up with the stability.
Another serious serious _serious_ problem is: lack of demonstrating applications. Do you see any widely used applications running on users' desktop? I don't, that's a problem. It's not the lack of libraries like many people say, if you create applications using non-internal libraries programmers will see that's possible to "create" with Smalltalk.
What I want to do with Syx is to invest creating desktop and web applications, that's much more than marketing, books, etc. IMHO.
CS: What do you think Smalltalk has and the other tools doesn't have?
LB: Smalltalk has the "ability" to let you write your applications the good OO way, other tools don't. Smalltalk has the "ability" to make your applications flexible and maintainable more than any other tools. It's not what Smalltalk offers, it's what Smalltalk is.
CS: What tools do you recommend to work?
LB: In Smalltalk? Actually only seaside.

If I said ... Would you answer
I usually play billiards (8 ball), beach volley, tennis and table tennis. I don't follow sport on the TV so much.
Rock/metal old style music is needed while programming.
Everything made in Calabria the natural way.
Computer brand?
Compaq AMD64
Operative system?
I've several partitions on my HD, I currently use Microsoft Windows XP and Debian GNU/Linux lenny/sid.
Mobile Phone?
Nokia 3220
I live in Longobardi, a very very small city with lots of green, mountains and a clean sea. Though there're no people in winter I like it.
I like war films, also japanese and chinese like "The last Samurai".
I don't read any magazine but my RSS feeds.
Open Source?

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