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Originally presented at Smalltalk Solutions '95 Conference, New York City, February 23 1995.

How Does Smalltalk Scale?

by Jan Steinman

This panel, moderated by Ken Auer of Knowledge Systems Corporation, discussed panelists' experiences with large Smalltalk systems. Ken asked us each to prepare to answer the three questions that are the titles of my slides.

How Does Smalltalk Scale? Panel at Smalltalk Solutions '95, New York City, February 23, 1995.

 

What's in the way? 1) Unrealistic expectations lead 
to perceived failure. 2) Useless (or absent) metrics makes success or failure a matter 
of political perception. 3) Antique development processes impede Smalltalk's biggest gains. 4) Legacy systems -- 'It must be new, improved, and exactly like the old way!' 
5) Toolkits and frameworks are often inappropriately targetted.


The Steinman Curve. This is a scatter-plot of hypothetical Smalltalk projects, with a range of number 
of features in the time-to-completion domain. The higher the level of integration 
with legacy systems, the lower the feature-to-effort ratio.


How to get past these? 1) Attainable goals. 2) Being 
able to prove success. 3) Understanding that technology is not a panacea. 4) Relevant 
development process. 5) Good tool support. 6) Encapsulated legacy systems.


What's left to fix? 1) Performance perceptions. 
2) (Performance realities!) 3) Practice and assurance of quality. 4) Relevant toolkits 
and frameworks. 5) Moving platforms (Microsoft, Sun, PPS, Digitalk, et. al.)


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