Abstract: This will a rather unusual talk for ESUG. The theme is not Smalltalk directly, but instead I discuss how progress and inventing new things fits with incremental, reflective nature of Smalltalk.
People often argue that progress is only possible when you throw everything away and start from scratch. In this talk I will argue that this thinking is a trap and the only way for progress in practice is to take an incremental approach of constantly improving and therefore evolving the imperfect system you already have.
I will show how the idea of creating feedback loops of improvement actually lead to non-linear growth and how this process of reflective constant improvement fits with the Smalltalk philosophy of incrementally and dynamically changing a running system.
Bio: Marcus Denker is a permanent researcher (CR1, with tenure) at INRIA Lille - Nord Europe. Before, he was a postdoc at the PLEIAD lab/DCC University of Chile and the Software Composition Group, University of Bern. His research focuses on reflection and meta-programming for dynamic languages. He is an active participant in the Squeak and Pharo open source communities for many years. Marcus Denker received a PhD in Computer Science from the University of Bern/Switzerland in 2008 and a Dipl.-Inform. (MSc) from the University of Karlsruhe/Germany in 2004. He is a member of ACM, GI, and IEEE and a board-member of ESUG.