Cuis is a free Smalltalk-80 environment originally derived from Squeak with a specific set of goals: being simple and powerful. It is also portable to any platform, fast and efficient. This means it is a great tool for running on any hardware, ranging from supercomputers to tablets and smart phones, and everything in between, including regular PCs.
Like Squeak, Pharo and other Squeak variants, Cuis is also:
- Open Source
Like other Smalltalk-80 environments (including Squeak, Pharo and others), Cuis is also:
- A complete development environment written in itself
- A pure Object Oriented language
Cuis is different from other Squeak variants in that it takes an active attitude towards system complexity.
As systems grow older, they usually become more complex. New features are added as layers on top of whatever is below, sometimes without really understanding it, and almost always without modifying it. Complexity grows without control. At some point, the system can't evolve anymore and becomes "legacy code".
The only way to avoid this is by understanding the complete system, and reengineering the whole system all the time. Keeping it simple and consistent.
This is important. Complexity puts a limit to the level of understanding of the system a person might reach, and therefore limits the things that can be done with it. Dan Ingalls says all this in "Design Principles Behind Smalltalk". Even if you have already done so, please go and read it again!
Cuis is continuously evolving towards simplicity. Each release is better (i.e. simpler) than the previous one. At the same time, features are enhanced, and any bugs fixed. Cuis includes recent enhancements from Squeak, but only those that meet Cuis objectives: stuff whose complexity outweighs its utility is not included.