Obfuscated Self

R James Noble kjx at Comp.VUW.AC.NZ
Tue Jul 26 05:30:49 UTC 1994

About GNU Smalltalk/Little Smalltalk, 
dib at signal.dra.hmg.gb (David Bruce) writes:
> Just out of interest, what's the problem: functionality or efficiency?

Well, both are blue-book style interpreters written in C, in GNU
Smalltalk's case, it is almost a direct translation from the blue
book, for example the bytecode set is the same, which is not true for
Little Smalltalk. Gnu Smalltalk includes all the base collection
classes, and there is apparently an interface in the works, but this
has been delayed. Within a year or so, you may be able to describe Gnu
as a good Smalltalk circa 1985 :-)

Brook Conner <dbc at cs.brown.edu> writes:
> Both are, as I recall, hopelessly cut down. GNU Smalltalk includes an
> interface to the X Protocol but nothing more in terms of environment.
> Last I heard, Little Smalltalk was missing important things like
> instance variables :-)

Little Smalltalk is based on a different bytecode. It also interprets
cascades differently, and objects can have either named or indexed
instance variables --- more minimal even than Self. (Actually, if you
use both they overlay each other).

dib at signal.dra.hmg.gb (David Bruce) writes:
> This raises the following question (for instructors, I guess):
> how slow a system could one `get away with'?

Well, we use Tcl here *lots*, and the Kamin interpreters, neither of
which are fast. It depends what you're doing. If you kept the Self
language, but added a nice UI layer implemented in C(++), you could
compete with things like Tcl.  Two languages which have done this,
quoting Self as an influence, are VisualObliq and NewtonScript.

jecel at lsi.usp.br (Jecel Mattos de Assumpcao Jr.) writes:
>  But is you had a book, it would make Self more "respectable" in the
> eyes of many educators.

A book is a nice idea - Tcl has one, Modula-3 has several, even
Lisp-Stat has one.  Unfortunately I'm rather busy at the moment :-)


James Noble, Graduate Student, Computer Science Department
Victoria University, Box 600, Wellington 1, New Zealand
kjx at comp.vuw.ac.nz

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