Fun with Self...

Mario Wolczko Mario.Wolczko at Eng.Sun.COM
Tue Aug 29 21:24:06 UTC 1995

Date:  Tue, 29 Aug 1995 20:54:00 +0100 
From: "ian (i.r.) woollard" <wolfe at>
To: self-interest at
Subject:  Fun with Self... 

I managed to get Self4.0 up and running with only a few problems:

1. It's huge to ftp (the link broke 3 times- start again!)
2. It's memory footprint is *too* big.
   - It could *really* do with splitting up.
3. It doesn't run on the same hardware as Self3.0 i.e. Sparc 5 32M

Anyway enough griping, I managed to borrow a Sparc 10 with 64M, and it
then ran very well.

The UI is pretty sensational. The folding editor is fantastic and the
speed is good on the Sparc 10.

I started exploring the language and between that and the manual I

        - how block structuring works
        - that 1000 factorial doesn't work with non tail recursive
          languages using a recursive algorithm.
        - that 6 digit accuracy floating point doesn't allow easy
          implementation of base pi arithmetic very well.
        - dynamic parents are really *very* fast in Self
        - state machines are easy to write using dynamic parents
        - that you can have a parent slot in a method and it has
          interesting effects(!), e.g. you can simulate common lisp
          variables, or whatever. 
        - that doesNotUnderstand and send: trick is *really* *really*
        - the rest of the language is *lightning* quick.

The smalltalk implementation is a really good idea. I hope that it
gets more exposure for the group or members of the group from
commercial smalltalks vendros.

Anyway congrats to the team on a really neat language.

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