[self-interest] Re: Would 'Self' make a good scripting language?

khayes at flash.net khayes at flash.net
Thu Jan 28 18:57:59 UTC 1999

 <9901251236.aa150658- at ix> wrote: 
Original Article: http://www.egroups.com/list/self-interest/?start=83
> nobody at nowhere.org wrote:
> > For an excellent example of what can happen if you don't have
> > optional parameters in a language, take a look at the Java's
> > GridBagConstraints object. Its a total mess. To set the
> > constraints on an object you have about 4-6 lines of code per
> > Component of a window- it should have been a single line.
> > That's bound to negatively impact reliability- there's just
> > loads more things that can go wrong.
> Shouldn't interfaces be built with GUIs?

I personally haven't had much experience with those- I can see
that they may well give much better performance.

> > Take a look at TCL also- buttons take a single line to
> > create... it takes 3x more code in Java. Self is closer
> > to Java in this respect.
> Why not clone an existing Button and modify it?

Do you have any data to show that this is quicker? There is
data that shows that TCL is 2-3x quicker to write for many
applications than say Java, but no quicker/slower for others.
It also shows that Java is about 3x quicker than C++ for a
lot of things...

(My personal experience seemed to show that Self is slower
than Java to write in for me. Perhaps that's me.)

> BTW, I've been using python, which has optional named parameters with 
> defaults and I've yet to see it used for any good purpose. Mostly people
> use them to make huge initializers (which I, and the writers of _Writing
> Smalltalk with Style_ think is poor coding practice).

Maybe. However I am reminded of the sole British competitor at a winter
Olympics in ski jumping 'Eddie the eagle', who inspite of 'terrible
style' jumped further than some with good style- inspite of rather
significant lack of practice/skill. (His skis were at about 60 degrees
to each other, whereas other competitors kept them together.)

The judges marked him down rather severely- and he came last but one.
There was also talk of him not being suitable material for entering
the competition in the first place.

However the next Olympics the winners adopted his style- due to its
aerodynamic advantages...

> I do think handling
> variable arguments is important for certain kinds of applications though,
> like implementing proxies.

Yeah. Look at any Unix/Dos command. Ask yourself how you would implement
such a command in Self/Java/C++/C etc. with only fixed parameters. Then ask
yourself 'would I have to check the documentation to use this command'
then add 3 minutes to your coding for each such call.

>Lua has a more elegant way of dealing with these
> than python.

How so?
> steve

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