[self-interest] Self in Java

Stefan Matthias Aust sma at 3plus4.de
Thu Nov 18 23:32:11 UTC 1999

I like this idea.  When I started with mySelf, it wasn't more than a
Self-Parser written in Smalltalk - a project without a true goal.  Still,
that helped me to understand the grammar (and all of its ambiguities) and
to awake my interest in prototype-based software design.  The more I was
thinking about that topic, the more I wished I'd such a system.  (I also
studied other languages like Lua or NewtonScript but never bothered to use
or implement one of these little languages)

Now I've a vision of a rapid prototyping environment which helps me to
script existing components and I'd like to try out the semantics (perhaps
also the language, perhaps not) of Self.  I started with Smalltalk but in
the meantime I switched to Java and created what I'd call a Self-simulator
written on top of Java.  It's a system which can compile and (although
slowly) interprets the original byte code instructions.  But most
important, it can interface with existing Java classes without the need of
wrapper classes.

It's my plan to release the source code in December or so when I'd some
time to fix a few bugs and write some documentation.  Then, one has to see
whether the performance is fast enough or not.  Please note, there's no GUI
and if I'd go for a GUI, I'd probably do it mainly in Swing and use Self as

If performance isn't sufficient, one could follow the way of JPython and
dynamically create classes which are then loaded on the fly with a custom
class loader.  Some guys at the university of Berlin did some nice work on
creating frameworks for class file construction and automatically adding
delegation to Java by modifying class files through class loaders.

This is no approach for a self-containing Self system, but I never intended

And yes, I reinvented the wheel by ignoring that there's already a
(although stopped) JSelf project in Argentinia.  I don't care, my
motivation is the fun of getting that thing, not having it (to quote

Stefan Matthias Aust  //  Bevor wir fallen, fallen wir lieber auf.

More information about the Self-interest mailing list