[self-interest] Re: Syntax is important - but

José Baltasar García Perez-Schofield jbgarcia at setei.uvigo.es
Thu Sep 2 15:36:59 UTC 1999

> Perhaps, I'm running against wind mills (as Don Quichote, if that's spelled
> correctly), 

	"Don Quijote" is a better spelling   ;-)

> but I like the Smalltalk (and Self) syntax, because it's
> different. It's clear, short and still readable -- if you know some English
> of course.

	It's a point that every language must have its syntactical
characteristics, but, in my opinion, Self syntax can be very obscure for
the beginner.

> So I don't like the idea to use
>    object.method(arg1, arg)
> so similar ways to express a message send.  NewtonScript, a Pascal-like
> language with Self-like semantics uses
>    object.slot
> and
>    object:method()

	I think that, if the syntax of Self, changes, this change should
be managed with care, trying to hold the good characteristics of the SELF
syntax, and turning other characteristics more attractive for that
programmers that 'feel safe' with procedural languages.

	For example, a good characteristic of Self syntax I think is that
it doesn't distinguish between data slots and code slots, and every other
syntax does it, like C++ or Java. 

> One of the big advantages of SELF is, that it's so general (so pure) and
> still powerful that you can easily emulate other languages on top of it.
> Actually, I think, a SELF VM could be a nice target for Python or
> NewtonScript.  Lua is another interesting candidate.  Even a kind of
> ObjectBasic could be possible.
> bye
> --
> Stefan Matthias Aust  //  Bevor wir fallen, fallen wir lieber auf.
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"C gives you enough rope to hang yourself. 
C++ also gives you the tree object to tie it to."
PBC -- Jose Baltasar Garcia Perez-Schofield -- jbgarcia at uvigo.es
Dep. Lenguajes y Sistemas Informaticos, Universidad de Vigo (Spain)

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