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

Jecel Assumpcao Jr jecel at lsi.usp.br
Thu Sep 2 20:41:07 UTC 1999

José Baltasar García Perez-Schofield wrote:
>         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.

and Steve Dekorte wrote:
> 1. prefix message syntax, Self object model, potiental for lots of real users
> 2. infix message syntax, Self object model, a few dozen hobbyist users

I would like to say that the above is true depending on the
background of the beginner and the real users. In particular,
they probably already program in some other language.

Personally, I have given up on these people. My friends who
program in C will never change to Self no matter what I do.
They might move to Java since it is the same language in
practice (there are huge differences, but not the way these
guys program).

But I think that most people who will be programming in 2004
don't know any computer languages at all today. For them, any
syntax will be obscure (maybe not hyperscript). That is no
excuse not to try to clean up Self's grammar as much as possible,
but I don't think such issues as infix/prefix will have much of
an effect on total novices. And I am aiming my efforts at these

-- Jecel

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