[self-interest] Why did Sun stop development of Self ?

thilo.s at web.de thilo.s at web.de
Fri Dec 29 01:19:07 UTC 2000

Jecel Assumpcao Jr wrote:
> Thilo,
> the short answer is: to focus on Java.


I would have thought that Sun was "big" enough to develop both languages
in parallel to possibly get shares in both language-markets ( that means
C++ and Smalltalk ). IMHO there are Smalltalkers that could be convinced
to migrate to the possibly (? - I have no real experience in both
languages) more powerful Self-language - especially if given the right
code transformation tools to save their former work - instead of -
giving up the mighty and convenient concepts they got used to by
switching to Java.

> Note that Sun also killed TCL and Spring OS at that time (the latter to
> focus on Solaris).
> I can only offer you an outsider's view, but it is interesting to
> compare what Java and Self were in 1995. Java was small and there were
> many missing pieces, but a killer application has just appeared that
> could take advantage of its modular nature: platform independent
> applications for the web. Self was large and monolithic, but flexible
> and feature packed. It probably seemed easier to grow Java as needed
> than to slim down Self.
> -- Jecel

I see. Is it eventually too late (or even too early - anyway to
expensive at this moment) to pay for more R&D in Self even (or
especially) for the other big players ? Anyway - possibly these kind of
tasks are not the domain of the big players (?).

What about the following hypothetic "big-player statements":

- "It would be so much more to spend for R&D to getting Self in the
market that we just can't (want) afford it".

(I'm a little sceptical about this statement because a lot if not most
of R&D for programming-languages is probably done in universities anyway
isn't it ?).

- "We will loose so much shares by getting Self in the market".


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