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

Albertina Lourenci lourenci at lsi.usp.br
Fri Dec 29 20:05:57 UTC 2000

| Albertina Lourenci                                       |
| PhD  in Architecture and Urbanism                        |
| post-doctorate researcher                                |
| Laboratory of Integrated Systems University of Sao Paulo |
| Avenida Professor Luciano Gualberto, 158 Travessa 3      |
| CEP: 05508-900                                           |
| Sao Paulo Sao Paulo State Brazil                         |
| Voice: +55 011 818 5254                                  |
| Fax: +55 11 211 4574                                     |

On Fri,
Hi Jecel:
> Albertina,
> > Examining other prototype-based languages like Agora (Vrje University)
> > or Kevo, they are a far cry from the simplicity of Self. They do not have
> > the musical Kansas that I hope could be really transformed into
> > a true virtual reality tool!!!
> I would just like to comment that Kevo is actually much simpler than
> Self. Perhaps too much.
But does not have GUI, right? And Agora neither. Modern architecture
believed that less was more and finished in a fiasco...What matters
is that Self works for doing the complex things I need.
> About the nature of the written material for Self, nearly all of it was
> published in conferences and workshops for language designers and
> implementors. The two tutorials (Manchester and ECOOP95) are the
> exceptions. The same was true of Smalltalk until the August 1981 Byte
> magazine effort.
> I wrote:
> > > > It probably seemed easier to grow Java as needed
> > > > than to slim down Self.
> I should have mentioned that I didn't believe that back then - this is
> a variation of the famous "Turing Tar Pit". My opinion was that a
> modest investment would have solved Self's Snapshot problem while not
> even all the money in the world could extend Java to do all that Self
> was doing. I am still waiting for a demo of a Java product that will
> prove me wrong...
> About investments, it is a matter of putting some effort into
> marketing. Squeak nearly faced the same fate as Self, but they were
> able to move to Disney and escape from Apple's problems.
> Albertina is a little optimistic - just because you see someone with
> what you think are worse ideas than yours getting million dollar grants
> it doesn't mean you can too. That is like saying that because some poor
> kid was good at sports and was given a chance to become very rich that
> every child in a similar situation should count on this. But, on the
> other hand, if it did happen to someone then it is possible and we
> shouldn't give up without trying.

You are thoroughly mistaken! Before FAPESP any research is worth!!!

There is no criteria of priorities! You only have to write a 20-page
project and have  a curricullum and published papers that make evident
you are able to develop your ideas. Your project is analysed supposedly
by experts in the area. In my case there is not a single professional
with a multi-  inter and transdisciplinary profile, then the
research was deemed by about ten professionals (including coordinators
and vice-cordinators of architecture, computer science, mathematics
(even philosophy field was involved), manager and director of FAPESP.
All we had to do is defend the viewpoints of the referees wisely and
coherently. Then I got the impossible miracle of overthrowing what
two mathematicians deemed about my poor background in mathematics.
Of course the director of the Institute of Mathematics of the University
of Brasilia did  a good job in this respect as the invited researcher
to reach this goal (he is a renowned algebrist!).
And finally my scientific report was analysed by an architect!!!

I managed to state things about the unity of religion, art and 
science!!!! When my supervisor heard of this he said:
Wow we are in a Polytechnical School, Electrical Engineering,
you should be more careful!!!Then he read it and realized Newton
also envisioned the unity of religion and science, David Bohm
and so on (famous physicists!). So it is a question of courage
and determination to change the status quo and do what is necessary
to change society and create a better world.

I see as the outcome of my efforts to build higher levels of abstraction
that the OO community did the same, such as introducing delegation in
Java, the nice things I have been reading about design patterns
and so on.
The problem with FAPESP is that you must have an academic background,
be a master, a PHD and so on independent of your real potential like
it happens in Mathematics where even in Brazil talented teenagers
are awarded PHD degrees and so on.
This also happens in languages, for example when I was sixteen years
old (the threshold age to take the exam) I was successful in the 
Michigan Certificate for English proficiency and Nancy Exam for
French Proficiency, so when I registered at the University in Architecture
(17 years old!) I had to take a course in Didactics at the FAculty of
Philosophy and Letters and I would be awarded two Diploms equivalent
to have two Bachelors in English and French!!!
Sorry FAPESP does not perceive this reality!!!
And instead of getting two Bachelors I engaged in studying Biological
Sciences!!I am not interested in academic titles.Only the necessary
ones to pursue my goals.

For example you could start a PHD right now and in two years you would
have access to all these grants I am telling you about.
I do not understand why you insist on swimming against the tide!!!
The Dean of USP and director of FAPESP for eight years pointed out
in a lecture that there is nothing more successful in Latin America
than the graduate studies in Brazil in the last fifteen years.
We are practically independent of going abroad!

When I studying Architecture I could not advance my ideas while
structural systems were not analysed in a global perspective.
Then the considered greatest structural  engineer of the world
the Chinese Lin  did his PhD thesis at Berkeley jointly with
an architect filling this gap. Not only could I pursue my studies
but also enabled me to develop a global approach to architectural
design. He was 76 years old, wealthy and not needy of a PhD title.
The outcome is sad because very talented structural engineers
are able to follow his ideas...And those who tries are stuck
with the programming language barriers! Implementation in CLOS
requires technicalities that are not only unnecessary to generate
structural design by computer but also demands highly specialized
experts in mechanical engineering!!!

For example an American structural engineer from Berkeley had to go to
for post-doctorate research to accomplish this task.

Things sometimes evolve in a direction that are against our desires.
All we have to do is to be humble and surrender.
In my life I had done this many times and by now I realize my
desires were not so special!!!

Good luck and that the New Millennium bring the solution to this

> -- Jecel

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