[self-interest] A Self / BETA Language Hybrid Project

Brian T. Rice water at tunes.org
Wed Jan 12 08:51:15 UTC 2000

Hello all,
	I've been a silent member of this list for quite a while, but I've been
highly interested in the  advances of the Self programming language for
quite some time. I wish the best of luck to the current porting projects
happening right now. 
	I'd like to announce a new programming language project called Slate
(http://www.tunes.org/~water/slate-home.html) that attempts to take the
best of the Self and BETA programming languages, and provide a coherent
framework for these ideas. Although the language will primarily be dynamic
in the style of Self, it will also extensively use the benefits of
pattern-programming and the various abstractions that BETA has shown to be
so useful. The language will also incorporate the abstract syntax tree
(similar to Lisp's SEXP notation) structure and a functional character for
its object semantics. This will allow for some cleaner semantics and better
meta-programming facilities within the language itself than are available
for other object-oriented languages.
	Finally, the language will follow the tradition of Smalltalk-80 by hosting
its own interpreter system, compiler, and user-interface. In fact, we plan
to implement a user interface consisting of direct manipulation of language
patterns (a la Morphic) according to syntax and semantics adjustible
through reflective programming. This will in fact form a language and
environment that is programmable by visual gestures and representations alone.
	Well, I brought this to your attention as a modest request for feedback on
the idea as well as to help identify interested parties. If you are
interested, please contact me via e-mail, and I will be happy to send you
more information and answer any questions you may have. We also invite
people to assist in the development of the language and its environment.
Currently, there is a partially complete prototype of the language system
under Common Lisp, and plans include adapting the Squeak project's
smalltalk virtual machine sources generated from smalltalk code to support
Slate language primitives and the graphics system.
	As soon as we produce a language implementation that completely fulfills
the language technical requirements, we plan on releasing the source code
and environment under the GPL to open up development possibilities. Of
course I welcome discussing the language's ideas and differences with the
Self concepts openly on the list.

	Brian T. Rice
	email: water at tunes.org

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