[self-interest] An OO history
Jecel Assumpcao Jr
jecel at merlintec.com
Thu Apr 5 00:11:22 UTC 2001
thanks for the links. I know that the Simula folks get upset at being
forgotten in OO histories, but Alan Kay most certainly didn't use
Simula in early Smalltalk implementations (as claimed in the first
link). He did study the Simula compiler while a student at Utah. And
the first name for Smalltalk was "Simulation Logo" (also known as
Slogo, which expressed Alan's opinion of how fast the implementation
was likely to be), so there is obviously a link. But there were
important things that were different, like message passing. A lot of
people think that is just a fancy name for indirect subroutine calls,
and miss the whole point.
The path to Lisp OO was interesting - Carl Hewitt created his Actor
languages inspired by Smalltalk 72 and later attempts to prove lambda
calculus could express the same things led to Scheme. Later OO Lisp's,
however, seem not to noticed and generated wildly different object
models that were reconciled in CLOS.An interesting product, from the
Self viewpoint, was ObjectLogo. It was the first prototype based
language that I am aware of, but their message passing syntax was too
ParcPlace was the third attempt by the Xerox people "to get Smalltalk
out the door". The first was the portable Notetaker computer in 1978.
Then the special Byte issue, books and tape releases (to Apple, DEC,
Tektronix, HP and later to Berkeley) in 1980-81. ParcPlace was spun off
Don't forget Apple Object Pascal, Objective-C and other efforts to make
hybrid OO languages.
Self was created by Randy Smith of Xerox PARC and David Ungar of
Stanford, with the first description published in OOPSLA87. The
language was later implemented by Dave's students at Stanford, and the
whole group moved to Sun (I think Self 2.0 was the first release there,
but can't remember very well).
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