[self-interest] Re: An OO history

Jecel Assumpcao Jr jecel at merlintec.com
Mon Apr 16 22:51:29 UTC 2001

Steve Dekorte wrote:
> I think a "Little Self" that was as "small" and at least as fast as
> the common web scripting languages(Python, Perl) would give the
> language it's best shot at getting widespread use. I guess that may
> have never been a goal of the original Self project, but it seems to
> me that it is the shared goal of all these other Self
> implementations.

Not, ironically enough, the two "tinySelf" implementations I did. But I 
do like small stuff (not as fanatically as Chuck Moore who feels any 
program must fit in 1K) and will send a separate email to this list 
with my current idea for an object model suitable for little 

>  > Language elements in general, but syntax most of all, are a matter
>  > of taste, so it makes no sense to talk about making it better or
>  > worse.
> It does if you value people choosing to use the language.

Define "people". I can claim the C-like syntax in Java has cause many 
people to reject it in favor of the more Pascal-like Delphi, and I 
would be correct. For people who are starting out or have a C 
background, this isn't a problem at all.

> Syntax seems to have been a barrier to the general use of the most
> technically advanced high level languages (Lisp and Smalltalk). Would
> we have had to wait 20 years to see things like garbage collection
> used in a mainstream language if these languages hadn't been so
> ambitious?

I would say that Beta is the language that has suffered the most due to 
its syntax. Lisp has certainly turned away many people with its 
parenthesis and attracted others. Given the people in those two groups, 
I would say it was a net gain for the language. I am not away of people 
who really have had problems with the Smalltlak syntax.

>   It's interesting that the two languages of the web are split on
> their adoption of these two innovations of Self - JavaScript got a
> proto object model and Java got some of the compiler technology.

Was JavaScript influenced by Self at all? I meant like NewtonScript was.

-- Jecel

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