[self-interest] Re: An OO history

Steve Dekorte steve at dekorte.com
Mon Apr 23 21:05:49 UTC 2001

On Tuesday, April 17, 2001, at 11:33 AM, Jecel Assumpcao Jr wrote:

>>> Define "people". [...]
>> 10% of the developers in one of the top 5 application spaces -
>>  desktop, web, servers, embedded, OS
> Ok, my point was that this varies with time. The same people who are
> 40% of the developers in some area today could be just 6% in that same
> area in five years (if the area is not growing, it probably isn't worth
> me worrying about it). I have found it nearly impossible to change
> people's minds, to "covert" them...

Right, that's the problem I'm getting at. It seems there's so many great 
technologies/ideas that sit on the shelf because inventors don't 
understand marketing. It's been said that in engineering there are no
technical problems, only people problems. For those of us that want to 
see the innovations of Smalltalk and Self in widespread use, our biggest 
problem isn't technological. It's figuring out how to get people to use 
new technologies.

>> In my experience, most developers find Smalltalk style code very
>> difficult to read.
> That is very interesting to know. What is their background, in general?

C, C++, Java or JavaScript. (I think most developers have such a 

>> If this is true, then you have to be very careful about prioritizing
>> which innovations you choose to visibly employ if you care about
>> making something that "changes the world".
> I would say that neither Java nor JavaScript were accepted because of
> what they were (unlike Perl or Python) but because of who was pushing
> them (Netscape, in both instances).

That's a good point. But then you have to ask, why where those choices 
by Netscape or Sun, etc?

> The problem with your theory is that many innovations work much better
> together than in isolation.

I think it depends on your market. If you're after the .01% of 
developers that are into neat new things, then packaging more neat new 
things makes sense. But if it were your goal is to change the world(in 
your case it isn't), you may be after the wrong market. It might inspire 
the folks who do change things, but those changes may only be accepted 
in a piece meal way anyways and not in order of importance.

As examples consider the Alto vs the Mac or the Newton vs. the Palm.


More information about the Self-interest mailing list