text was: (Being Popular)

Jecel Assumpcao Jr jecel at merlintec.com
Fri May 4 01:26:41 UTC 2001

On Thursday 03 May 2001 02:41, Tripp Lilley wrote:
> On Wed, 2 May 2001, Jecel Assumpcao Jr wrote:
> > thinking more graphically
> I understand and agree with this motivation, but I also think that
> "making text a little prettier" pays dividends even when we -are-
> concentrating on graphs and messages. At some point, text is a very
> -good- representation for action. When well-wrought, it is concise
> and evocative. Ultimately, we need to strive to balance the
> graphical, structural, and textual elements of programming.

I was playing with a Color Forth today and thinking about this very 
issue. You can only see the code as it was intended within its own 
tools (though a color printer would help) but the author defined a set 
of conventions so it wouldn't look too bad in a regular ASCII editor 
(it looks like regular Forth, mostly).

So we have a problem of how to deal with languages including non 
textual aspects in email, books and so on. We shouldn't worry too much 
about legacy tools, however, otherwise I would still be using ALL CAPS 
from my mainframe days. If a tool can be assumed to be available to 
everyone in a group (not currently the case for Self, unfortunately, 
but see Squeak for an example) then it is too bad for those who prefer 
to ignore it. After all, though I can type in short Self expressions to 
get a point across here, if I were to include what is generated by the 
transporter nobody would understand it. It might as well be some 
strange, binary format - the proper tool for viewing Self code is Self.

-- Jecel

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