[self-interest] Kansas and Tcl

Jecel Assumpcao Jr jecel at merlintec.com
Fri Mar 5 21:06:07 UTC 2004

On Friday 05 March 2004 15:56, Randy Smith wrote:
> Okay Albertina, I'll try to respond for you here: Self's GUI was
> never tuned to being like Motif or being fully brought up to address
> the construction of stand alone, single apps. Rather we were
> exploring the sense of a world in which many applications could be
> created and recombined.

Just to reinforce this idea by saying the same thing in slightly 
different words: if you define as a basic parameter of your project 
that it will run as a "normal" application in some environment such as 
Windows XP, Mac OS X or X Window then you are automatically excluding 
tools which include their own environments (such as Self or Squeak) 
from consideration. All you have left are scripting languages and 
things like C++ and in that case the scripting languages do indeed look 
like the best option.

This is exactly the case mentioned in another thread by Stefan Urbanek. 
One of his requirements is that the application must run in the Cocoa 
(NeXTStep/Mac OS X) environment. As Steve Dekorte pointed out, a simple 
scripting language like Io would more easily fit into this project. 
Note that there is nothing about the Self language itself that keeps us 
from creating a scripting version of it, just that only one person who 
has worked on Self so far has been interested in this (OpenSelf, but 
see my note at http://www.merlintec.com:8080/Self).

> Nevertheless, our hypothesis has always been
> that the difficulties Ousterhout observes (the problem of bridging
> the direct GUI environment with a general purpose programming
> language) can be addressed. There are difficulties of course, and
> deep issues such as the fact that direct GUI assembly and
> modification is a different environment than the textual environment
> of the language's code.

This is one of the main issues I am addressing in Neo Smalltalk. Note 
that unifying the two environments greatly simplified the language 
itself - there is no need for a syntax for literal objects if you have 
graphical ones (even for strings and numbers).

-- Jecel

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