[self-interest] Kansas and Tcl

Albertina Lourenci lourenci at lsi.usp.br
Sat Mar 6 09:57:42 UTC 2004

Stefan Urbanek wrote:
Dear Stefan!
See below!

> On 2004-03-05 22:06:07 +0100 Jecel Assumpcao Jr <jecel at merlintec.com> wrote:
> > 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).
> >
> Just to add a note to this... Self does not have any working GUI/app framework that would be sufficient for creating an usable application. And as I see it, Self will not have it in near future. What Self has, is a great computational mechanism and different view on how to "model a problem". Ant there is the power of Self. Yecel named it "scripting", others can name it "integration" - with that both sides can gain. Application developers will get powerful computational engine and Self will finally get users (developers, testers, ...).
> The advantage of Self is not only "scripting". I think of scripts as of some small pieces of code for automation or customisation. Well Ousterhout thinks of scripting languages as designed for gluing. They assume the existence of a set of powerful components and are intended  primarily for connecting components.System programming languages are strongly typed to help manage complexity while scripting languages are typeless to simplify connections among components and provide rapid application development. in IEEE computer march 1998.

Scripting languages and system programming languages are complementary, and most major computing platforms since the 1960s have included both kinds of languages. The languages are typically used together in component frameworks, where components are created with system programming languages and glued together with scripting languages.

In his PHD thesis Software-architeckturen für die rahmenwerkbasierte Konstruktion grosser Anwendungssysteme (Arquiteturas de software baseadas em framework para a construção de grandes sistemas de aplicações) that is an Umberto Eco's semiotics application the connectors are the design patterns! These are also small pieces of code for customisation. Hence what's the difference between
design patterns and scripts?

> The advantage is, as I have mentioned before, the different computational model and well tested, fast runtime. Those are features that no other (or very few) scripting languages/environments offer. This moves Self to another, higher level, where one can use it not only for small pieces of code. One can use it for larger (user customisable) parts of an application. There are lots problems that can be solved in Self much more easier than in C/C++/ObjectiveC.

I believe nobody has doubts about Self's power of expressiveness.

> How I see it? Application using one or more Self environments. Ok, now I let my imagination go... What about stadard application as a frontend to a distributed self environments on different machines?

This sounds great. Distributed Self environments on different machines as the basis of a collaborative architecture. Something
like OpenCroquet (Alan Kay and so on) intends to offer to develop applications written in Squeak?:-)!

> It's just an example, but you get the idea where it should go...
> I am not a Self developer, I come from another world and I am just saying how I see it from the outside. I think that a fight for a user environment is lost at this time, what can be won is a battle for exceptional computational environment/engine.

Best wishes

> Stefan Urbanek
> --
> http://stefan.agentfarms.net
> First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.
> - Mahatma Gandhi
> Yahoo! Groups Links
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