Our two weapons are fear and surprise...and..

brassplume brassplume at yahoo.com
Wed Aug 5 14:31:54 UTC 2009

I'd like to point out something about the idea that Self is the language of simplicity. On the home page it says "The Power Of Simplicty". I think that's like saying "All the flavour of regular beer with half the calories." It's kind of a misrepresentation. 

I agree that the language it simple - semantically. But it's common to my point of view that languages that are semantically simple are: 1) capable of sophistication; 2) require a programmer to bring more knowledge and understanding of design.

Lisp and Smalltalk are semantically simple. Their sophistication and the sophistication required of the programmer is in inverse relationship to that. 

PHP and Perl are simple languages. Not Self. You can be a crap programmer and do lots of useful CRUD things with those languages. Semantically the are complicated. And ultimately they're limiting because of that. The control structures are built in and obvious. In Self, Smalltalk, or Lisp, you need to bring a lot of knowledge to either build your own or see how somebody added objects/classes to do that. 

If you believe Self is the language of simpilicty you either: 1) Have lost all touch with what it means to be a beginner; or, 2) You are way too close to the language to see how it looks to people who program with other tools. 

I used to play a RPG called Paranoia. On the back cover is a message from the evil master computer: "You are in error. No one is screaming. Thank you for your cooperation." 

The way you describe Self reminds me of that. :p


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