[self-interest] Questions about Self

jas jas at cruzio.com
Sun Jun 26 06:10:22 UTC 2016

On 6/21/2016 9:32 AM, David Ungar ungar at mac.com [self-interest] wrote:
> I am pleased and amazed at the attention you all lavish on Self. The recent activity has moved me to wonder:
> What is it about Self that appeals? What is it that you don’t like?
> I mean to ask about the language, environment, and implementation, not about the mailing list, web site, or even documentation.
> One reason this topic interests me is that I am watching the immense popularity of Swift, a somewhat different style of PL, and I am even enjoying Swift myself.
> Thanks in advance,

Glad to see the activity here.
Nice job poking the list, Bystroushaak.

Really well done.

Hi David,

What appeals:

     1.  It was (co)created by one of the wisest, and kindest souls I 
have ever met.
          (I suspect that such facts are relevant, whether or not they 
seem to be ;-)

     2.  I just love the experience of re-learning fundamental thoughts.

          Like delegation vs inheritance.
          Delegation.  I dnu - so I hand off, to someone else.
          True delegation.  Hand off, but callee implicitly retains 
identity of caller.  Hmm - ok, yes, very nice.
          Versus regular inheritance -- obvious, from the hierarchy, 
above, after searching the one, the only, path.
          Related concepts, but completely different.

              Oh for -- no.
              Inheritance?  That's just eunics doing headstands while 
              Search, yes, but along paths selected from an unbounded 
set of possibilities.
              Its all delegation.

          Ka-blam!  Head explodes, like a balloon.
          I love that feeling.

          Ok, but then, how is it organized?  What does it look like?

             Browser opens.
             Click.... pause.  Click... pause.  Click... pause.  See?

         Wait a minute.  I swear to god it looks identical.  How can that...

         Ka-blam!  And another hour picking up shards.

         I love that feeling.

         Works in reverse, too.

         Case in point -

         We were hot on the trail of "selector namespaces".
         'Cuz they're IT.
         Exactly what you'd want.  Extension on demand, completely isolated.

         Meanwhile, I'm reading papers.  Next one on the stack?
         Not weekly.  Just Us.
         Hey, you know what this is? I think to myself.  I can't wait.
         I finish the paper, and toss it back on the table.
         Another balloon pops - a different sort of balloon.
          It doesn't work. Well, that's depressing.

         DOH!    But now I *know* it doesn't work.  And I know why.

         I just love that feeling.

         So, while not precisely what you asked for,
         perhaps within the "cosmic background" of appeal..

     3.  Hmm, tap, tap, tap.  What appeals?

          Ok, slots.
          First of all - nice name, simple, concise.
          Second - Its a method.  Its a variable.  Its a read barrier. 
Its a search path.
          Wow.  That's all.  Design at its finest.

  What I don't like:

   1.   I know ego-less programming is all the rage,
         but I'm not so sure.

         Eliding of 'self' is not, ah, yeah - I just don't see what its 
         The sort of problem that, barring singularity,  takes care of 
itself soon enough.
         Double plus good, if you ask me.

   2.  The resolution of name collisions is, um, Horrible.
         There, I said it.
         Worst solution ever.
         Except for all the others.

         We could yak about it, I'm sure you have a better solution. Me too.

   And now for something completely different.

   What are you finding about Swift that appeals?

       (Yeah, a bit off topic.  Offline's good, too, if inclined.)


> - David
> ------------------------------------
> Posted by: David Ungar <ungar at mac.com>
> ------------------------------------
> ------------------------------------
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