Monday, November 17, 2003

Gleamed From The Squeak List

Alan Kay made the following post on the Squeak List and it points to a lot of stuff that I need to look at. The amount of history in this man's head is amazing. Anyway, I thought I'd share:
    --- Alan Kay wrote:
    > Hint: as I mentioned previously, you don't need a
    > method dictionary,
    > classes, inheritance, etc. You don't even need
    > "state" in the way it
    > is usually thought of. The essence is that of
    > communicating computers
    > as looked at from the outside. If you can make the
    > insides look like
    > the outsides "all the way down" then you have
    > something very
    > interesting and powerful.
    >
    > And yes, the original theory of Smalltalk was just
    > this (since even
    > the syntaxes used are definable by interior actions
    > of how the
    > "computers" recognize and receive messages). The
    > interesting and
    > difficult parts here are design decisions about
    > architectural
    > conventions that allow the universal mechanisms to
    > be used with
    > minimal pain and maximum expression and scalability
    > by humans.
    >
    > Each of the 4 Smalltalks in the 70s made different
    > choices (plus the
    > PIE system of Goldstein & Bobrow), and it's a pity
    > that there have
    > been so few experiments since Smalltalk-80 came out
    > of PARC.
    >
    > But check out some of Mark Lentzner's stuff:
    > Codeworks, Wheat, etc.
    > Look at Joe Goguen's ideas about closer analogies to
    > algebras as the
    > interface, etc. Ken Kahn's various designs over the
    > years are
    > extremely interesting. Several of the designs I did
    > after leaving
    > PARC -- Rainbow, and the original Playground (quite
    > different from
    > each other and I'm not sure where either set of
    > papers is anymore) --
    > still seem to be interesting to me. David Reed's
    > NAMOS is the basis
    > of Croquet. And, of course, Andreas Raab's not too
    > far away Tweak
    > design is a *really interesting* set of ideas....
    >
    > However, there have been many interesting ideas over
    > the years that
    > have had little effect because they lacked enough
    > pragmatic reality
    > via great implementations (and certainly vice versa:
    > an incredible
    > number of systems used today have weak ideas but
    > were implemented
    > well enough to spread).
    >
    > Cheers,
    >
    > Alan
    >

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