Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Interesting Article

I just read the following article: 640KB ought to be enough for anyone. The author mainly states the obvious and it's nice to know that MS are trying to make their OS richer, but I was shocked and appalled at the following statement:
    Outside of the PC mainstream, we've seen many sophisticated demonstrations of the power of network effects fundamentally based on client-side object models and dynamic binding of independently-created components. From the power of piped unix commands, to the elegant and incredible sophistication of language-derived Lisp, Smalltalk, and Squeak environments, we know that the power is there to be had. But again, none of these environments has become mainstream - each perhaps having remained niche by drowning in its own idealism.
My first reaction to this is WHAT THE #$%^&?! The only reason Smalltalk and Lisp have not garnered enough support is because of marketing plain and simple. It's easier to move to a C-based syntax language which is what most developers are raised on. Thus, they are most comfortable. People like using things they are used to. Programmers are humans too. Why do we always ignore that? I hate the common assumption that Lisp and Smalltalk failed because of the smug users of both languages. I think it's a cheap cop out. Lisp and Smalltalk are strange beasts. I didn't like Lisp at first because it was different, but I persisted and it has rewarded me over and over. In fact, I program very different today because of my encounters with both languages. I hope this doesn't sound smug or like bad apples. I don't mean it to. I'm proud that there are languages like Lisp and Smalltalk out there. And guess what? There's more of them! I'm glad language designers are out there that want to push the envelope.

Now with that being said, I still think Lisp and Smalltalk may have a long way to go. In fact, they will probably never gain mainstream acceptance. I think the ideas of both will live on and continue to influence future programming languages. I'm fine with that and accept it. if I had a million dollars, I would glady put it behind Smalltalk...=)

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