Kevlin Henney said...
Someone will have rewritten it by then. Yes, will succeed where Smalltalk failed because it's not bound up in the smalltalk environment (you can open up Ruby files in Notepad). Also, do not underestimate how important a 'normal' if statement is. The biggest problem with Smalltalk is Smalltalkers.
The first part of the quote is right. Smalltalk is too much change for most developers to accept. You have a new syntax to learn, a new environment to learn, and a completely different way of thinking. It's too much for a lot of developers. It's human nature. An image-less Smalltalk would have a nicer entry point since developers love their editors (you spend a lot of time there and well, when you learn one well, you don't want to leave it). The last part of the quote really hurt. I see myself as a lot of things. I see myself as rubyist, a smalltalker, a java programmer, and a bunch more. But, I can see where the arrogance of certain Smalltalkers can detract from the true message. It makes me sad. Smalltalk is a cool language to program in and I love talking about it. But, I know it has warts like anything else. I hope no one ever sees me as an arrogant Smalltalker. I want them to see me as passionate and thoughtful.
Dave Thomas said...
As long as the people who have big checks are running on the CLR and JVM Ruby will have to crossover to those platforms to succeed. Business and economics were the downfall of Smalltalk, not natural selection. The "arrogance of the smalltalk communities sealed the lid".
Another quote right on the money, but stings me in the heart. It's true. Marketing killed Smalltalk and the arrogance that their product was better. The sad fact was yes, Smalltalk was better than C++ and Java, but having a better product doesn't win. Java had a lower cost of entry (familiar syntax, could use any text editor, and a familiar work flow) and it was good enough. Maybe if Smalltalk had been marketed correctly, maybe the story would be different. And one more thing, yeah, the arrogance of some Smalltalkers didn't help our cause.
It's always interesting to see how the rest of the developer commounities see us. I feel like we get lumped in with the grumpy Lispers. We both have great languages with communities that can be intimidating. I hope that never happens with Ruby because right now their community is inviting.