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[Help-smalltalk] Re: Directions for GNU Smalltalk (was Re: [RFC] Smallta

From: parasti
Subject: [Help-smalltalk] Re: Directions for GNU Smalltalk (was Re: [RFC] Smalltalk scripting syntax)
Date: Sun, 18 Mar 2007 02:33:04 +0200
User-agent: Icedove (X11/20061220)

Paolo Bonzini wrote:
>> Put too much emphasis on tools and you'll have a language that will
>> be barely usable *without* them.
> This is a bold statement, and I want to understand more of it.
> How can you be sure?  Do you consider Ruby or Python barely usable
> without tools?

Heh.  It's a bold statement, I agree.  No, I do not consider Python to
be useless without tools.  (I have about 5 minutes of experience with
Ruby, so actually I can't say much about it.)  In fact, interestingly
enough, I just realized that the only tools that I use with Python is my
text editor and Python itself.  I feel that a language such as Python
was primarily designed to be a language that the authors themselves
would want to use.  I don't think they were guided by how easy it will
be for tool writers to do their job, except for as far as the parser and
compiler is concerned.  If a system is designed with knowledge about
itself and exposes that knowledge, every tool that needs such knowledge
can be implemented from within that system.  Which is why I don't really
need anything else than a text editor and Python.  Hell, I don't even
need the text editor.

>> The language that it's being turned into is not that language.
> This is also a bold statement.  Please expand on it, I'm genuinely
> interested (they even deserved a subject change!).

It's entirely my own opinion and it's based on one simple fact:  I
wouldn't use it.  I find that the changes you're proposing address some
of the things that I like most about Smalltalk (extreme simplicity, one
paradigm) and languages such as Python (the "scripting" aspect), and I
find that I don't like those changes.  If Smalltalk had been the
language you're trying to implement when I started taking interest in
it, I wouldn't even bother learning it.  In fact, I wouldn't have taken
interest in it in the first place!  And, naturally, that is why I don't
see potential in that language, but again it is my opinion.


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