Thursday, January 04, 2007

The language (and IDE) is built in

Huw and Demot talking about OOP. They also talk about Smalltalk.

I agree - in Smalltalk, the code and its environment work together.
Thats why you are so productive with it and why so many things have their roots in Smalltalk. You can easily extend both: the language and the IDE.

Most people do not understand that Smalltalk is not only a language. They see the syntax and compare it to curly brace languages.

But Smalltalk is a dynamic object system with a language built in. Everything is an object, even the language is implemented using objects and messages. Control structures are just messages. Classes are objects as well, therefore they understand messages (a "static" construct is not necessary) implemented in class methods.

Unfortunately most "modern" language designer missed this opportunity (otherwise we wouldnt have a debate about complicated Java Language extensions or yet another new language)

Others try to emulate the IDE. Unfortunately even with Eclipse they will not come close.

I dont know what the future will bring - but hopefully it is a lean, modular Smalltalk like dynamic object system that nicely play with other technologies. Maybe Ian's work can help here.

1 comment:

eR said...

I recently tried Squeak. I enjoyed it, but at the same time, I was disappointed. The problem was, I couldn't figure out how to use it well. Squeak documentation is scattered all over the place, and it's often incomplete. I was expecting its use to be more.. obvious.