OT - Re: GPL Java

Levi Pearson levi at cold.org
Fri Nov 10 00:29:36 MST 2006

On Nov 9, 2006, at 9:03 PM, Ross Werner wrote:
> I see it as being the difference between object-oriented  
> programming and procedural program. If you're in a procedural  
> world, you're going to be dominated by verbs. If you're in an  
> object-oriented world, you're going to be dominated by nouns. Ends  
> up being a matter of taste, IMO. But I doubt you could find an  
> object-oriented language that couldn't have most of the same said  
> about it (except for the verbosity ... Java is *definitely*  
> verbose, and again, non disputandum ... I for some strange reason  
> happen to like it).

This is not necessarily the case.  The term 'Object-Oriented  
Programming' was coined by Alan Kay, who is the inventor of  
Smalltalk, among other things.  The problem is, it's not a very well- 
defined term, and some of the systems (such as Simula) that inspired  
Kay also inspired people such as Bjarne Stroustrup, who went in a  
rather different direction with the concepts.  Java borrowed quite a  
bit from C++, though it borrowed a few things from Smalltalk and  
Modula as well.  They all get called 'object oriented' for historical  
reasons largely related to marketing.

Kay has since said that he began to regret the name 'object oriented'  
almost immediately, because he believes the focus should be more on  
the messages than the objects themselves.  This philosophy can be  
seen in Smalltalk and its successors such as Ruby, which are far more  
concerned with behavior than name.  The term 'duck typing' is a  
perfect example of this.

And you didn't even mention functional languages.  It is interesting  
to note that Scheme was created as part of an experiment to write a  
language that worked on the Actor model of computation, which was  
also a key inspiration for Smalltalk.  They are at their hearts very  
similar in nature, and very verb-oriented, though one is commonly  
labeled 'object oriented' and the other 'functional' or just 'wtf too  
many parentheses!!' ;)


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