I want to learn a new language...

Michael L Torrie torriem at chem.byu.edu
Thu Feb 15 11:58:17 MST 2007

On Thu, 2007-02-15 at 11:45 -0700, Levi Pearson wrote:
> As a side note, Smalltalk syntax has some distinct advantages for
> self-documenting code.  Messages have named arguments, so it is always
> clear when you see a message send what the parameters mean.  Ruby
> chose to do away with this in order to appeal to programmers coming
> from languages syntactically similar to C, and I can understand that
> motivation, but it makes me sad.  As far as I'm concerned, Smalltalk
> is far superior to Ruby for systems and application work, while Ruby
> has distinct advantages in the scripting and glue departments.

I think one of the  things that prevented Smalltalk from gaining a lot
of traction in app development was the fact that Smalltalk was like its
own operating system.  Smalltalk objects where created by the IDE that
was part of smalltalk, and the only way to save your work was to dump
the environment out to disk.  Were later implementations more like a
traditional environment where source could could be loaded/compiled and

Years ago my uncle worked at Wordperfect on a language that was intended
to be embedded in WordPerfect, DataPerfect, and the like.  It was called
Tool and was based on Smalltalk (bootstrapped from smalltalk actually).
It was very cool at the time.  Like smalltalk it had an integrated IDE
and debugger.  It was also a similar syntax to Smalltalk.  Can't
remember all the advantages it had over smalltalk.  I'll have to dig up
the documentation I still have on it.

>                 --Levi
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