Discussion:
lisp->Smalltalk->Objective-C
(too old to reply)
Seth Delackner
2003-03-28 07:26:02 UTC
Permalink
If this is way off topic, someone please suggest a better list for it.

I know Objective-C inherits a lot from Smalltalk, but before reading an online
tutorial about Squeak, I didn't realize how directly even the syntax is
borrowed. Many languages say they are inspired by Smalltalk, why aren't we all
just using it? Was it too high-level (slow) in its early days?

I use Objective-C and Python quite a bit and yet every awesome feature I see is
actually just copied from older languages (Smalltalk, Lisp). Yet when I then
get a rush of enthusiasm and go look at the older languages' communities, I
find web sites that feel absolutely geriatric with stagnation, not bursting
with energy.

I would love to be able to say that community size is unimportant, but no
matter how simple your foreign function calling interface it seems that unless
a language is backed up by a large entity or a large community, the most basic
'keeping up appearances' advances just never arrive, while the new kids on the
block with popular support get the sugar (Unicode support, threading, superb
GUI widgets, etc).
Steve Dekorte
2003-03-28 07:53:03 UTC
Permalink
Post by Seth Delackner
If this is way off topic, someone please suggest a better list for it.
I know Objective-C inherits a lot from Smalltalk, but before reading
an online
tutorial about Squeak, I didn't realize how directly even the syntax is
borrowed. Many languages say they are inspired by Smalltalk, why
aren't we all
just using it? Was it too high-level (slow) in its early days?
I would guess that it was too slow at the time. Also, it doesn't
integrate well with C and it requires a lot of buy-in - system images,
etc.

That said, I think it would make a lot of sense today for most OSX
development to be done with a dynamic Smalltalk-like language today.
Btw, the link in my sig is to a language I've written for this purpose.
It has an Objective-C bridge and can be used with Interface Builder.

Cheers,
Steve
Io, a small language: http://www.iolanguage.com/
James E. Stead
2003-03-28 12:53:05 UTC
Permalink
Smalltalk and Lisp both were ahead of their times in many ways,
including the use of resources which used to be quite expensive. Lisp
is particularly suited to AI applications, less so to end user
productivity apps. Smalltalk ran in its own environment and typically
had its own GUI which didn't act much like what people expected on
Windows or a Mac.

Jim
Post by Steve Dekorte
Post by Seth Delackner
If this is way off topic, someone please suggest a better list for it.
I know Objective-C inherits a lot from Smalltalk, but before reading
an online
tutorial about Squeak, I didn't realize how directly even the syntax
is
borrowed. Many languages say they are inspired by Smalltalk, why
aren't we all
just using it? Was it too high-level (slow) in its early days?
I would guess that it was too slow at the time. Also, it doesn't
integrate well with C and it requires a lot of buy-in - system images,
etc.
That said, I think it would make a lot of sense today for most OSX
development to be done with a dynamic Smalltalk-like language today.
Btw, the link in my sig is to a language I've written for this
purpose. It has an Objective-C bridge and can be used with Interface
Builder.
Cheers,
Steve
Io, a small language: http://www.iolanguage.com/
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James E. Stead
Software Engineer
407.252.3321
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Tom Woteki
2003-03-28 17:15:01 UTC
Permalink
Interesting thread. What does the size of the Obj-C community (what is
the size?) bode for it and OSX development? Questions that have been
explored here before and no doubt will again.

tom
Post by Seth Delackner
get a rush of enthusiasm and go look at the older languages'
communities, I
find web sites that feel absolutely geriatric with stagnation, not
bursting
with energy.
snip
Post by Seth Delackner
I would love to be able to say that community size is unimportant, but
no
Alex Raftis
2003-03-28 20:43:08 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tom Woteki
Interesting thread. What does the size of the Obj-C community (what
is the size?) bode for it and OSX development? Questions that have
been explored here before and no doubt will again.
I can't give numbers, but it's certainly larger then when Obj-C was
only used by NeXT :) And during it's NeXT days, it certainly managed to
build a fairly loyal following. Loyal enough that a group of developers
started GNUstep, ostensibly so they could continue to use Obj-C and
AppKit. Then again, I also wonder if Obj-C's popularity is driven by
the fact that AppKit is a pretty nice UI library?

Alex Raftis
---
***@raftis.net
Steve Dekorte
2003-03-28 22:14:00 UTC
Permalink
Then again, I also wonder if Obj-C's popularity is driven by the fact
that AppKit is a pretty nice UI library?
I think that AppKit and IB are big part of it, though they wouldn't be
possible without a similarly dynamic language.

Cheers,
Steve
Io, a small language: http://www.iolanguage.com/
Seth Delackner
2003-03-28 23:12:01 UTC
Permalink
Post by Steve Dekorte
I think that AppKit and IB are big part of it, though they wouldn't be
possible without a similarly dynamic language.
I definitely agree on this one. The main reason I adopted Objective-C was
seeing how amazing IB could be as a RAD tool. Before using IB I avoided all
GUI programming. I have since gone almost not a single day without working on
GUI programs (though thankfully still no GUI code, which is the whole point).
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