[Newbies] Re: Beginners Digest, Vol 68, Issue 3

Overcomer Man overcomer.man at gmail.com
Wed Dec 14 12:32:08 UTC 2011

Blender 3D is a great project in my opinion.  You should be able to cut the
lines of code to 1/10th of C by using Smalltalk.  From 1M that's 100K lines
which with a programmer coding an average of 10 debugged lines per day
would take 10K man-days or 460 man months.  Let's say a class size of 20
could reduce that to 23 months or about 2 years.

You could save more work by careful and elegant redesign of the core 3D
objects and messages since elegant simplicity will help new people
understand how to contribute faster.  Therefore you'll have to teach moving
to highly understandable object names instead of the usual amateur tagger
philosophy where lots of open source software is developed using names that
nobody except the developer understands - until the software gets popular
and others have to learn it.


Koans for learning Smalltalk on the other hand strikes me as another waste
of time and books like the entire "patterns" movement.  IBM has or had a
great little book for introducing people to Smalltalk using its Visual Age
line.  Even simpler, stick to Smalltalk itself.  Have people start
exploring the code for Dictionary until they completely master it - able to
code it and use it.  One could move from there to other key objects.   My
understanding of Dictionary once got me a job.


Language popularity is a matter of advertising.    Nobody heard of Java
until its creator advertised heavily claiming it was the best language of
all, when to people who studied languages it was not as good as Smalltalk.
 Instead of advertising Smalltalk like that Adel Goldberg implemented a
greedy pricing strategy which killed interest in ParcPlace  Smalltalk
creating many intellectual theives who stole Smalltalk's essentials to put
objects in other lesser languages like C++, Java, etc..

The way out of that legacy in my opinion is projects like Blender 3D, maybe
OpenOffice, and other killer applications in Squeak (or Cuis) which can
potentially be so good people won't have a reason to stay with kludge

Kirk Fraser
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