Polymorphism and language

Adam Bridge abridge at wheel.dcn.davis.ca.us
Sun Aug 30 00:33:39 UTC 1998


Teach me to be an English major back in the 60s instead of delving into the
computer realm.  It took me until the late 70s to get THERE.

APL was always a mystery to me: it's coding into symbols, while conceptually
rich, was too high a price of admission for me, perhaps because the same
learning disability that makes foreign languages so difficult for me was invoked
in the same way.

Thank you for your remarks and insights.  I enjoy Squeak and this news group
because it always seems to operate where my mind ought to be.  Which makes it
both rare and beyond price.


On 8/29/98 at 4:37 PM, alank at wdi.disney.com (Alan Kay) wrote:

> This was a dream of the sixties, and the very first working version of
> Smalltalk (72) manifested this dream. It was set up so that each object
> could easily implement its own grammar for receiving messages. This allowed
> many "small languages" to be developed and mixed. The expressivity was very
> high. Unfortunately, we forgot that languages are also for communication --
> for being read, not just for being written -- and what we quickly wound up
> with was a Tower of Babel -- as least as far as people who were trying to
> learn from our code were concerned. For Smalltalk-76 we decided that the
> language should be always be readable, and that the extensibility that was
> really needed was in expressing meanings.

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