Symbiotic relationship of declarative and imperative systems (was: A declarative model of Smalltalk)

Stephen Pair spair at
Mon Feb 24 14:25:19 UTC 2003

I've read this discussion with great interest...on Friday I was just
updating the declarative representation of my re-write...what
a pain in the rump!

I agree with Allen's points regarding the need for declarative program
representation.  My feeling is that you essentially need to construct
programs imperatively and deliver them declaratively.

It's interesting to note that in the computing world outside of
Smalltalk, there is a sort of symbiotic relationship that exists between
imperative and declarative systems.  The most commonly used operating
systems are imperative, and the most commonly used languages are
declarative.  If you don't believe me, try reconstructing the disk image
bit for bit of a Windows system after a year of normal usage without
mirroring the drive.  ;)

I can only imagine the reaction that normal users would have to a
declarative operating system.  Yikes!

So, what do we really want Squeak's future to look like?  Is it an
operating system, or is it a programming language?  I guess I've always
felt that Squeak should evolve into something that incorporates the best
aspects of operating systems, languages and databases into a unified

Thus, I think the only logical conclusion is that Squeak needs to
accommodate both forms of usage.  And, it should allow both forms of
usage without sacrificing the benefits of either.

- Stephen

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