Fear and loathing of the "perification" of Smalltalk
jason.johnson.081 at gmail.com
Tue Sep 4 19:37:05 UTC 2007
On 9/4/07, Randal L. Schwartz <merlyn at stonehenge.com> wrote:
> >>>>> "Peter" == Peter William Lount <peter at smalltalk.org> writes:
> I completely agree that Smalltalk's *syntax* is simple.
> However, in any useful system, the "complexity" is a constant. If you
> simplify one thing, you complicate something else. In Smalltalk, the
> complexity shows up when you realize how much of the class libraries you have
> to learn just to do anything simple.
It is true that sooner or later you have to do the complicated things.
But in my personal experience, simpler syntax gives more options to
solve something elegantly and simply. For example, in Smalltalk and
Lisp, two of the simplest languages there are (from a syntax
perspective) make it trivial to extend the language from within the
language. You can build up the language to suit the problem you are
solving in a way that more complicated languages just can't.
It comes down to: If the language is missing something, can I build
it, or do I have to wait for someone to add more syntax?
>In Perl, the complexity shows up when
> you have to start learning the "contractions" (just as "can not" is replaced
> by "can't", in Perl "readline ARGV" can be replaced by "<>").
It shows up a great deal with the complicated interactions with
variables and contexts as well. If you ignore the constant version
problems, 90% of all the questions I see on the Perl support channel
where I work are of the nature of "how do a make an array of arrays?".
When people ask this I generally point them to python. :)
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