Musings about "ma"

David Stes stes at
Fri Oct 16 11:05:13 UTC 1998

Alan Kay wrote:
> Marcel --
> These are just the kinds of directions I was hoping to catalyse. Long ago
> we used to say: find the hardest and most important things you need to do,
> solve them, and then find ways to get everything else out of them. Please
> keep on thinking and writing about these ideas ...
> Cheers,
> Alan
> ------
> At 2:01 PM -0000 10/13/98, Marcel Weiher wrote:

> >Blue plane 1: Software Architecture
> >
> > ...
> >
> >Example 2:  Protocols
> >
> >It would be great to formalize Smalltalk protocols along the lines
> >of Objective-C

Well it's not a very good example that was catalyzed here, because this is
a very controversial extension that is not supported by the majority of
the Objective-C compilers. 

I am personally in doubt whether to add this extension to my Objective-C
preprocessor (see and I asked to
Stepstone whether they were going to this, to which a compiler engineer at
Stepstone (see replied something like "we call
that tinkering with the language", so they don't seem to happy with it. 

If you change an existing system, whether it's protocols for Objective-C,
or prototypes for Squeak, I think you always have to be careful, that it's
with the consent of the people who built the system.

Otherwise, just be consistent, and develop a completely new system (such
as Self was prototype oriented in my understanding, _based_ on ST but not
claiming to _be_ ST).  Nobody's forbidding anyone to develop a completely
new pure prototype oriented system, but I'm reading this list because I
like Squeak the way it is, as a class-based system.

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