Microsoft shopping for Java alternative

Alejandro F. Reimondo aleReimondo at
Sat Feb 13 16:12:42 UTC 1999

The point is that Smalltalk is NOT a language.
Smalltalk is a place where objects live & evolve.
C++, Java & others are simply Object ORIENTED Languages
Most people don't see the difference (yet). :-(
They see that we talk to objects, then they assume that we (only) have a language...
We will change the humman-object interaction interface (more gestual?),
 we will change the syntax (more natural?),
 and then we will have a better Smalltalk... not a different language

De:     	Tim Rowledge[SMTP:rowledge at]
Enviado: 	Viernes 12 de Febrero de 1999 18:46
Para:   	squeak at
Asunto:     	Re: Microsoft shopping for Java alternative

Just for a moment, I'm going to put on my  cynic hat and rant a little.
Excuse me while I dust it off.... there... that's better.


Making the, possibly unwarranted, assumption that 'Cool' is a thinly
disguised acronym for 'C object oriented language', I just feel sad that
people are pathetically limited in their imagination.

C++ was a disastrously tacky attempt to add object oriented extensions to
C, because after all, everyone knows C and so if we just extend it then
everyone can be an object oriented programmer in no time! Shazam! It's
magic! <fffphp "alt=rasberry sound">.
Bull. It's the semantics that are different and attempting to disguise new,
utterly different semantics in a comforting syntax and lexicon is
pointless, distracting and, ultimately, destructive. Half of the time spent
on C++ is/was spent trying to replicate features from Smalltalk. Half is
spent trying to understand why you still get pointer errors. Half is spent
trying to make excuses as to why this 'wonder technology' didn't help much.
And that is why C++ projects seem to take so long :-)

Same story with java; Ooh, lets make a language like Smalltalk but dress it
up like C so everybody will know it already! Brilliant idea, only they
missed out some of the more important parts and have spent several years
trying to add features from Smalltlak (where have we heard that before?).
They still didn't get it - and ended up with 'primitive types' messing up
the fundamentals of the picture.

Oh, and JanB will probably remember Actor, where a similar idea was tried
back in the days when it was _Pascal_ that was familiar to everyone. And
then there's  object extensions to REXX, Basic, FORTRAN, COBOL, etc etc.
Pah - a pox on all their discdrives I say!

Object oriented extensions will never work properly - not because people
aren't clever enough to do a good job of adding them, but because if you
let users think they can just make use of a few bits then that's all they
will ever do. It's as stupid as the brit colonists that went to kenya and
thought they could keep on behaving, dressing and eating like they did in
blighty. They sweated in their starched collars, english suits etc,
suffered ill health from inappropriate diets etc etc. They wouldn't make
the jump to a new paradigm and had a miserable time as a result. Just as
with java/C++ they wouldn't admit the mistake.

Either do objects properly, or don't do objects. It you don't like to think
object, find another paradigm that works for you; maybe functional, maybe
plain old C, whatever. But be honest about it, at least to yourself.

Now go in peace my children and say thirty-seven Hail Alans and a couple of
dozen Our Adeles.

yours, Father Tim


PS maybe 'Cool' is not an acronym. Maybe it's just M$ being so passe that
they think 'Cool' is a cool name....

Useful random insult:- A Neanderthal brain in a Cro-Magnon body.
Tim Rowledge:  rowledge at (w)  +1 (650) 842-6110 (w)
 tim at (h)  <>

More information about the Squeak-dev mailing list