Beta language and OO politics (was Re: who's who on swiki)

Henrik Gedenryd Henrik.Gedenryd at
Mon Mar 6 00:06:37 UTC 2000

> I took it just that way, Henrik -- I appreciated the subtle joke in a place
> where I realize, with hindsight, that you might well be offended.

Not at all. I just can't pass up an opportunity for a joke. It's a character

I've always thought that Alan has been very fair in assigning credit to
Simula. And Kristen Nygaard has made such incredible contributions in quite
diverse fields that he certainly has no reason to feel that he's been

And he's a good storyteller too, as you demonstrated. Sometime he said that
American computer scientists (or rather those who assign grants) once tended
to reject ideas based on the fact that they "did not come from America". The
thing was just that Norwegians would do the same thing. Verbatim, he added.

> On Sketchpad ...
> However, it was not procedurally programmable by the end user (it
> actually used a much more advanced idea that was pragmatically limited:
> that of dynamically solved constraints as a way to make things happen).

When I read the original Sketchpad paper my reaction was that it was OO, but
not an object-oriented *programming language*. Making it such a general
facility requires innovation of a different magnitude I'd say. I completely
agree that assignment of credit is an impossible task--all ideas are based
on other ideas, and for instance, when do you make a discovery: when you
first get the idea, or when you really realize what you've come up with, for

And I don't think invention/discovery is so much coming up with something
entirely new, as distilling the essence out of what is usually a whole web
of tangled ideas. You might sense, even be convinced, that they hold
something very important, but that it just barely eludes you--like a
conceptual tip-of-the-tongue phenomenon.

> this looks BEAUTIFUL!! I can't wait.

> I
> can't wait: when, when, when?

Alright, alright, keep reading your mail :-)


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