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

Dan Ingalls Dan.Ingalls at
Sat Mar 4 17:07:28 UTC 2000

Henrik Gedenryd <Henrik.Gedenryd at> wrote...
>I have to admit, Dan, that I was trying to make a subtle joke about the
>world-wide reputation of American geography knowledge, while trying to avoid
>it being taken in the wrong way. Mea culpa. I'll try to make up for that
>with some serious stuff:

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.

> <big snip about Beta and Scandinavian origins of OO to which I hope others will respond>

Alan has always been clear about his debt to Simula, both publicly and privately within our group.  For me it was indirect, because I didn't know a thing about Simula, except as Alan decribed it to me.  I think this made it easier to build a dynamic system around those concepts (for better or for worse ;-), and to simplify a few things like 'inner'.  But I can certainly say that when I first hear about Simula, I thought, "Ah, yes... that's great,"  so I certainly owe that debt as well.

Also, while we're on the topic, I must express my appreciation of Trygve Reenskaug's work.  He  appreciated Smalltalk in its own right, and was a driving influence behind the MVC framework.  He saw that Smalltalk, while small and simple, could actually be effective in industry and became, next to the CIA <hmph hmph>, the most serious early user of Smalltalk.

>All in all, I think the whole thing is more an issue of watching your
>territory, a k a the Not Invented Here syndrome, than a rationally
>defensible position. "Hey, it was actually *we* who invented this thing,

Yes, we all do it from time to time.  The serious part needs to be acknowledged from time to time and the rest, as you clearly understand, needs some humor to keep it in perspective.

>PS. A pre-announcement: you may want to check out:

Henrik, this looks BEAUTIFUL!!  I can't wait.

	- Dan

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