[Edu-sig] Smalltalk syntax benefits

kirby urner kirby.urner at gmail.com
Thu Aug 10 19:46:04 CEST 2006

On 8/10/06, Paul D. Fernhout <pdfernhout at kurtz-fernhout.com> wrote:

> Not to be too hard on you or Kirby, but I think it is easy to not see the
> value of the unfamiliar, and there is a lot functional foo() syntax makes
> difficult and awkward looking (Lisp, a Python ancestor in a sense, has a
> bit of this problem too).

When it comes to what looks awkward, that's hugely a matter of
schooling (unavoidable I'm afraid -- otherwise known as "wiring up the

You come across as a cheese taster, speaking as one with a refined
palate, from years of reading code in enterprise-critical settings
(hugely important), wherein even mathematicians feel outclassed with
their silly_under_specified_variable names.

But I keep coming back to the same question:  is Python going to
change?  Somehow I keep getting "no" for an answer.  Not at such a
basic level.  The syntax is already specified, for the most part.  Is
that a bad thing?  No.  Means we're ready to get on with our lives,
liberated from boring syntax quibbles.

Then I see you asking the same thing (will Python morph to become more
like Smalltalk?):

> Again, just because Smalltalk has this and Python does not does not mean
> I'm saying "use Smalltalk". I'm just saying, how can Python get this
> feature? Maybe it can't. Then my next thing is, can the two syntaxes live
> side by side -- a possible area for exploration.
> --Paul Fernhout

Of course the two syntaxes can live side by side.  Not in the same
language mind you (that'd be an ugly mess), but as two languages
that'll both run on the same platform (say Ubuntu).

We have the machinery to run Smalltalk, to run Python.  They co-exist.
 Mission accomplished.

And to think:  you were thinking to still make it happen.  Look at all
the work we've saved you.


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