OO (was: Why is tcl broken?)

Graham Hughes graham at ccs.ucsb.edu
Wed Jun 16 22:30:11 CEST 1999


>>>>> "Klaus" == Klaus Schilling <Klaus.Schilling at home.ivm.de> writes:

    Klaus> Lars Marius Garshol <larsga at ifi.uio.no> writes:
    >> * Klaus Schilling | | No, in the sense `Steele merely
    >> rediscovered scheme, not bring it | into being'
    >> 
    >> I don't understand what you mean by this. The two people who
    >> created Scheme originally were Sussman and Steele. If that isn't
    >> bringing it into being I don't know what would be.

    Klaus> No, they discovered Scheme, they did not create it.

In the interests of ending this, I think I can explain what Klaus means
here.

There's a philosophical debate about whether especially mathematical
ideas are `created' or `discovered'; that is, whether they were cobbled
together by a human or lay there secretly for years only to be stumbled
across by the same human.  Mathematicians typically believe that they
only discovered mathematical theorems etc., rather than create them;
it's a sort of tribute to the spare elegance of group theory, for
example.

Klaus appears to mean that Scheme is so mind bogglingly elegant that
Steele could not have created it out of whole cloth, merely discovered
it as a mathematical truth.

As an aside I really don't think Scheme is anywhere near *that* elegant,
and as a matter of fact it hurts me to use the language for more than
trivial things, *precisely* because the damn thing is so small.  Fer
crissakes, you don't even have the ability to create an aggregate type
in R5RS!  You can fake it; but it sucks, and it doesn't integrate well
with the built in type system...

ObPython: Python is far easier to use IMHO, because it has more stuff
available.  I don't need to reinvent the hash table, or cobble together
OOP with closures, 'cause it's done for me, and I don't need to reinvent
SMTP, FTP, network sockets, any of that because it's all in the standard
libraries.  When it isn't, like XML, it's usually available elsewhere,
or failing everything I can hack one together myself and drop it in.
Large languages permit small programs, or something like that.
-- 
Graham Hughes <graham at ccs.ucsb.edu>
GPG Fingerprint: 4FC5 80F0 63EB 00BE F438  E365 084B 4010 60BF 17D3
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