Python aka. Smalltalk Lite?

Tim Peters tim_one at email.msn.com
Sat Feb 12 22:27:51 CET 2000


[/F]
> seriously, what are the major shortcomings in Python
> from a Smalltalk professional's perspective?
>
> let's see:
>
> -- no blocks (lambda doesn't really cut it)
> -- type/class dichotomy (CPython implementation)
> -- no garbage collection (CPython implementation)
>
> what else?

I don't subscribe to the "random bag of features" school of language
comparison.  Programming Python will never *feel like* programming in
Smalltalk, so True Smalltalkers will never feel truly at home in Python.

One fellow I work with is a True Smalltalker.  When he thinks about "1+2",
he really *believes* that "1" is "a message" sent to "the object +".  Or
maybe it's that "+" is "a message" sent to "the object 1" -- it's darned
hard to keep deluded views of the world straight when you don't suffer them
yourself <wink>.

So Python will never feel "just right" to him, although he's done a great
job of becoming happy with it anyway (via the "I have to write Java, and
*wow* does having JPython around make my life easier" route).

Smalltalk is also one of the very few languages that grew up with a mondo
sophisticated IDE as part of its daily life.  You're fixing that, though.

from-a-smalltalk-professional's-perspective-python's-worst-
    flaw-is-that-it's-not-smalltalk<wink>-ly y'rs  - tim






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