As Simple As Possible?

Jorgen Grahn jgrahn-nntq at
Sat Aug 20 12:05:39 CEST 2005

On Thu, 18 Aug 2005 15:05:02 +0100, Tom Anderson <twic at> wrote:
> On Thu, 18 Aug 2005, Jules Dubois wrote:
>> On Wednesday 17 August 2005 22:11, jitya <jitendran at>
>> (<1124338318.133726.304370 at>) wrote:
>> Smalltalk is or would be my first choice if everything else were equal.
>> Python is what I actually use.
> The showstopping problem with smalltalk, IMHO, is the intertwining of the 
> language and the environment. Smalltalk weenies hold this up as one of its 
> greatest strengths, but to me, it just looks like there's twice as much to 
> learn to begin with.

More importantly, I think: it's not polite for a programming language to
make it hard to communicate with the rest of your environment.

Java pissed me off when I looked at it back in the 1990s, because I was on
Unix, and the language would barely give me access to the command line
options, had no getopt-style parser, etc. "No, you're supposed to write the
kinds of programs that /we/ want you to write!"

Python, in contrast, happily provides all that (and enough, it seems, to
make Windows and web server people reasonably happy too). The ideological
stuff ends at the source code level.

> A good command-line smalltalk plus a python-style 
> simple interactive environment would be a winning combination.

I thought that it existed and was called Python ;-) Although I'm not very
familiar with the details of Smalltalk.

But I agree. If the earlier generations of programming languages (Smalltalk,
Eiffel, Oberon, SML, ...) had had more "open-minded" implementations, I
think they could have won the battle as early as fifteen years ago.


  // Jorgen Grahn <jgrahn@       Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu
\X/      >   R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn!

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