Can a low-level programmer learn OOP?

Wolfgang Strobl news2 at
Tue Jul 17 09:34:22 CEST 2007

Steve Holden <steve at>:

>I'm happy you are proceeding with so little trouble. Without wishing to 
>confuse you, however, I should point out that this aspect of Python has 
>very little to do with its object-orientation. There was a language 
>called Icon, for example, 20 years ago, that used similar semantics but 
>wasn't at all object-oriented.

Actually, there was a language called SNOBOL, 40 years ago, that used
similar semantics, developed by Griswold et al. Its object model was
remarkably similar to that of Python without classes. And it even had
dictionaries (called "tables") :-). 

For an explaination of the concept "variable" in SNOBOL see

SNOBOLs powerfull patterns still shine, compared to Pythons clumsy
regular expressions. I've used the language a lot in the past, first on
the mainframe (SPITBOL on System/360), later on the PC (Catspaws SNOBOL4
&SPITBOL). When I switched to Python, it wasn't because of the
expressiveness of the language, but of the rich library ("batteries
included") and the IMO elegant syntax, i.e. blocks by identation.


Icon came later. Griswold developed Icon as a successor to SNOBOL,
constructing it around the concept of generators and co-expressions. I
didn't like it.

Thank you for observing all safety precautions

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