[Pharo-dev] [Inspiration] Toward a better programming

Goubier Thierry thierry.goubier at cea.fr
Wed Apr 2 07:31:07 EDT 2014

Le 02/04/2014 08:12, Tudor Girba a écrit :
> The language itself is less interesting for me, but what makes it stand
> out is that it has a coherent and robust philosophy behind and
> phenomenal goals to reach. In Pharo, we have the luxury of building on
> top of coherent and robust philosophy (even if different from the
> Wolfram one) and we should try as much as possible to keep our eyes on
> phenomenal goals that seem unreachable.

I see two barriers in the current Pharo to be able to reach that:

- Lack of clear documentation of the underlying code management 
structure and facilities. It takes ages to get into the gritty details 
of things like RPackage and the refactory framework, documentation is 
very often limited to "this is the way Nautilus does it", and "no worry 
about changing it, Nautilus developpers are the same guy" which ends up 
being very painful for someone outside that core group.

- GUI conservatism. The choice made in Pharo in the overall look is to 
be conservative and business-like, and so blame the too-advanced, 
too-fancy Morphic (and at the same time have Roassal pushing the 
enveloppe, but outside the normal toolkit :) which means someone would 
find it probably hard to do Roassal-based development tools). Glamour, 
Spec and GTToolkit are interesting to look at along that "conservatism" 
in GUI.

> Another thing I like in Wolfram's work is attention to details:
> http://blog.wolfram.com/2008/01/10/ten-thousand-hours-of-design-reviews/
> Details are crucial, and all the effort in Pharo around naming and
> redesigning what already exists is incredibly important. But, it is
> precisely at the moment when we are knee-deep in details that is crucial
> to keep our eyes on the phenomenal long term goals.

I'm less convinced by that. Refining, trying, fiddling, spending 
hundreds of iterations on making drag and drop or scrolling perfect, 
yes. Redesigning whole chunks of the low-level facilities without really 
seeing where we will end up, at at the same time presenting a very 
conservative view on top of it, not much.

For example, I know of a GTInspector use case which is entirely 
justified by deficiencies in the standard system browser ;)

> There is so much to build. Let's be bold.


Thierry Goubier
CEA list
Laboratoire des Fondations des Systèmes Temps Réel Embarqués
91191 Gif sur Yvette Cedex
Phone/Fax: +33 (0) 1 69 08 32 92 / 83 95

More information about the Pharo-dev mailing list