[Pharo-dev] a Pharo talk from a ruby conference

kilon alios kilon.alios at gmail.com
Tue Apr 29 04:59:36 EDT 2014

The problem is that sometimes we overestimate how important "play well with
others" is.

In python we have the cpython vs jython / ironpython . Cpython is the
popular choice which is python implemented in C. Ironpython is a compiler
of python for .NET and jython a compiler for Java.

The advantage of using .NET and especially Java libraries out of the box is
obvious. Yet Jython and Ironpython are hardly popular , definitely less
popular than Pharo.

It seems that coders suffer on what I call "code narcissism syndrome" , it
goes like this

Jython : well I am python written in Java and I can use any Java library
you want out of the box and even C libraries like Cpython
coder : Wow cool
Cpython : yes but all my libraries are written in python do you really want
to mess with Java libraries ?
coder: hmm, eh, no not really

So my experience is that if you have something you really enjoy even though
it may lack features you would find on a bigger system, you will still
prefer to use that. Because there is a reason why you checked it out in the
first place, you were really unhappy with the big system.

So I am full supporter of the idea that pharo should make git integration,
as well CLI , and other tools easier for those that want to use such
external tools. But we should not worry too much about it.

Afterall people change or try new languages because they are not satisfied
with what they have already in their system. They want a fresh new approach
to things.

I was interested in pharo because python lacks a real python IDE. Most IDEs
that Python uses are IDEs that follow "work well with others" concept but
that concept sacrifices the advantages of having a closely integrated
system like Pharo has.

On Tue, Apr 29, 2014 at 10:42 AM, Frank Shearar <frank.shearar at gmail.com>wrote:

> On 29 April 2014 03:48, Sean P. DeNigris <sean at clipperadams.com> wrote:
> > Esteban A. Maringolo wrote
> >> Plays well with "choose your favorite text editor" (Sublime, Vim,
> >> etc.) and IDEs (RubyMine, etc.), with source control systems (any file
> >> based system), with unix in general (several cli commands), has
> >> binding for any major/mainstream library* (databases, network, etc.).
> >
> > But again these boil down to community size/interest
> > - To use "your favorite text editor", Craig Latta serves Smalltalk via
> > WebDav [1], but who has jumped at this opportunity?
> > - source control - now that there is community interest, progress on git
> > support has been moving ahead rapidly with minimal resources
> > - unix in general - with FFI and OSProcess, what can't you do? Are we
> > talking about the lack of cool Ruby backtick syntax? While definitely
> cool,
> > that special-purpose syntax is the kind of cognitive load Smalltalk
> > overcomes. All those little syntactical twists and turns to remember lead
> > away from "syntax on a T-shirt" to manuals with hundreds of pages
> > - bindings - again, obviously just a question of community size and
> interest
> Backtick syntax is largely bogus anyway. It's a minor string
> interpolation trick with a special evaluation strategy. And I entirely
> agree that Ruby has (way, WAY) too much syntax.
> > So the "play well with others" is a self-fulfilling prophecy. There are
> no
> > bindings because there are no people to write them because there are no
> > bindings... At inception, Ruby (and every other language) didn't have
> those
> > bindings either.
> That's largely true, in the sense that someone needs to grab a shovel
> to dig that trench.
> But if you start out with an external text editor, with an external
> version control system, with (only) stdout/stderr/stdin, you end up
> building a different system than if you're already in an insular
> environment and want/need to learn to "play well with others". Ruby
> plays well with other - interfaces well with external systems -
> precisely because it didn't have that integrated environment. Now
> sure, back in 1976 Smalltalk didn't either, but we're here in 2014, 18
> years after Squeak budded off Apple Smalltalk: a tightly integrated
> environment is what we started from.
> frank
> > [1]
> >
> http://thiscontext.com/2011/06/09/my-favorite-text-editor-editing-a-spoon-webdav-filesystem/
> >
> >
> >
> > -----
> > Cheers,
> > Sean
> > --
> > View this message in context:
> http://forum.world.st/a-Pharo-talk-from-a-ruby-conference-tp4756805p4756900.html
> > Sent from the Pharo Smalltalk Developers mailing list archive at
> Nabble.com.
> >
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