[Pharo-users] I am David Allouche, let me introduce myself.

Dimitris Chloupis kilon.alios at gmail.com
Wed Jan 13 13:12:13 EST 2016


"I have seen someone in another thread expressing the desire for
namespaces. As a newcomer, I also feel that is something important and
missing. But since one of the goals of Pharo is to produce an environment
that can be understood by a single person, the lack of namespace might
actually be a feature. Namespace are essential for languages like C++,
designed for large projects, produced by large teams, where nobody
understands the whole system. They embody an industrial approach to
programming. In contrast, I have the impression that Smalltalk emphasises
regularity to minimise system size, rather than modularity to manage system
size, and that it embodies a craftsmanship approach."

Pharo contains over 800000 methods spread around several thousands classes
and the system has not imploded yet even though we have no namespaces. The
reasoning is simple, Pharo does not need namespaces because its not a
programming language. Namespaces primary role is not organization so much
as prevention of name clashes , this is not a problem for Pharo since it
does not allow name clashes in the first place. Thats is happening in the
enviroment and not language level, if you want to organise your classes you
use packages . Packages also are not part of the language and are also
implemented on enviroment level, though one could argue that language is
also part of the enviroment.

So yes it feelt strange even for not having namespace coming from python
but after coding in pharo for over a year its clear to me that pharo does
not need it and would probably benefit by more sophisticated and specific
implementation when it comes to organisations. But generally speaking we
already have plenty of tools that help you locate classes and methods with
ease, so that is not much of a problem.

Pharo enviroment is far from simple, quite the contrary Smalltalk
implementations were always far more complex than you average language like
C++, the big diffirence is that the enviroment is constructed in such way
to help you deal with complexity. Where modern languages ephasize
simplicity pharo and smalltalk in general invest on better dealing with
complexity , hence why Smalltalk has been very popular in specific very
complex fields like Banking Sector, Shipping etc. C++ is no where as
suitable for complex applications , its popularity merely stems from the
fact that is OS language with immediate access to OS libraries and massive
support.

On Wed, Jan 13, 2016 at 7:30 PM David Allouche <david at allouche.net> wrote:

> Thank you everyone for the kind responses. I will answer some of the
> questions and suggestions here.
>
> To get faster to the intellectual stimulation, pick a task / project and
> start asking questions. And have fun :).
>
>
> That is good advice, but right now I think I will just explore the system,
> review changes, and wait for the tasks to find me. There are already more
> things I want to do than I will probably every be able to accomplish :-)
>
> I think when people referring to Smalltalk refer to Smalltalk as the
> language or OOP itself, but thats only the tip of the iceberg, Pharo tries
> to stay true to vision of smalltalk creating the virtual enviroment where
> the user can easily create his or her own tools or modifying the existing
> ones, something that I feel no other language out there can emulate because
> they follow a non monolithic approach where there is a deep dichotomy
> between language, libraries and the environment itself. You could say that
> Smalltalk is the anti-Unix architecture , a great example of monolithic
> design that works great in practice yet its easy to modify and extend.
>
>
> The  fact Smalltalk the language cannot be taken in isolation from
> Smalltalk the environment became clear rather early on: reading the UPBE
> and other materials shows that the language itself does almost nothing: it
> cannot even define classes or packages. It is all part of the environment.
>
> I have seen someone in another thread expressing the desire for
> namespaces. As a newcomer, I also feel that is something important and
> missing. But since one of the goals of Pharo is to produce an environment
> that can be understood by a single person, the lack of namespace might
> actually be a feature. Namespace are essential for languages like C++,
> designed for large projects, produced by large teams, where nobody
> understands the whole system. They embody an industrial approach to
> programming. In contrast, I have the impression that Smalltalk emphasises
> regularity to minimise system size, rather than modularity to manage system
> size, and that it embodies a craftsmanship approach.
>
> Since I am just old enough to remember a time where computer systems could
> be understood by a single person, I find it an attractive idea to try and
> produce a modern system with that property.
>
> I can't remember who famous said something like "The only languages
> worth learning are the ones that changes the way you think about
> programming..."  and I found that with Smalltalk & Pharo.
>
>
> I am familiar with that idea too. And most good languages provide that.
>
>  One day I will have learn some language from the ML family. I choose
> Smalltalk because it clearly had such a strong influence on the thinking of
> people who have used it, I thought I could learn
>
> A good way to get your hands dirty is to review fixes submitted by
> others...
> https://pharo.fogbugz.com/default.asp?pgx=LF&ixFilter=45
> There are never enough hands there :)  (my own action here fluctuates
> from time to time)
>
>
> I will try to spend some time reviewing code. That is a good way to get
> exposed to things one does not even know they exist.
>
> Did you look at Seaside?
> Since you should be able to read french there is  a nice tutorial:
> tinyBlog. In two days you can build a small web app
> with a mongo back end.
>
>
> I have no looked at Seaside yet, I have not even read the corresponding
> chapter in UPBE. But I certainly will, eventually. The web is an essential
> part of society today.
>
> Where are you located ?
>
>
> Paris, France.
>
> It did occur to me that the Pharo community does have a unusually large
> fraction of french people. But that is not a factor for me.
>
> Thanks again for all the kind words. I am sure this journey is going to be
> a lot of fun. :-)
>
>
>
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