[Pharo-project] New IDE alternative (was Misc. newbie questions)

Frank Shearar frank.shearar at gmail.com
Mon Jan 16 17:43:27 EST 2012

On 16 January 2012 20:08, Sean P. DeNigris <sean at clipperadams.com> wrote:
> After pounding at the system and countless books/articles/keynotes, I get
> that Smalltalk is a vision, not a syntax. Fortunately, I was hooked from the
> beginning by Alan Kay's TED Talk, so I enthusiastically pushed through the
> pain of adapting to the image, losing my vi bindings, etc. If it was only
> about syntax, without the live, open, dynamic, turtles-all-the-way-down
> system, I would probably use Ruby, which has more of the libraries I need
> and want (although I would definitely miss passing blocks as any argument,
> and keywords are nice).
> *However*, like any "blue plane" idea, there are people that don't get it
> (and actually /can't/ get it) and want to relate to Smalltalk as "a language
> with cool syntax", giving up the productivity of a live environment. This is
> the nature of paradigm shift.
> Now, while I feel bad that those people are totally missing out on the
> magic, if they are willing to join our community and contribute to the
> libraries, fix bugs, user test, etc., let's welcome them with crappy (i.e.
> standard) tools and reap the benefits of more pairs of hands and eyes.

I've been biting my tongue for a while now in this thread. Please
don't take this the wrong way, we're all interested in the same
wonderful language and environment, and so on.


I've seen just about every time someone joins a Smalltalk community
and dares to suggest that they've had enjoyable experiences with FOO,
the Smalltalk community forms a laager (I think Americans would call
this "circle the wagons!"), with statements like "you lack
imagination" or "when you get it" or whatever.

There are many sources of value that are not present in the Smalltalk
community, that were not invented in the Smalltalk community. Someone
saying that they like FOO might actually have experience in both
Smalltalk and elsewhere. They might actually know a thing or two about
software, about Smalltalk, and STILL not be satisfied with what
Smalltalk has to offer. We should be HAPPY about this! We should
carefully examine new things, and learn new languages, so that we can
_pillage these ideas_.

Knee-jerk rejection of ideas that didn't stem from the hallowed halls
of the Golden Age of Smalltalk means the rest of the world passes you
by, out-innovates you, renders you obsolete.

(Quibble: Ruby _is_ a live, dynamic, turtles-all-the-way-down system.
It's just a pity it has a rubbish syntax. But otherwise, Avi Bryant's
right: it's a Smalltalk. It's just that Rubyists don't live in their
image, more like construct a tent and tear it down. (It makes me angry
that I can sometimes feel more productive writing Ruby in Emacs than
in Squeak/Pharo! Why can I not have BOTH a world-class text editor AND
live in an image (when I choose to)?))


> I'm sure it won't be long before they are pair programming with or watching
> someone at ESUG/Smalltalks/STIC who "gets it". When they start zipping
> through senders and implementors, inspecting live objects, and opening
> debuggers, I'm sure many will start to understand. Not all popcorn kernels
> pop at the same time.
> Hopefully, one of the converts will finally implement vi bindings in the
> image development tools before I get around to doing the work ;-)
> Sean
> --
> View this message in context: http://forum.world.st/Misc-newbie-questions-tp4268310p4301259.html
> Sent from the Pharo Smalltalk mailing list archive at Nabble.com.

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