[Pharo-dev] [IMPORTANT] Is there a bug in Tonel with category:

Dale Henrichs dale.henrichs at gemtalksystems.com
Mon Nov 6 14:15:17 EST 2017

On 11/06/2017 08:23 AM, Sven Van Caekenberghe wrote:
>> On 6 Nov 2017, at 17:13, Dale Henrichs <dale.henrichs at gemtalksystems.com> wrote:
>> On 11/6/17 7:07 AM, Sven Van Caekenberghe wrote:
>>>> On 6 Nov 2017, at 15:43, Dale Henrichs <dale.henrichs at gemtalksystems.com> wrote:
>>>> of course with Pharo's implementation of Symbol it is not practical to use asString nor type checks - things that are not necessary in other Smalltalk implementations
>>> How so ?
>>> What is the problem with Symbol>>#asString ?
>> I am not going to go to every field in the api that is supposed to be a String and add asString. There are too many places to worry about ... I would prefer that Pharo be ANSI compliant:)
>> It's not just Metacello.
>> It's an annoying issue that has to be dealt with every time a Pharo application is ported to another dialect of Smalltalk and an annoying barrier for folks running on other dialects to move their application to Pharo - in this case the bugs that are introduced by Pharo's behavior with respect to Symbols can be very hard to diagnose --
>> Making things harder to share code between dialects is a bad thing for Smalltalk overall -- just another reason for non-Smalltalk programmers to question the whether they should use Smalltalk or not...
>> And I don't need to hear about how Pharo is not Smalltalk:)
>> Dale
> So there is nothing 'wrong', you just want Pharo to remain the same as every other non-changing Smalltalk out there.
Did I say that?

I support the direction that Pharo is going, but I reserve the right to 
disagree with some of the details.

This is just one detail ... nothing more nothing less ... For those of 
us that work in multiple dialects, it IS annoying and I take an 
opportunity every year or so to remind you guys of the things that I 
find annoying, just to keep you guys honest:)

>  From one perspective you are right, it makes some cross platform porting in either direction harder. Seaside has many rules to help portability. Not mixing Strings and Symbol is probably one of them.
... and as I mentioned, this problem can be one of the more annoying 
issues to track down, when a developer is not careful ... Honestly there 
are two sides to the issue ... when developers use Symbols in tests to 
drive an API that is supposed to use Strings (this happens the most 
often) things break pretty quickly and the tests can be fixed pretty 
easily ... but when the code itself is written with mixed Symbols and 
Strings, the tests might actually pass after the port, and the bugs will 
only show up in subtle cases ... I've hit a handful of these over the 
years and they are hard to track down...
> But you know very well that Pharo was started so that we would be able to make changes, in any area or aspect of the system, without the burden of backwards or cross platform compatibility, even if some of these changes are taste based.
Agree with your statement -- most of the changes that Pharo has made 
have not been difficult to accommodate, but Symbol/String is at a 
fundamental level and I'm not sure that it would be "illegal" to make 
this accommodation --- I AM pretty certain that it would cause some 
short term pain, but probably no more pain (and likely less pain) than 
is caused by  trying to move an application to a new version of Pharo:)
> And I happen to like the ability to mix and match Strings and Symbols (we discussed about this before).
I won't argue with taste, it's is simply the portability for this 
particular problem that I am highlighting ...


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