What makes SmallTalk better than others? 
Author Message
 What makes SmallTalk better than others?

Can someone give a list of OO mechanisms uniquely provided by
Smalltalk? I want to see the neat OO things you can do with
SmallTalk but can not do with other OO languages.


Sat, 21 Jun 1997 07:38:46 GMT  
 What makes SmallTalk better than others?

Quote:

> Can someone give a list of OO mechanisms uniquely provided by
> SmallTalk? I want to see the neat OO things you can do with
> SmallTalk but can not do with other OO languages.

One of the things is that generally the source for the Development Environments
is included, so the developer can extend their own developer tools.

The other thing is that the write,compile,test process is right at the
method level
so you don't have the change one line,save file, compile program. test program
that still exists in C++ environs. It's simple change line, compile method
(test).
Which increase programmer connectivity.

Just my tow cents.

-Tom

--
Tom Ridley
RIT Research Corp.



Sat, 21 Jun 1997 22:36:27 GMT  
 What makes SmallTalk better than others?
Hi Joice.

Quote:
>>Can someone give a list of OO mechanisms uniquely provided by

SmallTalk? I want to see the neat OO things you can do with
SmallTalk but can not do with other OO languages.<<

I think that there are some, and to start the discussion I will
giva an initial list of what it is in my though the differences
from other languages:

1. Source code availability (Most of Smalltalk is written in
accessible browsable subclassable and changable Smalltaklkm)
2. The full OO that mean that nothing is treated differentry from
an object (methods, ...).
3. It is a runtime, you have the envornment on yhour control so
if a method fail, you correct it and restart the method, or if
you are executing you can change the code of a method and
continue.
4. You can evaluate Smalltalk expression from inside Smalltalk
5. You have no tipe checking, that is that a variable may have ad
different times differnt values, different objects, it is
wanderful.

mch more there are, let start with these. Bye, Nik

--
Nik, Zordan Nicola A. G.                    ---/\    /

via Tegnan 11, I-36078Valdagno (VI) Italy    /--- \/ ik
Tel: +39 445 402484



Sun, 22 Jun 1997 01:16:03 GMT  
 What makes SmallTalk better than others?

Quote:
> [Growing list of features elided.]
>One feature that I think is possibly unique is the merging of
>environment and development space.  i.e. it is possible to modify in a
>system-wide fashion the behaviour of a scroll-bar object and have this
>reflected in all the windows.

All of the features I've seen listed so far are not unique to Smalltalk. They
are shared by many Lisp implementations, particularly commercial CommonLisps.
Other languages with interactive development environments share some or all,
as well.

So my question becomes what is the difference between Smalltalk and, say,
CommonLisp?

Smalltalk has simple syntax and semantics compared to CommonLisp.

Interestingly, after programming in CommonLisp for ten years and Smalltalk for
a bit more than one, I am finding that for my purposes Smalltalk does not
sacrifice much functionality for its relative simplicity.

There are things I miss, particularly syntax extension and (for ST/V) real
lexical closures. But all in all, I am glad Smalltalk has the popularity it
does, and that it appears to be succeeding and even growing.


Intel/Personal Conferencing Division
(503) 264-9309 FAX: (503) 263-3375

"What I envision may be impossible, but it isn't impractical."
-Wendell Berry



Sun, 22 Jun 1997 17:27:58 GMT  
 What makes SmallTalk better than others?

Quote:

> ....
> So my question becomes what is the difference between Smalltalk and, say,
> CommonLisp?

As far as I know, no OS has ever been implemented in Smalltalk.  Lisp
Machines in the MIT family have their own, Lisp-based OS(s).  This has
significant implications beyond the mere fact that it has been done -
when your OS and development environment are the same thing, it means
that nothing is out-of-bounds (a two-edged sword, BTW).


Mon, 23 Jun 1997 06:38:16 GMT  
 What makes SmallTalk better than others?

Quote:
>   >>Can someone give a list of OO mechanisms uniquely provided by
>   SmallTalk? I want to see the neat OO things you can do with
>   SmallTalk but can not do with other OO languages.<<

>   I think that there are some, and to start the discussion I will
>   giva an initial list of what it is in my though the differences
>   from other languages:

>   1. Source code availability (Most of Smalltalk is written in
>   accessible browsable subclassable and changable Smalltaklkm)
>   2. The full OO that mean that nothing is treated differentry from
>   an object (methods, ...).
>   3. It is a runtime, you have the envornment on yhour control so
>   if a method fail, you correct it and restart the method, or if
>   you are executing you can change the code of a method and
>   continue.
>   4. You can evaluate Smalltalk expression from inside Smalltalk
>   5. You have no tipe checking, that is that a variable may have ad
>   different times differnt values, different objects, it is
>   wanderful.

[.sig deleted]

One of the reasons that I find SmallTalk most compelling is its
very extensive and mature class library.  I realise that other OO
languages have these available as add-ons (i.e. C++) but the SmallTalk
one is standard (apart from the GUI bits I guess.  A caveat here is
that I haven't had any experience with languages like Eiffel which also
come with a full class lib (I believe).

One other feature that I really like is code blocks.  These seem a bit
like lambdas in Scheme, and I love the way that control constructs are
handled directly by objects using (most often) blocks as arguments.

One feature that I think is possibly unique is the merging of
environment and development space.  i.e. it is possible to modify in a
system-wide fashion the behaviour of a scroll-bar object and have this
reflected in all the windows.

Regards,
Andrew

--
"Love your neighbour as yourself"  |   Andrew McVeigh      
        Jesus Christ               +-----------------



Sun, 22 Jun 1997 21:32:01 GMT  
 What makes SmallTalk better than others?

Quote:
>As far as I know, no OS has ever been implemented in Smalltalk.  Lisp
>Machines in the MIT family have their own, Lisp-based OS(s).  

In fact, the original implementation of Smalltalk on Altos (and maybe
on Dorados?) provided an OS in Smalltalk.  It was a simple OS, without
virtual memory, though with processes, networks, and a file system.
There was a VM written in Smalltalk and described in Smalltalk-80:
Bits of History and Words of Advice.

One of my favorite quotes is by Dan Ingalls from Aug 81 Byte.  It is
"An operating system is everything that doesn't fit into your programming
language.  There shouldn't be one."   I use it on the first day of the
operating systems courses I teach!

-Ralph Johnson



Mon, 23 Jun 1997 13:53:52 GMT  
 What makes SmallTalk better than others?

Quote:

>> ....
>> So my question becomes what is the difference between Smalltalk and, say,
>> CommonLisp?

>As far as I know, no OS has ever been implemented in Smalltalk.  Lisp

 I thought, that the first Smalltalk-80 machines from PARC had an OS,
which was purely programmed using Smalltalk ?

 MArten

--

"How she cried tears of happyness the day the doctor told her it's a
 boy, now she cries tears of helplessness in things of all the things he
 can't enjoy"                      'Scorn not his simplicity', Sinead O'Connor



Mon, 23 Jun 1997 16:55:29 GMT  
 What makes SmallTalk better than others?

Quote:
> Whoa!!  Whatever happened to the Dorado, Dolphin/Porpoise?  The OS _is_
> the Smalltalk environment.

Yes, I suppose that's right.  I had forgotten about their Smalltalk.
Thanks.


Mon, 23 Jun 1997 22:44:06 GMT  
 What makes SmallTalk better than others?
Hi,
        I don't know anything about lisp, but in my six years of programming with BASIC to C++, I think application programmer will love Smalltalk. As for OS in ST is concern, you have to accept the fact, even ST came in market in late 70s, but adoptation of ST started only few years ago. Wait till compiler comes in market and you will find there will be lot of  future OS especially Parallel Programming oriented OS will be written in language like ST if not ST. If you want to find out uniqness of Smalltalk, its b
etter you work in it and find out by your own. Also there was a article in Byte August 1981 titled "Design Principle Behind Smalltalk". This article will tell you everything, you want to know. I am writing following clips form that paper in case you can't get it.

PERSONAL MASTERY: If a system is to serve the creative spirit, it must be entirely comprenhisible to a single individual. ST, you can!

GOOD DESIGN: A system should be built with a minimum set of unchangable parts; those parts should be as general as possible; and all parts of the system should be held in a uniform framework.

PURPOSE OF LANGUAGE: To provide a framework for communication, explicit and implicit communication both. This makes ST polyanthropic language.

SCOPE: The design of a language for using computers must deal with internal models, external media, and the interaction between these in both human and the computer.

OBJECTS: A computer language should support the concept of "object" and provide a uniform means for referring to the objects in its universe.

SOTRAGE MANAGEMENT: To be truley "Object-Oriented" a computer systems must provide automatice storage mgmt.

MESSAGE: Computing should be viewed as an intrinsic capability of objects thast can be uniformly invoked by sending messages.

UNIFORM METAPHOR: A language should be designed around a powerfule metaphor that can be uniformly applied in all areas.

MODULARITY:

CLASSIFICATION: A language must provide a means for classifying similar objects, and for adding new classes of objects on equal footing with the kernel classes of the system.

POLYMORPHISIM:

FACTORING: Each independent component in a system should appear in only one place.

LEVERAGE: When a system is well factored, great leverage is available to users and implementers alike.

VIRTUAL MACHINE: A virtual machine specification establishes a framework for the application of technology.

REACTIVE PRINCIPLE: Every component accessible to the user should be able to present itself in meaningful way for observation and manipulation.

OPERATING SYSTEM: An OS is a Collection of things that don't fit into a language. There shouldn't be one.

NATURAL SELECTION: Languages and systems that are of sound design will persist, to be supplanted only by better ones.

OM,


: >As far as I know, no OS has ever been implemented in Smalltalk.  Lisp
: >Machines in the MIT family have their own, Lisp-based OS(s).  

: In fact, the original implementation of Smalltalk on Altos (and maybe
: on Dorados?) provided an OS in Smalltalk.  It was a simple OS, without
: virtual memory, though with processes, networks, and a file system.
: There was a VM written in Smalltalk and described in Smalltalk-80:
: Bits of History and Words of Advice.

: One of my favorite quotes is by Dan Ingalls from Aug 81 Byte.  It is
: "An operating system is everything that doesn't fit into your programming
: language.  There shouldn't be one."   I use it on the first day of the
: operating systems courses I teach!

: -Ralph Johnson

--
=========================================================================
Om Prakash Mishra    Be prepared for Worst and worst will never come to you.

(719)-535-4248



Mon, 23 Jun 1997 23:05:53 GMT  
 
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