[Pharo-project] New to PHP 5.4: Traits

Marcus Denker marcus.denker at inria.fr
Mon Nov 22 10:45:30 CET 2010

On Nov 21, 2010, at 10:53 PM, jaayer wrote:
> No, there isn't, at least not compared with the rate of Smalltalk's adoption of Traits. Face it. There are just too many Smalltalkers who seem to think the language is a complete revelation that no mortal has the right to amend. Other languages can grow to accommodate new features; Smalltalk, which went through a number major revisions in the 70s at PARC, remains frozen in the amber of 1980.

I think there are two forces at work:

1) Those that block any change because Smalltalk is not supposed to be changed by mortals.

2) Those that want to go "beyond Smalltalk". But it has to be perfect!  So better do nothing.
    (Aka: The Squeak Desease). This is the far greater problem.

Point 2 actually has fractal properties. You can see it at all scales. From the small. (Why fix a typo when you want to do something oh-so-great!)
up to the big picture. The old man story. One can not quote this too often:

"One of the sad memories of my life is a visit to the celebrated  
mathematician and inventor, Mr Babbage. He was far advanced in age,  
but his mind was still as vigorous as ever. He took me through his  
work-rooms. In the first room I saw parts of the original Calculating  
Machine, which had been shown in an incomplete state many years before  
and had even been put to some use. I asked him about its present form.  
'I have not finished it because in working at it I came on the idea of  
my Analytical Machine, which would do all that it was capable of doing  
and much more. Indeed, the idea was so much simpler that it would have  
taken more work to complete the Calculating Machine than to design and  
construct the other in its entirety, so I turned my attention to the  
Analytical Machine.'"

"After a few minutes' talk, we went into the next work-room, where he  
showed and explained to me the working of the elements of the  
Analytical Machine. I asked if I could see it. 'I have never completed  
it,' he said, 'because I hit upon an idea of doing the same thing by a  
different and far more effective method, and this rendered it useless  
to proceed on the old lines.' Then we went into the third room. There  
lay scattered bits of mechanism, but I saw no trace of any working  
machine. Very cautiously I approached the subject, and received the  
dreaded answer, 'It is not constructed yet, but I am working on it,  
and it will take less time to construct it altogether than it would  
have token to complete the Analytical Machine from the stage in which  
I left it.' I took leave of the old man with a heavy heart."

Marcus Denker  -- http://www.marcusdenker.de
INRIA Lille -- Nord Europe. Team RMoD.

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