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As Simple As Possible?

Chuck Allison says:

After three years of study, I have concluded that Python is about
as simple as a full-powered object-oriented language can get. My inner
programmer just loves it. In a recent interview Scott Meyers was asked
which language he thought would be ideal for introducing programming to
novices. He replied:

"... a first language should foster a feeling of power and
accomplishment out of the box - it should get people excited about
the limitless things that can be accomplished in software. Among other
things, such a language would offer an extensive and powerful
library..." [1]

I know of no language to which these words apply more than Python.

LINK: http://www.artima.com/cppsource/simple.html

Aug 18 '05 #1
4 1058
On Wednesday 17 August 2005 22:11, jitya <ji*******@productdossier.com>
(<11**********************@g49g2000cwa.googlegroup s.com>) wrote:
Chuck Allison says:

After three years of study, I have concluded that Python is about
as simple as a full-powered object-oriented language can get. My inner
programmer just loves it.
[snip comment and quotation]

I know of no language to which these words apply more than Python.
Smalltalk has a noticeably simpler syntax and is a "full-powered
object-oriented language". It's also built on a "full-powered
object-oriented platform" written in Smalltalk so virtually all the base
system can be modified without changing languages.
LINK: http://www.artima.com/cppsource/simple.html


Your statement, "My inner programmer just loves it", is telling. Whatever
it is about certain programming languages that make better programmers more
productive is mostly a personal matter. Paul Graham has written several
articles about LISP and great programmers -- and I can see why.

Smalltalk is or would be my first choice if everything else were equal.
Python is what I actually use.
Aug 18 '05 #2
On Thu, 18 Aug 2005, Jules Dubois wrote:
On Wednesday 17 August 2005 22:11, jitya <ji*******@productdossier.com>
(<11**********************@g49g2000cwa.googlegroup s.com>) wrote:
After three years of study, I have concluded that Python is about as
simple as a full-powered object-oriented language can get.

I know of no language to which these words apply more than Python.


Smalltalk is or would be my first choice if everything else were equal.
Python is what I actually use.


The showstopping problem with smalltalk, IMHO, is the intertwining of the
language and the environment. Smalltalk weenies hold this up as one of its
greatest strengths, but to me, it just looks like there's twice as much to
learn to begin with. A good command-line smalltalk plus a python-style
simple interactive environment would be a winning combination.

Otherwise, i agree that smalltalk is basically the perfect language.

tom

--
If you tolerate this, your children will be next.
Aug 18 '05 #3
On Thu, 18 Aug 2005 15:05:02 +0100, Tom Anderson <tw**@urchin.earth.li> wrote:
On Thu, 18 Aug 2005, Jules Dubois wrote:
On Wednesday 17 August 2005 22:11, jitya <ji*******@productdossier.com>
(<11**********************@g49g2000cwa.googlegroup s.com>) wrote: .... Smalltalk is or would be my first choice if everything else were equal.
Python is what I actually use.
The showstopping problem with smalltalk, IMHO, is the intertwining of the
language and the environment. Smalltalk weenies hold this up as one of its
greatest strengths, but to me, it just looks like there's twice as much to
learn to begin with.


More importantly, I think: it's not polite for a programming language to
make it hard to communicate with the rest of your environment.

Java pissed me off when I looked at it back in the 1990s, because I was on
Unix, and the language would barely give me access to the command line
options, had no getopt-style parser, etc. "No, you're supposed to write the
kinds of programs that /we/ want you to write!"

Python, in contrast, happily provides all that (and enough, it seems, to
make Windows and web server people reasonably happy too). The ideological
stuff ends at the source code level.
A good command-line smalltalk plus a python-style
simple interactive environment would be a winning combination.


I thought that it existed and was called Python ;-) Although I'm not very
familiar with the details of Smalltalk.

But I agree. If the earlier generations of programming languages (Smalltalk,
Eiffel, Oberon, SML, ...) had had more "open-minded" implementations, I
think they could have won the battle as early as fifteen years ago.

/Jorgen

--
// Jorgen Grahn <jgrahn@ Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu
\X/ algonet.se> R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn!
Aug 20 '05 #4
Jorgen Grahn wrote:
More importantly, I think: it's not polite for a programming language to
make it hard to communicate with the rest of your environment.

Java pissed me off when I looked at it back in the 1990s, because I was on
Unix, and the language would barely give me access to the command line
options, had no getopt-style parser, etc. "No, you're supposed to write the
kinds of programs that /we/ want you to write!"

Python, in contrast, happily provides all that (and enough, it seems, to
make Windows and web server people reasonably happy too). The ideological
stuff ends at the source code level.

I always phrased it as "Java is platform independent; Python is
platform agnostic". The failure of Java to provide access to even such
simple niceties as select() (which is available on all major platforms
in some form) because it doesn't fit the Java Way (TM) was pretty
frustrating (they've fixed that example since, but analagous facilities
are still lacking).

Despite reject TMTOOTDI, Python doesn't have any interest in mandating
a Pure Python solution done using one true philosophy of software
design.

Aug 22 '05 #5

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