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Re: What databases have taught me

From: topmind <topmind_at_technologist.com>
Date: 23 Jun 2006 15:47:49 -0700
Message-ID: <1151102868.992989.265220@c74g2000cwc.googlegroups.com>


Marshall wrote:
> erk wrote:
> > Bruno Desthuilliers wrote:
> > > Quite possible - I use Python instead of Smalltalk, [...]
> > >
> > > And objects are in no way tightly coupled to their classes - it's
> > > perfectly legal to add/delete/replace attributes (including methods) on
> > > a per-object basis,, to dynamically modify a class, to dynamically
> > > create classes at runtime, or even to dynamically change the class of an
> > > object (which can be tricky and happens to be of restricted practical
> > > use, but still can be handy). I really don't feel like being "inevitably
> > > and irrecovably imprisoned in a hierarchical strait-jacket", to quote
> > > the OP.
> >
> > Agreed. If you want to see the language Java should have been, if Sun
> > had the sense evolution gave a gnat, look at Nice. Of course, Lisp's
> > generics and CLOS and MOP offer even more, but Nice is... well, nice.
> > Which might be why it'll never take off, but we can dream.
>
> What make a language successful is, I believe, not at all well
> understood. It bears mentioning that Java is, by any objective
> measure I can think of, just about the most successful progamming
> language ever. Does it have significant theoretical shortcomings?
> Sure, yes, definitely. What is hard is to understand is whether
> Java's success is in spite of those shortcomings or because of
> them! Are the lack of genericity (originally), the lack of default
> parameters, operator overloading, and multiple inheritance, the
> unsound-but-convenient covariant array types, etc., shortcomings
> or useful simplification? Again, success is hard to pin down.

If we judge how good a tech tool is by popularity, then Visual Basic 1 thru 6 would score pretty high, but almost everyone agrees it is a screwy language carrying a lot of historical baggage. Same with MS-Windows versus OS/2, Linux, Mac, etc.

There are a lot of factors affecting popularity, being good is just one of them.

-T- Received on Fri Jun 23 2006 - 17:47:49 CDT

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