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A great Alan Kay quote

 
 
Grant Edwards
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      02-09-2005
In an interview at http://acmqueue.com/modules.php?name...owpage&pid=273
Alan Kay said something I really liked, and I think it applies
equally well to Python as well as the languages mentioned:

I characterized one way of looking at languages in this
way: a lot of them are either the agglutination of features
or they're a crystallization of style. Languages such as
APL, Lisp, and Smalltalk are what you might call style
languages, where there's a real center and imputed style to
how you're supposed to do everything.

I think that "a crystallization of style" sums things up nicely.
The rest of the interview is pretty interesting as well.

--
Grant Edwards grante Yow! Look!! Karl Malden!
at
visi.com
 
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James
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      02-09-2005
Surely

"Perl is another example of filling a tiny, short-term need, and then
being a real problem in the longer term."

is better lol


On Wed, 09 Feb 2005 11:00:32 -0800 (PST), Grant Edwards <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> In an interview at http://acmqueue.com/modules.php?name...owpage&pid=273
> Alan Kay said something I really liked, and I think it applies
> equally well to Python as well as the languages mentioned:
>
> I characterized one way of looking at languages in this
> way: a lot of them are either the agglutination of features
> or they're a crystallization of style. Languages such as
> APL, Lisp, and Smalltalk are what you might call style
> languages, where there's a real center and imputed style to
> how you're supposed to do everything.
>
> I think that "a crystallization of style" sums things up nicely.
> The rest of the interview is pretty interesting as well.
>
> --
> Grant Edwards grante Yow! Look!! Karl Malden!
> at
> visi.com
> --
> http://mail.python.org/mailman/listinfo/python-list
>

 
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Grant Edwards
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      02-09-2005
On 2005-02-09, James <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> Surely
>
> "Perl is another example of filling a tiny, short-term need, and then
> being a real problem in the longer term."
>
> is better lol


That was the other one I really liked, and Perl was the first
language I thought of when I saw the phrase "agglutination of
features". C++ was the second one.

--
Grant Edwards grante Yow! -- In 1962, you could
at buy a pair of SHARKSKIN
visi.com SLACKS, with a "Continental
Belt," for $10.99!!
 
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Francis Girard
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      02-09-2005
"""
Today he is Senior Fellow at Hewlett-Packard Labs and president of Viewpoints
Research Institute, a nonprofit organization whose goal is to change how
children are educated by creating a sample curriculum with supporting media
for teaching math and science. This curriculum will use Squeak as its media,
and will be highly interactive and constructive. Kay’s deep interests in
children and education have been the catalysts for many of his ideas over the
years.
"""

I love him.

It's also interesting to see GUIs with windows, mouse (etc.), which apparently
find their origin in is mind, probably comes from the desire to introduce
computers to children.

Francis Girard

Le mercredi 9 Février 2005 20:29, Grant Edwards a écrit*:
> On 2005-02-09, James <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> > Surely
> >
> > "Perl is another example of filling a tiny, short-term need, and then
> > being a real problem in the longer term."
> >
> > is better lol

>
> That was the other one I really liked, and Perl was the first
> language I thought of when I saw the phrase "agglutination of
> features". C++ was the second one.
>
> --
> Grant Edwards grante Yow! -- In 1962, you
> could at buy a pair of SHARKSKIN visi.com SLACKS,
> with a "Continental Belt," for $10.99!!


 
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Peter Hansen
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      02-09-2005
Grant Edwards wrote:
> In an interview at http://acmqueue.com/modules.php?name...owpage&pid=273
> Alan Kay said something I really liked, and I think it applies
> equally well to Python as well as the languages mentioned:
>
> I characterized one way of looking at languages in this
> way: a lot of them are either the agglutination of features
> or they're a crystallization of style. Languages such as
> APL, Lisp, and Smalltalk are what you might call style
> languages, where there's a real center and imputed style to
> how you're supposed to do everything.
>
> I think that "a crystallization of style" sums things up nicely.
> The rest of the interview is pretty interesting as well.


Then Perl is an "agglutination of styles", while Python might
be considered a "crystallization of features"...

-Peter
 
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Grant Edwards
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      02-09-2005
On 2005-02-09, Peter Hansen <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>> I characterized one way of looking at languages in this
>> way: a lot of them are either the agglutination of features
>> or they're a crystallization of style. Languages such as
>> APL, Lisp, and Smalltalk are what you might call style
>> languages, where there's a real center and imputed style to
>> how you're supposed to do everything.


> Then Perl is an "agglutination of styles", while Python might
> be considered a "crystallization of features"...


Exactly.

--
Grant Edwards grante Yow! NOW, I'm supposed
at to SCRAMBLE two, and HOLD
visi.com th' MAYO!!
 
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=?iso-8859-1?Q?Fran=E7ois?= Pinard
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      02-09-2005
[Peter Hansen]

> Then Perl is an "agglutination of styles", while Python might
> be considered a "crystallization of features"...


Grosso modo, yes. Yet, we should recognise that Python agglutinated
a few crystals in the recent years.

It gave up some of its purity for practical reasons. We got rather far
from the "There is only one way to do it!" that once was Python motto.

--
Franois Pinard http://pinard.progiciels-bpi.ca
 
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Peter Hansen
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      02-09-2005
Franois Pinard wrote:
> [Peter Hansen]
>
>
>>Then Perl is an "agglutination of styles", while Python might
>>be considered a "crystallization of features"...

>
>
> Grosso modo, yes. Yet, we should recognise that Python agglutinated
> a few crystals in the recent years.
>
> It gave up some of its purity for practical reasons. We got rather far
> from the "There is only one way to do it!" that once was Python motto.


I would call a "pure" language one that had a crystallized style.

Python, on the other hand, is just plain practical. Thus my
half-humorous attempt at defining it in terms of the features
(with its wide-ranging library and extension modules) rather
than in termso of its style (which as you know can range
from procedural to functional, stopping briefly at object
oriented and "newbie" along the way ).

-Peter
 
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has
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      02-09-2005
Grant Edwards wrote:
> In an interview at

http://acmqueue.com/modules.php?name...owpage&pid=273
> Alan Kay said something I really liked, and I think it applies
> equally well to Python as well as the languages mentioned:
>
> I characterized one way of looking at languages in this
> way: a lot of them are either the agglutination of features
> or they're a crystallization of style


I'd say Python is somewhere in the middle, though moving slowly towards
'agglutination' in the last couple years.


> The rest of the interview is pretty interesting as well.


Excellent link, thanks.

 
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Jeremy Bowers
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      02-09-2005
On Wed, 09 Feb 2005 15:57:10 -0800, has wrote:
> I'd say Python is somewhere in the middle, though moving slowly towards
> 'agglutination' in the last couple years.


But it feels really badly about that and promises to kick the habit
somewhere around the year 3000.
 
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