Ian Bicking: the old part of his blog


(I know I shouldn't keep up with these threads, it's mostly distracting not helpful, but I can't help myself, and meta-discussion is stupid, yet I can't help myself)

In response to Kragen, others: My posts were based on the premise there was something wrong with Smalltalk. Because it was a premise, not the real content of my post, I think people who didn't agree with the premise found it difficult to respond (for no fault of their own), the best you can do in such a situation is say "Smalltalk is great!" which isn't a very satisfying response for either side. But then I wasn't really willing to turn this into a multi-part tretise where I outline my points from basic principles, so I must expect people to infer what my premises are and come up with their own conclusions.

Anyway, after we get past that issue, there's the strawman issue. My original post was imprecise in language (my fault), and was misinterpreted in a number of ways. People criticised these misinterpretations, e.g., that you could not easily use foreign functions in Smalltalk, when I intended to refer to the conceptual difficulty when Smalltalk and foreign interfaces are not isomorphic. They plucked a few of these misunderstandings out and then declared that I knew nothing about Smalltalk. Which I found very frustrating. Still do, I suppose, otherwise I wouldn't be commenting here.

Ultimately, I guess I was looking for a retort I didn't get -- a "no, Smalltalk's problem isn't what you said, the problem is X". I suppose it's rather too optimistic to think I'd get that kind of response. It requires a thoughtful response, and requires that the reader attempts to understand my perspective and frame the response in those terms -- and I recognize that it takes a great deal of effort to create that kind of response, and the people who responded didn't necessarily have any investment in my opinion, so they weren't inclined to invest in that kind of response. Well, there were some long responses (Georg wrote whole essays) -- I'm not sure what it means that I'm not satisfied with those either. Maybe I am just stubborn.

But frankly, I do go out of my way to respond in thoughtful ways taking into account the perspective of my audience, so I'm not asking for something I'm not myself willing to give. (Which is why I appreciate the difficulty of composing that kind of response)
Comment on What does "ahead of your time" mean?
by Ian Bicking