From: Doug Yowza <>
Date: Wed Dec 16 00:19:16 1998

On Tue, 15 Dec 1998, Max Eskin wrote:

> Well, I'm afraid I didn't understand your reply about how Star was
> better than other UIs, Hans (sorry I can't quote the message). I can't
> see how a UI could really completely obscure the hardware of a machine
> (I think that's what you meant). What if you need to save to a floppy
> disk? How do you obscure the physical machine in that?

Uncle Roger and I went to hear Engelbart and the gang reminisce about the
good old days of NLS recently (mouse, GUI, hypertext, etc. 5 years before
the Alto).

One of the messages was that Xerox (and Apple, and Microsoft) didn't get
it. The GUI has come to mean "easy enough for an idiot to use", but the
original NLS message was "let the machine allow you to be smarter than you
really are". It's a subtle but important difference, and the NLS mindset
means that you don't necessarily try to hide the underlying machine or
make everything WYSIWYG *if there are more powerful ways to work*.

> I haven't really looked at smalltalk, but here I have a 1983 issue of
> Popular Computing that describes it. It shows a sample which sadly makes
> little sense to an unenlightened one :( Is there a free version of
> Smalltalk for the PC that you would recommend for learning?

Yes! If fact, Alan Kay et al have implemented a new(er) Smalltalk-like
language called Squeak that was made just for you! (Thanks to Rax for
pointing this out.)

> How does smalltalk compare to LISP? I've got a book on LISP that I haven't
> looked through due to lack of time.

I think the only similarity might be garbage collection and no pointers
(essentially the same thing). They're not related at all, AFAIK.

> Also, you said that OS/2 is more OO than others. Which version? I have 2.0
> here and not only is it slower than molasses, it's basically the same as
> Windows 95 in terms of design, implementation, and so on.

OO stands for Oh so modular and Oh so slow. :-)

There's nothing magic about "objects." The Object Guys emphasize data
over procedures, and the Procedural Guys vice versa (ooh, more Latin,
sorry Sam).

-- Doug
Received on Wed Dec 16 1998 - 00:19:16 GMT

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