1. 49
  1. 24

    This is very nice write up, thanks. What are you running Self on?

    I guess I’m the de facto Self maintainer the moment, so happy to answer questions if anyone has any.

    1. 8

      Wow, it is amazing to see you here! I am running it on Debian GNU/Linux. I hope that with these posts I can at least get a few more people interested in the language.

      1. 2

        Thanks for all you do!

        Is there a particular sort of problem that makes you reach for Self? Or an area you’d like Self to be a preferred tool?

        I’ve been interested in GlamourousToolkit and try to check in on Newspeak (Gilad Bracha says it draws lots of inspiration from Self), any thoughts on how Self interacts with/is used by other kinds of programs?

      2. 9

        I have to say this is one of these lobsters links and comments where I discover something completely new, that opens perspectives. Lately they have been rare for me, so this post is even more valuable.

        1. 9

          Self is very significant. Historically it was extremely influential even though it wasn’t widely used — sort of like the Velvet Underground whom “nobody listened to, but everyone who did started a band.”

          • It pioneered prototypes in OOP, later adopted of course by JavaScript.
          • The extremely dynamic nature of the language appeared to make it inefficient, but the JIT compiler introduced features like monomorphization and dynamic recompiling that made it much faster than it had any right to be. After Self’s creators moved to Sun, they applied those same techniques to the HotSpot JVM, and of course all modern JavaScript VMs use them.
          • The oddball visual environment was AFAIK the first GUI to apply techniques from the animation world, like distorting objects to emphasize the sense of motion. Later on these were adopted in systems like the iOS UI.
          1. 5

            The people who created the V8 JavaScript VM at Google as well as Urs Holzle (first Google Fellow)… actually worked on the Self project.

            Dave Ungar was most recently working on Swift at Apple. I don’t recall him saying anything about pushing for the kind of dynamism that self had into the Swift runtime. I think he was more interested in the IDE experience. Things like Swift playground.

          2. 4
            1. 1

              This is really nice, you explained some points better than I did.

          3. 6

            I will be publishing a few more posts about Self, notably about the module system and the UI framework Morphic. It might annoy people who are not interested, so maybe it would be good to add a “self” tag.

            1. 5

              Thanks for your post, I will gladly read the follow-ups.

              If you’re going to publish often and are afraid some people might get annoyed, my suggestion would be to rather make the RSS feed more visible on your website. This way, people interested will subscribe (I did).

              1. 2

                Thank you, I will work on doing that.

            2. 1

              This is nice to see. I was just thinking about Self last night out of the blue. Although a lot of people were very excited about prototypes in the mid 90s, it just didn’t seem to catch on.

              I think the biggest problem with Self was that it used to only run on Sparc hardware.

              1. 1

                Reminds me of a similar language I wrote about ~8 years ago called mio-lang