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On Fri, 13 Jun 2003, Michael Vanier wrote:

> Hmm... sounds an awful lot like lisp programmers saying "why would anyone
> want to use a non-s-expression-based syntax when there's clearly a better
> way of doing things?"  I agree with that sentiment, but that isn't going to
> change the way people are.

No, but it also doesn't make many lisp programmers run out to implement
infix syntaxes.  I imagine most would say that anyone that doesn't use
lisp because they don't like s-expressions simply doesn't "get it", and
trying to accomodate them, rather than educate them, is a waste of time;
if education fails, well, there are plenty of other languages they can go
use.  I agree that it's not an attitude likely to lead to world
domination, but that's not everyone's goal.

> Consider the gauntlet thrown ;-)  BTW GNU Smalltalk gets around some of
> these problems, although you can't start the file with
>     #! /usr/bin/env gst
> to make it executable like you can with python.  Also, there's the syntax
> issue.

Which syntax issue do you mean?  I certainly don't intend to use chunk
format the way gst does - I don't like to write ! everywhere any more than
you do.

Do you have any syntax suggestions?

> I think a deeper issue is that python (and ruby, and PLT scheme)
> have a notion of modules that goes beyond anything I've seen in Smalltalk
> (although I gather that this is a big topic of current debate).  Not having
> a decent module system is pretty much a show-stopper for modern scripting
> languages; I'm glad that the PLT folks have put so much effort into theirs.

Modules can mean a lot of things; if you're talking about namespaces, then
no, Squeak doesn't have them, although some Smalltalks do.  There was a
failed attempt to introduce them in Squeak 3.3 - they just never gained
traction with the community.  I agree that this is a pity, though I don't
personally find it a show-stopper.