In 2007, I took a whack at learning Haskell as my Language of the Year. It was an educational experience on more levels than I had expected. I didn’t get as far with the language as I might have hoped, but I did have the essential mind-opening experience of dealing with a purely functional, “lazy” language. My approach and style in my primary day-to-day language (Python) changed in a positive way. I really like Haskell and hope to continue playing, and possibly working, with it in the future.
So it’s February. I’ve been busy. But I like this LotY thing. For 2008 I’m going to look at Smalltalk. Here are some of the things, in no particular order, that I think are cool about Smalltalk:
- Elegance and conceptual integrity.
- Huge historical significance in object-oriented programming.
- Ruby stole a lot of its good ideas from Smalltalk.
- Objective C did too.
- F-Script did too.
- I still remember reading about the Xerox Alto in my parents' back issues of Scientific American and thinking that it seemed really, really cool.
- I once wrote a blurb about Squeak for Wired.
- Alan Kay is wicked smart.
I’ve already installed GNU Smalltalk and Squeak on my Ubuntu play machine. I know from last year not to expect any grand output, but I’m looking forward to the education nonetheless.
Randal L. Schwartz commented :
Yes… I think 2008 will be Smalltalk’s year with Seaside being the “next” RoR, even though Seaside actually predated and influenced RoR.
Paolo Bonzini commented :
We’ll be happy to help with GNU Smalltalk at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Loren Davie commented :
For me I think its going to be Erlang. I love the idea of the super-high availability and massively distributed nature of it. And there’s a Python interface! (Called a “port” in Erlang-speak).
Paul commented :
What a nice trio of comments.
Randal: I’m excited to see what happens with Seaside this year, though growth on the Rails scale would astonish me.
Paulo: Thanks for the kind offer; I’m sure I’ll need help!
Loren: Nice to hear from you. Erlang is very interesting to me as well, so I look forward to hearing what you think of it if you do indeed go that way.