Re: [dev] Conversation with Anselm R. Garbe of

From: Jack Woehr <>
Date: Tue, 15 Sep 2009 19:40:54 -0600

frederic wrote:
>> Anselm R Garbe wrote:
>>> I don't miss closures. You got the static keyword to avoid polluting
>>> the global namespace.
>>> Kind regards,
>>> Anselm
>> U think it may be genetic? :)
>> Byzantine libraries, rich class hierarchies, clever closures, maybe
>> are for members of the species /programmator domesticus/.
>> Then the suckless prescription is aimed at members of the species
>> /programmator ferox/.
> John, I've read your other articles in Dobb's and it seems
> that you've been interested in Forth. Remember then that Forth has a
> feature
> quite close to closures in the words CREATE and DOES>. It is often
> mistaken for
> a primitive form of objects, BTW.

Frederic, Thanks for your comment and for reading my stuff. I'm Jack,
btw. I was being humorous of course, the mock latin
should give it away :) You're completely right about C..D>, and I've
implemented object-oriented stuff in Forth many times,
as have many others much better at it than I.
> I believe that closures could improve dwm for instance. Anselm says that
> he doesn't miss them, but it seems to me that he used a lot of tricks
> to replace
> them.
Very sharp, Frederic. Of course. When one follows a doctrinal ideology,
one sorta has to smooth out the
rough edges of reality by hard hand labor. Ideology, even suckless
ideology, is a Bed of Procrustes. You
have to lop off things you don't like and stretch what you do like to
make the Ideology map to Reality.

Look at the great ideologues of the recent decades. Richard M. Stallman,
lop, lop, lop. Theo DeRaadt,
lop, lop, lop. I love and respect these guys but when you bow down to an
absolute ideology, you
have to sacrifice a lot. The strength of the ideological approach is
that you know in advance how to
do anything. The weakness is that reality Is Not Completely Like You
Think and Compromises Must
Be Made. Just think back on the flame wars you've read on the net around
the Great Ideologues.

Anselm is a Little Ideologue and he has Enough Sense of Humor and
Humility to succeed very nicely
despite the dangers of Ideology and the flames and wasteful splurges of
human effort Ideology can
sometimes give birth to.

And suckless-ism is scientifically valid, I believe, for the small
project. I think it runs into trouble on the
very large project. I think that because we had a lot of the same
attitudes in the Forth community and
the result of this kind of terse, highly technical code written in a
highly personal style out of conformance
with what the masses understand an expect, you create interface problems
on a large team.

And despite our hubris, we Forthers back in the 1980's, our belief that
three or four of us could rewrite
the Universe (some went as far as to implement TCP/IP stacks, etc., in
pure Forth), there are Really Some
Projects that are Inherently Large and require Lots of Programmers. Then
sacrifices in purity of style
must be made in the interests of the Greatest Common Denominator.

Just my silly thoughts.

Jack J. Woehr            # 'I know what "it" means well enough, when I find # a thing,' said the Duck: 'it's generally a frog or # a worm.' - Lewis Carroll, _Alice in Wonderland_
Received on Wed Sep 16 2009 - 01:40:54 UTC

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