assign by reference - a comment

Rob Cozens rcozens at
Sat Mar 23 12:18:00 EST 2002

>>ironic "...capability of writing self-modifying code. Think about 
>>the potential of that feature."
>Hi David,
>Try as I might, I don't see the irony.

I tried harder, David:

If you mean the potential for error, that goes without saying.  Give 
anyone a new tool or new power and you increase the potential ways 
they can screw up.

Pointers, handles, direct system calls, and such are not child's play.

But Revolution is not a tool for children.

In its first incarnation as HyperTalk, Xtalk was designed to keep 
these "programming matches" out of the hands of beginners so they 
couldn't burn themselves; however if professional RR developers are 
to successfully compete with developers using other development 
environments, they should not be restrained because adding more 
features to the environment may cause problems for users lacking the 
experience to use them correctly.  (Of course power for 
self-modification has been there from HC v1)

In 25 years of programming business applications I've never found the 
need to write self-modifying (in the traditional sense) code; but 
that doesn't mean I would want someone working in AI to be locked out 
of RunRev as a development platform in order to keep newbies from 
shooting themselves in the foot with a weapon they don't understand 
how to use.  It also doesn't mean that some day, after I've mastered 
all the techniques that are more important to my app that I won't at 
least experiment with ways of programming it to modify it's behavior 
based on past experience.

FWIW, I think this issue is more likely to arise here than among 
MetaCard users because, whereas MC was always a tool for 
professionals (@ one large a pop), RunRev's introductory pricing has 
attempted to attract HyperCard users who would not consider paying 
that much for a development tool.  Don't get me wrong...I wish very 
strongly that there were a current programming tool for the "masses" 
al la HyperCard.  That's why I worked on the FreeCard project and 
helped man the iHUG booth at MacWorld 2001.

But I don't think RunRev can be both that tool for the masses AND the 
world's best professional development platform, bar none.

Rob Cozens
CCW, Serendipity Software Company

"And I, which was two fooles, do so grow three;
Who are a little wise, the best fooles bee."

from "The Triple Foole" by John Donne (1572-1631)

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