Interesting blog post - comments anyone?

Kay C Lan lan.kc.macmail at
Tue Dec 1 03:15:07 EST 2009

Much more smoke.

On Tue, Dec 1, 2009 at 3:57 PM, Randall Reetz <randall at>wrote:

> All decent IDEs have a robust set of programming support, and resource and
> project management affordances.  What matters, beyond the obvious
> differences defined by the language an IDE supports, and what therefore sets
> one IDE above another, is how well an IDE matches the personality of its
> language and target customer's use style.  This,  customer support, and
> staying contemporary with the changing world, is the arena in which rev
> competes and the sphere of influence about which it can rightfully brag.
>  Does run-rev out xtalk other xtalk IDEs?  But the question of whether xtalk
> is, as a category, a worthy development choice, well that is a categorical
> debate and has little to do with run-rev specifically.  An interpreted
> script-based language is a fundamentally different animal than a compiled
> language.  I have always been a big fan of natural language syntax
> programming.  I don't program for the complexity of the process.  I program
> for aptitude of the finished product.  I bicycle for the pain cause pain on
> my bicycle equals physical fitness.  But I program towards an end, and that
> end isn't some sort of macho need for pain.  Ultimately, I hope to find a
> product I can have a gentlemans conversation with and it does the heavy
> lifting, building the logic while we talk in broad poetic terms.  Until
> then, there is xtalk.  Has any xtalk support company really kept up with the
> potential of the pioneering direction initiated by smalltalk and hypercard?
>  I don't think anyone has come close.  But, the other languages are even
> further behind.  Have you tried C or java or lisp or how about a functional
> language???? Holy crap!  I don't hate "real" programmers, sometimes they
> dial in my intent after I have sketched it out in xtalk.  That is how I see
> xtalk.  As a rapid prototyping tool.  Maybe the prototype is enough to run
> mission critical tasks for years.  Sometimes it helps me see what not to do
> tomorrow.  But mostly it lowers the pain bar exposing a far larger set of
> solutions for the same input of time and effort.
> As for the effort needed to build and maintain an interpreted execution
> environment... Well it is nothing less than what a compiler does except that
> it has to work line by line in real time at rates indistinguishable from
> machine binary.  Almost impossible.  And none of that comes free from apple
> or xerox (none legally anyway).  But at this level again there is plenty of
> competition.  Javascript, perl, python, visual basic.  Hell, many compiled
> languages now come in IDEs which allow an interpreted interactive
> development mode.  What sets xtalk apart is the pre-built widget objects and
> high level functions that can be called and controlled through intuitive
> english like phrases.  That and the program shell (stack) which handles the
> arcane and mundane so that the author can get down to the creation of domain
> solutions and not computer science.  In my case, the domain is computer
> science, and xtalk works just fine.
> randall
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