[plt-scheme] Re: How difficult would creating a collaborative multi-user online virtual world application be in PLT Scheme?

From: Benjamin L.Russell (DekuDekuplex at Yahoo.com)
Date: Sun Jun 14 22:49:00 EDT 2009

On Fri, 12 Jun 2009 08:36:11 -0400, Shriram Krishnamurthi
<sk at cs.brown.edu> wrote:

>We (well, I) don't have an archive of all your posts in our (my) head
>--and frankly, your posting history on this is beside the point.
>John's point stands about Smalltalk.  And his bigger but subtler point
>(his "post-linnaean" remark) seems to have slid by you entirely as you
>composed your spirited defense, which ends in the same tone that John
>was trying to correct.

I just re-read your paper, "Teaching Programming Languages in a
Post-Linnaean Age" (at

Perhaps my explanation had been unclear, so I will restate it

Assuming that programming languages are aggregations of features,
rather than implementations defined by taxonomies, that still leaves
the issue of whether an individual programmer is used to programming
in a particular style using a specific aggregation of features (or
kind of aggregation of features).

Since my first formal exposure had been to an aggregation of features
called "Scheme," and one of my teachers using it had been one of the
creators of Haskell (another aggregation of features), who had a
strong tendency to use any said aggregation of features to express a
particular style of programming that was as close to a purely
functional style as possible, it follows that, over time, I became
used to the particular style of programming emphasized at my college.
This had more to do with the particular emphasis at that school than
with any language in particular.

Although it may still be possible to write Smalltalk programs in a
similar style (again, since any programming language is simply an
aggregation of features), in reality, most Smalltalk programs are
written in a style which emphasizes a purely objective approach, which
differs stylistically significantly from that of the purely functional
approach taught at my college.  Therefore, it would take more time and
effort to get used to said purely objective approach than to get used
to a more similar variety of a functional approach, perhaps using a
language which is more often, in practice, used in a functional style.

Hence, my search for an aggregation of features which is used, in
practice, in a style which more closely resembles the style of the
aggregation of features as taught in my college experience.

-- Benjamin L. Russell
Benjamin L. Russell  /   DekuDekuplex at Yahoo dot com
Translator/Interpreter / Mobile:  +011 81 80-3603-6725
"Furuike ya, kawazu tobikomu mizu no oto." 
-- Matsuo Basho^ 

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