This afternoon, may I invite you to make some coffee or tea or whatever and take a good read at @aparrish's "Programming is Forgetting: Toward a New Hacker Ethic" -

@federicomena @aparrish I read this article some time ago

Then, I partecipated in a clash on the mailing list

The clash was about language, but language always brings something political within; it involved gender and sexual orientation.

So someone, during the clash, mentioned A Hacker's Manifesto and referred to it as the sole valid cultural bench mark for themselves

They were contradicted by the mantainers, thank God

@aparrish @federicomena I'd have LOVED to be able to mention this article but I wasn't able to find it anymore

Now I run into it again totally by chance !

Talk about serendipity !

@aparrish thank you !!


@catonano @federicomena @aparrish Very interesting talk, ty. A professor of mine had a slide which read "All models are wrong, but some of them are useful." I think we should really keep this in mind more often.

@aparrish @federicomena @catonano Thinking of it, y'all might enjoy this talk by Avdi Grimm about the "hermeneutic view of software development":

@fap @federicomena @aparrish

FAP, thank you so much for pointing me to this

Allison Parrish' s talk is more directly political and less "cultural"

In it, the concern for taking into account minorities in tech communities is more urgent

And this is something we faced directly in Guix.

Bu this Ruby talk you proposed is very ambitious. I loved it


@aparrish @federicomena @fap

There' s a joke I love

it goes like:

Smalltalk stands to C++ as Lisp stands to Haskell

There' s a point of view from which Smaltalk and C++ are both legitimately object oriented languages

And there' s another one from which Smalltalk and C++ couldn' t be more antitethical.

But I never could articulate why

Now this formalism nonformalism take seems to be a good contribution in that direction.

@catonano @federicomena @aparrish I understand the Smalltalk/C++ part of the joke but I'm not sure I get the Lisp/Haskell part..^^°

I've read way too much but feel that I don't have too much to show for.

One angle is that C++ (and Java) is said to promote a data-centric design while the Smalltalk ( and Ruby) community promote message- and reponsibility-centric designs.

@aparrish @federicomena @catonano Perhaps you have read Alan Kays posts on what he had in mind when he coined the term OO?
(this email is hard to read because we wouldn't use these terms today to describe what he's trying to say)
The c2 page also talks about the parallels between OO and the actor model, which has led to claims that Erlang might be "The Most Object-Oriented Language"

@fap @federicomena @aparrish

FAP, thank you for these links to Alan Kay s words and thoughts

Yes, they re not easy to read

I discovered Squeak in my 20ies and learned object orientation and Smalltalk through the Bank Account Tutorial.

There was this hierarchy of classes that were graphically represented in 2D and directly manipulable trhough "halos"

I was an autodidact, I home schooled myself, back then 😃

@aparrish @federicomena @fap

I was on the mailing list with Alan Kay s collegues and I didn t know who they were 🤣

It was a world of inspiration and beauty

Then I was hired in a Java shop. I was brought down to reality in a brutal and traumatic way.

I never wrote a line of code for more than 15 years out of trauma and I only reapproached the whole thing because of Clojure and now Guile scheme

@fap @federicomena @aparrish Probably the whole life wouldn t suffice to discuss the meaning of "object orientation" and the underlying cultures.

To me the attention toward the learner is fundamental and something I am grateful for.

And my assumption is that the learner is interested in learning per se, because it s beautiful; not in the money coming from "getting things done"

@aparrish @federicomena @fap
Not only in programming but also in math.

I was flabbergasted in reading how to define common calculus functions in scheme (lambda calculus, that is) in the SICP

Many math students ignore that comletely.

I had math PhDs telling me "I am just a modest math student, I dont get these fancy cs things" referring to Clojure

@fap @federicomena @aparrish

I dont know Haskell but I have the hunch that there s the same culture underlying there.

The culture of "pragmatism" and "getting things done".

I like the idea of rambling at the REPL, not having clear thought a priori. For the sake of the experience of clearign them.

The idea that you have all figured out top to bottom and then having the compiler check for you is too similar to the Java/C++ miopy. Its burbakian.

@aparrish @federicomena @fap
The assumption that you have things figured out is silly.

Im distrustful of that.

Maybe this is unfair to the Haskell community. But that s where I m coming from.

@fap @federicomena @aparrish sorry fo the long rambling

You brought up Alank Kay and Squeak and that brought up memories in turn

@catonano @aparrish @federicomena There's certainly more going on than this but sometimes people just comes from completely different places and don't realize it. If I'm a web programmer in a startup and my requirements change by the week a dynamic language and in-formal design seems attractive. If I'm a systems engineer writing software for an airplane I certainly want to have all the formalism and proof I can get.

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