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Readability is Key

February 10, 2012 7:44:50.000

The fact that even bad Smalltalk "reads" fairly well is probably the thing I like best about it. The project I'm on now has the normal share of bad objects (any large project will have them) - but even the bad code can still be parsed by the mark one eyeball better than just about anything else out there. As David Nolen puts it:

Smalltalk has so very few concepts - it's truly stunning. There's nothing more powerful in aiding readability than a small core set of concepts. In this sense I think Smalltalk continues to be one of the few languages to get anywhere near LISP. Most languages these days are just an abomination of features trapped inside of a compiler.

The way I like to explain that to people is this: The entire syntax of Smalltalk can fit on an index card. How many pages does it take to explain the syntax of, say, Java?

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posted by James Robertson


Re: Readability is Key

[anonymous] February 13, 2012 12:40:32.437

Java syntax can be described even more succinctly -- in just one word -- but it's not a word you can use in polite company.

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