A Self / BETA Language Hybrid Project

Brian T. Rice water@tunes.org
Wed, 12 Jan 2000 01:12:27 -0800

Hello all,
	I'd like to announce a new programming language project called Slate
(http://www.tunes.org/~water/slate-home.html) that attempts to take the
best of the Self and BETA programming languages, and provide a coherent
framework for these ideas. Although the language will primarily be dynamic
in the style of Self, it will also extensively use the benefits of
pattern-programming and the various abstractions that BETA has shown to be
so useful. The language will also incorporate the abstract syntax tree
(similar to Lisp's SEXP notation) structure and a functional character for
its object semantics. This will allow for some cleaner semantics and better
meta-programming facilities within the language itself than are available
for other object-oriented languages.
	Finally, the language will follow the practice of Squeak by hosting its
own interpreter system, compiler, and user-interface. In fact, we plan to
implement a user interface consisting of direct manipulation of language
patterns according to semantics adjustible through reflective programming.
This will in fact form a language and environment that is programmable by
visual gestures and representations alone.
	Well, I brought this to your attention as a modest request for feedback on
the idea as well as to help identify interested parties. If you are
interested, please contact me via e-mail, and I will be happy to send you
more information and answer any questions you may have. We also invite
people to assist in the development of the language and its environment.
Currently, there is a partially complete prototype of the language system
under Common Lisp, and plans include adapting the Squeak project's
smalltalk virtual machine sources generated from smalltalk code to support
Slate language primitives and the graphics system.
	As soon as we produce a language implementation that completely fulfills
the language technical requirements, we plan on releasing the source code
and environment under the GPL to open up development possibilities.

	Brian T. Rice
	email: water@tunes.org