"I have a mind like a steel... uh... thingy." Patrick Logan's weblog.

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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Weird Patterns

James Robertson relays someone's notion that MVC may have held back Smalltalk adoption early on. That's taking a modern perspective on a problem that did not exist back in the day.

I don't remember anyone complaining about MVC programming in Smalltalk in my circles in the mid-to-late 1980s. That was just how to program Smalltalk, and it was better than most of the other graphics libraries we had at hand on workstations. And MVC was no more weird than Flavors on Lisp Machines.

I do remember a paper by Ward Cuningham we got a hold of, marked "draft, do not circulate" (but we did, a lot). I've never found a published version of it. I've got the hard copy somewhere -- I should scan it in. Maybe Ward's got the original.

That paper explained the MVC objects with a simple, little wire list drawing application. Hmm... it's in one of two file cabinets, I'm sure.

Aaaaaanyway... the point is back then there were few if any preconceptions about anything, and not a lot of choice: mostly you built everything yourself. Only Smalltalk and Lisp had much to offer, prebuilt.

And programming in Smalltalk or Lisp was just heaven compared to when we had to drop down and do anything else. There were not many things to compare MVC *to*, in order to have any perspective that it may be "weird" or "too complicated". It just wasn't, and is still preferable to 87 percent of everything else.

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About Me

Portland, Oregon, United States
I'm usually writing from my favorite location on the planet, the pacific northwest of the u.s. I write for myself only and unless otherwise specified my posts here should not be taken as representing an official position of my employer. Contact me at my gee mail account, username patrickdlogan.