[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: Alan Kay on the meaning of "object oriented"

Another somewhat relevant Alan Kay quote comes from his OOPSLA 1997 keynote (available via Google Video at http://video.google.com/ videoplay?docid=-2950949730059754521 - the comment in question appears roughly 10 min 30 sec into the speech):

"...I made up the term object-oriented — and I can tell you I did not have C++ in mind..."

It's probably worth noting the Kay's early work on Smalltalk is part of what inspired Carl Hewitt to develop the Actors model of concurrency (which has formed the theoretical basis of several languages, in the same way that CSP informs occam). Unfortunately, the concurrent aspects of Kay's OOP model seem to have got lost somewhere early in the piece, and when concurrency got grafted onto OO languages again later, it came in the form of threads and shared state.


On Nov 9, 2007, at 3:43 AM, Tom Locke wrote:

I didn't know that Alan Kay originally coined the term "object oriented programming". It seems he was *very* close to our way of thinking back in those early days (late 60's).

- I thought of objects being like biological cells and/or individual
computers on a network, only able to communicate with messages (so
messaging came at the very beginning -- it took a while to see how to
do messaging in a programming language efficiently enough to be

Too bad it went so wrong