black-box re-use? (was: Re: [E-Lang] MintMaker with ACLs)

Marc Stiegler
Thu, 1 Feb 2001 11:47:18 -0700

> I didn't mean "I'm asking MarkM and Hal.", I meant "the programmers,
> MarkM and Hal".  I've always been impressed with your ideas about
> programming languages, Tyler, although sometimes only after the fact.
> I didn't really believe all those things that you told me in Anguilla
> in '99 (threading bad! inheritance bad!) until I spent 9 months
> struggling with Java and then 12 months playing with Python.

Zooko, you are now an E programmer even if you don't know it :-) E uses
promises and delegation rather than threads and inheritance. And of course
it is capability secure too! :-)

> By the way, I'm amused to note that my normal intuitions align so
> closely with capabilities that I assumed I would be able to do the same
> thing with HalMint right up until I started typing the code that
> I thought would do it.

I have had the peculiar experience of explaining capabilities to little old
ladies taking their first classes in how to surf the web and turn on their
computer. They get the idea right off the bat. And their eyes light up at
the idea of having computer programs they can trust because they know
exactly what resources those programs can work with (because the programs
can only work with the things the little old lady has specified).

The only time I have trouble explaining the power of capabilities is when
I'm talking to computer people :-)