, Volume 4, Issue 3, pp 187-205

SELF: The power of simplicity

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Abstract

SELF is an object-oriented language for exploratory programming based on a small number of simple and concrete ideas: prototypes, slots, and behavior. Prototypes combine inheritance and instantiation to provide a framework that is simpler and more flexible than most object-oriented languages. Slots unite variables and procedures into a single construct. This permits the inheritance hierarchy to take over the function of lexical scoping in conventional languages. Finally, because SELF does not distinguish state from behavior, it narrows the gaps between ordinary objects, procedures, and closures. SELF's simplicity and expressiveness offer new insights into object-oriented computation.

To thine own self be true. — William Shakespeare laggy

This work is partially supported by Xerox, and partially by National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator Grant #CCR-8657631, Sun Microsystems, the Powell Foundation, IBM, Apple Computer, DEC, NCR, Texas Instruments, and Cray Laboratories.
This paper is a substantial revision of [20], originally published inOOPSLA '87 Conference Proceedings (SIGPLAN Notices, 22, 12 (1987) 227-241).