It sounds very much like what he is describing.
I think making Scala more correct and more modular is the answer.
Hygienic macros and syntactic extensions are more what I had in mind. Rust seems to be a solid contender here but it's much more of a systems language.
It's funny, because there's actually a language just like that: Smalltalk. The development environment is the same as the runtime environment, it has its own source control (Monticello), its own editor and a very regular language.
1) Paul is not ignorant of the existence of Smalltalk
2) Smalltalk is not a replacement for the fruits of modern language research. In fact, the academic work around Smalltalk is nothing more than unsupported opinion, and it's not even remotely useful as a source of research.
1) Posits new conjectures
2) Proves those conjectures
3) Those conjectures can be used to formulate new conjectures that conform to items 1-3?
I've read a great deal of smalltalk literature, and I can't recall any papers that would qualify. There's plenty of empirical exploration of ambiguous hypothesis, but nothing that actually provides anyone in the field anything on which they could actually build.
Back in the mid-90's, before Java was released to the world, I was using VisualWorks for an university project.
IBM was a big enterprise player with Visual Age for Smalltalk.
A small startup (Animorphic) was making Smalltalk faster (StrongTalk).
There were, of course, other companies searching their piece of the pie.
When Sun started pushing Java to the world, many in the Smalltalk world shifted direction.
Visual Age for Smalltalk architecture became the foundation of Eclipse.
Sun eventually bought Animorphic and Hotspot was born out of StrongTalk VM ashes.
Slowly, other Smalltalk players joined the party.
I don't see how that's "funny" or relevant, as there are many other things about Scala that Smalltalk isn't just like.
The short version is that he lost trust in the Typesafe team and he thinks they are not competent to carry Scala moving forward. Like he says, he tried to change things from the inside, he couldn't, so now he's trying from the outside.
The problem is on the other side of the Atlantic. Scala is unfixable now no matter the abilities of the people working on it because of the bad decisions which have been made to this point and the unwillingness to revisit them even when the failings were grossly apparent.
Organizations modeled on dictatorships can work fine but they're painfully vulnerable to the dictator's blind spots. As the years go by, the dictator becomes accustomed to being able to settle any question by fiat. He becomes less and less concerned with evaluating the true worth of his own ideas. As long as his power is unquestioned and there is a steady supply of people to do the work, why should he? He's the Decider. He decides.
As I told him at some point "That well does run dry eventually" and indeed it did, for me at least.
I'll be keeping a close eye on what you decide to do next, I have no doubt it will be extremely interesting.
Many (most?) of the debates regarding the scalac roadmap (and attendant tooling) happened in public on the internals mailing list. The simplest explanation is that nobody agreed on allocation of resources, which were mostly a few Typesafe employees and some (largely unknown but very talented) EPFL grad students. A sample thread https://groups.google.com/forum/#!msg/scala-internals/9Ts3GL...
Don't get me wrong. I know that it isn't necessarily the case that "basic" represents "affects plenty of people." But, especially when it was used in a "hits more people than a vocal group that is complaining about a plugin that needs attention," one does get a sense that you will be hit by these things sooner than later.
This is exactly the message that Paul Phillips has been spreading these past months.
Personally, I hope he decides to just create his own language, I would be extremely interested to follow this.
That is, how is this helping? If he gets a better compiler out, great. Are the odds high that will happen?
Especially with the history that the community has had with a few high profile individuals either constantly making waves and/or basically turning away from the community after some time... To say that the community seems toxic is an understatement.
Granted... this may convince folks that the truely toxic elements have jumped to other pastures. In some ways, this would be better for the typesafe landscape. That seems a stretch, though.
Oh, for sure. The key though is that the value of "it" which I am making worse is not a value of "it" which I have any interest in making better. Nor would I ever suggest otherwise.
In your mind I may be nothing but an input into your total utility function, but there's no reason for you to expect me to care about maximizing it.
Also, sadly, at the moment none of this is any real input to any utility I control. I have used Scala in the past. I tried setting my plans with Lift, but that didn't go over well with my coworkers. So, as of now, I am merely on the sidelines. And, do note that I am not trying to demand you not do this. Just saying from my vantage point, I'm not at all clear on what this is improving.
There's been drama and each time the community has moved on. Paul, Tony Morris and probably others from before I started paying any attention. Even with this recent "drama", after thinking about it for a few days, I've come to welcome it if anything. Regular Scala can shift its focus to becoming a conservative language while Typelevel acts as the incubator. If the two meet their compatibility goals, everyone wins.
I'd also argue that "constantly making waves" is an overstatement. Scala just celebrated its tenth birthday. How much drama has there really been in this community over ten years? For the most part, I've found it to be very supportive. My interactions are almost entirely just on the mailing lists but I've seen few issues. Maybe I'm just blind to them, who knows.
I recognize that tensions within the community are high but I don't currently believe that they present an insurmountable challenge to Scala's future.
I guess the big waves I remember are essentially about a post a week from Tony. The hoopla around Colebourne's opinions on the language. And then the mystery/whatever around Pollak's involvement in the community.
The later point is odd just for how much traction lift seemed to be generating, and then the overall community appeared to reject it heavily. Do note that I would still recommend it. Their community is quite nice and helpful.
And I should definitely make clear that it is very possible I just don't see the waves in other communities. I don't really see Scala's anymore; this week being a notable exception. To me, though, high tension is not exactly a good environment. Heck, for all of the flack he gets, Torvalds is usually more cordial than many of the threads I remember from this community.
You are absolutely right.
The usual Scala-hate-brigade will jump on this "smoking gun" and will build a few new talking points on top of it how Scala will fail definitely this time for sure ... but outside their bubble nobody cares and just moves on shipping software in Scala.
Stop attacking the people who don't like Scala (real or imaginary). Disagree, fine, but this rampant fanboyism is odd. Yes, the language has a few critics on HN whose critiques are mostly FUD. Argue against the FUD but when you attack them you only cheapen your own position.
I'm just trying to say that there's a way to be effective about this.
(I realize I'm attacking a person about attacking a person, I get it)
I find it kind of funny that we have like usually one username which gifts us with his presence in every Scala-related topic for usually ~6 months and then disappears.
Either it's the same guy who just changes accounts like here: http://www.reddit.com/r/scala/comments/1sdmdq/sockpuppet_acc... http://www.reddit.com/r/scala/comments/25kwb1/cedric_beust_c... or it's a series of people all completely unaware that dozens of earlier crusades failed.
Both options are amusing. :-)
Java is at least as transparent as Scala in that respect: every single feature that was shipped as part of Java 8 has been discussed and decided openly on mailing-lists. Everyone knew exactly what was going to be in Java 8 (including what was not going to be shipped) which is a far cry from Scala's operating mode of adding features to the language and then retroactively creating SIPs to give them an air of legitimacy.
I'm siding squarely with Paul Phillips there: I don't have a lot of faith in Typesafe to carry Scala forward any more.
You are either completely deluded or never actually read the mailing list.
But hey, whatever floats your boat. I enjoy watching your desperateness. Really, if you keep posting your talking points in every remotely Scala-related topic, Scala will go away for sure. Really, I promise.
That is, my complaint here is that the platform is unstable. Thus making it scary to adopt. How is that "worse" everywhere else?
Stability is pretty good in Scala, too.
Maybe not "nothing changed since 1995"-Java, but better than C#, Python, Ruby, OCaml, Haskell, etc.
This is somewhat like asking why Richard Dawkins just assumes the Theory of Evolution without justification in his tweets.
Googling Paul Phillips Scala brings up plenty of relevant discussion.