Saturday, June 9, 2007

Rob Pike on video, Plan 9 flashback

Today I watched a very recent video of Rob Pike talking about his 20 year old language Newsqueak.

I used his text editor "sam" on linux in the mid-90ies for a while, when Plan 9 first came on my radar. What first impressed me was the paper accompanying the source code. The code itself is very elegant and minimalistic. Though it didn't take off (probably just because of those attributes, baroque featuritis wins in the end), there are some great ideas in Plan 9 that can provide inspiration. The plumbing paper for example gave me the idea for a generic navigation concept in an Oracle Forms application, in 2000. We called it "hyperlinks", though...

After thinking about all that again, this post wouldn't be complete without mentioning Boyd Roberts. The link's dead, of course.