[Oberon] Help in using an Oberon systems.

eas lab lab.eas at gmail.com
Mon Dec 17 09:45:23 CET 2012

On Mon, 17 Dec 2012  Les May wrote:-
> Wirth's message about the virtues of strong typing, initialisation
> of variables and detection of errors at compile time now extends
> beyond Pascal, Modula 2 and Oberon. Safe-C which can be found at
> http://chat-webcam-samuro.com/safe-c/start-en.html has been strongly
> influenced by these ideas and gives about the same degree of type safety
> and compile time error detection as Pascal.

Using BAND-AID methods, instead of from-1st-principles-design has the
inescapable disadvantage of legacy. Like DOS -> WinX,Y,Z

I don't know whether Safe-C has a long term future but it does have the.
advantage that potential users do not have to learn a completely new.
user interface..

> Whatever the virtues of the Oberon TUI (Textural User Interface) in 1990,
> a time when in many instances computer monitors were used as little
> more than glass teletypes, it does not compare with the present day
> windowing interfaces available for BSD, Linux and MS Windows and now
> may well serve only to deter potential users from adopting Oberon.

Understandably its TUI's value is not easier to explain than explaining to
me how/why some hi-art has value. It's too subtle. Although I've been trying
to count-steps-to-achieve-tasks.  ETHO's TUI is about psychology/cognition,
which we techies can't easily formaly describe, but you sure feel it when
you've been using it and you have to go back to ALL/ANY other lame system.

> I understand the nostalgia for a time when computing was simpler and
> memory was measure in kilobytes not gigabytes but unless standalone
> compilers are developed for other operating systems I do not see any
> substantial number of new users being attracted to Oberon.

Simplicity is the HIGHEST criterium, because the heirarchy is:
 YOU !! <-- your cognitive load minimisation facilities.
 your data
 your data storage hardware
 CPU  <-- the irrelevant part which people concentrate on.

The subtle fact is that the oberon LANGUAGE and ETHO-TUI are separate,
and perhaps only connected, by Wirth's ability to extract the essence.
For me FreePascal could be OK, but I must have ETHO-TUI.
Was Plan9 an attempt at improving unix, which didn't get enough support.
Plan9 copied ETHO-TUI, and the public-domain derivative is `wily`; which
is quiet nice, except that the chords are different, so when I go back to
LEO my reflexes are confused.  YOUR reflexes and subconsious knowledge
are more important/valuable than CPU-cycles.

> Les May

== Chris Glur.

PS. rather than just use marketing words like "experience", I'll post the.
detailed/tedious example of how I had to use LEO's superior power to achieve
a [linux related] debugging job.  And you can tell me how your system would
have done it.

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