Dear Rubytalkers,

I wrote a small bit of code called MethodShopping a little while back 
which as it turned out had just been done in Ruby a few days earlier!  
More importantly however is that both the name, MethodFinder, and the 
inspiration for that other Ruby version, was Smalltalk.  Smalltalk had 
a version who knows how many decades ago?...

My inspiration wasn't Smalltalk, but laziness.  I didn't want to have 
to go pouring over a class' interface in a tedious search for a 
method.  I just wanted to be able to throw the result at a class and 
have it spit out the right method.  Still, I thought, hmm, somethin' 
to this Smalltalk stuff.  (A slight overstatement, at least given my 
understanding that much of Ruby's object system, classes and methods 
are already derived from Smalltalk.)

Then I noticed that Rick DeNatale (or is it De Natale?), an old (Your 
term Rick!) Smalltalker has recently starting blogging, and about 
Ruby.  I'm really stoked that we're getting old Smalltalkers 
participating.  There's a ton of fantastic experience there.  What 
other gems like MethodFinder am I busily reinventing?  I'd like to 
know!

Well, right now I'd like to know what Smalltalkers think of the 
discussion about collections.  What of your experience helps inform 
the class structure for Array, Hash, etcetera?  With all those extra 
years, there's sure to be a few new (to Ruby) wrinkles.

Similarly, there's Lisp.  Way older than Smalltalk again.  What has 
Lisp to contribute?  Well, I read the other day about Rails' new 
method alias_method_chain at 
http://weblog.rubyonrails.org/2006/4/26/new-in-rails-module-alias_method_chain. 
  And according to Jon Tirsen, who commented therein, 
alias_method_chain is apparently very much like a Lispy technique 
which is known as 'around advice' although I'm not sure how it gets 
that name and haven't encountered it myself.

Having written a bit of Lisp in my time and having declared it my fave 
language, and now loving the Lispiness of my new fave language, Ruby, 
I was wondering what could be got from it's drawers too...

Although we don't seem to be getting so much from Lispers, but perhaps 
they're more curmudgeonly old bastards than I am?  Any heavy-duty old 
Lispers out there?

So, anyone up for some rifling?  By that I mean a vaguely organised 
and much more proactive and unprincipled band of raiders go thieving 
through every nook and cranny of Smalltalk's (or Lisp's) libraries; or 
any other room of their houses...

Sincerely,



thoran

"Bad artists copy.  Great artists steal." --- Pablo Picasso