If anything I think the discussion demonstrated the point that we still don't know how to write safe programs with any degree of certainty, and that any program is as good as the programmers who produced it. So for me the term "Type Safety" is a bit of an oxymoron, because being type safe doesn't infer program 'safety' at all!
Accepting that there is no guarantees, perhaps we should let go of the pink past and explore the new blue OO idea a bit further. To do this we need to take a pure OO approach, with scant regard for incumbent technology. Croquet is a project that chooses to look at software Engineering afresh from a pure OO perspective. The question posed by Croquet is:
If we were to start again, and build an Operating System with modern assumptions about computer power, what could we do today?
To this question the Croquet team have come up with some answers:
- A VM that works bit identical on all platforms. They achieve this by writing the Squeak Smalltalk VM in a subset of Smalltalk itself, called Slang.
- Given bit identical behaviour, replicate objects across the web, with the guarantee that replicated objects will behave bit identically.
- Using Object Replication, and synchronised message sends, create a shared virtual Time and Space, across the web, they call this TeaTime.
- Use Peer-to-Peer communications to remove the bottle neck of centralised servers.
- Late-binding to ensure that the system can grow and change organically. Also allow non Croquet components to be consumed into the Croquet world.
I will explore Croquet in detail over the next few blogs. Here is an article which is a excellent primer on Croquet for the uninitiated. It is difficult describing Croquet, because like the Sony Walkman, Croquet is something new and innovative, and unlike anything we have seen before. The closest description to the vision held out by Croquet is the virtual computer world presented in the movie "The Matrix".
Croquet is The Matrix.