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Self is a prototype-based dynamic object-oriented programming language, environment, and virtual machine centered around the principles of simplicity, uniformity, concreteness, and liveness.
Self includes a programming language, a collection of objects defined in the Self language, and a programming environment built in Self for writing Self programs. The language and environment attempt to present objects to the programmer and user in as direct and physical a way as possible. The system uses the prototype-based style of object construction.
The first version of the Self language was designed in 1986 by David Ungar and Randall B. Smith at Xerox PARC. A series of Self implementations and a graphical programming environment were built at Stanford University by Craig Chambers, Urs Hölzle, Ole Agesen, Elgin Lee, Bay-Wei Chang, and David Ungar. The project continued at Sun MIcrosystems Laboratories, where it benefited from the efforts of Randall B. Smith, Mario Wolczko, John Maloney, and Lars Bak. Smith and Ungar jointly led it there. Work on the project officially ceased in 1995
Release 4.0 contained an entirely new user interface and programming environment designed for “serious” programming, enabling the programmer to create and modify objects entirely within the environment, and then save the object into files for distribution purposes. The metaphor used to present an object to the user is that of an outliner, allowing the user to view varying levels of detail. Also included in the environment is a graphical debugger, and tools for navigation through the system.
The current release (4.4) was the first release for Linux on x86.
Self is available for Linux and MacOS X under a BSD-like licence.