He Didnt Invent The Term

AlanKay didn't invent the term object, as is suggested by AlanKayOnObjects and HeInventedTheTerm.

Object was first used in Spring 1967 by KristenNygaard and OleJohanDahl, to describe the instance of a class in their brand new Simula67, the first language with encapsulation, inheritance and polymorphism and one of Kay's main influences in designing the much purer object-oriented SmalltalkLanguage at Xerox from 1970. The other key influence on Kay, which he freely acknowledges, was a demonstration he attended while studying at Utah in the late sixties by IvanSutherland of his pioneering SketchPad system.

So was it in fact the -oriented that Kay added to describe Smalltalk's very uniform object and message sending?

And remind me, when exactly did the marketing people manage to do away with both? --RichardDrake

See also EarlyHistoryOfSmalltalk, ObjectOrientedProgramming and InformalHistoryOfProgrammingIdeas

Richard, you seem to be refuting that he coined the term object-oriented by saying that someone else coined the use of the word object... One surely doesn't follow the other ? --AlanFrancis

You're quite right that it doesn't follow. I'm asking for confirmation that Kay was the first person to use object-oriented. Plus it did seem a bit of an oversight not to mention the Simula people's use of the word object until now.

Or do Kay or others say that IvanSutherland, being not only a genius but an English speaker and an American, must have first used the word object in the context of a programming language that included encapsulation using classes, inheritance and polymorphism? Facts are facts, but can we bear to share out the kudos a little more than that? --RichardDrake

And that's fair enough. The page was AlanKayStories and I for one would have laughed less if it had had a disclaimer at the bottom stating that that although AlanKay may or may not have coined the phrase, he certainly wasn't the first to use the word object. --AlanFrancis

Agreed, it's a great story and I tried to keep the laughter going when I refactored the story into HeInventedTheTerm by not putting a disclaimer or even a backlink. It's interesting though to see two quite different tellings of the same story, isn't it, the second from an eye-witness? That's history for you. --RichardDrake

I realise you're making a serious point about what we attribute to whom, but the point I'm making is that the page wasn't WhoInventedObjectOrientation?, it was AlanKayStories. --AlanFrancis

Ah, a WikiName pedant like me! Agreed again. My concern really arose from the fact that unlike AlanKay, who had existed as a page on Wiki for some years (and indeed in real life too), the inventors of object-orientation the stuff of programming language design (if not the actual phrase) had no pages and not a single mention on the whole of Wiki that I could find until this week.

Important newsflash - KristenNygaard was in fact previously mentioned in ProcessPatterns for a paper he wrote that AlistairCockburn couldn't find but thought was written about 1974, but which someone else knew was really written in 1986 and found for us all. If that's not recognition for you, I don't know what is. [IronyWarning]

I knew that I shouldn't complain but I was already tired from trying to refactor AlanKay and related pages for the sake of posterity. So I wrote the restrained InformalHistoryOfProgrammingIdeas instead. Maybe I should have written GripesOfAnOverwhelmedWikiRefactorer?.

Two simple questions remain for me:

A maximum of two IndexCards allowed for the answers. Do NOT write on both sides of the card.


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