• http://redline.st James Ladd

    I think you should have covered Redline Smalltalk as well. I’m a little biased but we are attracting/creating new Smalltalkers and making the JVM a deployment platform. 
    - James. 

  • http://redline.st James Ladd

    Forgot to mention: 
    Website: http://redline.st 
    Campaign: http://www.indiegogo.com/smalltalk/x/1366536

  • Dan Howard

    No we should not look at Smalltalk again. Why do we keep going back and repeating the same stupid mistakes over and over again? Smalltalk was a FAIL for good reasons so let’s all move on.

  • Stephan Eggermont

    @dan Probably because it is the language giving the best development experience. Fast feedback rules. What is the alternative? Newspeak, yes, but that is still a bit early.

  • http://www.anonymousartofrevolution.com/ Anonymous

    @stephan I think newspeak is the way to go

  • Blake Watson

    I can see that argument applying to COBOL or PL/I or some other language competed with others of the same sort, had its moment (or didn’t) then faded away. 
    But most of the reasons Smalltalk never had its moment were because the industry hadn’t caught up with it. 
    -> It was OO before anyone got OO, while OO has been mainstream for 20 years now. 
    -> But it was =too= OO for people used to using objects in 3GLs, which isn’t really an issue with languages like Python, Javascript and Ruby. 
    -> It was also too resource-intensive, but it’s actually pretty speedy compared to Python and Ruby. 
    -> It was too expensive, costing $2-$5K a seat 20 years ago. Now there are tons of free and cheap options. 
    -> Portability, one of its great strengths, wasn’t worth the trade-offs in a homogeneous Windows world, but ideal for a splintered world of Windows/iOS/Android/Linux/etc. 
    I’m not sure what “mistakes” you’re talking about that are inherent to the language, the environment concept, and so on. Can you back that up?

  • http://www.runbasic.com Carl Gundel

    The mistake you refer to was IMHO the switch to Java from just about everything else. The entire industry followed Sun off a cliff. Nobody would touch anything that wasn’t Java for years, which is just ridiculous. Software developers didn’t abandon Smalltalk. They abandoned *everything* that wasn’t Java.

  • Thomas Lukasik

    I’m curious why you never mentioned anything about security. Where is Smalltalk today with respect to the ability to write secure code? All of the cool stuff that you mention is attractive for the hobbyist programmer, but in today’s virus and hacker prone environment is not going to attract professional mainstream developers who need to write secure software. 
    As a software architect and developer, and ex-Smalltalker (mostly VisualWorks and IBM Visual Smalltalk) I miss Smalltalk, but can’t justify picking it up again if there is no market for Smalltalk development — a situation that likely will not change if it’s impossible to write very secure Smalltalk code due to the very qualities that make it fun to use. 
    BTW: At the time that I worked heavily with Smalltalk, the cost for VisualWorks was ~ $10k per developer seat, so when Java – an affordable (read: free) O/O alternative – arrived in 1996, I immediately switched. But I can’t say that I’ve never looked back. I do miss Smalltalk development. 

  • Thomas Lukasik

    >> “Finally, security comes in many different flavors.”  
    But unfortunately, all security breaches tend to taste pretty much the same. 

  • http://goran.krampe@gmail.com Göran Krampe

    As a long time Smalltalker but also a language freak I just wanted to fill in a few things: 
    Smalltalk was NOT a “fail for good reasons”. In fact, it was not a fail at all, back in early 1990s Smalltalk was used to build a lot of advanced systems successfully. It had about 30% of the OO market, C++ had around 60%. 
    There has been a strong trend “reimplementing” Smalltalk. Python but especially Ruby is a clear Smalltalk “clone”, but still missing a few important things. The current crop of new languages still borrow heavily from Smalltalk – Traits for example which was developed first in Smalltalk is “hot” in new languages. 
    Two of the latest new languages – Dart and Julia are even more Smalltalk-like, and with very good performance. 
    Finally, security comes in many different flavors. Seaside for example, the premier web framework for Smalltalk – is VERY secure compared to most other frameworks out there. So without any closer qualification as to what “security features” you are referring, it is very hard to answer that. 
    Personally I think that Smalltalk is doing quite well – and there is TONS more than this article covers.  
    At the same time I think that eventually the rest of the world will “catch up” and create something very similar – and it will be a huge success. :) 
    regards, Göran

  • blake

    No joke that there is TONS more. The initial article was twice as long, after editing. I took out all the commercial stuff because I couldn’t do it justice in a short article. I took out all the samples, too. 
    As a 20 year vet, I was still astounded by how much I found that I didn’t know about in researching this.

  • Agressor

    You are dumb. Move on.

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  • kilon

    So how many security breaches it takes to figure out that “computer security” is a bad joke ?

    If languages like Javascript and Java are considered success , then why people are so annoyed with them ?

    Also why all this negativity towards smalltalk ? Most of the things smalltalk invented, or push forward when few others did are the very foundations of modern coding and software. IDEs , GUIs, mouse , VMs , OO , version control , live coding , TDD and the list is just almost endless.

    Is the whole deal how popular smalltalk is ? And why this even matters ?

    Take objective C , back in 2001 objective C according to tiobe index was the 40th most popular language in 2001 . Where is object C now I hear you ask ? Well it is in the 3rd place. Yeap you heard correctly objective C is the 3rd most popular language in the world ranking RIGHT NOW after C which is first and Java second. Quite an impressive climb. And objective C is the undisputed child of smalltalk.

    Did it climb so far , did it became a superstar because its an awesome language , or maybe because it became so much more awesome ? Eh not really.

    It only dependents on the sucess of iOS which in turn depends on the huge success story , marketing wise, sale wise of iphones and ipads.

    Java is another big marketing trick as well, Sun made sure to push Java everywhere on planet commercially and did an awesome job at marketing it.

    Now how much Java or Objective C have affected the modern world , compared to smalltalk ? Well it happens their effect is from small to non existent. They are nothing more than big recycle bins that badly recycle old technologies.

    The hard truth is that most people are as one person once said “I love progress I just dont like change”. The problem arises with the fact that change is brought to them gradually with big marketing tricks. The problem is that that progress is bad implementation of older progress because of legacy code.

    Dont pity smalltalk, pity the rest of the world still after decades trying to catch up. This is not a coding problem or a software problem.

    This is the human condition.

    I enjoyed your article and its a very good introduction to what modern smalltalk really is. Well done, keep them coming.

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  • foobar

    simula was the first OO language

  • Jan Robinson

    So for a delivery leader in a large IT company who would like to add Smalltalk resources but is having a hard time locating them offshore – what is the most likely ‘more widely available’ language skillset I can look for in trying to find developer(s) who will be successful in quickly picking up Smalltalk and likely to enjoy it?

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