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Programming

Smalltalk remains...

December 02, 2005 01:32:00 +0200 (EET)

Avi Bryant, father of Seaside, on why he uses Smalltalk:

People are often surprised when I tell them which language I choose to work in. But where else I find one as expressive as Ruby, with a VM as sophisticated as Hotspot, an IDE as good as Eclipse or better, and a community with 20 years of experience at using those three pieces as an integrated whole? Frankly, I couldn’t make any other choice with a straight face.

Aside from mere trivialities like being 2-3 times more productive to work in than Java, Smalltalk is more satisfying on a number of levels. As Eliot Miranda's sig put it:

The fact is,

No matter how closely I study it,

No matter how far I take it apart,

No matter how far I break it down;

It remains Consistent.



I wish you were here to see it!

But sure, we all prefer staying in our comfort zone. If you make me use another language than the one I like and use the most, I'll feel just the same about it as if a non-Smalltalker is asked to do Smalltalk. The difference is just that even in one hour of Smalltalk you see enough of its benefits to make up for the annoyance of having to get to grips with something different. I've used a bunch of languages for more than an hour, but so far the only ones that I feel have given me something new are Forth, Smalltalk and Rexx. And there's only one of those in which I'd want to write actual systems, as opposed to little programs. If you want to try Smalltalk, I'd recommend Dolphin on Windows or VisualWorks if you're willing to invest a little more effort.