Smalltalk: A Random Curiosity


#1

I notice that there are references to Smalltalk in the documentation as well as syntactic similarities to Smalltalk in SkookumScript. I am sure that others have made these observations as well. I was wondering, what is the team’s history with the language? Are there plans to make SkookumScript more like Smalltalk in some ways? Are there ideas to improve on Smalltalk’s legacy with SkookumScript? In what ways has Smalltalk influenced the language? I have not programmed much in Smalltalk, but I am quite interested in how people who use it believe that programming should be as live and interactive as possible on modern machines.


#2

I am still curious…


#3

I’m putting together a comprehensive answer…


#4

Excellent!


#5

friendly reminder =)


#6

I haven’t forgotten. It will take a couple of hours that I haven’t been able to set aside.

Here are my notes that I will expand, though you might get something from them now:

  • learned Smalltalk-80 in 1991 before C and C++
  • object oriented programming, pure OOP - all classes derived from common Object
  • [ ]
  • blocks and closures
  • live interactive environment and rapid iteration and prototyping
  • reflection for the IDE and debugging
  • meta programming and self-modifying code - good for AI more sophisticated than games, though adds too much grief for debugging
  • The powerful built-in debugging and object inspection tools that came with Smalltalk environments set the standard for all the Integrated Development Environments
  • nil rather than null or something similar
  • Smalltalk thisContext is similar to Sk this_code
  • Smalltalk uses integer literals with a radix prefix - as does Sk
  • ST uses := for assignment - as does Sk
  • ST has (essentially) left to right evaluation order
  • ST has custom control flow using blocks - as does Sk with closures
  • ST has everything can be modified at runtime - Sk is similar
  • ST has a sophisticated message passing mechanism - Sk is simpler though closer to message passing rather than ‘calling’

#7

Cannot wait to see the full post. I am glad that you are a former STer, it seems that SM is making a slight comeback with Pharo: https://pharo.org/