It’s Not Your Grandparent’s Programming Language

Smalltalk is old. Very old. Just like LISP is very old. Just like Forth is very old. Just like Erlang is very old. Just like Haskell is very old.

Let’s face it, any language created before 1995 is probably one that your parent, or even grandparent, used in their IT career. (I’m speaking to the current generation.)

Old programming languages are considered not cool. They’re not dope. Nobody wants to be like their grandparent.

This is a very unfortunate sentiment. It is couched in ignorance. It is myopic and parochial. The sentiment blinds you to wonderful opportunities.

You see, old languages are routinely updated for modern times. LISP can be found in Clojure (2007). Forth can be found in Factor (2003). Erlang can be found in Elixir (2011). And although Haskell is old, it is considered new, or at least a rediscovered treasure.

And so it is with Smalltalk. The language is timeless. It is as fresh today as it was 40 years ago (with the release of Smalltalk-80).

Smalltalk promises a productivity gain that is almost revolutionary, thanks to its unique and synergistic combination of simple, concise language, easily accessible live coding IDE, and a persistable system of live objects. Smalltalkers regularly claim a productivity gain of 5X.

Smalltalk is remarkably versatile. You can do back-end web with Seaside and Teapot frameworks. You can do front-end web with Amber and PharoJS transpiled languages. You can do mobile with Cordova/PhoneGap. You can do data science with PolyMath library, Roassal data visualization, and Moose data analytics platform. You can do machine learning with TensorFlow and Keras. You can do IoT with PharoThings. You can do robotics with PhaROS. You can do virtual reality. You can even script the Unreal game engine!

Roassal demonstration
virtual reality demonstration
Unreal game engine demonstration

This is all cutting-edge stuff. All of it was unimaginable 40 years ago. So let’s drop the grandparent attitude, shall we?

Maserati is your grandparent’s sports car. But who wouldn’t want to drive a modern Maserati?!