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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • Smalltalk was once the #1 OO language. Of course, that was when it was the only "general purpose" OO language, before C++ was released.

    I have actually been paid to program in SmallTalk twice, and to build an interface from one Scheme to another with C. I went from C to SmallTalk to Objective-C to C++ to Perl (and Java), so perhaps I can provide some perspective. I have coded just about every "write only language" -- most of them for pay.

    Apart from Simula and the like, Smalltalk is the purest OO language
    # I had a sig when sigs were cool
    use Sig;
    • "So why aren't they used more?"
      One reason is badly dated mis-information like this!

      "Historically, lack of integration with legacy databases"
      Pre-historically! Smalltalk ORM was common from '90

      "actively hostile to multiple programmers and source control"
      From the late '80s Envy/Developer provided fine-grained (method level versioning) source code management. All the code was in a multi-user, replicated, database.

      "Wall Street had... Patching live code on the fly is scary"
      Many of those systems a
      • I think Envy/Developer is another reason why SmallTalk has issues with acceptance. As a programmer, there are certain things I look for in a development environment, not just a language. I want to know about the language(s) I'll be using, how source control is managed, the database (if any), the test suite, the IDE (if any), etc. I like to learn about those things one piece at a time. Throw too many at me at once, or tell me I cannot use tools that I am comfortable with and I'll likely be less interested. Having tried and tested tools that the programmer already knows can inspire a lot of confidence. The barriers to entry must be low unless I'm getting paid for it.

        In fact, the only reason SmallTalk really interests me right now is the "pure" OO model that I keep hearing people talk about. However, I'm brushing up on my Java because that's where the bulk of the work is. Until I hear convincing arguments about how SmallTalk can improve my professional life, I'll probably just wonder about it. I have a pretty active social life, so I don't have as much time for research as I would like. I won't argue that this is necessarily the best attitude to have, but it's a pragmatic attitude that many programmers worried about their mortgage or rent, savings, and other financial considerations have. "Show me the money" might sound rather mercenary, but I have to put food on the table.