Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Time for Smalltalk

Öredev is coming up and I’ll be giving a talk called Time for Smalltalk. The title of the talk is supposed to imply that the time for Smalltalk is finally here. I claim this since the publicity of dynamic languages like Ruby and Python has paved the way for Smalltalk. Only a few hardcore developers are still resisting the power of modern IDEs, so the barrier of Smalltalk adaption is considerably lower than it was a in the beginning of the eighties when Smalltalk first arrived.

The reason developers in dynamic languages should switch to Smalltalk is that the Smalltalk environment is alive. You are working inside a running system and instead of constantly trying to create new worlds, the Smalltalk way is to modify the world to fit your needs. This metaphor fits a lot better with the way good systems are usually developed. Start small and let the system grow incrementally.

The liveness property of Smalltalk also gives you the ability to refactor the code in a safe way. At runtime I can just ask the system in what classes a certain method is implemented and then I can let the system rename it as I wish.

Three of my new colleagues from factor10 Jimmy Nilsson, Aslam Khan and Lennart Ohlsson will also be speaking at the conference.


Mark Volkmann said...

Right you are! I would love to see a resurgence in interest in Smalltalk!

Randal L. Schwartz said...

This is great! If you'd like to preview your outline or materials, I would like to help at merlyn@stonehenge.com!

Anders Janmyr said...

The presentation is over and it went really well. At least a few people thought is was interesting enough to download Squeak and try it out. The presentation was filmed so it will be put on-line eventually, I'll keep you posted.

Mark: Glad to see you comment, I've learned a lot from all your questions at squeak-dev.

Randall: Thanks, but the presentation is already done. I'm giving another presentation again in March at the Scandinavian Developer Conference and I'll be glad to have you review it. I watched your presentations and I like them a lot so I'll probably steal some ideas from them :).

I think there is actually a surge for Smalltalk right now. We just need to let people know that it is alive and kicking.