Application building in Smalltalk

1981. On a day in September, while I was commuting by train to work, I read about the Smalltalk programing language Smalltalk in a Byte computer magazine. Amazingly, now, almost 40 years later, you can actually read that same Byte magazine here

It was so amazing that while reading about Smalltalk I almost forgot to leave my train at the right station. It is not only just a programming language, rather, it is a complete programming environment. An interpreter with the flexibility even to change programming code on the fly and has an excellent debugger too.

However, it took a few decades until computers were fast enough to use Smalltalk for serious productive programming.  Also, in the mean time, most Smalltalk versions have been greatly optimized. Today, in most cases, Smalltalk’s performance is no longer an issue. 

At that time however, due to limited hardware, Smalltalk was not a realistic option, it was simply too slow.  Instead, Java took over the world, copying Object Oriented Programming (OOP) principles from Smalltalk. OOP is also available in Pascal (Delphi), C++, C#, and other programming languages, more or less copied on top of it. Also, the latter are all statically compiled languages. So all changes require an often tedious edit-compile-test cycle. It was still the only way in all those years to make applications with an acceptable level of performance. Smalltalk had to wait.

But today all advantages and the full power of Smalltalk are available to anyone. 

Here is a screenshot of the Pharo Smalltalk IDE Screen Shot 2017-08-02 at 22.50.07

Pharo Smalltalk  can be dowloaded for free at

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