Real talk (about Smalltalk)

Somehow I found myself reading an interesting article on Smalltalk yesterday which led to a couple of comments in IRC:

tyler:  man, I am getting that "I should really learn smalltalk"
        feeling again
tyler:  everytime I get close I find myself downloading a squeak
        VM and then going "LOLWTF IS THIS SHIT"

I said this before I left the office and somewhere in the back of my mind I kept thinking "why can't I crack Smalltalk?" This continued through most of the evening until 9 pm (21:00) rolled around and I decided that I wouldn't let that commie Alan Kay defeat me.

After finding this fantastic series of screencasts I set about learning some Smalltalk. Not enough to build anything major, but enough to really understand Smalltalk's core concepts.

In exploring the world of Squeak, Pharo and Amber I believe I have experienced the full spectrum of emotions that my circuits provide, all the way from unfettered rage to mild bemusement. Despite all of this, around 2 a.m. I found myself lying awake in bed wanting to marvelling at the design of the language and wanting to learn more.

A couple of things still bug the hell out of me:

The things that I do really like however:

I can really see where Objective-C pulled from Smalltalk having now experienced some Smalltalk myself. That said, it's rather unfortunate that C and some additional custom bits have creeped into Objective-C making it less Smalltalky than it once was.

I am definitely going to continue to tinker with Smalltalk, likely with Pharo as my VM of choice. My only concern is that I will grow to resent the other languages I use regularly which feel dumber than a language invented almost 40 years ago.

Update: This is the original post that pushed me over the edge on tinkering with Smalltalk.

comments powered by Disqus