Learning Smalltalk - Part 3

Byte Magazine, August 1981 cover with the actual balloon launch at PARC that celebrated the release of Smalltalk

Innovative ideas originated from Smalltak

It is surprising how many innovations introduced recently originates from Smalltalk.

This is an opportunity to go back to the origins of those ideas and better and deeper understand them.

Some examples?

  • Smalltalk implemented a platform-independent Virtual Machine and application program interface based on industry standards before Java (and so before .NET ).

  • Smalltalk was one of the first systems to pioneer the WIMP (Windows, Icons, Menus and Pointers) interface (it was the one Steve Jobs saw in Xerox PARC in the 1979 [1] )

  • Smalltalk has automatic garbage collection since the '80

  • Smalltalk has also reflection

  • And also dynamic programming

  • In Smalltalk's blocks there are many concepts of Closures, lambda and influences from functional programming

Unit testing was born in Smalltalk too:

[1] In that visits Steve Jobs on the '79 saw 3 things that still dominate computers world today: the first graphical user interface for computers, firsts networked Alto computers  and object-oriented programming.  To get an historical prospective you can look the movie 'The Pirates of Silicon Valley'.    -     From a personal point of view I got the privilege to work with Neil Konzen while working in Ferrari F1 racing team, a guy who had a central role in that story between Xerox PARC and Apple and Microsoft.

The complete series:
- Learning Smalltalk - Part 1 - Learning Smalltalk why ?
- Learning Smalltalk - Part 2 - Some alive and kicking Smalltalk free implementations
- Learning Smalltalk - Part 3 - Innovative ideas originated from Smalltak
- Learning Smalltalk - Part 4 - Smart ideas from Smalltalk, forgotten and waiting to be re-invented
- Learning Smalltalk - Part 5 - Inspiring ideas from the Smalltalk community

Print | posted @ lunedì 29 agosto 2011 22:04

Comments on this entry:

Gravatar # re: Learning Smalltalk - Part 3
by Giorgio Sironi at 06/09/2011 16:16

I think you meant "dynamic typing", dynamic programming is an operations research concept.
I'm however surprised by how OOP was popularized by Java, a statically typed language.
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