[Newbies] What makes Smalltalk different

Göran Krampe goran at krampe.se
Wed Nov 23 12:39:19 UTC 2011

On 11/22/2011 07:02 PM, Bert Freudenberg wrote:
> On 22.11.2011, at 18:48, Yoshiki Ohshima wrote:
>> At Tue, 22 Nov 2011 12:35:28 +0100,
>> Bert Freudenberg wrote:
>>> It's true that superficially the Smalltalk GUI looks just like another IDE. No coincidence - Eclipse was originally written by Smalltalkers in Smalltalk. But there is the crucial difference that in regular IDEs you just manipulate text files. A text editor is a valid alternative for that. In Smalltalk, the GUI manipulates objects in memory. A text editor can not do that.
>>   Could this be "Visual Age for Java" rather than Eclipse? (Eclipse superceded VA for Java so transitively it could be true.)
> Precisely. A couple of the IBM Smalltalk people went on to create Eclipse. The product name for IBM's Smalltalk was "Visual Age". That Smalltalk originally came from OTI.

VisualAge for Java was a very good Java IDE, IMHO much nicer than 
Eclipse but that is of course because it was heavily modelled after the 
Smalltalk environments with browsers etc.

Then they felt (rightly so) that an IDE for language X should be written 
in language X :) so they first created an IDE called "micro edition 
something", it was just a toy. But then they went on to do the full 
enchilada, Eclipse. And created SWT since they rejected Swing as being 
too complex among other things - IIRC, some people behind Swing actually 
wrote the UI framework for VisualWorks, but I might be wrong.

regards, Göran

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