ThoughtStorms Wiki :: SmallTalkUnix

submited by
Style Pass
2022-01-15 18:00:08

I'm afraid we'll have to part company on your latter assertion. I love text files. There's nothing that can't be represented by a good text file. I'll go further and say that it's denial of text-files (and the underlying file-system standards, text file management tools) that ultimately killed SmallTalk. Had someone seen this clearly in 1980, and figured out how make a transparent two-way connection between Smalltalk space and text-file space, we might have seen a very different evolution of computing : a true synthesis of Smalltalk and Unix.

Smalltalk could have become the graphical shell on top of Unix, providing it instantly with a sophisticated GUI (rather than wait for the X consortium to re-invent the wheel), in a language that was optimised for GUI programming (rather than C and then the hell of C++). Smalltalk would have been the default OO language for professional GUI apps. on workstations from Sun and Silicon Graphics. It would have been the default scripting language in Unix. (Would anyone have bothered picking up Perl if you could pop up the graphical script editor to write a 3 line Smalltalk script, that could run on the CommandLine and interact with TheUnixPipe?)

With Smalltalk established as the only serious GUI / Unix scripting game in town, Mac and Windows would have had to be more Smalltalk-like. Visual Basic, Python, Ruby and Java would never have been invented. (Or, at least, not in their current forms. Instead we might have seen language evolution in the form of improvements to or different flavours of Smalltalk, much as there were companies evolving Lisp)

Leave a Comment
Related Posts