Saturday, April 3, 2010

Christmas Vacation

I didn't take the plunge into Smalltalk right away. I wasn't completely sure it was the right choice. I was at the SoftPro store in Burlington in late 1988 and I noticed that they had a copy of the Smalltalk/V software from Digitalk. I asked them if they had any brochures, and they did. Three different full color, double sided marketing sheets. Very nicely done. Everything I saw about the language reminded me of Forth, but it had this idea of objects.

I wasn't about to ask my boss to buy yet another programming tool, so in December I bought it myself. I took the Tandy 1000SX home from work over Christmas vacation and dove into the Smalltalk/V manual, following the tutorial.

I was not disappointed. What an amazing language! I had never used anything so dynamic, or so graphical. Almost all the source code for each and every thing in Smalltalk is there. You can see it and you can modify it if you like. This was very compatible with my observation that Smalltalk and Forth were conceptually similar. The one surprise that really topped off this sundae with a cherry? Smalltalk has built-in multiprocessing. This was the ingredient that I sorely needed to produce the multiuser shop floor control system! What luck!

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