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An Object-oriented, dynamically typed programming language that was the main development language used by IBM for the creation of application and development software from the late 1980s into the late 90s when Java took over. It is a simplification of Simula patterned on Euler (experimental Pascal predecessor) but features a dynamic typing system closer to LISP than to most of its Algol brethren and that has long been its Achilles heel, while simplifying programming somewhat it also cases a considerable execution slowdown in comparison to other languages in the Algol family.

The Smalltalk language suffered great setbacks in that latter half of the nineties when almost all of the companies building tools for the language turned their attention to Java and either mothballed or discontinued their Smalltalk offerings wholesale, in more recent years to the renewed interest in Eiffel has also contributed to an erosion of the Smalltalk mindshare, but the latter language has an even cleaner object orientation features and greatly improved execution speeds.

OS/2 implementations


Open Source:

Add-ons and utilities

Most Smalltalk add-ons are/were system specific and are therefore only listed on the page of the Smalltalk system that they support

Class libraries

  • Indelv XML Library - Open source library under the Mozilla Public License - a VisualAge version compatible with OS/2 was supposedly available but the company actually never uploaded it to their site, neither the last 2.2 beta or the earlier 1.01, even though there were download links both of to them on their site for years.
  • Seaside - Web framework - Works on some OS/2 Smalltalk's with a little bit of massaging.
  • TOPLink - Database connection/persistence classes- Commercial
  • WidgetKit/BusinessGraphics - Graphics library - Commercial

Foreign libraries with Smalltalk bindings

  • Cairo - 2D graphics library - Open source
  • LibcURL - Internet URL (WWW, FTP, etc) access - Open Source
  • LZ4 - Compression library - Open source
  • Snappy - Compression lib. - Open Source

Editors with Smalltalk support

  • jEdit - Java based editor - Smalltalk syntax highlighting built in

DOS implementations

Implementations that run under Win-OS/2
Win-OS/2 compatible Smalltalk libraries and utilities

Java Implementations

  • Athena - Open source - Based on SmallWorld, intended for embedding.
  • Bistro - Open source
  • Redline Smalltalk - Open source
  • Smalltalk/JVM - Commercial - Was intended to help you migrate code from Smalltalk to Java rather than as a development environment.
  • SmallWorld - public domain
  • Talks2 Smalltalk - Open source
  • VmxJava - Open source

JavaScript Implementations

Open source

  • Amber - A Smalltalk like language that compiles to ECMAScript
  • Clamato - A Smalltalk interpreter for ECMAScript
  • Little Smallscript - Another Smalltalk to JS compiler
  • Quicksilver Smalltalk - SmallTalk-80 compatible interpreter in ECMAScript
  • SqueakJS - An interpreter that allows you to run Squeak Smalltalk inside a browser
  • ST2JS - Smalltalk to ECMAScript converter

Links and publications

For information on Smalltalk writings in print see the Smalltalk Bibliography