Thursday, April 28, 2011

Redline Smalltalk: A chance to be part of something great right from the start

What's that? Pffft!
If you're a bit like me, chances are you dismissed a great technology at its beginning. I remember reading about Python in some OO newsgroup, being really interested, and then reading about required indendation and losing interest immediately. Fast forward a few years later, Python is all the rage and I missed the chance of being there from the start.

Still not learning from my mistake, an excellent friend whose opinions I value talks to me about Ruby. "Why would I learn about yet another scripting language now that Python is so popular?" Only last year did I finally take the time to learn it and it turned out it was the most fun I've had with a programming language for a long time!

Slowly learning
Years after graduating, I'm opening up at last to new or different technologies. I've read with enthusiasm about Scala, with puzzled wonderment about Haskell and with astonishment about Clojure.

Why Smalltalk?
Despite (or because?) of functional programming resurgence and some recent back-lashing against OO, I've decided to learn a bit about the classical OO language: Smalltalk. Well to my utmost surprise, not only is Smalltalk more OO than Java (expected), it's also more in line with functional programming than Java : code blocks and there's also a line of thought towards immutability: ADDCasts episode 4. A lot of interesting ideas like unit testing started out in Smalltalk or were popularized by Smalltalkers.

Why Redline Smalltalk?
In a nutshell, Redline Smalltalk is a version of Smalltalk for the JVM aiming to be as compatible with Pharo Smalltalk as possible. The need for a language to target a virtual machine, be it the Java or .NET virtual machine is already well-established by now.

The stars are right!
Redline Smalltalk is an open-source project driven mainly by two enthusiastic committers on their own time and money. Now is an ideal to contribute. If you can't or won't contribute to the project itself, you can follow my example by making a donation to help Redline Smalltalk be presented at 2011 International Smalltalk Conference. If you've never donated to an open-source project before, why not this one?

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