SmallTalk

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SmallTalk (more like SmallCock amirite?) is a programming language invented by Alan Kay at Xerox PARC in the 1970s. It was designed to be a minimalistic programming language intended for children (or adults with a similar brain capacity).

Features[edit]

One of the least pointless features in SmallTalk is making text do a barrel roll.

SmallTalk is basically an exercise to see how far you can take pointless and questionable features. It has no conditional or loop structures built-in so instead of nice syntax like you would get in real programming languages, you have to use objects to fake them. SmallTalk inventors claim this shows how expressive the language is but everyone else believes it's because the SmallTalk inventors were too lazy to do it properly.

SmallTalk also lets you change system objects at runtime so you can redefine true to be false and false to be true and really screw the system up. Again, the SmallTalk inventors will tell you that this shows how expressive the language is and modern SmallTalk programmers will wonder (with a straight face) why nobody uses SmallTalk.

History[edit]

SmallTalk was used as the programming language for the Xerox Alto, recognized as the first personal computer with mouse, GUI, and networking capabilities. Incidentally, Xerox is recognized as a company who did nothing with the technology. Some argue that the reason the Alto never made it is because the networking features that the Xerox engineers were experimenting with missed the mark at what mainstream users preferred. The Xerox Alto was also the first computer with a bitmapped display. The "bit blit" function in graphics libraries came from the instruction used in this computer (lol, memcpy is considered an invention?).

Modern implementations of SmallTalk continue the pattern of taking questionable features to fruition. One of the most innovative SmallTalks, Seaside, uses web continuations to break your browser's "back" button ease programming (lol, web development is considered programming?).

Trolling[edit]

Many pseudo-intellectual SmallTalk programmers can be found on the SmallTalkLanguage wiki. Trolling these people is mind-numbingly easy because they've been in an isolated circle jerk for so long that they've never really experienced obvious trolls, let alone srs troll attempts. Some of the naive but still effective ways of trolling them is to do so via flame war style: "SmallTalk sucks because it lacks X" where X is "multiple-inheritance", "protected variables", "friend annotations", "static typing", "a non-shitty editor", "features to support Programming In The Large", "companies hiring SmallTalk programmers", etc. They will always take the bait because they are unwilling to admit to themselves that SmallTalk is a crappy, dying language. Please do not be proud of your victories at these sort of trolling attempts, it will lull you into a false sense of superiority.


   
 
Actually I made up the term "object-oriented", and I can tell you I did not have C++ in mind.
 

 
 

—Alan Kay bawwwwwing about how unpopular his crap language is

To be a true successful troll, you must get SmallTalk language and library implementers to add, remove, or modify features. Award yourself -100 points if your suggestion makes the language worse (i.e. you're indistinguishable from a regular SmallTalk programmer). Award yourself 100 points if your suggestion makes the language better AND there is a lengthy discussion from programmers giving knee-jerk reactions on why SmallTalk doesn't need it AND the suggestion isn't implemented. Award yourself 10 points for each famous SmallTalk personality you can bait into replying AND their reply took more effort than typing a stock response.

See also[edit]

  • $100 Laptop
  • Java (if you ever wondered why Java sucks so much, they used SmallTalk as an inspiration)

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SmallTalk is part of a series on Programming.

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