[Pharo-users] I Can Read C++ and Java But I Can't Read Smalltalk

Esteban A. Maringolo emaringolo at gmail.com
Sun Mar 30 16:31:37 EDT 2014

When I first met Smalltalk, I found its syntax to be so disruptive to
my mindset that made me want to learn it (I was coding Perl at that
time). But not everybody feels the same. To some it is scary. Or

It is true that many C like languages have hundreds of constructs, but
it is also true that almost all the programmers know how to code in
one of them, so then the knowledge mapping kicks in and those hundred
of constructs reduce to a bunch of differences (something our brain is
prepared to do very well).

In the past one motto for smalltalk was "talk small, and carry a big
class library". Nowadays class library is the king, and we like or
not, we smalltalkers just talk small. Though, I would not change
Smalltalk's syntax for anything else.


Esteban A. Maringolo

2014-03-30 16:24 GMT-03:00 Yuriy Tymchuk <yuriy.tymchuk at me.com>:
> For me Smalltalk and Lisp are the easiest languages. In smalltalk everything
> is an object and in lisp everything is a list. And in other languages you
> have to learn 100500 language constructs and hacks.
> Uko
> On 30 Mar 2014, at 20:52, kilon alios <kilon.alios at gmail.com> wrote:
> Smalltalk is the easiest language I have learned so far. Python coming
> second and quite close.
> I also find Squeak by Example and Pharo by Example very good introductory
> guides. Smalltalk By Example is even better if you want to know more about
> the language.
> Smalltalk is similar to Lisp in the sense that it follows its own path and
> it takes some time to escape the C syntax. But overall Smalltalk and Lisp
> are excellent choices for beginner coders.
> The article you linked contains those peculiarities but those things will
> become apparent to anyone following Pharo by Example.
> And I dont think you will find many people arguing that C++ , Java are more
> readable than Smalltalk and Lisp. Sure to people that are not that
> experienced could be. But even in that case, I dont quite believe it.
> Overall however learning languages is not a big deal, its learning libraries
> that can become a real torture. For example I hated C++ because of MFC and I
> strongly disliked Java because of Swing. Now that I am learning Javascript ,
> I dislike it because of DOM , Jquery etc . Also Its easy to find good
> documentation for languages much more difficult for libraries.
> So I am not buying that Smalltalk is anything else than very easy to learn.
> Other than that like any language out there it takes some time to get used
> to some things.
> On Sun, Mar 30, 2014 at 9:04 PM, Ben Coman <btc at openinworld.com> wrote:
>> I came across this article a few days ago.  Thought it might be of
>> interest to some.
>> http://www.eli.sdsu.edu/courses/spring01/cs635/readingSmalltalk.pdf

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