After my last blog post, due to some of the responses, I decided to spend some time with Smalltalk.  As a DotNET developer by trade, I wanted to see what kinds of options were available for use on the CLR.  Unfortunately, out of the five different DotNET Smalltalk flavors that have been created, not a single one is still under development.  In fact, there are no 2.0 compatible Smalltalk CLR compilers to be found anywhere.

I’ve been able to dig up a little history about each one but these histories are by no means complete. If you have any additional information on any of these projects, I would love to hear about what happened to them.

 

#Smalltalk

Last Updated: September 12th, 2003
Framework Support: 1.0, 1.1

#Smalltalk is the joint child of John Brant and Don Roberts from the Department of Computer Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.   Very little information seems to be available except for the notes on its website.  As this project was released under a combination of the MIT License and the Open Software License, and the source is still available for download, it has the greatest chance to be resurrected.

 

LSWVST.NET

Last Updated: April 4th, 2007
Framework Support: ?

Little is known about the variant as it exists, if at all, inside the dark recesses of lesser software. It has never been released outside of the company. The website looks utilitarian but the feature lists are impressive. Lesser Software states on their website that if they were able to find 20 committed buyers of LSWVST.NET they would be willing to sell it. However, without some kind of public technology demo they will never develop any real community interest.

 

S# (Smallscript)

Last Updated: June 16th, 2004
Framework Support: 1.0, 1.1

David Simmons’s Smallscript project fell silent a couple of months after announcing its Technology Preview release in July of 2004.  More than two years later, in August of 2006, he gave an interview to Huw Collingbourne of Bitwise Magazine in which he stated that, while busy working at Microsoft, he was still actively working on S#.  A 2007 Usenet thread seems undecided as to if S# will never materialize.

Even if S# never arrives, David Simmons is a respected member of the Smalltalk community and was going to give the keynote speech tomorrow at the Smalltalk Solutions 2008 conference.  However, he is no longer mentioned on the conference website and so most likely had to decline the offer.

 

VMX Smalltalk

Last Updated: Oct 7th 2004
Framework Support: ?

VMX was a multi-language scripting engine for .NET.  One of its interface languages was Smalltalk.  Because the company website is gone, along with most of the information about this tool, I was able to find little about this variant.  However, a demo is still available on the simtel website.

 

Vista Smalltalk

Last Updated: 2007?
Framework Support: ?

Last year Peter Fisks’s Vista Smalltalk had gotten a lot of press.  It was being pushed as an engine for rapid development of Silverlight applications.  Many were excited and it seemed as though Smalltalk was coming into the .NET scene in a big way. 

However, Peter seems to have mysteriously disappeared.   No one has seen hide nor hair of him since July of last year. There is at least one conspiracy theory floating around.  Was he was grabbed by James Governor to work at Sun Microsystems?  In any case the Vista Smalltalk website has long since disappeared and all traces, save some blog posts, have vanished.