Alexey Zakhlestin's Blog

Programming for Mac and Web

BeOS + SmallTalk


Some internal feeling makes me believe, that Smalltalk would be an ideal language for Haiku-OS/OpenBeOS (which looks more and more alive, again).

BeOS was always about C++, opposing UNIX’es, MacOS’es and Windows’es choice of C (well, formally, windows had C++ api, but, still, it was very C-ish in it’s essence). Years passed, MacOS switched to Objective-C, Windows switched to C#. Both of these languages are higher-level OOP languages which have some kind of memory-management. C++, while it has some advantages, still is not as easy and dynamic as these languages are.

Unfortunately, both Objective-C and C# are developed by Apple and Microsoft (correspondingly) behind the closed-doors.

So, what is the alternative? I see two of them:

D is good, as it makes a step from C++ to real life, but is still low-levelish, by design. memory management will solve some headaches, but programming in it won’t be as fun as it can be. I like to see D as a language for writing libraries.

Smalltalk, on the other hand, is a high-level dynamic language which is just what is needed. Once you “taste” the fruit of dynamic languages you wouldn’t want to code high-level tasks in static-languages anymore (static is extremely good in low-level, though). To give you a brief idea on what all this is about, there is a nice article by a game developer who switched from C++ to Smalltalk: Learning to Talk: Introduction to Talking.

Further reading: