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Re: Is GNU Smalltalk dead?

From: Piotr Klibert
Subject: Re: Is GNU Smalltalk dead?
Date: Sat, 13 Nov 2021 20:49:14 +0100
User-agent: Cyrus-JMAP/3.5.0-alpha0-1371-g2296cc3491-fm-20211109.003-g2296cc34

On Sat, Nov 13, 2021, at 10:50, Sam Lee wrote:
> Good to know. Will I be missing out on lots of GNU Smalltalk's ecosystem
> and features if I do not use Emacs? I know how to use Emacs but it is
> not something I prefer.
> IMO, dependence on GNU Emacs is bad for the language because of high
> barrier to entry for beginners (they need to learn the language +
> implementation + Emacs).

No, not at all, any editor you're comfortable with will do. Emacs has just one 
advantage over everything else, and that's the fact that the syntax 
highlighting for GST for Emacs is included in the repo. The syntax is minimal 
and rather regular, so it should be very easy to add support for it to your 
editor if it lacks it. The Emacs mode also provides the so-called "inferior 
shell mode", which means you can open the REPL in a separate tab and send 
selected code to it without having to copy&paste. That's it. I think you can 
get pretty much the same by simply filingIn the whole file from the REPL when 
you need to reload (this gets a bit more involved when you work with 
namespaces). I use Emacs, but I haven't ever felt the need to even check if 
`gst-mode.el` works at all...

> Yes, I noticed the command line focus of GNU Smalltalk. That's why I
> found it attractive. However, the lack of continued development is
> rather worrying.

I think there's some life in GST still... Its code is not bad, and the VM 
implementation is not very ancient. I think it wouldn't be bad to give it a try 
before going for another implementation (I would suggest looking at st/x next 
if gst doesn't work for you:

What do you want to build? Why choose Smalltalk specifically, and why do you 
prefer (if I read your words correctly) a command-line-based approach over the 
GUI-based browsers? I think if we knew the answers to these, we could give you 
more precise advice :)

Best regards,
Piotr Klibert

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