I got this in email from a former colleague trapped in the unproductive bowels of the Java-Verse:
Thought I'd add another entry to your probably-overflowing file of "Gee, they shoulda used Smalltalk" stories.
For the last three years, I've been working on the UI for an industrial robot as a contractor for a guy I had worked for before. I tried to sell them Smalltalk but they went for Java, which worked thanks to the use of Smalltalk techniques but still didn't meet their realtime requirements. Eventually we switched over to Qt and life got really unpleasant. But that's just a side story.
This project has been running for several years. My client originally sold this project to a Japanese company that has trouble writing software. He sold it based on a software tool called Rhapsody: draw a bunch of UML diagrams and it generates C++ for you. His client saw this and went wild.
The last three years have been an interesting roller-coaster ride, consisting mostly of the inability of a *very* strong team to create the necessary software in a reasonable amount of time. Part of the problem was mismanagement, or simply lack of management, which is odd because the guy who started this has a reputation as the ultimate software development manager.
Recently, his client sent over a Japanese OO expert to take a look at what was going on. There was a big company pizza party to introduce him. He gave a little speech in which he said there was this system that he had first used back in 1984 and it still amazed him that everyone wasn't using it.
I was told by others present at a high-level meeting that my client asked this OO guy how he would have approached this problem. He said he probably would have started off writing it in Smalltalk.
BTW my client's company is closing its doors this Thursday.