I just got a copy of this Gartner report: Leading Languages for IT Portfolio Planning
Here's the money quote at the end:
Other languages and integrated development environments such as Pascal, Delphi, PowerBuilder, Smalltalk and Natural have already been pushed into a niche area, where we expect them to remain. We recommend that enterprises consider a migration to Microsoft or Java languages and technologies. Qualifying factor in their assessment would be the degree to which their vendors align their strategies with Microsoft or Java. Bottom Line: Enterprises must balance specific language requirements with the mainstream critical mass of skills. When possible, mainstream IT enterprises should first look to align application development initiatives with either Microsoft.NET or Java-related technologies, tools and programming languages. They should consider niche tools only when the risk is far outweighed by the limited use of these specialized toolsets.So, in their discussions with clients, they recommend that you get off Smalltalk (and a raft of other technologies by implication). They do so even in the face of their own research. So they know that the recommendations that they give will lead to - in their words an inordinate chance of failure. That's expert analysis? That's worth paying for? Exactly what value is being provided, given that following this advice will lead to a large increase in a shop's risk? I, for one, am tired of this 'expert' advice.