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The Golden Anniversary of Smalltalk

Posted on in Categories Smalltalk

The Golden Anniversary of Smalltalk

Smalltalk existed prior to Apple Macintosh, Microsoft Windows, Python, Java and Objective-C and would eventually revolutionize personal computing, graphical user interfaces and programming languages. Created 50 years ago this month at Xerox PARC in Alan Kay’s Learning Research Group, it began as a way to help children learn using computers.

On September 1, the Computer History Museum celebrated Smalltalk’s 50th anniversary with Smalltalk pioneers and 2022 CHM Fellows Adele Goldberg and Daniel Ingalls. Goldberg and Ingalls explored Smalltalk’s original mission in education, as well as its influence on the world of object-oriented programming languages, development environments and software engineering methodologies, in an interactive discussion moderated by John Markoff, a Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times reporter. Smalltalk creator, Alan Kay, also recorded remarks for this historic occasion.

Although our beloved object-oriented programming language has been around since before 1970, it wasn’t until 1997 that Cincom acquired full ownership of ObjectStudio. Two years later in 1999, VisualWorks was sold to Cincom. The acquisition of the Smalltalk products paved the way for Cincom Smalltalk as it is today.

You can read more about the early years of Smalltalk, the dramatic origin of ObjectStudio, the history of Smalltalk coming to Cincom and more, here:

Suzanne Fortman, the Cincom Smalltalk Program Director, Support and Engineering Manager, shared some thoughts about the 20th Anniversary of Cincom Smalltalk and talked about the day when Cincom Founder and CEO, Tom Nies, added Smalltalk to the “table” with the other successful products at Cincom.