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Pharo Smalltalk: An Acknowledgement

Mark Watson wrote a nice blog post about his appreciation for Pharo and its progress.

I was inspired to comment on my own experience of Pharo as we move toward 2.0:

Thanks for the shout, Mark! Given how much you’ve enjoyed Pharo so far, I think you’ll be really impressed after the 2.0 release – I’m sure it will be a game-changer.

Much of the work the past few years has been in improving Pharo under the hood, like the new compiler, class builder, vector graphics, keyboard shortcut framework, and countless cleanups. This has been coupled with great leaps in infrastructure, like the CI server testing many variants of Pharo and its VM on Mac, Window, and Linux with every commit.

Now, all these investments are starting to payoff for Pharo users:

  • Continuous integration has given us the confidence to replace the uggggly File library with FileSystem, a beautiful object-oriented library which is a joy to work with.
  • Nautilus, the new browser, has long-awaited features like a history and custom groups.
  • I’ve been playing around today with Vim bindings for Pharo tools, made easy by Keymapping.
  • Fuel is a new fast object serializer
  • Fuel might soon allow near-instantaneous bootstrap times for Metacello, the new package-mananagement system, which is getting closer to RubyGems (plus tools) every day
  • The Pharo Kernel is driving the system to become more modular

I feel that we are close to a tipping point where the system becomes so easy and fun for developers that we will see a self-perpetuating revolution in the IDE. For me, Vim bindings are something I’ve sorely missed since finding Smalltalk two years ago. It’s only now that I’ve seen in Pharo an opening to make that dream a reality…

Now, if we can just clean Morphic… ;-)

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