I read a blog post about a developers journey from Smalltalk to PHP to Ruby and back with probably a bunch of other stuff mixed in between. In this post, the author puts into words many of the things I have wondered about for the last several months. I am by no means a Ruby or Ruby-on-Rails expert, but I have messed with it enough. I do like it. Its nice and clean, simple to use, and easy to get up and running quickly.
I remember my transition from Smalltalk to Java. When I had somewhat mastered Smalltalk Java started to become the big thing. For some reason I felt the need to move to Java. It was the buzz and ‘everyone was doing it’. My company at the time started a major project using Java so I fought to be a part of it. Once I felt like I had somewhat mastered Java I wished it was more like Smalltalk. Don’t get me wrong, I like Java. Its really just a different paradigm and I think both have their place in software development. Recently the RoR stuff got me excited and I started looking into it. As I said above, I like Ruby/RoR, but I still thought Smalltalk was better at many things. I just haven’t gotten excited enought about Ruby/RoR to jump into it very deep.
So this blog post comes along and introduces me to Seaside, a ‘framework for developing sophisticated web applications in Smalltalk’. I HAVE to look into it – long gone are the days of the VisualAge for Smalltalk web crud (to be fair, it was good for the time). Will it mean a renaissance for Smalltalk? Probably not. Its time may have past – especially with the newest generation of programmers seeing Ruby/RoR as the most elegant OO solution. But it is worth a look. And if its the right tool for the job, its going in my toolbox.
Anyway, the original blog post is a great post detailing a lot of the opinion that I bet many ‘old Smalltalkers’ have of the programming landscape today as it pertains to Ruby and RoR. Check it out.