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Adele Goldberg and Dan Ingalls win 2002 Dr. Dobb's Excellence in Programming Awards
written by Peter William Lount

The Xerox Parc team that brought us Smalltalk invented and integrated many of the core technologies in use today in what we call the Personal Computer. This includes the invention of overlapping windows, object oriented programming, integrated development environments plus much more. It also includes the integration of graphical user interfaces, pop-up menus, objects, networking, the mouse (invented by Doug Englebart), virual machines, automatic memory management/garbage collection, multiple font text editors, drag and drop and more. Many other systems that have been derived from Smalltalk's pioneering capabilities have received the majority of attention. Some of these competing systems have been hailed as breakthroughs even though their breakthrough technology was first implemented and integrated into Smalltalk systems as early as 1972. It's nice to see a mainstream hardcore programming magazine, like Dr. Dobb's, recognize two of the creators of Smalltalk.

Exerpts from the Dr. Dobb's article.

"The recipients of this year's award, Adele Goldberg and Dan Ingalls, are pioneers in the area of object-oriented programming in general, and the Smalltalk language and development environment in particular. As researchers at Xerox's Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), Goldberg and Ingalls each recognized in their own way the promise of objects, and they were in a unique position to put those theories into practice in an architecture based on objects at every level."

"As early as 1977, Goldberg, along with Alan Kay, presented the goals for the Smalltalk research efforts in a paper entitled "Personal Dynamic Media" (IEEE Computer, March 1977). She went on to author and coauthor many of the definitive books on Smalltalk-80 programming including, with David Robson, the seminal Smalltalk-80: The Language and Its Implementation (Addison-Wesley, 1989, ISBN 0201136880), as well as numerous papers on object technology."

"Like Goldberg, Dan Ingalls was an original member of the PARC team that developed Smalltalk. He has been the principal architect of numerous Smalltalk virtual machines and kernel systems. The first of these, Smalltalk-72, supported the work reported in "Personal Dynamic Media." Smalltalk-76, described in ACM's 1978 Principles of Programming Languages (POPL) proceedings (and available at POPL Smalltalk 76 ), was the first modern Smalltalk implementation with message syntax, compact compiled code, inheritance and efficient message execution, and its architecture endures in Smalltalk-80, the major documented release of Smalltalk work at Xerox. Most recently he designed the kernel of the Squeak open Smalltalk system, a practical Smalltalk written in itself. (For more information about Squeak, see OOPSLA Squeak.) Ingalls also invented the BitBlt graphics primitive and pop-up menus, and was the principal designer of the Fabrik visual-programming environment while at Apple Computer."

"Although Goldberg and Ingalls worked at very different levels, the breadth of their collaborative territory is what shaped the final result. Ingalls says of his technical achievements, "I loved the challenge in efficiency and generality that it took to make Smalltalk real, but what gives me the most satisfaction looking back is that we built a serious system that is actually fun to use. We had a passion, inspired by Alan, to liberate the beauty of computer science from the barnacled past of ad hoc engineering." Goldberg adds, "During the PARC days, the opportunity to work with children and other nontechnical users kept us focused on how to use rigorously what people already know informally about objects. But the most thrilling experience for me was to work with ParcPlace customers in both large and small companies, and see how our technology enabled them to finally break the barrier between business understanding and systems implementation.
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