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Strong Smalltalk by Sun Microsystems

Strongtalk is a major re-thinking of the Smalltalk-80 language and system. The Strongtalk system was developed in secret in the mid-90's by a small startup company [Animorphic (Hotspot) VM]. Before the Strongtalk system could be released, the company was acquired by Sun Microsystems, Inc. to work on the JavaŽ virtual machine. Development of Strongtalk was halted at that point, so very few people have ever had a chance to see the Strongtalk system in action.

Several people had tried to build type systems for Smalltalk (Borning, Palsberg&Schwartzbach, Graver&Johnson), but it was clearly an enormously difficult task, because of the vastly more flexible nature of the way Smalltalk is used compared to any existing statically-typed language, not to mention the unprecedented problem of having to retrofit a type system onto existing untyped code. In addition to the fact that none of the few existing type-system efforts worked on anything other than tiny bodies of code, it was obvious that none of the previous efforts were even close to being the right kind of technology for the real world.
- From Stong Smalltalk's History.

Whether or not a typed variable Smalltalk is a good thing is a highly debated question. See the article series starting with Here's to Dynamic Freedom!.

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October 09 2015
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