This is such a marvelously optimistic document:
“Even as the clock ticks, better and better computer support for the creative spirit is evolving. Help is on the way. ”
One of my friends presented this paper, actually, as part of a monthly reading club we have, and what was just so amazing is just the sheer cultural difference it has compared with the New Jersey school. The audience during the presentations (enjoying beer and ribs) was smiling the whole time at how hippy and awesome the Smalltalk ideas were…it was just so weird and cool.
Smalltalk was ahead of its time, but the ideas and ideals live on in other languages. Erlang has technical features that are analogous to Smalltalk, but is missing some pieces imo.
The purpose of the Smalltalk project is to provide computer support for the creative spirit in everyone.
The mechanisms of human thought and communication have been engineered for millions of years, and we should respect them as being of sound design
Elixir, from a strictly human standpoint, encapsulates Smalltalk’s main goal really nicely and in an accessible way, all while being built on Erlang which makes it inherit a lot of the conceptual tech bits that make Smalltalk so cool.
The future doesn’t have to be Mad Max. And I think the excitement around more elegant languages (very recently, and I may be living in a bubble) is evidence of that.
As much as I love Elixir, I don’t think we want to oversell it too much–after all, look what happened with Smalltalk!
Specifically, I don’t think that it has the same emphasis on programmer ergonomics that drove a lot of that document, and it isn’t quite as possessive of the operating environment as Smalltalk seemed to want to be.
It’s still really cool though! :D