A few days ago Demis Bellot (the creator of Servicestack) was talking about Smalltalk on twitter. A little discussion came about involving Alex Ullrich.

So my next mission was to learn a thing or two about smalltalk myself.


I tried two smalltalk IDE’s. Squeak (which I couldn’t get to work on Win8) and Dolphin X6 community edition.

So I stuck with Dolphin. And the installation is next, next, next and finish.

The beginning

So how does one learn Smalltalk, on starts with finding a good tutorial. And I found a very good one by Bitwise magazine.

Lesson 1 has Dolphin and Squeak in it but from Lesson 2 you can go to a dedicated Dolphin page(s).

Just follow that tutorial and you will be fine.

To be honest, smalltalk is weird. I have done a few languages in my time, lots of basic dialects (visual basic, turbobasic VBA, …), lots of c dialects (C++, Java, C#, javascript, PHP, …), COBOL, Delphi, and some I have forgotten what the syntax looks like. Smalltalk however is nothing like the previous languages.

It uses the comma to concatenate strings.

smalltalk 'Hello',' World!'. It uses the dot as a line-ending character.

It uses square brackets for blocks of code.

smalltalk 1 timesRepeat: [Transcript clear. Transcript show: 'Hello'; cr. Transcript show: 'Hello2'; cr.]. It uses the space as a seperator character to define arrays.

smalltalk mixedlist := #( 'one' 2 (3 4 5) $6 ). It uses capitalization to determine scope, variables starting with an uppercase letter are Global scope, variables with a lowercase are local to your workspace.

And there are many more things you will discover.

Learning something like smalltalk is really cool. It opens your eyes a bit.


Go ahead, download dolphin and follow the bitwise tutorial, you will learn something new if you have never tried smalltalk before.