Strongtalk is a Smalltalk environment with optional static typing support. Strongtalk can make some compile time checks, and offer "stronger" type-safety guarantees; this is the source of its name. It is non-commercial, though it was originally a commercial project developed by a small start-up company called LongView Technologies (trading as Animorphic Systems).
Dave Griswold wanted to use Smalltalk more extensively, but the existing implementations weren't sufficient for his needs. He wanted to improve the performance, add type-checking, and use native UI widgets. His efforts resulted in the 1993 paper he co-authored with Gilad Bracha. This version was based on adding type-checking to the ParcPlace Systems implementation of Smalltalk; an implementation that started from scratch would gain a better typing system.
He became interested in the improvements that the Self team had achieved, and envisioned the same techniques used to improve Smalltalk. Urs Hölzle, who worked on the powerful Self compiler, spoke with Griswold about implementing the same "type feedback" in a Smalltalk compiler. Griswold, Hölzle, Lars Bak and others formed a small company (LongView Technologies, doing business as Animorphic Systems) to re-implement Strongtalk. Work began in 1994 and they completed an implementation in 1996. However, the company was bought by Sun Microsystems in 1997, and the team got focused on Java, releasing the HotSpot virtual machine, and work on Strongtalk stalled.
Sun released the 1997 re-implementation of Strongtalk as open source software under the "revised" BSD license, including the Strongtalk system image (in 2002) and the virtual machine (in 2006.) Strongtalk is touted as the fastest implementation of Smalltalk. Strongtalk is currently available for Windows XP (other ports are in the works) and includes a basic development environment.
- Strongtalk history
- Gilad Bracha and David Griswold (1993). "Strongtalk: Typechecking Smalltalk in a Production Environment". Proceedings of the OOPSLA'93 Conference on Object-oriented Programming Systems, Languages and Applications: 215–230.
- "Strongtalk: A High-Performance Open Source Smalltalk With An Optional Type System". Retrieved 7 April 2011.
- Strongtalk's site
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