The foursome of the dynamic programming languages/platforms deserve a deep and thorough review and possibly cross polinate ideas, features and even the spurt, growth and the enthusiastic community, as has already happened from the latter to the others but not so much the other direction.
Ruby and Groovy are a pick of the lot from the community build-up standpoint. There is so much happening on both of these worlds that it is surprising that the Smalltalk world can pick a lot from but is really not taking off. The mother platform of all that is the basis of the computing paradigm is still insular in very many ways. Pharo and Gnu Smalltalk though seem the step in the right direction but can there be any means of avoiding this confusion of profusion of options that are all fractured in their attempt to give one credible base for the entire smalltalk community to push their efforts into and consolidate the feature sets in.
Let us first take a step up and review the foursome in some detail one by one…with as much of the references to existing material in the internet world to avoid repetition of content:
* Look at the distinguishing language features that makes it cooler/ different and in that manner better…
* Frameworks that make common and/or complicated tasks easier
* Interfaces to the outside world viz: the SOA/Web Services capability, Native interface ( C/C++), COM, Active-X, RMI, IIOP, Java/.Net bridge anything else that helps it play easily with the existing major platforms in the enterprise world
* The start to enterprise grade use curve and capability including: IDE tooling and capabilities for complete Smalltalk or Eclipse like features.
* The short-medium and long term costs and upgrades ( even of paid ) for the capability increments, ROI to the extent subjectively or objectively projectable
* Support community and corporate backing
* Enterprise grade support for Agile and SDLC practices of: Unit Testing, Documentation, Build and deploy tools/strategies etc..
The challenge is to look and review this objectively without bias and bring in as much of the factual information and links to substantiate the information. I will endeavour to leave judgements/conclusions to the reader and only draw the line at highlighting the cause of dynamic languages-platform in general.
Eventually attempt to provide the readers with a comprehensive Ubuntu iso package that has all these foursome completely bundled with their required dependencies and tooling that can be simply accessed from get-go on the machine run either as live USB or as installed if intrigued enough. Enough bundled demo’s to make it appealing right from the start in matter of 4 hours.. or half a working day..
More on this will follow…