Small World: A Little (More) Smalltalk


If Smalltalk-80 systems (such as the popular public-domain systems like Squeek) are thought of as a lamborghini, then Small World is like a Model T. Applying the metaphor that Alan Kay himself is fond of using, a lamborghini is in one sense the functional equivalent of a Model T, however the Model T has the advantage that you can take it apart and reassemble it in a weekend in an average garage.

Small World is not a true Smalltalk-80 system. The language is slightly smaller, the standard library is distinctly smaller, but nonetheless it tries to preserve the look and feel of Smalltalk-80. These features include a dynamically typed and interpreted langauge, a certain feel to the syntax, and a highly interactive and totally reflective programming environment.

In the case of SmallWorld, this is all achieved with a virtual machine that is approximately 1200 lines of Java (two thirds of which are devoted to primitive methods) and about forty classes in the standard image.

So enjoy. As I find time I'll try to improve the documentation on the system, but the best documentation is the code itself.