Smalltalk had all the stuff people consider "cool" today.. including Blocks (aka. lambdas) that really looked much slicker than the Lispy counterparts. Smalltalk was heavily influenced by Lisp. Very elegant language. I particularly liked the IBM variant.
But Smalltalk was poorly marketed and sold, and very expensive. There weren't free versions for college kids. And some of the versions were stuck in UIs from the early 80s rather than moving on to be more like Windows or other modern UIs. By the time people were ready for it, Java came and stole the show and dug the final nail in the Smalltalk coffin.
The final nail in Smalltalk?
Smalltalk is still alive! Even better, there projects being build with Pharo, Seaside and Teapot (I didn't made up these names).
Pharo is very easy to install, browse around and use to follow some introduction tutorials. It works great. It shows already how different the whole approach to programming it takes. But it can take some time to wrap the head around certain things to really grasp the philosophy of Smalltalk.
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