It’s hard to predict where the product will be going in the future however, especially with Ruby gaining so much momentum. In fact, as oddly highlighted by Cincom’s Smalltalk Digest itself, a Smalltalk User Group in Omaha, Nebraska recently decided to merge with the Ruby Users Group. This is probably a good indication of where Smalltalk programmers will be going in the future, and it might make Cincom’s Smalltalk an even harder sell to the young hacker evangelists that a language needs to rise above the fray.
I think the future for Smalltalk is bright. Ruby has a wonderful and energetic community which I think only works in Smalltalk's favor. Why you ask? Well, I think that a lot of developers will check out Ruby, love it, and go no further. But, I think curiosity will get the best of some of them and they will try out Smalltalk. And the love affair will begin...
In the end, Smalltalk is here to stay. It will be the tool of choice for businesses that need a competitive advantage. I think the Ruby and Smalltalk communities are good for one another and it's why we joined the two groups together. We were getting spill over from both groups (Smalltalkers interested in Ruby and the other way around). It seemed to make sense to share ideas. Ruby's community is incredible as is Smalltalk's.
Just because we joined the groups shouldn't cause any alarms on the future of Smalltalk. The water is fine, trust me.
Just to add my 2 cents - I'm using Ruby to get /back/ to Smalltalk. Foolishly I left the fold about 8 years ago to pursue C++ and finally Java. I see Ruby and Rails as my way back into Smalltalk development.
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