Yes, I did overstate the difficulty of installation.
Richard Kenneth Eng
42

Emacs is not “horribly difficult” to learn, especially if you have learned Vim. This point seems like blind favoritism. I’ve used both, Vim substantially longer than Emacs. I have a hard time believing anyone would find Emacs the more difficult of the two.

Common Lisp certainly has more cruft, but cruft is not something that Smalltalk is free from. Especially when there’s more of it you have to wade through to be productive, since Smalltalk insists on creating its own universe in your computer. I still don’t understand how to write a basic app with Morphic and it’s not for lack of trying.

Common Lisp:

  • Has a bigger open source community (more libraries!)
  • Has better FFI support
  • Has more and much faster open source implementations (SBCL, CCL, CMUCL, ECL, ABCL, MKCL, CLISP)
  • Is much easier to use with existing tools, such as Emacs, Vim, or even Atom and Visual Studio Code, and git. A member of the Pharo team has created a large project to provide Git support, whereas with Common Lisp, you simply commit your files. You can even use it with Vim (SLIMV)
  • Has multicore support
  • Is a more expressive language (macros, CLOS)
  • Decent namespacing through its package system
  • Has a single community-endorsed package repository (Quicklisp)

This is not to slight the maintainers of Squeak and Pharo, who I think are doing amazing work. But if you’re writing an article about Smalltalk vs Common Lisp, it’s pretty silly to only write what you know is good about Smalltalk while guesss at what you think might be bad about Common Lisp. You should spend your effort on just writing a “Why I Love Smalltalk” post instead; you simply don’t seem to know enough about Common Lisp to provide valuable insight to someone trying to pick one over the other.

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