The 50-year Gartner Hype Cycle for Smalltalk
Interesting how the hype cycle applies to Smalltalk:
- Technology Trigger — the hype began with the famous 1981 BYTE cover and continued throughout the 1980s.
- Peak of Inflated Expectations — in the 1990s, Smalltalk became the biggest OOP language after C++ and even IBM chose it as the centrepiece of their VisualAge enterprise initiative to replace COBOL.
- Trough of Disillusionment — Java derailed Smalltalk by being: 1) free; and 2) Internet-ready. Free Squeak (1996) and Seaside web framework (2002) were not enough to save it.
- Slope of Enlightenment — Pharo was released in 2008 and became the future of Smalltalk, thanks to its remarkable pace of evolution. We are still in this phase, which requires continuing and sustained advocacy.
- Plateau of Productivity — we are waiting for this phase, perhaps in the next decade. I am sanguine.