I had a nice meeting with a customer this morning – they are using Smalltalk (VisualWorks) to schedule the trains for a large part of Germany. That was neat; the system has some very nice graphical pieces with very fast zoom in/zoom out capabilities. That was cool.
[Smalltalk with Rants]
Smalltalk is one of the best-kept secrets in the industry. I remember KHK working on a Smalltalk framework (X-Line) for business applications back in the early 90s. Third-party developers were expected to buy a source-code license and develop vertical-market applications based on the framework.
Using Smalltalk for this kind of project was a very bold move by KHK.
Of course, the project was a major failure. But the main reason for the failure wasn’t Smalltalk’s lack of capabilities, it was mismanagement and misjudgement of the markets needs and driving forces.
Uhm, plus, we shouldn’t attribute delays in the German train systems to the use of Smalltalk in the scheduling application 🙂