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Redline Smalltalk aims to bring Smalltalk to the JVM

Elliot Bentley

A project to bring Smalltalk to the JVM is seeking $20,000 in donations for development of its 1.0 release.

A project to bring Smalltalk to the JVM is seeking donations to help fund development of its 1.0 release.

Redline Smalltalk is the pet project of James Ladd, who has been developing it since October 2010. However, he has launched a crowdfunding campaign for $20,000 in order to allow him to develop a 1.0 release.

Smalltalk is a cult programming language known for its dynamic and self reflective nature. Despite existing since the early 1970s, Smalltalk has never reached mass adoption, but still maintains a keen following of hardcore fans. Ladd writes in his pitch: “[I] still haven’t found a language more expressive, beautiful, or productive than Smalltalk”.

Smalltalk on the JVM

The project aims to utilise the universal nature of the JVM to allow Smalltalk to become easier to deploy and “help reinvigorate the [Smalltalk] community”. It isn’t the first language to attempt to bring Smalltalk to the ubiquitous platform: earlier this month, Oracle announced that Smalltalk-inspired language Magik would be coming to the JVM.

Ladd describes the new language as “mostly complete” but is asking the community for $20,000 to fund full-time development on a 1.0 release for four to six months. The donation drive, hosted on Kickstarter competitor Indiegogo, has got off to a great start: at the time of writing, it has reached almost one-quarter of its goal with 95 days remaining.

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