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Blue Book
Last updated at 2:02 pm UTC on 19 April 2007
Smalltalk-80: The Language and its Implementation; Adele Goldberg and DavidRobson
Xerox Palo Alto Research Center

Addison Wesley, 1983.
ISBN 0-201-11371-6.
April 2007: Now Freely available as a PDF

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Part One - an overview of the concepts and syntax of the programming language

Part Two - an annotated an illustrated specification of the system's functionality

Part Three - an example of the design and implementation of a moderate-size application

Part Four - a specification of the Smalltalk-80 virtual machine
(available on-line, see below)

From the preface

  1. Smalltalk is a vision
  2. Smalltalk has few concepts
  3. Smalltalk is an environment
  4. Smalltalk is a big system

Summary of the preface

see Blue Book - Table of Contents
see Online version of part four of the Blue Book Blue Book - Part Four

see also Blue Book - comments and how to get it

The Purple Book is the Blue Book minus "Part Four" (of the Blue Book). Part Four describes the implementation of Smalltalk-80.

If you have Squeak then you have an implementation of Smalltalk-80 which you can read, and in a sense it is a description of itself.

So what you are missing by having the Purple Book plus Squeak, rather than the Blue Book, is only a particular description of Smalltalk-80.