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Reviving Smalltalk-78
Last updated at 1:19 am UTC on 11 October 2017

Dan Ingalls, Bert Freudenberg, Ted Kaehler, Yoshiki Oshima, Alan Kay


We report on a revival of Smalltalk-78 in JavaScript that runs
in any web browser. Smalltalk-78 was a port of Smalltalk-76
to the NoteTaker, a portable computer based on the Intel 8086
processor. This same interpreter design and snapshot is the ancestor
of Smalltalk-80 and Squeak systems of today. We describe our
conversion to a completely different object memory with essentially
no visible changes in the language or system, as well as our
support of Smalltalk-78ís linearized contexts that used the 8086
stack directly. We report how the Lively Web development system
facilitated tooling for the project, as well as the integration of the
final result with file access over the Internet. We report several
performance results and describe how the resurrected system and
IDE was actually used to build an entire slide composition and
presentation system used to produce a present-day illustrated talk.