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Reviving Smalltalk-78
Last updated at 12:05 pm UTC on 2 January 2018

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.