There is one regular channel for GNU Smalltalk users: #gnu-smalltalk on Freenode ( This guide is also for ##smalltalk, the general Smalltalk discussion channel.

I have written this guide for ##smalltalk in the spirit of #lisp's. Following the advice here is the easiest way to get help from ##smalltalk or #gnu-smalltalk.

First, are you in the right place?

We welcome discussion of all Smalltalk implementations, not just GNU Smalltalk, in ##smalltalk. This guide is hosted on the GNU Smalltalk wiki merely because it's a convenient place.

##smalltalk is also the place to ask about starting out with any Smalltalk implementation, discussing portability concerns, and philosophical discussion of Smalltalk.

What's this about a programming language? I'm just looking for casual conversation.

Join #defocus instead.

I want to talk about Squeak

We can talk about the language, but you may want to join #squeak too.

or VisualWorks/Cincom

Join #smalltalk on

Picking a Smalltalk implementation

Most of us use GNU Smalltalk, or "GST" to regulars. GNU Smalltalk has been quite active for the last several months, so your implementation's package is probably out-of-date. It runs on GNU/Linux, Darwin (i.e. Mac OS X, both PPC and X86), Windows with Cygwin, and should work on *BSD. Check the download site and download an alpha version, which we recommend for all new users.

Little Smalltalk is also free and may be a great way to learn how Smalltalk itself works. If you have Java, you can look at a Java applet and play right in your browser without installing anything.

We might be more interested in Strongtalk one day, but aren't now, because it only worked on Windows last time anyone checked. There's a longer list on; most implementations are proprietary though and, as far as I know, we don't play with proprietary Smalltalks, or anyway talk about it elsewhere (see above).

Getting a tutorial

GST comes with a tutorial; it's in doc/ in the distribution. Just run info -f on it or C-u C-h i in Emacs. The tutorial is also online.

In addition, GST's high-quality documentation (base class documentation found in doc/ and source (kernel/ contains all the base classes themselves) is a great way to learn just about everything you might want to know about Smalltalk. When in doubt, see how GST does things.

Stef's Free Online Smalltalk Books is the perennial source of useful books on Smalltalk.

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