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Smalltalk MT: The Fast and the Furious

As I was searching for my Smalltalk environment of choice, I saw several references to Smalltalk MT. It's focused on Windows, with an emphasis on performance. It comes with wrappers all ready to go for calling the various DirectX libraries (If I remember right, it's as current as the October 2004 DirectX 9 release). It definitely seems like a good candidate for game development, so I decided to take a closer look. A subsequent post will go into some details on my experiences getting some DirectX samples working in it, but as for a general summary of my impressions:

MT is offered by Genify in the U.S. and ObjectConnect in Europe. (I think they're basically one and the same, with one site being their European 'face' and the other their American.) The web sites are sparse, but do the job. Good additional information can be found here as well. There's a newsgroup hosted on, but it's been rather inactive lately.

In working with Smalltalk MT I felt it had lots of potential, especially for someone like me who is interested in games development. The interface is well done, and it comes 'ready to go' for working with DirectX. However, I did encounter a couple frustrations working with it too. For example, it provides preferences for setting fonts, etc., but they don't seem to work, they just kept resetting to original values. At one point after trying to change fonts, all the text vanished. When I looked in the preferences settings, I saw the font size was set to some huge huge value, so each letter would have been the size of Cleveland. Setting the font size back down fixed it. I also managed to get things to freeze up a couple times in my poking around. Looking through how MT sets up its classes/methods makes the C++ 'flavor' of things very evident.

But, these were relatively minor things, and my overall impressions were good. This is a Smalltalk with a mission, and it's clearly focused on helping you get compact and fast results, and facilitate working with the various MS APIs. However, that isn't my primary focus (at least at this point in time), and I ultimately ended up with another product, but it was a close call. I did get the personal edition of Smalltalk MT, and look forward to using it in the future. But, for my first project, I settled on...


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