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Discussion 1 - Michael Groves

Smalltalk vs Java

The article I found compares Smalltalk to Java (the language I am most familiar with). Overall the article claims that Smalltalk and Java are fairly similar. They both run on a virtual machine, thus they are both cross-platform friendly, however that negatively effects the speed of the languages. Both languages handle garbage collection, so the programer doesn't have to deal with memory management, thus allowing both faster development of software and more stable applications.

There are two main differences between these languages as mentioned in this article. First, Java is a statically typed language, while Smalltalk is dynamically typed, meaning that in java when you declare a variable, you must also state what kind of variable it is, where as in Smalltalk you just declare the variable. The other difference is how iteration is handled. In Java there are basic control statements such as for loops, and while loops to handle iteration, where as in Smalltalk you must pass messages to objects in order to preform the same kind of iterative statement.

In reading Kaori Takeuchi's discussion i noticed another difference between Smalltalk and Java not mentioned in the article i read. According to Kaori's article, Smalltalk is considered a pure Object-Oriented where as Java is not. This is because in Java, there exists primitives and the ability to do simple arithmetic without using objects.


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