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Simple One-minute Comparison of JavaScript with Smalltalk

Both are dynamically typed.

JavaScript is weakly typed (allowing freewheeling coercions); Smalltalk is strongly typed.

JavaScript is a procedural language with some functional and object-oriented capabilities; Smalltalk is a pure object-oriented language (but with functional capabilities, too).

JavaScript is a large and complex language (the ES8.0 language spec is 885 pages); Smalltalk is a small and simple language (the ANSI language spec is 304 pages).

While JavaScript is riddled with warts and internal inconsistencies, Smalltalk is clean and pure. Its elegant syntax can be summarized on a postcard!

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JavaScript is used primarily for web and server-side programming (as well as for desktop and mobile); Smalltalk is general-purpose and widely used in many problem domains, such as:

  • enterprise business computing (ERP, ERM, CRM, ECM, SCM, etc.)
  • financial applications (esp. with banks and insurance companies)
  • web and server-side programming
  • industrial automation (e.g., controlling silicon manufacturing)
  • robotics and embedded applications
  • simulation systems (e.g., JWARS)
  • data visualization (e.g., to help fight Ebola!)
  • virtual reality (e.g., 3D Immersive Collaboration)
  • machine learning (e.g., bioinformatics)

JavaScript performance is very good; Smalltalk performance is middling (comparable to Python, Ruby, Lua, Erlang). (Source: The Computer Language Benchmarks Game.)

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