This is true. Today, however, it’s much less of an issue when most applications are on the web and Smalltalk is quite strong for web development.

Most enterprise desktop software are in-house, so distribution is not really an issue. Hardly anybody buys standalone desktop applications anymore.

Moreover, it really isn’t that difficult to package a Smalltalk application as one “executable.” A Smalltalk image can be created that is pruned of all extraneous classes and the IDE can be removed so that the source code is inaccessible. The image is essentially “a simple executable” which can be distributed to any machine with a Smalltalk VM. This is comparable to Java applications running on machines with the JVM.

Even for mobile, Smalltalk is usable with Amber or PharoJS in conjunction with Apache Cordova. The result is pure JavaScript code that can run in Android and iOS.

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