Yes, I did overstate the difficulty of installation. I did mention in my UPDATE that there’s an easier way to do it. However, you’re missing my other two key points:

  1. Emacs is a horribly difficult editor to get into. About 30 years ago, I managed to learn both Emacs and vi. Then I stopped using them. Years later, I returned to these editors. I had practically forgotten most of what I had learned about Emacs, so I skipped it. But, I was still able to use vi (or Vim) fairly comfortably. There’s a world of difference between these two editors!
  2. Common Lisp is a horribly complex language. At least an order of magnitude more difficult than Scheme. I don’t like complex languages. That’s why I don’t like C++ and Scala. Perhaps it’s a matter of individual taste, but I don’t think there’s ever a good excuse to use a complex programming language over a simpler one. For this reason, I’m a huge fan of Smalltalk, Scheme, Go, and even Python.

It’s also true that the Smalltalk universe is a bit fragmented. It’s rather like the universes of Linux and Lisp, too.

That’s why I generally recommend sticking to just one flavour of Smalltalk: Pharo. (But if you can make a case for using Squeak or Dolphin Smalltalk, I’m perfectly okay with that, too.) Pharo is the most actively evolving Smalltalk, and it gets better and better with each release. It’s not perfect, but no programming language is.

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