I’m James Ladd. I’ve worked as a software developer for 30 years in over 10 languages, and still haven’t found a language more expressive, beautiful, or productive than Smalltalk.
But sadly, a couple of major barriers keep Smalltalk out of reach for many developers. I want to bring Smalltalk to everyone, so I created Redline, a thoroughly modern version of Smalltalk that runs on the Java Virtual Machine.
I believe that if we can bring Smalltalk to developers today, using their familiar tools, on a platform as stable and performant as the JVM, that we could be at the beginning of a renaissance in Smalltalk development. (Which, I hope you’ll agree, would be a very good thing for software in general.)
Redline Smalltalk is mostly complete, but I need your help to finish it and share it with the world.
What we need and what you get
We need $20K to bring Redline to initial release. The money will be used to fund full-time development by me, James Ladd, on Redline to bring it to its 1.0 release.
On my ramen-and-rent survival plan, I estimate I can survive, focused full-time on Redline, for 4 - 6 months. This will allow me to bring Redline to a production-grade 1.0 release. The money will go purely to covering expenses during that time, as well as rewards for you, our supporters.
If we don’t reach our full goal of $20K, I will focus my efforts on Smalltalk as long as funds allow, but my efforts will drop back to part-time and it will take (much) longer to get Redline to a 1.0 release.
I’ve run many software projects successfully to completion, and know what it takes to release a project of this size. It’s time-consuming and can be difficult at times, but I hope you’ll agree that the software world will be better by bringing Smalltalk to the developer masses.
More about Redline
Redline has a simple goal: To combine the elegance, simplicity, and productivity of the Smalltalk language with the performance and familiar toolset that comes from running on the Java Virtual Machine (JVM).
Almost every developer who has used Smalltalk still views it as one of the most advanced programming languages available. However, it has been out of reach for many developers because of its special, sometimes unfamiliar, tools. Redline opens Smalltalk up for wider mainstream adoption by allowing developers to bring and use their favorite tools, built on the world’s most widely adopted and advanced virtual machine.
Every Object-Oriented language in popular use today can trace its roots back to Smalltalk, which is still considered by many to be the canonical Object-Oriented language. So rather than try and reinvent the wheel with another JVM-based language, Redline’s goal is to break down the barriers that stand in the way of getting started with Smalltalk. Developers can bring their favorite tools, quickly become familiar with Smalltalk’s simple rules and syntax, and immediately become productive.
In addition, we’ve assembled a suite of tools to make working in Smalltalk one of the most fun and productive programming environments out there: build tools, package managers, even a lightweight Web framework, all of which are complete or near completion.
In short, Redline is real Smalltalk for modern software developers. With your help, it can put a dent in the software industry and make the development world a better place to be.
What you can do to help
If you can, donate! If not, you can help the cause and spread the word using the IndieGoGo share tools.
Visit the Project Web Site
More information, technical articles and videos can be found on the Redline Smalltalk web site.