Remembering Triangle Area Smalltalk Veterans

Jim Salmons's picture

I took a few minutes today to join the Triangle Area Smalltalk Veterans affinity group on LinkedIn. At present this is a fledgling group with a handful of 'early bird' members. In the annals of the history of early object-oriented technology, however, the 'Triangle' lays claim to a large, astonishingly productive, and remarkably influential collection of Smalltalk designer-developers. The Triangle, for non-veterans not familiar with the shorthand reference, is the Research Triangle Park region of North Carolina. The Triangle was the hotbed of object technology and, more specifically, Smalltalk that burned brightly in the late 1980s through mid 1990s (speaking 'veteran era' here, not to say that there are not avid OOPers, including Smalltalkers, still at large in the area). The Triangle during what is now being referenced as the 'veteran era' was an inspiring and, yes, very fun time and place full of great creativity and camaraderie.

We won't go into detail here about who did what when, etc. Those reflections will likely begin to bubble up in the conversations that emerge on the new LinkedIn group's page. Timlynn and I were, however, moved by the group's formation to root around in a few boxes in the back of the office to dig out this bit of photographic memorabilia (click image to enlarge):


CHALLENGE VETERANS: If you truly are a Triangle Area Smalltalk Veteran, you should be able to name at least half the folks found in this picture. (1 point per person) Extra credit: You can cogently and accurately describe what Woody was. (3 points) Bonus points: You know what 'fishing' was. (1 point) You fished. (10 points) Winner take all: You have a computer that is running a copy of Woody and can prove it! (100 points) :-)

Scoring: 25 points - You are likely in the picture. 20-24 points: You are likely an ex-KSCer. 5-19 points: You've attended a handful of Golden Era OOPSLAs. 1-4 points: You've worked with someone in this picture and had to endure war stories of, "You think this is creative and challenging!? Let me tell you about creative challenge... Have I ever told you about my days on the Woody Team?" Over 100 points: Your first name is likely Sam, Steve, or Jay (but we may be surprised on this one).

Cheers and Great Memories,
--Jim and Timlynn--