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Paradigm object-oriented
Appeared in 2008
Stable release 09.11.4 (20 October 2009)
Typing discipline dynamic, strong
Major implementations Pharo
Influenced by Squeak

Pharo is a fork of Squeak, an implementation of the object-oriented, dynamically typed, reflective programming language Smalltalk. Appearing in 2008, Pharo focuses on removing unessential code from Squeak and serves as the reference implementation of Seaside, a web application framework for developing web applications in Smalltalk.[1]

While Squeak is shipped under the Squeak licence, which is not an approved OSI open source licence,[2] Pharo has a policy that enforces contributors to agree to publishing their code under the MIT Licence.

Many packages that are integrated into the Squeak base distribution are optional in Pharo. Unlike Squeak, Pharo ships with TrueType fonts bundled already.

Emergence and fork from Squeak

One of the principal architects of the Squeak community, Alan Kay, is chiefly concerned in creating a platform that teaches children computing. Therefore, code that primarily serves the education of children is included in the standard Squeak distribution. Also, the standard Squeak distribution tries to provide a stable platform, and thus, the standard image for download is updated only seldomly.

On the other hand, the Squeak platform was used for web development, chiefly using Seaside, where the educational code was not necessary, but did consume memory on servers. Also, the large code base was seen as a security issue. Thus, Pharo emerged in 2008 as a fork that focuses on progress, a slim core image, and frequent updates.


  1. Seaside homepage: "Seaside 2.9 is current implemented on Pharo that serves as a reference implementation."
  2. Squeak Swiki: Squeak-L is not OSI compatible

External links

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