I am currently using the free version of VisualWorks. Why? Well there are some points:
- VisualWorks takes less ressources from CPU than Squeak
- VW allows me to reduce the size of the Workspace and other windows.
- They have some nice video tutorials and a good online help.
- The system browser has some nice additional functions like filling in initialize. (I am quite sure that I could do this also with Squeak, but it did not show up by default like in VW)
So I think right now VisualWorks is the best choice for me to learn Smalltalk. I continue to be interested in other solutions and whould switch to an open source solutions that could do the same things. But I also do know that switching from one Smalltalk to the other is not that hard. There are some differences but that just like different Linux distributions. Most Smalltalker that I have met use many different versions at the same time. The other thing thats not so nice about VisualWorks is that it looks very outdated in its Linux version. I guess this must be Tcl/Tk? Would be nicer to see a more modern look like newer Qt or Gtk2 give the user. The fonts are also often not nice to look at, which influences the overall reception of an application. So I like to suggest to Cincom to do some rework of the GUI (not the logic, only the Toolkit)