CHM Live In Person & Virtual Event

Making Smalltalk

The Origins and Impact of the Groundbreaking Software Environment

Before the Apple Macintosh, Microsoft Windows, Python, Java, and Objective-C, there was Smalltalk. 

50 years ago this September, Smalltalk, which ultimately revolutionized personal computing, graphical user interfaces, and programming languages, was first created at Xerox PARC in Alan Kay’s Learning Research Group as a way to help children learn by using computers. 

Join us for a night with Smalltalk pioneers and 2022 CHM Fellows Adele Goldberg and Daniel Ingalls to celebrate Smalltalk’s 50th anniversary. In an interactive discussion with moderator John Markoff, Goldberg and Ingalls will explore Smalltalk’s original mission in education and its influence on the world of object-oriented programming languages, development environments, and software engineering methodologies. Adding to the conversation will be newly-recorded remarks for this historic occasion from Smalltalk creator Alan Kay. 

What You’ll Learn 

  • How did research into computing for education lead to graphical user interfaces? 
  • What is live programming, why is it so useful, and why hasn’t it taken off? 
  • Why have Smalltalk and object-oriented programming influenced other programming languages? 

Why You Should Join Us
Discover how research at Xerox PARC into computing for children of all ages led to personal computers, graphical user interfaces, and many of today’s most popular programming languages, such as Python, Ruby, and JavaScript. 

Film Preview
As part of the Smalltalk celebration, the CHM screening room will feature an early preview of the full feature film currently in production, MessageNotUnderstood. This 30-minute preview explores the early history of personal computing from the perspective of the visionary inventors, creators, and scientists who brought these amazing technologies to life, including the story of Smalltalk and the work of the Xerox PARC Learning Research Group led by Alan Kay. Learn more here. 

The 30-minute program will run on a loop from 4:30-5:30 p.m. in the CHM screening room located in the main lobby. Admission is free for event attendees. 

For Museum Members
Museum members are invited to attend a special reunion prior to the public event starting at 5:30 p.m., reuniting Smalltalk pioneers Adele Goldberg, Dan Ingalls, Dave Robson, and other alumni of Alan Kay’s famous Learning Research Group at PARC, along with special guests who, as children, were invited to play with Smalltalk at PARC. 

Come and meet some of the people who have revolutionized how we interact with computers.


5 p.m. PDT 
Member Check-In  
5:30 p.m. PDT  
Members only program with Adele Goldberg, Rachel Goldeen, Bruce Horn, Dan Ingalls, Ted Kaehler, and Glenn Krasner in conversation with Dave Robson 
6:30 p.m. PDT  
Program Check-In  
7 p.m. PDT  
Program begins with Smalltalk pioneers Adele Goldberg and Daniel Ingalls in conversation with Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times reporter John Markoff


You can catch the full program here and enjoy reading the blog recap here.

Sep 01, 2022
7:00 pm

Register Now
Add to Calendar 09/01/2022 7:00 pm America/Los_Angeles Making Smalltalk The Origins and Impact of the Groundbreaking Software Environment CHM 1401 N. Shoreline Blvd Mountain View, CA, 94043 United States

1401 N. Shoreline Blvd
Mountain View, CA, 94043


Register Now