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I've seen this several times. You need to get the stuff to the students who usually have no money to spare.

Emphasis on "NO". Affordable doesn't cut it.

If you can't download it from somewhere for free, something else will be used by students that will later determine what they'll use at their startups or companies.

Even better if it's legal to download for free.

I'm not denying that the modern world of open source tooling and online documentation is better, but in the 1980s-early-1990s that's just not how it was. Things like Turbo Pascal and Smalltalk/V cost money, but not that much, and were worth it because of the large printed manuals they included, which were needed because you couldn't just Google things.

I don't say that it wasn't worth it.

I say that it was an additional barrier to entry which got more significant the later we are in the 90s. That it was free was a significant boost for the popularity of Java (probably also the free JVM from Microsoft was a significant contributor).

In the early 80s you always had a programming language for free with your computer and often, those manuals were not bad either as that was seen as an additional selling point for the hardware and that's why the hardware producers did it.

Yes, which does not contradict his original point. Java arrived in the mid 90s, and unlike many of its competitors you could just download Java and use it for free which gave Java a competitive advantage. Universities had good Internet connections at that point.

> …cost money, but not that much…

Knowing no-better, $0 seems better to most.

It was probably too late (around 1996 to 97), but there was Smalltalk Express which was essentially Smalltalk/V for Windows that was released for free after ParcPlace and Digitalk merged. It never received any updates though and was only a Windows 3.1 program. It also came with a lengthy tutorial (actually a 16 chapter book) in HTML format.

Here it is running under Windows 10 (thanks to otvdm/winevdm that allows running 16bit programs in 64bit windows): https://i.imgur.com/r5aQNyJ.png

> download it from somewhere for free

The Smalltalk vendors provided student licenses / educator licenses.

Back in 1998, "…the largest object-oriented course in the world: the Open University’s new introduction to computing, for which over 5,000 students have enrolled for its first year. The course introduces computing from a systems-building stance specifically, through object technology, Smalltalk and our own adaptation and extension of Goldberg’s LearningWorks programming environment."

[pdf] https://www.academia.edu/33568403/An_Object-oriented_Approac...

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