Lo and behold, why the lucky stiff mentions on 06 Sep 2006 at 13:17 (emphasis mine):
So, Matz cites four reasons for this decision:
- The spread of ActiveSupport has increased the need for strings and symbols to be united as hash keys.
- To address RCR 342 , which would allow sorting of symbols. (Try:
- Smalltalk’s symbols are a subclass of string. (He adds that this is his most motivating reason to do it.)
- Using symbols as immediate values can cause them to venture into pointer territory, particularly on OSX .
Smalltalk never dies, it just slowly gets absorbed by languages with good taste.