What I have heard over the years again and again: Smalltalk has a better productivity. But I doubt that this is over all correct.
Yes, I have seen various reports telling me, that languages like Lisp and/or Smalltalk have a higher productivity per written word – but does this mean, that you are really more productive in your daily work ?
All these reports are in my opinion theoretical observations perhaps telling me, that Smalltalk has a better base to be a more productive system than other systems/languages.
Where have *I* seen this higher productivity? Perhaps in situations, when there is no available free source code for some stuff or there has been no standard defined in a domain field and therefore you are in an experimental environment.
But these situations are not very often. Have a problem in C# or Java ? Go out and you have a very good chance to get an initial solution !! When the world outside is defined mainly by MS standards, .NET standard or Java standard the productivity of using Smalltalk is going done – because normally you have to write your own wrapper for MS products (etc) and these wrappers are sometimes a project by itself, simply because these MS standards are complex by themselves.
Other topics ? The debugger in Smalltalk is still very good and the turn-around time is in large projects very well – but the other IDE’s are improving very fast. Build systems are limited and project resource managements are also limited in Smalltalk IDE’s.
After working over the last years in both worlds: C# and Smalltalk I would not bet on this higher productivity. Smalltalk is perhaps good in lots of domain fields – but is it first class ???