When comparing Scratch vs Pharo, the Slant community recommends Scratch for most people. In the question“What is the best programming language to learn first?” Scratch is ranked 16th while Pharo is ranked 29th. The most important reason people chose Scratch is:
Code is represented as [visual building blocks](http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-use-Scratch/) that makes it easy to understand how a program is put together.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Code is represented as visual building blocks that makes it easy to understand how a program is put together.
Pro Easy to learn
Scratch is designed to teach computational thinking rather than focus on specific syntax. It was designed specifically to be easy to learn for anyone over the age of 8.
Pro Great starting point for kids
Scratch was developed specifically for kids ages 8 and up as an exciting way to introduce them to technology. It's designed to be easy to learn, but still provides good depth in computational thinking.
Pro No need to be able to type
Pro Can be used to create games
Pro Highly structured
The language is highly structured. Therefore, it gives you the essentials of how to think like a programmer and teaches you good programming practices from early on, so you could write clean, working and readable code in the future.
In Pharo everything is an object. Compiler - object, network - object, method - also an object. And objects communicate with messages. No operators, no control-flow statements. Just objects and messages. Few things to learn, but you can learn OOP well.
Pro Easily learnt
There is good, free documentation including several books written by experts with extensive examples. There is an online MOOC. There are many tutorial videos. Supportive conferences and community. Even a professional support option if desired.
Pro Highly productive
Pro Beautiful coding patterns in your IDE
No need to search google for compact beautiful examples of how to do things, your live environment source is available and you can easily live search, see how it works and copy how the masters would do it (examples most languages still copy too).
Pro Live updates
The nature of Pharo being a "live" environment allows you to perform live updates to your system without requiring to restart it. You can upgrade/modify classes while serving requests at the same time.
Pro Advanced code analysis tools
MOOSE environment provides extensive, easily leveraged and class leading tools for code analysis and improvement.
The framework for developing sophisticated web applications in Smalltalk is developed in Pharo. Seaside lets you build highly interactive web applications quickly, reusably and maintainably.
Pro Can run headless for production
Pro Remote debugging
Pro Really simple networking and REST with Zinc
Pro Graphics, graphing and visualisation framework - Roassal
Roassal and Mondrian provide fantastic and easily used frameworks for graphics, graphing and advanced visualisations (comparable to D3.js) but with much less code. Visualisations can be rendered into web friendly graphics (SVG, .png etc.) without additional work.
Pro Glamorous toolkit & GTInspector
Most languages are still copying the Smalltalk tools of yesterday - GTInspector (written in Glamorous) takes live exploration of code/running objects to a new level. It's really slick, and better yet, you can easily write your own inspectors in 10 lines of code.
Pro Code can be run on rock solid GemStone environment
Con Won't get you a job
Scratch is not a language used in the workplace. Instead it teaches computational thinking, helping to create a foundation to aid in learning other languages.
Con Does not teach you programming
Learning Scratch might help you if you have high difficulty with logical thinking. However, starting with a proper programming language, especially an easy one, will give you the benefits of starting with something like Scratch and everything else.
Con Small community
But they are very friendly and supportive. Best help comes through the mailing lists so not always easily googlable. There is also a Slack community where help is nearly instantaneous.
Con No 64 bit VM
Although 64 bit support is on its way, there is no official VM to work in a 64 bit system, requiring you to use 32 bit libraries.
Available in Pharo 5.