That’s the sort of thing I didn’t really notice until I started working with Smalltalk. Now I shake my head and wonder how much better life would be if it had been Smalltalk rather than Sun’s Java that had been poised to catch the wave in the 90s.
Forget the particular languages mentioned here (though I do agree), there seems to be a lot of feeling that things haven't improved in the area of language design. I see Python, Groovy, Ruby etc. restating older things, almost looking over the morrass of C, C++, Java, C# et al which form a tar pit between now and then. Of course other languages like Smalltalk, Lisp etc. have waded through; but are they prepared to move forwards themselves ?