Steve Loughran writes...
Slowly but surely, our applications are moving to a world where they persist state automatically, and can skip over a crash as a normal event.Kind of like what Smalltalk provides for free using an "image". Um-hmm.
Most popular programming systems separate program code (in the form of class definitions, functions or procedures) from program state (such as objects or other forms of application data). They load the program code when an application is started, and any previous application state has to be recreated explicitly from configuration files or other data sources. Any settings the application programmer doesn't explicitly save, you have to set back up whenever you restart...Imagine that.
Smalltalk systems store the entire application state (including both Class and non-Class objects) in an image file. The image can then be loaded by the Smalltalk interpreter to restore a Smalltalk system to a previous state.