Languages like Snobol, Prolog, and Icon were designed with backtracking facilities from the outset and these facilities are deeply intertwined with the implementation. Retrofitting a backtracking facility in a language that wasn't designed for it has never been achieved. We report on an experiment to retrofit Smalltalk with a backtracking facility. The facility is provided through a small number of primitives written in the language (no modifications to the kernel were made). The ability to do this is a direct result of the power provided by the objectification of contexts.

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Journal ACM SIGPLAN Notices
Lalonde, W, & Gulik, M.V. (Mark Van). (1988). Building a backtracking facility in smalltalk without kernel support. ACM SIGPLAN Notices, 23(11), 105–122. doi:10.1145/62084.62094