Janko writes:

Dear all,

Squeak 5 together with a shiny new website was released
this summer so it was a time to prepare Aida for this release as well. On you can find a link to All-in-One package to
run Aida 6.6 on latest Squeak 5 for Linux, Mac and Win.

Thanks to Tobias Pape for help and Robert Hirschfeld for inspiration!

Best regards

Towards Threaded FFI

17 January, 2016


Eliot Miranda writes:

.. I expect this is the year [the threaded FFI] will be [production ready].  Spur provides pinning, so the VM infrastructure is there.  The Pharo community plus some commercial relationships that have developed are providing funding.  Esteban Lorenzano and I want to collaborate on this and I hope to get help from some other people, such as Ronie Salgado.  And Mariano is working on an important part of the problem.  So I feel there’s sufficient momentum for us to realize the threaded FFI this year.

.. and when Craig Latta tried to use it late last year it worked up to a point.  The thing that didn’t work was callbacks from foreign threads.  So it looks like the core threading code is not too far away from working.

Another really important part, bigger than threading, is marshaling.  Being able to handle the full x86_64 abi requires a better approach than interpreting tops signatures.  Igor’s NativeBoost gave an example of how to generate marshaling machine code, but alas only for x86.  But Sista includes an extensible bytecode set for arbitrary instructions.  Sista is close to production, and we know the bytecode set works.  So the plan is to use these bytecodes to do the marshaling.  That neatly solves the problems of a) associating marshaling machine code with a method and b) marshaling in an interpreted stack VM, since the bytecode set works in any Cog VM.  So the plan is to write an ABI compiler from C signatures to marshaling code to replace the interpreted FFI plugin.

So this year I hope we will have an excellent high-performance FFI.

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Check out Scratch in MagPi

30 October, 2015

scratch on pi

In this month’s MagPi magazine there is a (very) small article about the latest Pi Scratch and even a mention of Smalltalk in a review of a book on python programming.

Pages 80-1 & 86.



The Fundación Argentina de Smalltalk proudly invites you to one of the premier Smalltalk conferences in the world.  Let’s meet at Buenos Aires, November 11-13!  For more details, see the invitation here:


From Chris Muller:

I am pleased to announce version 1.5 of Magma for Squeak 5, now available on SqueakMap.  Magma allows multiple Squeak images to collaborate on a single, large object model, with the robustness and control expected from a database.  It offers the most transparent db access possible for Smalltalk, affording the user the ability to develop complex, performant designs, iteratively, on-the-fly.

It has been designed for “continuous flow” development, the way Smalltalkers like and expect to work.  For example, I could have connections open to 3 separate databases, open transactions in any of them, and having restructured a class hierarchy in the model, and stepping through the debugger when that “final boarding call” for my flight is announced.

Thanks to the image, this scenario has never been a problem for Smalltalkers and Magma is deliberate to ensure this flow is maintained.  Once at 10K feet, I can resume stepping through that same debugger within 5 seconds of restarting the image, DB connections intact, commit my transactions when I’m ready, done.  Magma handles every aspect of that use-case correctly even in multi-user environments, and has so many safety and integrity features, it is the safest way to develop and keep a model in Squeak.

This release coincides with the release of Squeak 5, and has many improvements and fixes over Magma 1.4.  Detailed notes about these improvements are available at

– Chris


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