Chris Cunnington reminded the Squeak-dev mailing list that for a while now he’s been creating video tutorials explaining aspects of Squeak. In fact he’s been working at this for so long that he now has over 70 videos available!

The videos give snappy introductions to topics as varied as: using SqueakSource to download Squeak applications; the mysteries of the red, blue, and yellow mouse buttons; how to use morphs; and using Croquet to interact in 3D environments (as seen above).

If you want to learn about Squeak, or to find out more about Squeak applications you’ve never used before, these are a great resource, so head over to Chris’ Smalltalk Medicine Show channel on YouTube. If you know of other great videos for newcomers to Squeak and Smalltalk, please let us know in the comments.

Dynamic Web Development with Seaside

A print-on-demand, softcover copy of the book “Dynamic Web Development with Seaside” is now available from Lulu.

Seaside is an source framework for developing highly dynamic and interactive web applications, and makes building web applications as simple as building desktop applications. The book gives you all the instruction and support necessary to get up and running in all the popular distributions of Smalltalk, with separate chapters on Pharo and Squeak, Cincom Smalltalk, Gemstone/S, GNU Smalltalk and VASmalltalk.

The printed book is based on the free online version and the purchasable PDF version of the book, and will be updated regularly. The book costs around €28/£24/$40 and will be delivered within 3-5 working days, so order your copy now!

The authors wish to thank the European Smalltalk User Group (ESUG), inceptive.be, Cincom Smalltalk, Gemstone Smalltalk,  and Instantiations for generously sponsoring this book.

back-to-the-future

More exciting conference news for Smalltalk aficionados: James Foster has announced on his blog that this year’s OOPSLA conference will include several tutorials with a Smalltalk theme including his “Back to the Future: Programming in Smalltalk” in which he will look at the “new” ideas from Smalltalk that are still influencing newer programming languages. He will examine some of these ideas and present a number of tutorial exercises that explore some of Smalltalk’s  fundamentally different approach to language design and object orientation, including the following aspects:

  • All values are objects, even integers, booleans, and characters (no boxing/unboxing);
  • Classes and methods are objects (supporting reflection);
  • The language has only five reserved words;
  • All control flow (looping and conditional branching) is done through message sends;
  • Programming is done by sending messages to existing objects; and
  • The base class library can be modified.

James works on Gemstone’s high performance product family based on Smalltalk, but intends the exercises to be relevant across different versions.

This year’s OOPSLA will be held in Orlando, Florida from 25 to 29 October, and will also be co-located with the Dynamic Languages Symposium, which will doubtless have lots to interest Smalltalkers.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for a European break this year, don’t forget that the 2009 International Smalltalk Conference, organised by ESUG, will be held in Brest, France, from 31 August to 4 September, and also has a great set of sessions lined up.

Stéphane Ducasse writes that his book “Squeak: Learn Programming with Robots” is now free.

The book was the result of a collaboration by Stéph with his wife who was a maths and physics teacher in a French school for students aged 11–15, meaning that the book addresses many of the issues that are raised by children when first introduced to programming concepts. It uses a simple environment written in Squeak Smalltalk to allow children to create and manipulate bots.

The book (also known as the Bots Inc book) was published by Apress in June 2005, and received some very nice testimonials and reviews, with Huw Collingbourne saying that for “a beginning programmer or someone who wants an easy-to-understand entry to the world of ‘real’ object orientation, it would be a real treat.”

Thanks to financial support from ESUG, Stéph has now been able to buy back the rights to the book in order to release it for free. He is now working to make the book available on his website, and translations are already under way.

The original book is still available for purchase both as hard copy and for download onto Amazon’s Kindle.

New Screencasts on DrGeoII

20 August, 2008

Hilaire Fernandes has announced that he has created over 50 screencasts illustrating the capabilities of DrGeoII. DrGeoII allows students at primary or secondary level to create and interactively manipulate geometric figures within definable constraints.

It is written using Morphic in Squeak Smalltalk, and can be embedded and mixed with existing Morph elements of the Squeak environment on the OLPC XO to produce some very impressive-looking activities to help students learn about mathematics and physics. The DrGeo wiki has lots of useful advice on how to get the best from the application.

Development of Dr. Geo II was partly sponsored by TOP, the Taiwan Open Source Project, with funding from the Taiwan Ministry of Economy, and by ESUG to promote the Smalltalk language.

Ken Causey has added a very useful video to the Squeak Smalltalk group at vimeo.com, in which he demonstrates the entire process of creating and submitting a bug/fix or enhancement for Squeak. Along the way he also explains how to track down simple bugs, how to manage changesets, and how to navigate your way around the Mantis bug tracking system.

Avi Bryant Interview

28 July, 2008

Werner Schuster from InfoQ.com spent some time talking to Avi Bryant at QCon London 2008, and InfoQ have posted a recording of their conversation. In the interview, Avi talks about the Smalltalk web framework Seaside, DabbleDB, using Smalltalk images for persistence instead of an RDBMs, GemStone and more.

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