Seaside

Cincom recently reiterated their support for Seaside. Not long ago Gemstone announced something similar. What will these two commercial companies lend to Seaside?

It is certainly true that Seaside will benefit from additional resources. Resources devoted to documentation, compatibility, and testing will help the community. Working on new solutions for persistence is a great idea, and having different options to solve your persistence requirements can only help developers. Read the rest of this entry »

Sophie-Croquet?

29 May, 2007

Sophie-Croquet

By Daniel Lanovaz

I’m ready! Sophie, Croquet, Seaside, Scratch, Plopp, OLPC … The Era of Squeak and Smalltalk is upon us!

I know that this is not a ringing endorsement, but a mention is a mention, and I thought it was cool that we made the list. Plus it’s a cool story. Why Spend More Than Five Minutes on a GUI?

Castle

Previously we spoke with Michael Rueger and Steve Hunter. From Michael we found out about the perspective of writing and supporting open source software. From Steve we found out what it is like being a consumer of open source software. Today we talk with Bert Freudenberg. From Bert we hope to learn what it is like being a Smalltalk programmer contributing to open source.

Read the rest of this entry »

What’s in a Comment?

16 April, 2007

Andy Rooney

There has been some talk recently around the Squeak / Seaside communities about putting comments in code. I thought I’d spend a few minutes talking about it.

Read the rest of this entry »

OLPC for ME?

1 April, 2007

OLPC

Don’t say you didn’t see this coming. The question now: Is there a world wide market for OLPC? Quanta announced plans to market the OLPC computer worldwide for $200. It doesn’t take long to realize that the argument for less is more has legs. I found myself nodding in agreement listening to Nicholas Negroponte talk about feature creep; having overly bloated software that takes forever to load, uses up a huge amount of resources but only provides marginal improvement from the same software that was available years ago. I’m not sure I’ve gained much from this insight, because now I feel the pain even more acutely when I open a pdf file!

I remember my first LARGE hard drive. It was big in physical size and capacity. It was 40 megs! (it had to be partitioned to 2 20meg drives because the computer couldn’t address more then 20megs). I saw a 4 gig card the other day that was the size of a postage stamp. The amount of memory available today is astounding, a bit more then 640k. With all this new capacity imagine what we could have done with a simple software model.

Does this mean that OLPC will take over the world? I would say no. I believe the focus that Mr. Negroponte has is correct in its original vision. Having a solid, durable, networked computer that has low power consumption and a way to generate power in places that don’t have available electricity will mean a lot in developing countries.

Will these features be welcomed in developed countries. Yes possibly, but more likely the release of OLPC will spur competition and drive down the prices of other computers. What I believe will be the biggest change that could come out of this development is the demand for Open Source software out of the box. Imagine how much a computer today would cost if all the software installed was free. The problem of course is manufacture profits.

Having a single OLPC model, which includes hardware and software, will help since it significantly reduces the manufacturing costs. How low can profits go before companies will not be able to afford to produce these computers. Having OLPC’s high standards for longevity will help also because one way to reduce the need for profits is to decrease longevity and depend on frequent replacement orders or replacement parts.

These features of OLPC will hopefully make their way into consumers demands for inexpensive computers. I believe though that the limits placed on OLPC to achieve some of the availability, longevity, and networking goals will be too great for developed countries, and by simply offering Open Source version companies may be able to compete in price. OLPC achieves networking by selling at least a million units in an area to achieve the mesh network connections necessary to make it usable. The system really needs backup and the ability to download new software which is currently provided by local servers in schools or where ever possible. This architecture is truly inspired, and a huge benefit for countries where access to technology is extremely limited.

By the way I hope I’m wrong and OLPC is a huge success in developed countries. There is one possible scenario that will make OLPC a huge success in developed countries. If OLPC is marketed as a toy for children, it is within the price range of toys today and much more powerful, it could be very popular. In any case I’m sure that it will change things for the better. Within a year I’m sure there will be many $200 laptop choices available to you. Maybe all of the new models will include Squeak and EToys!

Ron Teitelbaum

Ron is the Squeak News Team Leader. He is also President and Principal Software Engineer at US Medical Record Specialists.

Can your book do this?

15 March, 2007

Books

As the sun rose somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean, the dark fading away, and the cold of over a month starting to thaw, on the west coast of North America it is still dark and John M. McIntosh has only a deep and tired yawn as thanks and a simple form of celebration marking the release of Sophie RC3*.

It is fitting that midnight should toll during this new release. The clock chimes to mark the occasion of new timeline commands; the ability to play movies connected and controlled by time itself, when time itself rests to zero for a new day. A new day indeed: the future of electronic books.

Sophie is free and open source software built on Squeak. You can get your own copy of Sophie and start creating your own electronic books now. Check out this new video of what Sophie can do.

Could you use Sophie to write really cool new electronic books? Sure. How about develop a new interactive brochure for your company? Yeah! How about delivering real engaging content to your potential voter base? Hmmm…

How would you use Sophie?

(*available soon watch for RC3)

escher

It’s much harder to get lost in a virtual world. Qwaq poked its head out of hiding today and released its first product: A virtual forum that enables collaborators to interact in real time. It’s not hard to imagine what an impact this new technology will have on business collaboration. Read the rest of this entry »

Smalltalk window

In our last article we spoke with Michael Rueger.

Today we talk with Steve Hunter. Steve started with OO languages way back in 1985 at General Electric. He used Eiffel, C++, and Objective-C which were the “hot” OO languages at the time. Steve says that he was strongly influenced by Bertrand Meyer’s OO Software Construction Book. His educational background in software/systems analysis and design techniques lead Steve to contribute to the work Object Modeling Technique by GE, and have continued to inspire Steve throughout his career.

Steve’s joined ParcPlace and was impressed by the ease of use and powerful development environment of Smalltalk. Particularly impressive was the VisualWorks debugger, and the cross platform nature of the VM and the dynamic prototyping nature which showed such great potential in market growth.

Steve believed strongly in the benefits of business modeling and saw the merger between Digitalk and ParcPlace as a mismatch of intention between R&D and commercial engineering. In 1995 Steve started Hunter Object Systems and then in 2000 created Agilense. He created EA WebModeler which is a metadata driven modeling solution for Enterprise Architecture and took it to market. Agilense has many very large customers including Sun Microsystems. The most notable component of EA WebModeler for our community is the Squeak based graphical modeler.

I spoke with Steve about EA WebModeler, what it is like depending on Open Source software like Squeak, and more. Read the rest of this entry »

Unfriendly Squeak

Is it true that Smalltalk is too isolated and suffers from extreme shyness? Do we need to learn to play, reach out and integrate better with other languages and tools? Check out Alan Lovejoy‘s article: Smalltalk Considered Unfriendly