Hernan Wilkinson wrote to the squeak -dev mailing list that the Smalltalks 2009 presentations are available now at the Smalltalks Conference site under the “Talks” tab. Given that the speakers included such well-known figures as Dan Ingalls, Stephane Ducasse, Alex Warth, Tim Mackinnon, James Foster and Travis Griggs, there should be some fascinating viewing to be had.

Hernan added: “You can watch also the video used during the presentation that summarizes the previous two years of the conference, it is a very nice video. It is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ekRhvg7W6AQ“.

There are also links to other videos and pictures from the conference home page.

Scratch is the cover story of the November 2009 issue of CACM, the monthly magazine of the Association for Computing Machinery.

Scratch is a visual programming language, developed in Squeak, that makes it easy to create interactive stories, animations, games, music, and art — and share these creations on the web. Aimed at children between the ages of 8 and 16, Scratch has developed a thriving community, with over 1000 new projects being uploaded to the site every day.

In inviting the Scratch team to submit an article, the editor of CACM explained his motivation: “A couple of days ago, a colleague of mine (CS faculty) told me how she tried to get her 10-year-old daughter interested in programming, and the only thing that appealed to her daughter (hugely) was Scratch.”

The submitted article is also available for viewing online.

Return To Smalltalk

7 November, 2009

NY-Skyline

The NYC Smalltalk group manages an active programme of talks and presentations, and this month’s talk looks to be very interesting. Daniel Antion, Vice President of Information Services at American Nuclear Insurers, discusses why his company began planning to migrate away from Smalltalk, and the evolving circumstances that caused them to take the difficult decision to reverse this strategy.

Dan has been working in Smalltalk since 1994 and develops most of ANI’s transaction processing systems. Dan has presented at Smalltalk Solutions, OOPSLA and the AIIM Expo on topics related to systems development, content management and SharePoint.

Dan’s experience and position within ANI mean that he can offer some real insights into the perceptions of the strengths and weaknesses of Smalltalk from a corporate perspective, and the ongoing challenges it faces. He says “I’m not sure we saved Smalltalk forever but we bought it some serious time. The technical details that work for Smalltalk include its stability, malleability and extensibility. We still have concerns but we think they can be mitigated.”

If you’re going to be in New York on 18th November, find out more about Dan’s talk on the NYC Smalltalk website.

(Image by meironke on flickr)

Smalltalks 2009

23 September, 2009

smalltalks

Following on from their high-profile presence at ESUG this year, the Argentinian Smalltalk community are preparing to host their third annual domestic Smalltalk conference, Smalltalks 2009.

Running from 19th to 21st November in Buenos Aires, the conference’s goal is to “gather both the Argentine and International Smalltalk community to get connected sharing our work and experience with regards to Smalltalk or related topics”.

The conference will have two streams: “Research and Education” for research and education work done with Smalltalk in universities and public or private
entities; and “Industry and Development” for presentations related to Smalltalk software developed by companies or individuals, both public and private.

In addition, the event will host a Smalltalk programming contest.  As in previous years, well known personalities from the international community will attend the conference.

All those connected with Smalltalk, be it faculty, students, researchers, developers or entrepreneurs, are invited to participate, free of charge, as presenters and members of the audience.

In addition, early registrants get a great-looking T-shirt for free, so get your bookings in now!

esug-logo

The Innovation Technology Awards session is one of the real highlights of the annual International Smalltalk Conference organised by ESUG each year.

Noury Bouraqadi has just posted to remind everyone that you only have until 1st July to nominate your work for an award. Put together a brief description of your work, which can be in any Smalltalk dialect, make it available for inspection online, and be prepared to demonstrate it to a constant stream of inquisitive Smalltalkers during the conference, and you could win up to €500 in addition to the recognition and respect of your peers.

Have a look at Noury’s site for an introduction to the ideas that have proved popular in the past, or our own details of last year’s winners.

All the administrative details can be found on the ESUG 2009 website – so get those application forms in now!

And in case you’ve forgotten, this year’s conference is in Brest, France from 31 August—4 September, 2009. It will be preceded by Camp Smalltalk running on the weekend of 29—30 August 2009, and incorporates the International Workshop on Smalltalk Technologies on 31 August.

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.

Despite recent discussions over what killed Smalltalk, there continues to be lots of interest in the language and in Seaside in particular. Anyone based near London will be able to find out more about both topics at a talk dramatically titled “Seaside: The Revenge of Smalltalk“.

This “Geek Night” is going to cover how Smalltalk makes web development different and how Seaside is being put to use in the “Real World”. Participants will learn about real object-orientated programming rather than class-orientated programming.

The two presenters are Lukas Renggli, who will be talking about Squeak and the world of Open Source Smalltalk; and Michel Bany from Cincom who will be discussing how Seaside and Smalltalk has been used in companies like JP Morgan.

The talk is hosted by Thoughtworks‘ London office on Monday 6th July, 2009 from 7:00pm—10:00pm.

Nicolas Chen has posted a very interesting report on the Squeak and Seaside ‘Birds of a Feather’ sessions at this year’s OOPSLA Conference in Nashville, Tennessee. Speakers included Michael Lucas-Smith of Cincom talking  about their WebVelocity development tool for Seaside; Göran Krampe on Blackfoot, his lightweight SCGI-based KomHttpServer replacement for Seaside deployment; Dave Ungar (ex-Sun Labs, now at IBM Research) on his work on multi-core Squeak; and Jecel Assumpcao Jr. on Smalltalk Hardware Design, and his Siliconsqueak project.

As promised, Göran has published videos of the sessions; see his blog for details.

Squeak BOF at OOPSLA 2008

7 October, 2008

OOPSLA, the “original conference devoted to object-oriented programming”, is running this year on 19th-23rd October in Nashville. Göran Krampe wrote to the mailing list to let attendees know that he is organising a Squeak “Birds of a Feather” evening session on Tuesday at 18:00.

Göran has had experience of organising these events in the past, so you can be sure that the logistics have been thought through carefully – he’s even bringing his own projector with him from Sweden, rather than rely on the equipment available at the venue! All the videos of all the presentations will be made available after the session.

If you’re interested in attending this session, please let Göran know by adding your name to the OOPSLA 2008 page on the Squeak wiki (if you’re having trouble editing that page, the words squeak and viewpoints may be of some use to you). The wiki page also has information on some other items that may be of interest to Squeakers.

This year’s winners of the ESUG Innovation Technology Awards were announced at the 16th Joint International Smalltalk Conference in Amsterdam last night. There were a record-breaking 21 entrants, with a great selection of innovative ideas and products. Voting was by all attendees of the conference, and the winners were:

1st prizeDrGeoII, Hilaire Fernandes’ development in Squeak Smalltalk of an application that allows students at primary or secondary level to create and interactively manipulate geometric figures within definable constraints, as featured on the Weekly Squeak recently (pdf description available here).

2nd prizeseaBreeze, an application from Georg Heeg eK which allows Seaside developers to work in an interactive environment to develop web content (pdf description available here).

3rd prize – iSqueak, a project from John M McIntosh, Grit Schuster and Michael Rueger, which allows Squeak to interact with multi-touch input devices such as the iPhone (pdf description available here).

The competition was sponsored by ABN Amro Bank, and the winners get prizes of €500, €300 and €200.

Following the ceremony, Georg Heeg announced that seaBreeze will be dual-licensed, with a free versions available under the MIT licence. The code will be made available once some finishing touches have been applied.