Randal L. Schwartz had a “standing-room only” audience at BarCampPortland for his presentation on why web developers should consider using the Seaside web application framework. BarCampPortland is described as an “unconference for the Portland [Oregon] tech community”, and aims to offer the attendees interesting topics, cool people and great networking opportunities.

Randal was offered a 45-minute slot, and took the opportunity to explain what makes Seaside such a powerful framework for professional web developers. His material, which incorporated feedback from colleagues on the Seaside mailing list, was very well received, and will form the basis for future presentations by Randal to raise the awareness of Seaside in the web development community.

The video has now been posted of Gilad Bracha‘s talk on Newspeak that we mentioned last month. Newspeak is a new dynamic language being developed at Cadence, and is descended from Smalltalk and Self, with influences from E, Scala and Scheme, exploring ideas around combinatorial parsing, strict message-passing, reflectivity, capability-based security and actor-style concurrency.

Newspeak is being developed on top of Squeak, and the presentation makes a number of direct comparisons with Squeak, especially when discussing UI matters such as the Newspeak widget framework, application framework and Class Browser, and how they’ve improved on Squeak’s access to the operating system with a new FFI framework.

The roadmap for the future development of Newspeak is also laid out, including a discussion of when/whether the code will be published.

(If you’re having trouble viewing the video, see this thread for help).

[Edit – Gilad Bracha has a fascinating blog that records his ongoing development of Newspeak.]

The Year of Smalltalk

2 April, 2008

The Year of Smalltalk

Randal L. Schwartz just announced that he will be giving a 3 hour tour of Seaside at OSCON 2008. We are very proud to have Randal on the Squeak Foundation Board. We are looking forward to more of his “Year of Smalltalk“.

[Edit: corrected spelling]

Dan Ingalls gave an interesting Tech Talk on the Lively kernel (best viewed in Safari 3 apparently) at Google a few weeks ago – what better way to (re)introduce our new board member?

Jens Lincke informed the mailing list that the Software Architecture Group at the University of Potsdam are hosting a talk today (11th March) by Gilad Bracha on Newspeak, described as a new dynamic language, descended from Smalltalk and Self.

From Jens’ note:

Newspeak is a new dynamic language, descended from Smalltalk
and Self. Like Self, Newspeak is a message based language: all
computation – even an object’s own access to its internal structure – is
performed by sending messages to objects. However, like Smalltalk,
Newspeak is class-based. Classes can be nested arbitrarily, as in Beta.
Since all names denote message sends, all classes are virtual; in
particular, superclasses are virtual, so all classes act as mixins.
There is no static state in Newspeak. Instead, top level classes act as
module definitions, which are independent, immutable, self-contained
parametric namespaces. They can be instantiated into modules which may
be stateful and mutually recursive. Naturally, like its predecessors,
Newspeak is reflective: a mirror library allows structured access to the
program meta-level. In this talk, we’ll expand on these topics,
illustrating interesting uses such as class hierarchy inheritance and
domain specific language support.

Gilad Bracha is a Distinguished Engineer at Cadence Design Systems.
Previously, he was a Computational Theologist and Distinguished Engineer
at Sun Microsystems. He is co-author of the Java Language Specification,
and a researcher in the area of object-oriented programming languages.
Prior to joining Sun, he worked on Strongtalk, the Animorphic Smalltalk
System. He received his B.Sc in Mathematics and Computer Science from
Ben Gurion University in Israel and a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the
University of Utah.

The talk is from 16:00-17:00, at the Hasso Plattner Institut, B-E.2 (library). Directions can be found at: http://www.hpi.uni-potsdam.de/hpi/campus/anfahrt.html