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.

As he demonstrated at ESUG, Tudor Girba has recently been working with Pier, the Web Content Management System built on Seaside, and has announced the release of a new version, with a number of new features. Pier CMS allows users to create and manage their own websites. It supports the development of plug-ins allowing the addition of features such as blogs.

To accompany the new version, he also announced that there is now a new official homepage for Pier (written in Pier of course). The site allows you to download the latest code, and provides much-needed documentation including videos walking you through the set-up and use of Pier.

 

Following the conclusion of ESUG‘s 16th Joint International Smalltalk Conference in Amsterdam, the Seaside developers held a Seaside Sprint. The aim of the sprint was to address a number of outstanding issues in order to move Seaside 2.9 towards release.

The sprint was a great success with 14 developers working on a number of issues. Eighteen key bugs were resolved, and progress was made in a number of other areas. The attendees had a range of levels of knowledge and experience, from the core developers, to those seeing Seaside code for the first time

The Sprint attendees would like to thank Café Kobalt and the Amsterdam Bibliotheek who provided essential facilities including free internet access, and great food and drink.

Avi Bryant alerted the Seaside mailing list to some exciting news: Cmsbox is one of the ten winners of this year’s useit.com 10 Best Application UIs of 2008, a competition intended to identify the 10 best-designed application user interfaces each year.

Cmsbox is a powerful and flexible Content Management System (CMS) which allows users to create, edit and arrange content directly on the web site. It was built by Swiss company netstyle.ch using Squeak Smalltalk, Seaside and Scriptaculous.

In describing the award, which is the latest in a string of awards won by CmsboxJakob Neilsen wrote that Cmsbox made it “particularly easy for direct users to create highly usable designs […] They have demonstrated that just one extra line of controls is all that is required to turn a website into a Web authoring environment. […] There are no modes to switch between, no edit windows to keep track of; it is immediately clear to users what effect their actions will have on the final layout because they are always working within that final layout”.

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.

A set of posts to the squeak mailing lists has given more details about the 16th International Smalltalk Joint Conference organised by the European Smalltalk Users’ Group, to be held 25-29 August 2008 at CWI in Amsterdam.

Programme Details

Mathieu van Echtelt writes that the programme features more than 40 presentations on, among others, the following subjects:

Programming Language Platforms

  • Newspeak (New open source dynamic language focusing on modularity, security and interoperability)
  • Cog (New highly optimized open source Squeak VM)
  • Maglev (Highly scalable Ruby VM)
  • OpenCroquet (Deeply collaborative, multi-user online Smalltalk development environment)

Web Frameworks

  • Seaside (The continuation & component-based web framework)
  • WebVelocity
  • AidaWeb (Smalltalk Web Application Server)
  • WebTerminal

Model Driven Engineering:

  • The Meta Environment Language Workbench
  • ObjectStudio ModelingTool
  • Fame; Meta-modeling Framework
  • MBA Smalltalk; to manage your objects

 
Additionally, the winners of the ABN Amro sponsored Innovation Awards will be presented.

Booking Accommodation 

Noury Bouraqadi notes that discount hotel rates for conference attendees are available until 11 July.

Seaside Sprint

Lukas Renggli has announced that the core Seaside dev team will be holding the first official Seaside Sprint, starting after the conference closes at 14:00 on 29 August, and finishing when the last participant collapses over their smoking keyboard. He invites anyone interested in working on Seaside or related code to participate. The venue details will be announced once agreed.

Camp Smalltalk

As usual, the weekend preceding the conference will be used to host Camp Smalltalk, an opportunity to work with colleagues on a number of exciting projects. See the Camp Smalltalk page for more information.

Most of the slides from the presentations at this year’s Smalltalk Solutions conference are now on line.

The material available includes Gilad Bracha’s talk on Newspeak, James Foster’s guide to building a Seaside application using GemStone/S, Michael Rueger’s introduction to Sophie, Arden Thomas demonstrating WebVelocity in action, and Randal Schwartz’s double-header keynote: Seaside – Your Next Web Framework and an introduction to persistency solutions for use with Seaside.  

There are also slides from a couple of sessions looking at the reasons for the recent resurgence of interest in Smalltalk: Arden Thomas looks at the features of Smalltalk that other languages lack, and Rob Rothwell explains how Smalltalk helps with the development of healthcare applications.

There are many more slide-packs available, and still more to be added, so please check out the conference page for more information. James Robertson is adding video and audio as it becomes available.

The Mid-Hudson Valley Linux User Group will get the opportunity on 4th June to hear about a range of educational tools running on Squeak, including: SeasideScratchCroquet and Etoys. Joe Apuzzo will discuss his experience teaching 60 kids from 3th grade to 5th math and science (all within 15 minutes per group).

Find out more at the website.

The German Squeak Association (Squeak e. V.) had its annual meeting on May 17. For the second time, the meeting was hosted by the Software Architecture Group at the Hasso-Plattner-Institut in Potsdam. Before the official part, attendees of the meeting were given the opportunity to demonstrate their Squeak projects.

First, Tobias Pape and Arian Treffer, students of HPI, demonstrated SwaLint, a source code checker for Squeak. SwaLint is intended as a successor to SmallLint and, thanks to its flexible plug-in architecture, supports running SmallLint checks seamlessly. SwaLint can be configured in great detail: thresholds for all kinds of values can be set, and output can be filtered. Users can easily implement their own plug-ins for the tool.

Next, Michael Haupt (HPI) gave a brief demonstration of SqueakFS, which was implemented by Johan Björk and Eskil Andréen from Stockholm University, Sweden. SqueakFS makes the contents of a running Squeak image available as part of the file system. Currently, it is limited to read-only access, but the image can already be viewed from three perspectives: all classes as a flat collection, assorted by category, and by class hierarchy.

Robert Krahn presented SqueakSVN, which is an ongoing development effort in the Software Architecture Group at HPI. The purpose of SqueakSVN is to make Subversion version control available to Squeak developers; it is able to import Monticello projects. SqueakSVN will be released in June.

Martin Beck is currently working on his MSc thesis in the HPI Software Architecture Group. His work is dedicated to implementing NXTalk, a Smalltalk virtual machine for the Lego Mindstorms NXT platform. Development of NXTalk application takes place in a Squeak image, and assembled NXTalk images are transferred to the NXT for execution by the dedicated NXTalk VM. In the current state, simple images can be assembled and run: Martin demonstrated a program that can be used to steer a simple NXT bestowed with two motors.

The popular introduction to the Seaside web application framework that was produced at HPI was briefly presented by David Tibbe, one of its co-authors.

Robert Krahn had another appearance presenting the collection of games for the XO laptop developed by HPI students. All of the games are available for download as project or SAR files.

Finally, Carl Friedrich Bolz (Düsseldorf University), Adrian Kuhn (University of Bern), and Toon Verwaest (University of Bern) presented SPy, their ongoing effort to implement the Squeak VM in Python using the sophisticated PyPy tool chain. SPy is currently lacking GUI  and other I/O support, but is able to load images and run the tinyBenchmarks. Right after the Squeak association meeting, a PyPy development sprint in Berlin will, amongst others, bring new improvements.

After the official part of the association meeting, special guest Dan Ingalls gave a demonstration of Lively, his current project at Sun Labs. It looks and feels, admittedly, a bit like Squeak in disguise, but in Dan’s opinion, there is nothing bad about building the “same” system several times if it’s cool. That is certainly true for Lively.

 

On 15/16 May, the workshop on Self-Sustaining Systems (S3) took place at the Hasso-Plattner-Institut in Potsdam. An exciting event at a beautiful place, it featured invited talks by Ian Piumarta, Dan Ingalls, and Richard P. Gabriel, and five presentations of reviewed papers that approached self-sustainment from different angles.

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