In the year of Smalltalk things really moving forward, especially within the open source family. A lot of VM work is going on and Pharo may become the most interesting descendant of the Squeak image by breaking with old traditions.
But there is also work going on to provide a better FFI (Foreign Function interface). John and Eliot provide first version on the "Alien" SqueakSource project. From the description:
"Alien is a new FFI interface. It supports faster call sequence, return code setting, and callbacks to execute smalltalk code from the FFI routine. Copyright 2008 Cadence Design Systems, Inc. Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0"