Thursday, November 26, 2009

Helvetia - embedding languages

You will find language extensions in any of the newer "mainstream" programming languages. Architectures like Java EE now rely heavily on features like annotations, JDK 7 may possibly also include closures.
You can embedd LINQ in C# 3.0 and so on ...

Creating Domain Specific Languages (DSL) is also getting more attention these days.

Since Smalltalk is defined in itself using objects and messages it was and still is easy to change and extend not only the system and tools but also the language itself.

Here Project HELVETIA is a new and lightweight approach to embed new languages into the host language. Even domain specific languages - demonstrated by a roman numeral example allowing you to easily write:

self assert: IV + I = 5

in an SUnit test.

Lukas provides an image you can play with and will talk about it on Smalltalk/Ruby BlockCamp in Paris.

A glimpse of Glamour

Nice overview from Tudor Girba on the Glamour browser framework.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Friday, November 20, 2009

More Seaside web applications

Another new application that is based on the Seaside web framework is It is based on Pharo.

"Shrink wrapped" product solutions with Pharo

Gary Chambers is the creator of the Polymorph project - a skinnable UI look currently supporting Watery, Vista, Old Squeak and Windows 2k look.
It is available for Squeak and the default for the Pharo image.

Gary (or GazzaGuru) works in a company called Pinesoft and he posted some new screenshots of their latest application built with Pharo. Read more here and here.

BTW: If you want to customize the Squeak VM for an own Smalltalk based product I've created a short howto which is (thanks to Andreas) now available on

Scratch featured in “Communications of the ACM”

First a short story:

While travaling this summer I met two IT teachers in a german train discussing about an interesting piece of software their kids have found on the web. They wanted to use it in school since the kids love it. They complained that there was not enough time in school to check out interesting new things like this and that the regular german study plan contains only the boring stuff so kids mostly turn away from programming. To them it was a revolutionary approach and kids loved playing and working with this software (mostly after school). It was not a game - it was a software to build, explore and simulate ideas and share them using projects.

To my surprise they talked about Scratch and after a while I was part of the conversation. I explained that it was built using an open source software called Squeak in a programming language called Smalltalk, told that that there is more to discover and pointed them to, the OpenCroquet 3D environment and the german squeak e.V. (an organisation to make Squeak also known in school). They definitely wanted to checkout all the websites I wrote down on a small piece of paper...

And now the news:

Meanwhile Scratch has more and more interest from people all over the world and is now also featured in an article in the “Communications of the ACM”. Squeak new knows more about this.

Image full of Smalltalk images

Back when I was a student I asked several Smalltalk vendors to provide a version of their Smalltalk to put on a CD so people could start learning it. The GSUG Smalltalk CD was born which we handed out on conferences. VisualAge was not included since it was too large for one CD.
Later this concept was used for an ESUG CD too.

Times and hard disk space have changed and now James reports that Marten Feldmann has put together a virtual box image with several Smalltalk versions. Go check it out.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Redline Smalltalk

SmalltalkJVM - another project to run Smalltalk on the Java VM is now called Redline Smalltalk. The project was created by James Ladd, you can read more here and watch the progress on twitter.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Event driven Squeak VM

Andreas is experimenting with an event driven Squeak VM prototype. - Exploring Smalltalk source code

Ernest is playing with Seaside again and created a Smalltalk to navigate through documentation and source code. Read more here.

Squeak and Pharo Smalltalk on the iPhone

With the SqueakVM running on the iPhone you can now use both Squeak and Pharo to develop iPhone applications. If you want to know more about the Pharo path in iPhone development you should visit the Smalltalks 2009 conference, especially the talk about Deimos.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Squeak threaded VM

Eliot gives some details on the threaded Squeak VM he is working on and how it is inspired by David Simmons work. You may know David from Smallscript/S# - a very impressive system that unfortunately is not an active project anymore (as it once was) and never made it to the market.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Monday, November 09, 2009

Smalltalk in the Netherlands

Found some pictures from the "Devnology Community day" from November 7th. Can you spot the pharo Smalltalk screenshot?

And it looks like Ernest is working on the cloud again.

Adriaan has some more news: