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Participants in this podcast are James Foster and Dale Henrichs from Gemtalksystems and Johan Brichau.
Further informational links:
- Garbage Collection Q & A
- Epoch GC, Offline GC, Multi-machine
- Nine Steps of Repository-Wide Garbage Collection
- Live and Dead Objects
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We had already a podcast about this topic around in 2011 with Norbert Hartl - but due to the fact, that some of us are now taking a closer look at this product again it seemed to be interesting to start a discussion round again.
Participants in the podcast are James Foster and Dale Henrichs from Gemtalksystems. Norbert Hartl, Mariano Martinez Peck as users of this system.
Topics covered in this talk are: GemTools, Topaz or Jade ? Various source code repositories ? Where to find source code ? Programmings tips ? How to switch from VA/Pharo to Gemstone.
Further informational links:
And not to forget: Happy Christmas to all listeners of this podcast.
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For more info on Scratch you can visit the Scratch Homepage.
There's also a Scratch Forum on the Pi website.
This once more is a little long, but we found so much valuable and interesting info in this gem that we couldn't remove anything without feeling like betraying our listeners. If you want to dig deeper on things we've discussed with tim, visit some of these links:
- The Active Book Prototype
- RISC OS Open
- The Squeak Book
- tim's VM Chapter online
- Realtime OS project for Interval Research
So, have fun listening and feel free to give us feedback in the comments.
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Aside from the product evolution of Pharo, we cover the new Pharo Consortium and Pharo Association, two organizations that were founded last year to achieve several goals:
- create a formal steering committee for Pharo's evolution
- gather Pharo users and put more steam into the Pharo Smalltalk "marketing" engine
- collect money to pay engineers who develop Pharo
Stephane gives us a few details on the goals and relationship between the two organizations.
We finish with a discussion of Smalltalk's future.
This short text is a only poor summary of this inspiring discussion, so you better listen to it and learn a lot about what is going on in and around Pharo Smalltalk. Just a few keywords that we talk about:
- Where does Pharo come from and where is it heading
- Continuous integration and CI servers for images and the Smalltalk VM
- What is the competition of Smalltalk / Pharo
- Coordination of Efforts in the Pharo Community
- Smalltalk in Education and Research
- What is Smalltalk's place in commercial projects
- Pharo and Amber Smalltalk
- What's the job of the core team at Inria?
Please note that we've had some audio problems during recording. Around minute 25, there is some distortion, but the overall interview has good sound quality.
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This episode is a novelty in many respects. First, we managed to get closer to 45 minutes than ever before. But more importantly, we interviewed Johan Brichau from inceptive and yesplan about two very interesting topics in one single episode.
Johan tells us about his teaching and researching history with Smalltalk in Academics at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and Université catholique de Louvain and a very successful project he did after his time at VUB and UCL: Yesplan.be, a planning system for event organizers that has reached quite a customer base in only two years. It is a GemStone/Seaside based application that is offered as a Cloud service. We chat a little about his team's experiences with developing in Pharo Smalltalk and deploying on GemStone as well as the kind of environment they host their application on. Besides its very snappy Graphical User Interface, YesPlan delivers value by being tailored to the needs of cultural institutions like Vooruit in Ghent.
Which happens to be both the first customer of yesplan and the place where the ESUG conference 2012 took place. And here we are, in the middle of the second topic: what does it mean and take to volunteer as a local organizer of the annual ESUG conference. Johan gives us some insight into quite a few topics:
- when the planning and organization typically starts for a
- what the job of a local organizer is and what is typically done by
- how much work it is to do organize an ESUG conference
- what the requirements for an ESUG conference venue are
- what the ESUG board needs from a local organizer (resp. an organizer
team) to decide whether a place is good for the conference
So this episode is perfect for you if you either would like one of the next ESUG conferences to take place closer to your place, make the conference even better than it was over the last few years (as if there was much potential for that), or if you ever wondered how much work is being accomplished behind the scenes to make the conference the success it has been for quite a while now.
Johan explicitly asked us to mention here that he plans to compile a todo-list with experiences and known pitfalls for people interested in organizing an ESUG conference, so that it puts pressure on him to really do it one day in the not too far future. Who are we to not do so?
There's an addition that Johan asked us to add:
I forgot to say that there is always a call for student volunteers that is published on the conference website. So people who want to be a student volunteer should respond to that call. Second, there also is a checklist on the ESUG website that mentions all elements that should be part of the proposal to host the conference. It's here: http://www.esug.org/wiki/pier/Conferences/informationstoprovideforhostingesugevent
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A very well-received addition to VA Smalltalk called VA Code Assist was mainly Seth's work - and reason enough for us to try and get Seth aboard. This slick and nicely integrated syntax completion tool made coding in VA Smalltalk much better and nicer than it sounds in the first place. He goes on to explain that Code Assist is not the end of the road for Instantiations and that they are just starting to work on improvements to teh VA Smalltalk IDE. Of course, we couldn't resist adding a few ideas to the list.
We talk about the target audience for Instantiations and the Smalltalk market as it looks from the company's perspective, the lack of visibility of Smalltalk in the academic world (which is probably less true in Europe than it is in the U.S.) and get some insight into Instantiations' current highest priority projects: the VM and VASTs support for operatings systems of the future.
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- Redline Smalltalk: Android ist ja bekanntlich vor allem eine Google-eigene Java-VM namens Dalvik. Was läge da näher, als sich eine Smalltalk-Implementierung anzuschauen, die nativ auf einer Java-VM läuft. Komischerweise haben wir über diesen Ansatz gar nicht allzu viel gesprochen
- Squeak auf Android (ein Fork des ursprünglichen Squeak on Android): Ja, das gibt es. Squeak und Pharo können auf Android laufen, sind dann aber - wie eben auch auf dem PC - durch ihre sehr eigene Implementierung von Widgets ein bischen "fremd" anzusehen. Ausserdem sind sie nicht gerade leichtgewichtig.
- GNU Smalltalk nativ auf dem Device mit einem Binding an SL4A (das Scripting Layer for Android): Stefan hat "einfach mal" GNU Smalltalk für Android cross-kompiliert. Und es läuft auf seinen Geräten. Das hat ihn ermuntert, SL4A aus GNU-ST heraus anzubinden und damit native Oberflächen für Android zu erstellen. Das ganze läuft sehr stabil und klingt absolut vielversprechend, auch wenn es noch nicht perfekt ist.
Also wieder mal eine super spannende Angelegenheit.
Wie immer freuen wir uns über Kommentare, Anregungen und Themenvorschläge. Wie hat Euch diese Episode gefallen? Habt Ihr ähnliche oder ganz andere Erfahrungen gemacht? Schreibt uns Kommentare oder mailt uns an. Auch wenn Smalltalk Inspect langweilig und überflüssig ist, würden wir gerne darüber bescheid wissen. Wir könnten dann vielleicht unsere Zeit in ein Blog für Schmetterlingszüchter oder einen Bierdeckel-Podcast stecken...
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While Spoon aims at identifying the minimum amount of Smalltalk code to build a working system on top of, from basic I/O to network communications and loading additional code, NAIAD is Craig's attempt to building a Smalltalk-Platform independent way of defining, loading and running modules within a NAIAD runtime envorinment, which Spoon can be seen as an example of.
A system like NAIAD offers many interesting options, like the exchange of code between Smalltalk platforms without any porting effort. Just imagine one single code base of your favorite framework with no porting or maintenance forks. We also cover a cool concept of moving code to a deployment image/object space by running tests and only move code that's been run - what a cool way of defining Code Coverage! Only tested code in y our deliverable!
There's a lot more good stuff in the episode and you should definitely listen to this episode if you ever dreamed of building a deliverable from the ground up, securing your executable by guaranteeing that there's not a single line of unneeded code in it and lots more.
If you're interested in reading more about Spoon and Naiad, you can visit Craig's blog named "thisContext".
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[Update] We've just updated a few links because somebody had messed the whole thing up a little ;-) So if you wondered what some linked documents have to do with what this text said they would, please try again now.[/Update]
We're continuing our journey to areas where only few people would think they'll find Smalltalk. This time we talk to Jecel Assumpcao Jr. about the SiliconSqueak project, an attempt to build Computers to natively run Smalltalk bytecodes.
Jecel starts by taking us back to the early 70'ies when Xerox Parc had machines that were optimized to run Smalltalk, through the eighties when people found out you can also run bytcodes really fast (whatever that may have meant on hardware of that day) on standard architectures, right into the near future where the SiliconSqueak project will offer a fully functional computer that can run Squeak Smalltalk, and thus Scratch and Etoys natively.
We're talking about why you'd want to run Smalltalk on bare metal, the different techniques for accelerating Smalltalk code in Hardware, the implications of multi-core and multi-processor architectures on Smalltalk and programming in general. We also cover some Smalltalk history and so make the whole thing once again an interesting and inspiring discussion.
If you want to learn more about the things we've covered, here's a list of links for you:
- The SiliconSqueak project web site reflects the state of the project back in 2009:
The processor described there has the 32 bit "microcode". This evolved later to a version with 16 bit microcode plus an "ALU Array" for high performance numerical code which is what is described in the slides for my more recent presentations. The slides don't make much sense without explanations since they are rather abstract, but here is what Jecel presented for his PhD "qualification exam" in March.
- We didn't go very deeply into adaptive compilation, partial evaluation and stuff like that (the slides about Self 2.0 and 3.0 would make more sense with a little text explaining what the colors mean) but a lot of what we talked about is there. I also gave a talk about the instruction set details, but it was only 10 minutes long so lots of stuff is missing
- A visual history of Jecel's work on children's computers and an overview of other Smalltalk-related computer projects
- Good introductory material about FPGAs
- Jecel also was interviewed on James Robertson's old podcast called Industry Misinterpretations, you can find a download link for that episode here.
- Ian Piumarta has written two papers about defining the semantics of object oriented languages in terms of operations on associative
memories, as I mentioned during our talk. These are available here:
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