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Any Smalltalk ethusiasts out there?


2006-11-30 11:05:51 AM
delphi283
A couple of days ago I ran across the web site of a guy who is building
something he calls Vista Smalltalk. I know absolutely nothing about
Smalltalk but what piqued my interest was this description of what the guy
hopes to accomplish. it is all about programming WPF and potentially WPF/E
using a designer (IDE) which runs inside IE7. Any comments from Smalltalk
enthusiasts would be welcome...
"Fisk's goal is to influence people ready to consider Smalltalk as a
potential option to Microsoft's XAML-and-C#-or-VB.NET approach to building
rich Web interfaces using Windows Presentation Foundation. At the same time,
he sees Smalltalk as a useful alternative to the recently touted - highly
touted, in fact -- combination of XML and JavaScript known as Ajax [or
Atlas]."
www.theserverside.net/news/thread.tss
Here are some references:
vistascript.net/vistascript/docuwiki/doku.php
vistasmalltalk.wordpress.com/
vistasmalltalk.wordpress.com/
 
 

Re:Any Smalltalk ethusiasts out there?

I developed for 7 years in Smalltalk. That client is still using this
system in a production environment today and has one of the busiest 1-800
numbers in Illinois in its call center. There are also many Health
Insurance companies based out of Kansas that still maintain systems in
Smalltalk. Smalltalk has alot of the technology that you see today in
.NET, Java, Ruby, and todays IDE's. And had it back in the late 80's. To
name a few: garbage collection, dynamic language (look at Ruby today),
Virtual Machine, powerful comprehensive base framework, and refactoring.
There are 4 things that I really miss about Smalltalk.
1) The refactoring browser. This had you code in a specific way. It was
a 3 or 4 pane browser where you navigated to the method and the code pane
below had you code just the method. Version control was all the way down
to the method level. All source was in the image and not file based, so
refactorings where easy. Today's file based IDEs solve this refactoring
problem by parsing the code tree.
Screenshots:
www.dvdorganizer.com/stuff/smalltalk/cb3.jpg
www.dvdorganizer.com/stuff/smalltalk/cb5.jpg
www.ambrai.com/smalltalk/screenshots/CategoryBrowser.html
2) parameters break up the method name and make it more readable
(i.e) aDictionary at: ‘Bunny?put: ‘Rabbit’\
3) Blocks - which in Smalltalk where objects and could respond to
messages. These were very powerful for collection enumeration and I
believe this is one of the features Ruby copied from Smalltalk
4) Smalltalk Workspace - Can look at and manipulate objects in real time,
kind of like a sandbox to play with code.
This is a good article and introduction:
www.whysmalltalk.com/articles/panici/considered.htm
The Essence of Smalltalk
Smalltalk and it’s usage in Microsoft’s .Net
www.smalltalk.org/articles/article_20051122_a1_TheEssenceOfSmalltalk_v7.html
Here is an interesting blog post on how the Ruby developer community could
benefit from the IDE and refactoring browser (code editor) that Smalltalk
had. According to this persons blog post his threads in the newgroups
garnered alot of attention and comments.
www.josephmoore.net/
Sounds like CodeGear wants to get involved in some more languages and
mentioned Ruby. Sounds like Ruby could use a good IDE.
Quote from his page:
"Point being that the IDE support for Ruby and/or Rails is stone age at
this point, and 99% of the features I use for Ruby development are not
RDT/RadRails features at all, but default Eclipse feature or features from
other plugins, such as the HTML, JavaScript, and CSS support from the
excellent J2EE Standard Tools project."
Although it looks like someone is supplying a way to develop in Visual
Studio with Ruby:
www.sapphiresteel.com/
One of the creators and company owners of the above is Huw Collingbourne.
You may know him from Bitwise online computing magazine where he has
written many articles and reviews on Delphi. It looks like the IDE plugin
for VS is quite new.
Anyways I went off on a tangent there, but to me Smalltalk will always
hold a place in my heart as having forced me to learn OOP. I would
consider myself a Smalltalk enthusiast. Maybe Smalltalk is about to make
its come back in a big way.
--- posted by geoForum on delphi.newswhat.com
 

Re:Any Smalltalk ethusiasts out there?

I broadly agree with your comments. I think Smalltalk still has a lot to
offer...
"jeffc" <XXXX@XXXXX.COM>writes
Quote
3) Blocks - which in Smalltalk where objects and could respond to
messages. These were very powerful for collection enumeration and I
believe this is one of the features Ruby copied from Smalltalk
Except in Ruby, blocks are not objects. In my view that is a mistake - they
*should* be objects. Ruby provides a 'get out' clause by allowing you to
'wrap up' blocks inside things called Proc objects. They are, all the same,
not the same as Smalltalk blocks.
Quote
Although it looks like someone is supplying a way to develop in Visual
Studio with Ruby:
www.sapphiresteel.com/

One of the creators and company owners of the above is Huw Collingbourne.
You may know him from Bitwise online computing magazine where he has
written many articles and reviews on Delphi.
And for ten yers prior to that I wrote monthly articles on Delphi for PC
Plus magazine. There comes a time in life, though, when writing about *other
people's* software gets a bit dull - hence I have put my days with PC Plus
et al well and truly behind me ;-)
Quote
Maybe Smalltalk is about to make
its come back in a big way.

Frankly, I doubt that. In many ways, that is a shame as I honestly think that
in order to understand what OOP is all about (even if you happen to be
writing in a fairly laissez-faire version of OOP as implemented by C#, Java
or Delphi), a good grounding in Smalltalk is extremely useful. I also think
that a good Smalltalk IDE still has many things to teach other IDEs. For
such an old language and environment it never ceases to amaze me how modern
its ideas are.
best wishes
Huw Collingbourne
www.sapphiresteel.com
Ruby Programming In Visual Studio 2005
 

Re:Any Smalltalk ethusiasts out there?

I.P. Nichols writes:
Quote
At
the same time, he sees Smalltalk as a useful alternative to the recently
touted - highly touted, in fact -- combination of XML and JavaScript
known as Ajax [or Atlas]."
There's already a Smalltalk alternative to Ajax that does not require
XAML, and is consequently multi-platform / multi-browser:
www.seaside.st
 

Re:Any Smalltalk ethusiasts out there?

"Richard Bayarri Bartual" writes:
Quote
I.P. Nichols writes:
>At the same time, he sees Smalltalk as a useful alternative to the
>recently touted - highly touted, in fact -- combination of XML and
>JavaScript known as Ajax [or Atlas]."

There's already a Smalltalk alternative to Ajax that does not require
XAML, and is consequently multi-platform / multi-browser:
As I understand it Vista Smalltalk is primarly an alternative way to program
WPF (WPF/E) without using XAML and C#/VB.NET. WPF/E is more aimed at Flash
rather than Ajax.
In coming months as WPF/E evolves we will a better idea of it is actually
multi-platform support which has been rumored (hyped) to be quite broad.
 

Re:Any Smalltalk ethusiasts out there?

"I.P. Nichols" <XXXX@XXXXX.COM>writes:
Quote
"Fisk's goal is to influence people ready to consider>Smalltalk as a
potential option to Microsoft's XAML-and-C#-or-VB.NET>approach to building
rich Web interfaces using Windows Presentation Foundation. At
Don't know much about Smalltalk Language/Developer Enviroment, except its the base for many of the OOP languages, including Delphi (c), Object Pascal, C++, C# (c), and Java...
But SOMETHING that Microsoft got it right, its the multilanguage support in their "Virtual Machine", err, "Framework"...
...another issue that Sun and its Java platform, missed.
Just my 2 cents...
 

Re:Any Smalltalk ethusiasts out there?

"maramirezc" <XXXX@XXXXX.COM>wrote in
Quote
...another issue that Sun and its Java platform, missed.
IIRC, the java supports quite a few languages.
www.robert-tolksdorf.de/vmlanguages.html
--
Iman
 

Re:Any Smalltalk ethusiasts out there?

Iman L Crawford <ilcrawford.at.hotmail.dot.com>writes:
Quote
"maramirezc" <XXXX@XXXXX.COM>wrote in
news:XXXX@XXXXX.COM:
>...another issue that Sun and its Java platform, missed.

IIRC, the java supports quite a few languages.

www.robert-tolksdorf.de/vmlanguages.html
With one important caveat...
"I do not take any guarantee about the quality of software referenced
here. Use at your own risk."
and a lot of "written in Java" comments...
Is there any other languages offcially supported by the JVM?
On topic: My first experience with Smalltalk was Smalltalk/V 286. I
was blown away by the incredible power of the OOP language, rich GUI
IDE, and the shere amount of functionalty that came out of the box
(read library routines).
I was not as enthralled with it is self-modifying environment at the
time, and I never found out if that was implementation specific to
this product or not.
Lars F.
 

Re:Any Smalltalk ethusiasts out there?

Quote
Better yet, imagine if they could somehow layer the API so that it is
function compatible with VS API, this would make it easier for IDE Add-in
builders to create versions for both VS and BDS with little work.
There's a potential for problems if they were to do that. In order to make
sure the Add-Ins work the same in Visual Studio as they do in Borland
Developer Studio, you'd either have to imitate Visual Studio, or introduce
more layers and overhead in the IDE by adding a "middleman" to do the
conversion before the calls reach the IDE. The reason why the OTAPI
is different than Microsoft's Add-In API is because you just can't
plug such functionality into the product without [perhaps] licensing the
technology from Microsoft.
I believe Microsoft's Visual Studio SDK license prevents this.
I may be wrong; let me know if I am.
Quote
From a strategic point of view I think the OpenTools API should play a
very important role in CodeGear. From what I heard thru the NG grapevine
was that Mark Miller was in hog-heaven when he started working with the
Visual Studio IDE API. I think it would be a key move for CodeGear folks
to contact Mark and get his input on what he liked so much about the VS
Tools API and what they could due to lure him back to create a CodeRush
for new versions of Delphi.
And what can they do to lure other developers to create OpenTools from
the BDS platform. Better documentation would be nice. I'd like a
Subversion Add-In for BDS (without having to purchase third-party tools),
but unfortunately the OTAPI isn't adequately documented and I don't feel
like digging through Google to get anything done.
Quote
Borland has always had a very loyal following and 3rd party development.
Creating a first class OpenTools API and documenting it first class would
really allow CodeGear breathing room to have the 3rd Party community fill
in the gaps where BDS is missing those Visual Studio Features. And to
create plug-ins for new languages like Ruby, Python, etc.
Agree!!!
How compatible is the Dexter OTAPI with the Ebony/Ivory OTAPI?
- Nate.
 

Re:Any Smalltalk ethusiasts out there?

Quote
Don't know much about Smalltalk Language/Developer Enviroment, except its
the base for many of the OOP languages, including Delphi (c), Object
Pascal, C++, C# (c), and Java...

But SOMETHING that Microsoft got it right, its the multilanguage support
in their "Virtual Machine", err, "Framework"...

...another issue that Sun and its Java platform, missed.

Just my 2 cents...
There are other languages that compile to Java Bytecode, but I agree
Java missed the issue because it was hardly (ever?) marketted and
interop between Java and other platforms is not elegant.
There have been some very nice advances in that area (i.e. Borland
Janeva) but none of them are inherent to the platform and/or cheap.
Java libraries are also developed with Java in mind, not other programming
languages.
- Nate.
 

Re:Any Smalltalk ethusiasts out there?

VisualWorks Smalltalk free for noncommercial use, you can download
it and check it out. it is pretty spiffy. Just about everything you need
comes in the install: COM, .NET, InterBase & Other Database Support,
Object Persistence, Modelling, etc.
Packs alot of punch for a 700 MB install :)
- Nate.
"Lars Fosdal" <Lars(q)Fosdal.com>writes
Quote
Iman L Crawford <ilcrawford.at.hotmail.dot.com>writes:

>"maramirezc" <XXXX@XXXXX.COM>wrote in
>news:XXXX@XXXXX.COM:
>>...another issue that Sun and its Java platform, missed.
>
>IIRC, the java supports quite a few languages.
>
>www.robert-tolksdorf.de/vmlanguages.html

With one important caveat...

"I do not take any guarantee about the quality of software referenced
here. Use at your own risk."

and a lot of "written in Java" comments...

Is there any other languages offcially supported by the JVM?

On topic: My first experience with Smalltalk was Smalltalk/V 286. I
was blown away by the incredible power of the OOP language, rich GUI
IDE, and the shere amount of functionalty that came out of the box
(read library routines).

I was not as enthralled with it is self-modifying environment at the
time, and I never found out if that was implementation specific to
this product or not.

Lars F.
 

Re:Any Smalltalk ethusiasts out there?

I should add that if CodeGear would create a powerful and flexible
OpenTools API and provide the kind of documentation and high level of IDE
control that Microsoft provides, then maybe they would not have to spend
time trying to add other languages to BDS and rather the community and
folks like Huw or Mark Miller (of CodeRush fame) would create the IDE
plug-ins.
Better yet, imagine if they could somehow layer the API so that it is
function compatible with VS API, this would make it easier for IDE Add-in
builders to create versions for both VS and BDS with little work.
From a strategic point of view I think the OpenTools API should play a
very important role in CodeGear. From what I heard thru the NG grapevine
was that Mark Miller was in hog-heaven when he started working with the
Visual Studio IDE API. I think it would be a key move for CodeGear folks
to contact Mark and get his input on what he liked so much about the VS
Tools API and what they could due to lure him back to create a CodeRush
for new versions of Delphi.
Borland has always had a very loyal following and 3rd party development.
Creating a first class OpenTools API and documenting it first class would
really allow CodeGear breathing room to have the 3rd Party community fill
in the gaps where BDS is missing those Visual Studio Features. And to
create plug-ins for new languages like Ruby, Python, etc.
--- posted by geoForum on delphi.newswhat.com
 

Re:Any Smalltalk ethusiasts out there?

Iman L Crawford writes:
Quote
My closest experience with Smalltalk was Actor, by the Whitewater
group.
Actor was great.
--
Craig Stuntz [TeamB] ?Vertex Systems Corp. ?Columbus, OH
Delphi/InterBase Weblog : blogs.teamb.com/craigstuntz
Please read and follow Borland's rules for the user of their
server: support.borland.com/entry.jspa
 

Re:Any Smalltalk ethusiasts out there?

Lars Fosdal <Lars(q)Fosdal.com>wrote in
Quote
On topic: My first experience with Smalltalk was Smalltalk/V 286. I
My closest experience with Smalltalk was Actor, by the Whitewater group.
It only fault was its memory requirements. Which wouldn't matter now, but
then memory was pretty expensive.
--
Iman
 

Re:Any Smalltalk ethusiasts out there?

"jeffc" <XXXX@XXXXX.COM>writes:
Quote
I should add that if CodeGear would create a powerful and>flexible
OpenTools API and provide the kind of documentation and high>level of IDE
I commented about OTA a few days, ago with the same subject, strangenly, not much people seem it interested...