Future Direction - GUI, Multiprocessing

VA Smalltalk is a "100% VisualAge compatible" IDE that includes the original VisualAge technology and the popular VA Assist and WidgetKit add-ons.

Moderators: Eric Clayberg, wembley, tc, Diane Engles, solveig

Future Direction - GUI, Multiprocessing

Postby marten » Thu Nov 15, 2007 12:39 am

Seeing several presentations (Cincom and SAP) and videos I would like to ask some questions here about long term directions of VASmalltalk (and Smalltalk in general).

- in the talk from Cincom/SAP it was mentioned, that using a popular IDE (Eclipse named) would give them a better acceptance within SAP and their developers.

I know, that Instantiations had the same idea some years ago and presented this idea at Smalltalk Solutions - with minor success (I was also against it), but as times have changed and more trust are around the product VASmalltalk now - it might be worth to discuss it again ?

- looking at the hardware area (dual-core, quad-core) we might see a fundamental shift in the (advanced ?) programming world. I get the impression, that some/lots people are trying to make this a topic/hype - and they might be (in principle) right. Joe Armstongs question is simple: in the future time we have 64 (and more) cores on a chip how do you can argue, that using only 1/64 of the total possible CPU time is ok ?

Any idea how to jump on this train (Squeak, VASmalltalk or Cincom - the dialect does not matter much) - and in my opinion other most popular systems (also .NET) has no real solutions to that.

You may view the talks with Joe Armstrong at:


and the .NET future about this:


and to see Dave Thomas again:

Posts: 641
Joined: Sat Oct 14, 2006 7:10 am
Location: Hamburg - Germany

Re: Future Direction - GUI, Multiprocessing

Postby jtuchel » Thu Nov 15, 2007 3:29 am


If I had to decide whether Instantiations put effort into putting VA Smalltalk into eclipse or moderizing the existing IDE, I would definitely vote for a modernization of VA ST.

Most Building blocks for a modern GUI are available, even from a visual point of view. VA ST can look very nice on Vista, and once the browsers get nice icons (the current ones are better than anything we had before, but still the toolbars look dated) and menus and available functionality in browsers are consolidated, the IDE will be a very nice place to dive into the Image.

A second step should be lifting more Cw and Ew functionality to the Abt layer, so that modern GUI standards can be easily accessible. Part of this can be achieved by weaving code from WidgetKit Controls into the resp. Abt Parts (much of that can be done by a push-up refactoring). These parts should then be loaded by default.
Adding a few nifty features like pluggable toolbar groups (which can be dragged off from the toolbar and moved into a free floating window) will make the development of a modern-looking GUI a lot easier.

I'd love to see object arts' idea space recycled in VAST. The building blocks of such a tool are there...

Multiprocessing: well, I think many existing VA ST customers in the business area won't benefit from such a beast very soon. They have GUI-heavy applications with complex business logic under the covers, which might not benefit from multithreading at all. Occupying just one processor is enough for that. On c.l.s there is constantly some discussion of this topic, and I understand the effort for making a Smalltalk VM ready for multiprocessors is very high. Doing research on this might be a good thing, but not catching up on the visual side of VA ST as a price for this is possibly equal to committing suicide.

VA ST must feel like a modern tool and make it easy to build modern GUIs without digging into the code to deep. If I want a wizard, give me the framework for it and let me paste a few pages into it. If I want a pluggable toolbar, let me paint one. If I need sortable columns and drag&drop for columns in a listbox, let me enable it with a single mouse click.

Not being eclipse wouldn't be that bad if these features were there.

And, of course, Make Seaside development as easy as possible. Combine it with an O/R framework and MAKE DEVELOPERS PRODUCTIVE. That's what Smalltalk is about.

Posts: 245
Joined: Fri Oct 05, 2007 1:05 am
Location: Ludwigsburg, Germany

Return to VA Smalltalk 7.0, 7.5 & 8.0

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Yahoo [Bot] and 1 guest