ESUG 2010: Only one week to go!

If you haven’t registered for this year’s conforence organized by the European Smalltalk User’s Group (ESUG), it’s probably time to finally do so: today in one week the party starts in beautiful Barcelona (Okay, I have to admit I’ve never been to Barcelona, but the weather forecast is great and there will be many Smalltalkers around, so it will surely be wonderful).

Registering is easy: go to the ESUG conference website and register. You can fly to Barcelona at quite low prices from all over Europe, and getting in touch with other Smalltalkers will surely amortize very soon. If you don’t believe me that it’s going to be worth it, check out the conference schedule.

VA Smalltalk and open source databases

VA Smalltalk has its traditional background in large corporations where most of the data is stored in the 800 pound gorillas DB2 and Oracle. The support for these databases is very reliable and stable, and Instantiations keeps their support code up to date with the supported products.

But open source has reached the enterprise in many areas, including databases. The web designers brought in MySQL with their PHP sites and Postgres is not particularly unsuited for many things that typically were driven by DB2 in the past.

So the time has come to support these databases as well in VA Smalltalk. Of course you can always use an ODBC driver and get VA Smalltalk to talk to these DBs, but ODBC hast ist issues.

Marten has put quite some work into PostgreSQL and SQLite support for VA Smalltalk. In his latest Blog post he gives a short introduction to how far he got, what problems he found and where he could need a little help as well as a short introduction on installing and using it.

You can always download his stuff from VastGoodies.com.

I think we should have stable support for at least PostgreSQL, MySQL and SQLite in VA Smalltalk in order to give newbies a chance to get to speed with VA Smalltalk very quickly, for example if they want to port their Rails application or a PHP based web site over to Seaside. SQLite is especially interesting for (small) businesses who want to ship packaged end-user applications (home banking, shopping list management, accounting, media management etc.). Not all and everything today is written against a NoSQL database…

An easy migration path is especially important for users who came to Smalltalk via Squeak or Pharo, but need the ability to produce GUIs with native widgets. They should not be forced to switch databases as well, just because they want to use VA Smalltalk.

So Marten’s work is really essential here, and I hope we can improve on his foundation.