Seaside 3 and my first day at ESUG

I may be the last blogger in the Smalltalk arena to mention it, but Seaside 3 has finally been published here at Camp Smalltalk in Barcelona. You can read the full announcement on the Seaside home page.

So what can I say about my first day at ESUG? It was great, and it’s good to meet old and new friends and see the faces behind names you’ve read on the internet so many times.

My highlights yesterday were:

Andreas Tönne talked about his vision of what we as a community could do to make Smalltalk an acceptable solution in the context of Enterprise systems, especially in JEE landscapes. He started off by showing how easy it is to write a stateless bean in JEE today, using Annotations and writing only the business code. Today’s EJB containers provide all the infrastructure services around that: persistence, transactions, failover, life cycle etc. His vision is a vendor-neutral standard centered around Smalltalk acting as another bean container. He showed a few architecture sketches and ideas of how and where to start. His message was: Like it or not, EJB has won the market, and if another technology wants to get a chance in this market, it better plays well with the “standard”.

Gemstone announced that their 7000USD/Year version of Gemstone/S is going to be free for commercial use.

Bert Freudenberg talked about Squeak and EToys and gave an overview of their roadmap. My special highlight here was that they are working on getting Squeak accepted by the open source Linux distributions by providing the VM in the form of build packages and isolated source code.

Unfortunately, I missed the Wolfpack Programming workshop, but there will be another one at the XPdays in Hamburg in late November. From what I’ve heard, it’s well worth a visit.

Johann Brichau’s demo of his Seaside based Event planning system was both impressive and interesting. To me his finding about database options (Magma/Goods/Gemstone) were almost more interesting than his Seaside application, even though I got quite a few inspirational ideas from it.

Martin’s intro to Xtreams was also very interesting. Especially the idea of using Blocks as a Terminal for Streams is fascinating. We’ve talked a bit about it in the evening and found some interesting use cases for this.

We enjoyed some beer, food and Smalltalk sponsored by Instantiations. Mike Taylor, CEO of Instantiations said a few words about the Google transition and their plans for VA Smalltalk. His basic message was that VAST has been and will continue to be profitable and they are currently working on a detailed strategy for the next releases.

This year’s ESUG tech award nominees presented their stuff and I especially liked Esteban’s Mars Project. It is really good to see how far he’s gotten already. It’s great to see a Smalltalk environment with Native Widgets on the Mac.

Since I flew in in the morning, I missed the introduction, but from what I was told, we’re around 140 attendees this year, and about 30% of them are here for the first time. This is the third year that had more than 100 attendees, which is interesting in the context of the current economic situation. The venue (citilab) is great, as well as the food 😉