VA Smalltalk 8.5 announced at ESUG yesterday

John O’Keefe announced the immediate availability of the new release 8.5 of VA Smalltalk at the ESUG conference yesterday. The product is available for download for registered users and for evaluation.

You can have a look at John’s presentation here.

With this release, Instantiations starts improving the developer experience and modernizing the IDE itself. This includes the new Code Assist Feature as well as a settings and a logging framework (now there is a supported and shipped-by-the-vendor framework which might soon be THE standard VAST logging tool) and support for deprecation exceptions, paving the way for more changes to the tool while enabling a smooth transition for users’ existing code.

Seaside has been updated to a newer version (3.05), but it seems Continuations still aren’t supported (I’ve mentioned before that I don’t think they are extremely important in web applications). A new Rebar control for tool bars in Windows was added.

Unfortunately, the list of things that still need to be done short-to-mid-term hasn’t really shrunk substantially: UTF-8 is still unfinished, Multipart forms for file uploads in Seaside / HTTP are missing and lots of stuff is soon to come.  So it’s clear to see that Instantiations is working hard on improving VAST and they are clearly committed to the product. This is also clear to see from the fact that they’ve hired 4 additional engineers during the last year, and it’s always additional work to get new people into a team. So we can hope for a longer list of checked-off to-do items next year. The direction is set, some fundamentals are set and the caravan is getting up to full speed, so let’s see how far they get until next year’s ESUG.