Smalltalk Inspect Episode 27: Gemstone/S 3.2 and the new Web edition licenses

Over on our Smalltalk Inspect Podcast, Marten just released Episode 27, which was recorded late last week. Once again I didn’t make it to be online due to a family vacation that was very welcome and enjoyable.

Dale and James from Gemtalk Systems answered Marten’s and Sebastian’s questions on the news about the soon to be released version 3.2 of Gemstone/S. This release will be available “within the next few weeks” and will be packed with lots of new features and bugfixes. The most important from my perspective are:

  • Significantly improved support of Unicode Strings (this is an area where most Smalltalk vendors are hard at work on currently)
  • Better support for large Shared Page Caches (which is relevant for the really big customers)
  • More Multithreading support for Gemstone’s housekeeping procedures like Garbage Collection, Reclaiming etc.
  • Deprecation Exceptions to make phasing out of methods easier
  • Support (and shipping) of a new version of the OpenSSL library to address the famous Heartbleed problem

But what even more people might be interested in is that James and Dale also introduce the new licensing model for what was once called GLASS and will now be called the Web Edition. There will be two licenses of Gemstone/S web edition that are free for commercial use, one of which will be available just with the download files. The second one will require you to register by email and will still be free. The even more exciting news in this area is that supported licenses of the Web edition will be starting at 1500 USD per year, including a limited number of support request per year and very generous limits on CPUs and Storage space. But you’ll have to listen for yourself to learn about the details.

So if you are interested in Gemstone/S, this episode once again will be a great stop for information on what’s going to happen in the next few months.

Special thanks goes to Marten, who, after there was some mysterious problem with the recording (his moderation didn’t get recorded), had to do extensive editing and re-recording of his questions. He’s done a great job here – you hardly realize, and the sound quality is really good.

If you are in the Smalltalk scene, you sure have heard about the passing of James Robertson just before easter. James was THE Smalltalk advocate for decades. Marten starts the episode with a short tribute to James, mentioning how much he was an inspiration and idol for us.


Smalltalk Inspect is back: Episode 25 on starting with Gemstone/S

Marten, Sebastian and I had a very busy year, and one of the projects that suffered was Smalltalk Inspect, our (planned as) monthly Smalltalk-related podcast. But Marten and Sebastian decided to do something about it and turn their current learning experience with Gemstone/S into something that’s useful for other Smalltalk or Gemstone beginners: Our latest episode 25 of Smalltalk inspect is called “Gemstone Monthly 12/2013” and is intended as the first in a longer series of installments on all things Gemstone/S.

Gemstone/S is a very interesting Smalltalk dialect in that it combines a distributed object database with a rock-solid Smalltalk runtime. It allows you to write Smalltalk code that is transacted and stores objects transparently. No O/R mappers or marshaling of objects to JSON or XML or anything. Gemstone/S has been in use in some of the biggest Software systems on our planet for decades now. So it is no wonder it attracts quite a few people both from the Smalltalk ecosystem as well as from outside.

As you can see on the GLASS mailing list, where the free web edition (which you can also use for commercial use for free) is discussed, there is not only a significant amount of new interest in Gemstone, but also a lot of things to to learn and discuss with other users and the Gemstone development team. This first installment tries to answer some of the most obvious and frequently asked questions for Gemstone/ beginners. Dale Henrichs and James Foster from Gemtalk Systems answer questions from Marten, Sebastian and Mariano, and Norbert (who we’ve had on Smalltalk Inspect before (only in German)) also contributes from his experience with Gemstone/S.

So this is once again an episode you shouldn’t miss!

Smalltalk Inspect interviews tim Rowledge about Squeak and the Raspberry Pi (and lots more)

Smalltalk Inspect is alive and kicking, we just took a creative break for the new year…

But to finally kick off 2013, we want to start a little firework: a 2 hour interview with tim Rowledge about lots of interesting things around Smalltalk in the past, present and future. The highlight and climax here sure is tim’s work on the Squeak VM on RISC OS for the Raspberry Pi. If you wonder what this little machine might be good for, stop  and listen!

You can download this episode from here, or even better, subscribe to our podcast on iTunes. If you like what you hear and would like to learn more, you can always download more great stuff from our Smalltalk Inspect site.

Smalltalk Inspect interviews Seth Berman from Instantiations

We’ve just release episode 21 of our Smalltalk Inspect podcast. This time we talk to Seth Berman about his work at Instantiations on VA Smalltalk:

 First, we lift one of the best kept secrets of the JWARS project before he tells us a bit about some of the projects Seth has worked on before joining the VA Smalltalk engineering team at Instantiations. We chat a little about how different it is to work on a development tool than it was working on a “normal” project, and whether and how providing support to developers changes life as a developer.

BTW: This episode is in english😉

Smalltalk Inspect: Teaser für Folge 20 – Smalltalk auf Android

So, nun will ich mal wieder ein bisschen die Werbetrommel rühren.

Gestern haben wir die Episode 20 von Smalltalk Inspect aufgenommen. Diesmal ist es ein Interview mit Stefan Krecher, der uns in den letzten Wochen und Monaten durch einige interessante Blogposts aufgefallen war. Und zwar hat er in den letzten Monaten verschiedene Ansätze ausprobiert, Smalltalk als alleinige Programmiersprache für Anwendungen auf Android-Geräten zu nutzen. Ansätze, die zumindest prototypisch gut funktionieren, gibt es verschiedene: Continue reading

Smalltalk Inspect 18: Smalltalking hardware

We’ve just released episode 18 of Smalltalk Inspect. It is once again an english-spoken episode and this time we interviewed Jecel Assumpcao Jr. about the SiliconSqueak Project. SiliconSqueak is a project aimed at building a mini-computer (think Raspberry Pi) that natively runs Smalltalk Bytecodes on multiple cores in parallel.

I am not a hardware guy, but this interview was very interesting and inspiring for me, and I guess it’s going to be for you as well. If you’d like to listen to it, please follow this link to the Smalltalk Inspect web site, where you can also download and listen to all the other 17 great episodes of our podcast.

Feel free to send us comments and ideas for new episodes, either here on this blog or on the Smalltalk Inspect web site. And, of course, feel free to tell all your friends and colleagues about Smalltalk Inspect😉

Smalltalk Inspect 17: Igor Stasenko on FFI, Alien and NativeBoost

We’ve just released Episode 17 of our Smalltalk Inspect Podcast. It’s an interview with Igor Stasenko about calling code outside the Smalltalk VM. We cover Primitives, the Foreign Function Interface, Alien and NativeBoost, Igor’s latest pet project (or one of them).

So if you ever wondered how the FFI, Alien and the Gog VM relate to each other or are looking for some hints for downloading, installing and working with FFI or NativeBoost, this Podcast episode is probably your favorite starting point.

Don’t shy away if the intro is spoken in german, beginning with the second sentence the podcast is completely spoken in english (well, you know, the kind of english you can expect from Germans and an Ukrainian😉 ).

Smalltalk Inspect Episode 16: Udo Schneider und Smalltalk aus dem Untergrund

Vor lauter Urlaub und anschliessender Aufholjagd mit allem währenddessen liegen Gebliebenen ist mir völlig durch die Lappen gegangen, auf unsere Episode 16 hinzuweisen.

Dabei haben wir ein extrem interessantes Gespräch mit Udo Schneider geführt. Neben diesem, jenem und anderem ging es vor allem auch um ein von ihm gestartetes Projekt für eine Administrationsoberfläche für ein Sicherheits-Appliance. Anstatt irgend jemanden zu fragen, nutzte er einfach Squeak bzw. Pharao und Seaside, um einen Prototypen zu erstellen. Dieser war dann so überzeugend, dass nun eben eine Smalltalk-Anwendung auf dem Gerät läuft.

Wie immer ist diese Episode hörenswert für jeden, der sich immer wieder mal fragt, wie man eigentlich Smalltalk in der eigenen Firma platzieren könnte. Hier gibt’s dazu die passenden Anregungen…

Smalltalk: is it a small business thing?

Last saturday we had a little get together in Frankfurt called “Smalltalk Inspect Fest 2012”. We had no pre-organized agenda or anything, just a room and a few people who attended. I’ll probably post a few impressions over the next few days, but one of the most interesting things that I am currently wondering about is whether Smalltalk is a small business thing… Continue reading

Smalltalk Inspect Fest: Präsentationen willkommen!

Noch sind es vier Tage bis zum Smalltalk Inspect Fest 2012 am 21.04. in Frankfurt, für das man sich  bitte auf unserer Doodle-Seite anmelden sollte.

Inzwischen haben wir einen Sponsor für einen Beamer gefunden, sodass jedem Demonstrationswütigen alle Tore offen stehen. Wir lassen uns einfach mal überraschen!

Zudem bietet das Hotel laut Webseite gratis-WLAN an und Marten bringt einen WLAN-Accesspoint mit, sodass wir uns auch privat vernetzen können. Einem Smalltalk-Hackabend steht also auch nichts im Wege! Einige übernachten im Hotel, es kann also notfalls auch beim (oder bis zum) Frühstück noch fertig gepackaged, released und online gestellt werden, wenn das nächste Killer-Framework entstehen sollte😉

Hach, das klingt alles sehr spannend, und so ganz im Sinne von Smalltalk Inspect: Agilität aus allen Poren…