VA Smalltalk Forum Europe 2010: Mike Taylor on Instantiations’ strategy

Just in case you haven’t heard about it: we’ll be holding or third VA Smalltalk Forum Europe in Stuttgart on June 8th, 2010.

If you’ve attended one of the first two events, you sure know that there aren’t many other occasions on which you can learn about VA Smalltalk and get in touch with other users to have smalltalk about Smalltalk.

One of the first speakers will be Mike Taylor, CEO and Co-Founder of Instantiations. He’ll be speaking remotely via Skype, staying up late into the early morning hours to give us some insight into Instantiations’ Smalltalk business and the companys strategy for Smalltalk. Later in the day, attendees will have the chance to discuss their questions and comments with John O’Keefe and Eric Clayberg, both members of senior management of Instantiations.

There’s a full-day agenda, packed with interesting talks on various topics about Smalltalk, Seaside and, of course, VA Smalltalk. Stay tuned for more info!

To learn more and register for this free event, please visit our registration site. For logistical reasons, registration is mandatory, but if you register before May 25th, you’ll get a free Poloshirt. How’s that? 😉

You can also visit our website for more information (in German).

VA Smalltalk Forum Europe 2010: Join us for a day packed with information

Join us (objektfabrik), together with Instantiations and Tricept AG, for a full day packed with information on the latest news on VA Smalltalk. We’re coming together on June 8th, 2010 in Stuttgart, Germany.
We cordially invite everybody interested in VA Smalltalk to get in touch with us and other VA Smalltalk users and see what’s up in the market. We’ve prepared a day full of information about what’s coming, what people do with VA Smalltalk and how to get the most out of it:

Agenda

9:00 – 9:30 – Registration and coffee

9:30 – 10:00 – Welcome, Introductions and “Smalltalk Business Update” by Mike Taylor, Instantiations (via Internet).  Mike will give an update on the status of the VA Smalltalk business, talk about 2009 results, and discuss strategies for 2010 and beyond.

10:00 – 10:30 – “State of Smalltalk / State of the Industry,” Georg Heeg, Smalltalk Inductry Council (STIC)

10:30 – 11:30 – “VA Smalltalk 8.0.2 Update,” John O’Keefe, Instantiations

11:30 – 11:45 – Coffee Break

11:45 – 12:45 – “Get Your Project Back in Shape! – How a Few Techniques Can Change Your (Project’s) Life,” Joachim Tuchel, objektfabrik

12:45 – 1:45 – LUNCH

1:45 – 2:45  – “Seaside – How it’s Different and Why You Should Care,” Lukas Renggli, Seaside Core-Developer and co-author of Dynamic Web Development with Seaside book

2:45 – 3:45 – “Smalltalk as a Service – Let Others Benefit from Your Mission-Critical Application,” Sebastian Heidbrink, Tricept Informationssysteme AG

3:45 – 4:00 – Coffee Break

4:00 – 4:30 – “Accessing Smalltalk Web Services from Visual Studio Web Developer,” Diane Engles, Instantiations

4:30 – 5:30 – “Experience Report: Porting Packages from Pharo to VA Smalltalk,” John O’Keefe, Instantiations

5:30 – 6:00  – “Open Q & A and Closing Remarks,” Instantiations (including Eric Clayberg, remote); objektfabrik, Tricept

6:00 – Networking reception

So don’t hesitate to register here. We look forward to meeting you.

There’s a block of rooms at a discount rate available at the hotel (more info on the registration site), but there are quite a few hotels in the area as well.

VA Smalltalk Forum Europe 2010: Hotel information

If you’d like to come to our VA Smalltalk Forum Europe 2010 in Stuttgart on June 8th, you’d probably want to stay overnight, since we have a full day of information and networking for you.

We have reserved a small block of rooms at the hotel that’s available for 165 EUR per night including breakfast. You can do two things to reserve the room:

You may call the hotel directly at +49 711 2048-0 and indicate that you are part of the VA Smalltalk Forum Europe group to obtain this rate. Or you may go to the hotel website (German) (English) and do the following:

1.  Click on Business Client/Geschäftskunden at the top of the page

2.  Enter Rate Access Code/Preiszugangs-Code “GOJT”

3.  Select the Stuttgart Hotel

4.  Scroll down to select dates on Calendar

5.  Scroll down to see find the rate of 165 Euro a night.

This room rate is only available until May 25th, or shorter if the block is booked. There also is an early bird rate of 183 excl. Breakfast which has to be booked at least 7 days in advance.

Since the hotel is very central in Stuttgart, directly across the road from the main train station, there are plenty of other options, some of them probably a lot cheaper.

You can use the typical booking sites like hrs.de or expedia.de or whatever you like to find them. Some cheaper but still close alternatives are:

If you’ve found or know a nice hotel near Stuttgart main station and would like to recommend it to VAST Forum attendees, let me know in the comments.

Einladung zum VA Smalltalk Forum Europe 2010

Nach einem Jahr Pause ist es 2010 wieder so weit: gemeinsam mit Instantiations und Tricept möchten wir alle Kunden und Interessenten von VA Smalltalk am 8. Juni 2010 nach Stuttgart einladen.

Wir haben diesmal ein wirklich vollgepacktes Programm mit mehr Vorträgen als je zuvor:

  • Georg Heeg vom Smalltalk Industry Council
  • Lukas Renggli, Core developer des Web-Frameworks Seaside
  • Mike Taylor, CEO von Instantiations
  • John O’Keefe, Diane Engles und Eric Clayberg aus dem VA Smalltalk-Entwicklungsteam bei Instantiations
  • Sebastian Heidbrink von Tricept
  • Joachim Tuchel von der objektfabrik

Neben den Neuigkeiten und Plänen zu VA Smalltalk sind unsere Schwerpunkte dieses Jahr:

  • Web Applikationen mit Seaside
  • Web Services als Integrationstechnologie für Smalltalk
  • Steigerung von Qualität und Produktivität in bestehenden Projekten
  • Austausch bzw. Portierung von Smalltalk Code zwischen Squeak / Pharo und VA Smalltalk

In einer abschliessenden Session erhalten Sie Gelegenheit, mit Eric Clayberg und John O’Keefe über die Produktpläne von Instantiatiosn zu diskutieren. Bei einem abschliessenden Snack treffen Sie andere Anwender, den Hersteller und seine Vertriebspartner zum Erfahrungsaustausch, Aufbau von Kontakten oder zur Klärung von Fragen.

Es lohnt sich also ganz sicher, nach Stuttgart zu kommen, wenn Sie mit VA Smalltalk arbeiten oder sich dafür interessieren.

Aus organisatorischen Gründen sollten sich alle Interessenten registrieren. Dazu besuchen Sie bitte die Webseite http://vastforum2010.eventbrite.com und melden sich verbindlich an.

Dieser Infotag ist für Sie kostenlos. Sie sind herzlich eingeladen!

Das VA Smalltalk Forum Europe 2010 ist eine gemeinsame Veranstaltung von Instantiations, der objektfabrik und dem neuen Vertriebspartner Tricept.

VA Smalltalk Summit 2009 wird per Webcast auch in Europa verfügbar

Gute Nachrichten für alle europäischen VA Smalltalk – Nutzer, die gerne nach Raleigh zum VAST Summit 2009 gegangen wären: Instantiations wird die Vorträge im Rahmen von Webcasts verfügbar machen. Damit ist es auch ganz ohne Reisebudget möglich, sich vom 21. bis 22. April 2009 über die Neuigkeiten rund um VA Smalltalk zu informieren.

Zum Hintergrund:

Nachdem das VA Smalltalk Forum Europe in 2007 und 2008 hier in Europa sehr gut angenommen wurde, hatten wir gemeinsam geplant, in 2009 kein Event in Europa zu veranstalten. Zum Einen, weil das letzte erst im September 2008 stattgefunden hat, und die Besucher sich eher für Mai ausgesprochen hatten. Und zum Anderen, wiel für Mai 2009 nicht allzu viele Neuigkeiten zu erwarten sind- bis dahin wird nach aktuellem Plan die neue Version 8 verfügbar sein, die ja im September ausführlich vorgestellt wurde.

Instantiations’ Kunden in USA hatten ebenfalls Interesse an einer ähnlichen Veranstaltung, und so wurde Ende 2008 die Idee des VA Smalltalk Summit 2009 in Raleigh geboren. Ich persönlich sehe das als ein kleines Bonbon für meine Überzeugungsarbeit bei Instantiations und den Aufwand, den die Durchführung der beiden Foren gemacht hat: offenbar hat die Idee gefruchtet – und die amerikanischen Kunden wollten sowas nun auch.

Die Finanzkrise und die dadurch stark eingeschränkte Bereitschaft in Unternehmen, Reisekosten für derartige Veranstaltungen zu übernehmen (Selbst Gartner hat ja inzwischen große Veranstaltungen abgesagt), führten zu der Überlegung, das VA Smalltalk Summit 2009 in eine Serie von Webcasts umzugestalten. Für uns hier in Europa sind das mehrfach gute Nachrichten:

  • Es gibt auch in 2009 eine Möglichkeit, sich über die neuesten Entwicklungen rund um Smalltalk zu informieren
  • Es wird mehr Vorträge geben
  • Die ganze Sache wird international
  • Es ist nicht einmal nötig, dafür zu reisen

Natürlich werde ich hier wieder Informieren, wenn es dazu Neuigkeiten gibt. Man darf gespannt sein.

Was heisst das für das VA Smalltalk Forum Europe?

Noch sind die Planungen zu einem VA Smalltalk Forum Europe 2010 nicht konkret, und ich möchte nicht ausschliessen, dass es keines in der bisherigen Form mehr geben wird. Ich denke, wir müssen sehen, wie das mit den Webcasts so funktioniert und bei den Kunden ankommt, und vielleicht wird es in Zukunft nur noch dieses eine online-Event für den gesamten Markt geben.

Andererseits denke ich auch, dass der Aspekt des Networking und des persönlichen Kennenlernens anderer User ein wichtiger Aspekt ist. Vielleicht wäre es eine gute Idee, eine Usergroup zu gründen. Vielleicht ist es aber auch wieder einmal Zeit, sich über die Ausweitung der ESUG – Konferenz Gedanken machen und versuchen,hier mehr Interesse der Industrie zu generieren.  Schliesslich ist es ja eigentlich durchaus sinnvoll, nicht nur mit VA ST – Usern zu diskutieren, sondern auch mit Smalltalker, die andere Produkte nutzen.

Ich würde mich sehr über Kommentare dazu hier im Blog  sehr freuen.

Niall Ross has put his Conference reports online

Niall has been present at most of the important Smalltalk events worldwide and wrote a report on all the events he attended. He did so for many years already, and he just recently put his 2008 report online. One of the events he reports about is the VA Smalltalk Forum 2008 which was held by instantiatons and objektfabrik in September 2008. You can download his report from: http://www.esug.org/data/ReportsFromNiallRoss/NiallRossStSESUGVASUG2008Report.pdf

I’d like to thank Nial for his efforts of making all this material available online. Please take the chance to read what you missed if you weren’t there..

The mysterious DNU bug … is not VA specific

In the Seaside-based Yahoo! Traffic Demo I gave at the VA Smalltalk Forum there was a little annoying bug that brought up a debugger in about 20% of all request handled by the server.

John and I suspected this to be a bug in the VA Smalltalk port of Seaside, but it turned out to be a bug in Seaside itself which has now been solved by reverting some changes. Unfortunately, this makes two other issues open again. This had to do with some refactoring and cleanup in WATask (see issue 191 in the Seaside Bug Tracker).

Now Instantiations can concentrate on finishing the Seaside Port and VA ST version 8

VA Smalltalk Forum 08: Building Seaside Applications with VA Smalltalk

In the afternoon I gave a talk on Seaside and how it can be used to bring existing applications onto the intra- or internet. The first part of my talk was a little overview of Seaside. I showed the basics like rendering in pure Smalltalk code, wiring the controls on an html page to the application model and control flow via call: and answer:. Another topic was the composition aspect of Components.
This was all pretty basic stuff for a Seaside pro, but my impression was and still is that Seaside is pretty unknown in many corporate IT departments.

The second part concentrated on how Seaside development and the classical

More

VA Smalltalk Forum 2008: VA Smalltalk 8.0 and Beyond

John O'Keefe talking about VA Smalltalk Version 8John O’Keefe (Principal Smalltalk Architect at Instantiations) gave an updated version of his talk on VA Smalltalk Version 8, introducing the new features and major bug fixes for the upcoming version 8 of VA Smalltalk.

Most important here is surely the integration of the Seaside web development framework into VA Smalltalk. Instantiations tried both Version 2.8 and 2.9 for porting to VAST.
They gave up on 2.8 in favor of 2.9 because this version is much easier to port. VAST will ship with a snapshot release of 2.9 if it’s not finished when VAST 8 is released. Once Seaside 2.9 is finished, there will be an update for VAST. Instantiatiosn will initially ship Seaside and Seaside-Scriptaculous for Ajax stuff. Other frameworks and tools might follow later or are likey to be ported by the Smalltalk community.

Also a very nice feature will be much improved Class Browsers, that pretty much resemble the state of affairs in other Smalltalk implementations. The Browsers will feature tabbed panes and sortable lists and look friendlier.

V8 will be the first release in a row of some over which the features and menus of several browsers and tools will be consolidated. This will be an ongoing process for several releases.

The product documentation will be prettier, searchable locally as well as on their site, and on the site there will be inter-release updates of the docs. The documentation will alsovast8andbeyond.JPG be improved content-wise.

He also showed the current plans for Versions after V8.

  • An official port of GLORP, an open-source object-relational mapping framework
  • Improved installation procedures for both Windows Vista and Unix
  • New and improved widgets
  • Web Services tools like an XML editor, WSDL tooling etc.
  • Consolidation of tools and browsers will continue

You can download his presentation here.

VA Smalltalk Forum 08: Integrating VA Smalltalk into today’s IT Landscapes

One of my 2 talks was about how VA Smalltalk fits into today’s corprate IT landscapes. A funny thing about many Smalltalk projects today is that many developers and managers tend to think that Smalltalk is only a suitable development environment for Client/Server or Fat Client systems.

Newer developments like web technologies or XML-based data exchange still are regarded as a pure Java domain in some IT shops. I try to show that neither Web Services or Web Applications are restricted to any language, and I show that VA Smalltalk supports these technologies very well. There are projects out there who use Web Services in production environments and do a successful job in doing so.

Most of today’s important technologies are based on only a few building blocks: HTTP as a transport protocol and some data marshalling and transport formats like XML, HTML or JSON. One very popular example currently are RESTful Web Services. They are in wide use and carry a very small backpacker of syntactic overhead  as compared to “big” Web Services which can be extremely complex and hard to maintain.

In my talk I gave a little demo to show that VA Smalltalk can play with RESTful Web Services pretty nicely. I demoed a Smalltalk-based Client for Yahoo! Traffic, which is a service to request for current incidents on the roads across the US.

I also demoed a prototype of a RESTful Web Services Server which serves Smalltalk Objects as Resources. I used the generic RESTful Web Services client from the first demo as a client to the service as well as Firefox. The server used a little Object Database as a storage medium which we use for prototyping and smaller applications internally and for customer projects.

Unfortunately, you can’t see the demos on the slides, but you surely get the idea when looking at the presentation slides.