sábado, noviembre 28, 2009

Porting SWT to trunk / Pharo - Report 1

I'm working on port SWT (Smalltalk Web Toolkit) to the latest versions of Squeak and Pharo.

SWT was developed and used extensively on Squeak 3.8 and I'm trying now to port it to 3.10 trunk and Pharo (Closures enabled images).

The process of install and run SWT on an image may change depending if the image has the web tools installed (Comanche, Seaside) or not.

On an image with the web tools installed, the process is very straightforward, only matter of install the packages from the repository.

On an image without the web tools, the steps are the following:
Install from squeaksource:
  1. KomServices-gc.19
  2. DynamicBindings-GiovanniCorriga.10
  3. KomHttpServer-GiovanniCorriga.50
  4. Modify the class MessageSends adding the methods #value: and #evaluateWithArguments (methods coming from Seaside).
I added these methods on a category *swt-nonseaside when the image don't have Seaside installed.

The installation of SWT and friends is so easy, only point the squeaksource repository: 

    location: 'http://www.squeaksource.com/SWT'
    user: ''
    password: '' 
and install in order: 

  • JSON
  • Lock
  • Asteroid
  • SWT
When the installation ended, some issues appear (Are the issues I'm working on).
They are:  
1. On the web tests of ST2JS are 3 tests failing and only 1 [*] on the ST2JS Test Runner.
2. Starting up Asteroid and going to the default url (http://localhost:9999) the first browser connect and works ok, but trying to connect more browser windows, all remains disconnected.
3. Anyway the most of sample applications works ok, except from some encoding issue.
[*] Really exists 2 failing tests but the first one, #testSimplest is only a matter that the javascript get generated in different order than the one compared in the test:

The signaled line need to be arranged on the comparation as is generated now with new Squeak/Pharo and it's all.

Well, this is the current status of the port, but I will not be working on this in the next few weeks, because I need to come back to the work for money :)

Sorry with the bad formatting, but I'm tired of fight with these questions on blogspot (The wysiwyg editor show a thing and render another and I don't have time to edit pure html). May be is time to change my blogging platform.

lunes, noviembre 23, 2009

SWT on Smalltalks 2009

Smalltalks 2009 was held on November 19-20-21 on University of Buenos Aires. Was my first time there and hope not the last!.

All the conferences I attended were great and more great was the people I knew, all very friendly with me and Alejandro (We traveled together).

We enjoy all the conferences and tutoriales and also all the nice talks with the people of FAST and the other attendants and guests. In particular was an honour to us the possibility of give a technical talk about SWT (Smalltalk Web Toolkit) and between the people present we count Dan Ingalls!

Thanks to all the attendants to our talk, thanks to FAST by the possibility of be giving the talk, thanks to our friends Edgar, Francisco and Alex by the excellent companionship sharing the room of the hotel.

Also a big thanks to the distinguished guest that shared all their knowledgment with us, specially to James Foster, Stephan Ducasse (see pic) and Dan Ingalls.

We hope to be again sharing good Smalltalks talks on 2010!

Some more pics here.

martes, noviembre 10, 2009

Smalltalks 2009

We will be sponsoring Smalltalks 2009, an important conference about the Smalltalk technology in different areas of application.

The conference will have two sections:
    * Scientific Research
    * Software industry

and will count with distinguished guests as Dan Ingalls, Stephane Ducasse, Alex Warth, Tim Mackinnon and James Foster.

Also, and modestly, I will be giving a talk (together with Alejandro Aguirre) about SWT (Smalltalk Web Toolkit), the technology we used to develop several projects, for example: Ceibo.

If you are interested in smarter ways to develop software shouldn't miss this event!

jueves, septiembre 10, 2009

New Toy: Balsamiq Mockups

Some days ago I need to bid a project on a freelancers site.

After I bid my first proposal, I was selected by the customer to make a more complete proposal. Then he send me a complete description of the project he need to develop.

Such description was a bit complex and with the idiomatic barrier the things got a bit more complex.

Then, thinking in a way of show him my ideas with no place to doubts, Balsamiq Mockups came to my mind by first time to this sort of use (Not to design a real project, else to build a proposal).

Not being myself an expert on Balsamiq, else only a novice (I used it only one time before and  for a few minutes) I clicked on the Balsamiq icon and, as usual on me, I started using without read nothing and trusting on the easy of adaptation of the product. And yes, it worked!.

In a few minutes I designed two mockups with not problems and showing exactly the things I wanted to show to the possible customer. I know the customer liked this way of show an early desing of the system because "A picture is worth a thousand words".

I can suspect that Balsamiq will be with me from now on for many tasks in my company.

viernes, septiembre 04, 2009

Retrobjects won!

The Retrobjects projects won the Innovation Technology Awards on ESUG 2009!

The main positions were:

  • 1st: Retrobjects by Gabriel Eduardo Honoré
  • 2nd: PhidgetLab by L. Kessler, S. Platz, T. Klingbeil, F. Schlegel, Ph. Tessenow, M. Haupt, M. Perscheid, R. Hirschfeld
  • 3rd: For the first time, we got a tie. ESUG board decide to give two 3rd prizes (and not splitting the prize)
    • SqueakNOS by V. Murgia, L. Notarfrancesco, L. Caniglia, G. Richarte
    • Glamour by Ph. Bunge, T. Gîrba, L. Renggli, J. Ressia, D. Röthlisberger

The 1st and 3rd projects are from Argentina and on the 2nd also works an argentinian Smalltalker.

Congratulations to all the winners and also to all the participants!

Check the complete list of winners and nominations.

sábado, agosto 01, 2009

ESUG 2009 Innovation Technology Awards

The ESUG board announced that the 2009 ESUG conference will be held at the Université de Bretagne Occidentale(UBO) in Brest, France, August 31 - September 4, 2009; Camp Smalltalk 29-30 august 2009 and in the same event, the 6th Innovation Technology Awards.

Developers of any Smalltalk-based software are invited to compete. You can findout more on the previous editions and competitors on the page dedicated to the history of the ESUG Innovation Technology Awards.

The nominations to the 6th event are in this page and this year will be 5 argentinian projects between 21 nominations:
Best of lucks to you all!

jueves, mayo 21, 2009

In the spirit of original Squeak

When I started with Squeak, sooner I meet Diego Gómez Deck, who introduced me on the original ideas of Alan Kay and other people who started Squeak project.

In our days, seems that Squeak has evolved to several different audiences, with an important focus on web development. And, being a Smalltalk, is very good for such target, as to almost any sort of software development.

Even though, part of the original spirit of Squeak was to be a tool to help childrens learn anything on the school. A tool to help teachers to develop new ways of teach, making possible new ways of learn.

Such spirit is alive on our days on Squeakland, were several of the original people from Squeak team continue working.

The Squeakland site is plenty of fresh resources to such sort of Squeak use. Enjoy it!

lunes, mayo 11, 2009

ClubSmalltalk and PasswordsPro Promotion

We are delighted to announce our agreement with ClubSmalltalk to sell our product PasswordsPro at a promotional price of usd 15 (Instead of the regular price of usd 29).

This agreement is focused in help this Smalltalk organization and, of course, get some new customers to our product.

Read the complete article here.

domingo, abril 12, 2009

Nuevo foro para bloggers

Fue lanzado recientemente, se llama Conexión Blogger y es un espacio destinado al intercambio entre bloggers en idioma español.

domingo, marzo 29, 2009

Some experimental video tutorials about PasswordsPro

I recorded two experimental tutorials about how to use PasswordsPro.

They are:

http://www.passwordspro.com/videos/ppro1.htm (No sound. Show how to create a new PasswordsPro file).

(Bad sound, but until we have a better one, hope this help to new users of PasswordsPro. Show how to edit a PasswordsPro file).

domingo, marzo 08, 2009

Free PasswordsPro licenses!

As some of the readers of this blog may know, we are launching on this month of March our product PasswordsPro.

As a way of get more exposure we are offering free licenses for bloggers who want to review PasswordsPro.

I you are interested only contact me!

sábado, febrero 28, 2009

Dolphin Smalltalk Video Tutorials

After a mail on comp.lang.smalltalk.dolphin asking about the development of an air traffic control radar display simulation, Andy Bower (one of the makers of Dolphin Smalltalk) responded that was working on some screencasts about creation of simulations on Dolphin.

The screencasts are ready now, and you can watch them at:

Part 2: Programming Animation in Dolphin Smalltalk

The only suggestion to Andy could be to speak a bit more slowly (at least to not fluent English speakers as me).

Thanks Andy by the tutorials!

domingo, febrero 15, 2009

An important poll to my business

Some time ago on OISV forum I was remarked that the name of my company sound very bad (as a bad word) on English because the pronunciation.

When I selected such name I was searching a name that sound aproximately the same on English and Spanish (my native language), and a bit short, to make easy the people remember it. Then ArSol comes to my mind as an acronym of my last name and the word "solutions".

I used it a lot of years, invested a lot of time and money on it, but wihtout being aware about this bad meaning on English. Now I'm relly worried by the need of change the name to stay on business (The global market to any MicroISV talk English) .

Some persons of BoS forum and OISV forum tell me that I must change the name to have opportunity on the English market (were I already worked and sold software and services even with such name) and other persons (mainly from other countries of Europe) tell me that is a good name, that don't sound bad to they.

Then, guess what? I thinked on a poll to ask about this important (to me) topic, and is here (Thanks by your vote!):

viernes, febrero 06, 2009

MicroISV and Smalltalk - Part I

Surely I will not write here anything new, but I hope help others MicroISV developers to discover the power of Smalltalk.

This first post about this topic will be short, trying not bore you, and is only to comment that when published that famous Byte Magazine August 81 about Smalltalk, a "must read" article was inside: "Design Principles Behind Smalltalk".

May be I will talk more about this later, but want to focus now on a principle very important to MicroISV developers:

Personal Mastery: If a system is to serve the creative spirit, it must be entirely comprehensible to a single individual.

Exactly to MicroISV, don't think?

To end, I want to point an interesting introductory article about Dolphin Smalltalk published by Bitwise Magazine in August 2005, press here to read it.

More articles about Smalltalk on this same magazine.

The image of this article was taken from Bitwise Magazine with permit of the editor.

domingo, febrero 01, 2009

Second Poll about MicroISV profitability

First of all, let me thanks all the voters of my previous poll!.

Even lot of people think that the future (and present ) of the most apps is the web format, surfing MicroISV sites, is possible to see lots of desktop apps.

Not all apps are suitables to be on web format, right, but I'm talking of such apps that could be presented even as web or desktop app.

I know that the question may sound so general, but I want to ask opinions from the point of view of potential of sales, development costs, future possibilities and with the goal of reach the broader possible customer base.

Feel free to send me your comments besides the vote,

sábado, enero 31, 2009

New hosting plans and prices!

Is online the new site (also in English) of ArSol Web Hosting. Includes new prices and services, check it and ask us by any question!

martes, enero 27, 2009

Software Profitability to a Micro-ISV

As entrepreneur of software industry I would like to collect some opinions about different questions related with the business of a Micro-ISV. In such sense I've the idea of publish some polls to know the opinion of other people, mainly people related with the IT industry with some experience on these topics.

Let me start with a simple poll to identify what sort of software is worth to develop, selecting only between two options.

Thanks in advance by your participation!

jueves, enero 22, 2009

VisualWorks Box!

Some days ago, when I downloaded the NC version of VisualWorks, I found also this page, with the possibility of request a CD of VWNC to Cincom. Then, I completed the form and forgot the question.

Today, very very few days after such request, I received on my home, on Sunchales, Argentina a box containing a software box, coming from Cincinnati!.

And, as in old (good) times, when the software comes from the producers inside nice boxes with manuals. (Even my own modest products of past times (Biochemical Laboratories, ERP, etc) were boxed with printed manuals!.

In this case the box have the VisualWorks CD and the ObjectStudio CD (non commercial) versions. Also, one nice datasheet to each product.

If anyone from Cincom is reading this post I would know if the commercial versions comes with printed manuals, just by curiosity.

May be some day, if business permit, I could buy the commercial version.

By now I'm very impressed, as I told on my previous post, and I continue learning on my free time (Currently about toolbars, menus and other things of UI building).

My current goal is port my Aida/Scribo Console to VisualWorks under the MIT license.

Thanks Cincom by sending me the package of NC version!

martes, enero 13, 2009

VisualWorks first steps

As I've developed the Scribo-Console, and taking in account that Aida/Web is available on several different Smalltalk's I will try to make the same with the console. An excellent excuse to explore others Smalltalk’s!.

Then, the list of possible ports of Scribo-Console is the following: VisualWorks - Smalltalk/X - Gemstone - ObjectStudio - Dolphin.

I'm not sure if will make all, but at least will try with the Smalltalk’s that run on Linux. Not sure with the others, because I don’t like to work on Windows.

To start I selected VisualWorks, because I give it a try on the past, version 5 if not bad remember, and willing to try it again, being that is from Aida/Web comes.

I started installing VWNC on my Xubuntu desktop and, after a few adjustments, is running ok.

Such adjustments were two:

1. After burn the ISO image on the CD, I needed to copy all the CD contents on the hard disk to make work the installation. Don’t tried much things, simply copied and installed and it worked.

2. The startup script, named VisualNC need to be bash, not csh, then I replaced the first sentence (#!/bin/csh) with this one: #!/bin/bash.

And VWNC started smoothly.

First thing I noticed was the fonts a bit smaller to my current resolution, then I switched to the biggest (from Settings VW itself). And also I set the look and feel to Mac (Is the only way of have one of these here!).

Two things caught my attention: the amazing speed to load, open windows, saving, etc and the superb documentation of VW. I think that any product that play on the major leagues must have complete documentation, and VW have it.

After starting VWNC by first time I saved my own image to not broke the original, and then installed the parcel of Aida/Web. Also I searched something to have the code colored and found RBCodeHighlighting on Environment Enhancements category of Parcel Manager.

Having now a comfortable environment to work in, I started the port. As is a tiny app, on the Squeak version I did the UI on the same main class, with Morphic. Then the challenge here is learn a bit about the UI Painter (When I first tried VW, some years ago, I completed the Walk Through, and now I plan to base the work reading again this doc).

Porting some methods, an important thing I noticed, being that I comes from Squeak with no namespaces in mind, is the need of put the namespace name before the class name, as in the attached image: Swazoo.SwazooServer singleton sites (Thanks Janko by point it).

Well, is time to go back to real work, and wait having a bit of free time to continue playing with VW and the console port!