What's coming for VA? Windows Vista support and support for SuSe Linux look like the two main things. They'll have direct support for User Account Control (including registry access, file access, etc). VA Smalltalk makes use of the standard Vista manifest for this stuff. Setting up Envy servers still requires admin access rights.
They have support for Aero if you turn on the Vista theme support - that's done in the application manifest file. This support is in VA 7.5 and up only. The SuSe linux support is the same as RedHat - the new thing is formal support. They now have large address support (up to 3 GB in Windows). You need to link VA Smalltalk executables with specific switches.
They've added Oracle 10 support. That includes BLOB and CLOB support. There's also been a lot of bug repair in the Oracle and DB layer support.
They've upgraded the documentation for Web Services, including a Web Services Demo. This includes a set of tools to make the process of building WS* stuff easier. They've made loading the Refactoring browser and "Mastering Envy" extensions to it simpler (at the Envy load level). They are also including the SUnit Browser, and plan to integrate it into the RB.
Envy/QA is now part of the base, rather than an additional purchase. Interesting side note in a discussion of goodies/contributions - there's no free download available, so you need to contact Instantiations if you would like to contribute.
The browser has gotten an icon refresh, such that they look better on Windows and Linux. As to the future?
- Seaside - needs continuations which VA does not have. They are looking to either change VA contexts, or do some image level work that would emulate and get them "close"
- Web Services - XML Editor, Wizard tools, diagnostic tools
- IDE Enhancements - a lot of consolidation of formerly extra tools into the base. On Windows, move to Windows controls for tools.
- Installation - Consolidate the installers for client/server (Envy) into one. Work more seamlessly with Windows Vista UAC. Work on supported Unix/Linux w/o manual intervention
- Documentation - Update docs to PDF or Windows CHM. Investigate the future of F1 help.
Since version 7 (2004), they've had over 5000 downloads, about 2000 active users, over 200 active customers. Support is mostly moved from the old IBM forums to Instantiations own site. Pricing is still the same as it's been.
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