Here's some information on a couple of the talks coming up at Smalltalk Solutions this summer - register now!
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Here are a few samples of what you can expect from this year's
show in Orlando.
Number Crunching Smalltalk
Poon, Dan: Romax Technology Ltd.
Monday 2 pm to 2:45 pm
Abstract: For over 10 years, Romax Technology Ltd. have
pioneered the use of Smalltalk in Engineering Design and Analysis,
a numerically intensive domain and traditionally the preserve of
FORTRAN and more recently C and Matlab. Many vehicles on the roads
today have benefited from Smalltalk analysis.
Smalltalk was initially used for product modelling and
visualisation - its uses now includes number crunching where it
performs along side FORTRAN.
Smalltalk's USP is that it is such a simple language that, when
supported with pair programming between numerical analysts and
Smalltalk coaches, it quickly becomes a lingua franca, enabling
esoteric numerical algorithms and domain knowledge to be melded
with production software skills.
Once captured in Smalltalk, a numerical model is much more
malleable than its FORTRAN counterpart, meaning we can easy
parameterise the model and apply optimisation techniques such as
We will also discuss the political implications of getting
engineering analysts and computer scientists to work in pairs, the
strong business case for doing so, and how our org chart has
evolved with it.
Bio: 16 years of OO development experience from the early
days of version 1.0 C++ to OODBMS. From the early attempts at OO
methodologies to Agile. Worked within Telecommunications, Foreign
Exchange Options Trading, and now Engineering Design Analysis.
Putney, Colin: Quallaby
Tuesday 2 pm to 2:45 pm
Abstract: In the last 2 years Monticello has emerged as a
viable tool for source code management and versioning of Squeak
applications. Having accumulated some real world experience with
Monticello, we've designed a next-generation versioning engine
which will form the core of Monticello 2.0.
This talk will examine three hard problems in versioning
software, and explore Monticello's unique approach to solving them.
Along the way, we'll also see comparisons to other versioning
systems, including Store, ENVY and Monticello
First is the "repeated merge" problem. This occurs when we have
two (or more) parallel lines of development. Repeatedly merging
code back and forth between the two lines can create artificial
conflicts during merges, forcing developers to explicitly avoid
conflicts as they work. A good versioning tool allows developers to
save or merge their work at any time, and records enough history
information to prevent spurious conflicts from arising.
The second problem is also one of spurious conflicts. Often,
during a merge, we want to apply only some of the changes implied
by the merge. But this "cherry picking" of changes introduces a
risk that either spurious conflicts will be interoduced to future
merges, or genuine conflicts will be missed. Again, the challenge
for versioning tools is to record enough history information to
allow developers to work naturally, while still doing merges
accurately and automatically.
The final problem is so difficult that most versioning tools
don't even attempt to solve it. Only Smalltalkers would demand to
be able to update a running program with new code, including the
kernel on which the versioning tool its self is running! Though
still quite experimental, Monticello 2 attempts to solve the "brain
autosurgery" problem as well.
Bio: Colin Putney is a software developer at Quallaby
Corporation, writing on network monitoring software in VisualWorks
Smalltalk. He the author of OmniBrowser and co-author of
Monticello, both open source development tools for Squeak
Smalltalk. Though he has been programming for many years, he began
working in Smalltalk in 2002.