Debate? What debate? There's real news tonight! The Yankees clinched the AL East title for the 7th year in a row. It's time for the playoffs. If the pitching can settle down, I like their chances.
We've seen reports of VisualWorks crashing on 2.6.x (x86) kernels with a segmentation fault. I've just gotten a message from engineering that pinpoints the problem:
There's a kernel patch floating around that implements a kernel barrier to executing code at addresses that fall into the stack or data segments of the process. The intention is to provide a safety net for stack frame overflow attacks. The 2.6.8-1.521 kernel from FC2 uses this patch, as well as several others that muck around with the exec shield system. Since VW runs on FC2 using 2.6.7-1.494.2.2 which also contains the exec shield patch, I suspect that one of the suplementary patches is causing this problem.
This exec check can be globally disabled by executing the following as root:
#> echo 0 > /proc/sys/kernel/exec-shield
Now, we've also heard that the JVM has issues on the 2.6.x kernels; it's likely the same kind of problem. We'll have to address this in the future, but for now, try the suggestion above.
Just look what that bright boy over at Sun is up to now - he's trying to patent a pricing plan:
Sun Microsystems President Jonathan Schwartz, who speaks often of innovation in sales methods and not just technology, is seeking a patent on the company's per-employee software pricing plan, CNET News.com has learned.
Other co-authors of the unpublished patent application, filed in July, are Chief Marketing Officer Anil Gadre and Director of Worldwide Marketing Aisling MacRunnels. In addition, Schwartz is co-author of two other patent applications relating to Sun's three-dimensional Looking Glass user interface.
A pricing plan? Is he serious? Whatever (fairly small) amounts of respect I had for Sun and Schwartz went out the window when I read that. and it's weirder than I thought:
If the patents are granted, Sun will donate any money they generate to charities, Schwartz said.
So he wants to extort money from other companies for a non-original idea, and then give it away? Heck, that fits in with the rest of their business plan (i.e., shovel money anywhere but into their own coffers). He's like Robin Hood's idiot twin.
Hey look - RedHat bought (some of) the old Netscape Server tools. You have to figure that AOL just picked up a bunch of change they didn't expect to have - imagine the sales guy who landed this deal: "hey boss, you'll never guess what we managed to sell off":
RALEIGH, NC - Sept. 30 2004 -Red Hat, Inc. (Nasdaq: RHAT), the world's leading provider of open source solutions to the enterprise, today announced that it has entered into a definitive asset purchase agreement with America Online, Inc. to acquire certain assets of Netscape Security Solutions.
The products to be acquired are derived from the Netscape Enterprise Suite and include Netscape Directory Server and Netscape Certificate Management System. Red Hat plans to start marketing these products as part of its Open Source Architecture over the next 6 to 12 months. Customers will then benefit from enhanced security, manageability and office productivity as these technologies are optimized for devices and applications across the Open Source Architecture.
This is really old, not up to date technology - I'm astonished that anyone wanted it. I guess the only question is how soon Schwartz has one of his patented "insights" on the deal.
The idea that dynamic languages are the future is spreading:
Dynamic languages are high-level, dynamically typed open source languages. These languages, designed to solve the problems that programmers of all abilities face in building and integrating heterogeneous systems, have proven themselves both despite and thanks to their independence from corporate platform strategies, relying instead on grassroots development and support. Ideally suited to building loosely coupled systems that adapt to changing requirements, they form the foundation of myriad programming projects, from the birth of the web to tomorrow's challenges.
ObjectStudio® 7.0 Build 131 Evolutionary Version now available
The ObjectStudio 7.0 Build 131 Evolutionary Version is now available on a 90-day trial basis. This free download includes the latest changes that have been made since the release of ObjectStudio 6.9.1, and contains 31 bug fixes/enhancements. Please view the list below for summary descriptions for many of the issues that have been addressed.
Visit http://smalltalk.cincom.com/downloads/index.ssp?content=objectstudio to download.
Further testing may result in removing changes from the final release - this is an early access build
Update: Some of you may have had a problem installing this build; there was a bug in the installation that has been fixed. If you had problems, try downloading it now
The next release of Cincom Smalltalk is right around the corner - it should hit in November. What's new? Lots of interesting stuff. In ObjectStudio, we have a port of Opentalk, which allows for messaging between VW and ObjectStudio. This is useful because it allows ObjectStudio developers to take advantage of the features of VisualWorks - by creating a simple RPC interface between an existing ObjectStudio application and a VW application server. In this way, ObjectStudio developers can take advantage of the Web Toolkit, Web Services, and the raft of other server-side functionality in VisualWorks. VisualWorks has plenty of new stuff as well - a set of wizards for dealing with Web Services will be one of the most prominent. There have been updates to Store as well, and CE support will be promoted out of beta. To see the whole list of new stuff coming down the pike, visit the information page on our Wiki. We also have a roadmap of future development on the Wiki - that will be constantly updated to reflect market based changes/updates.
CNet has a story on the problems with trying to ditch IE - too many sites cater specifically to IE:
For many people, using a non-Microsoft browser such as Firefox is now a must for secure Web surfing--but most still keep a copy of Internet Explorer around just in case.
The problem is that many Web developers create their sites so they work best with Internet Explorer (IE), but not to work as well with browser software used by relatively tiny groups of potential visitors.
This sort of thing can make it very hard to route around the damage that is IE. I run into this every time I need to get on the internal network here - in their infinite wisdom, the internal (or is that infernal?) IT group has made the entire intranet IE specific. Heck, if I forget and try to hit it with Firefox, it tells me that I'm using an unsupported browser and just stops. If I tell Opera to mimic IE and try that, I run into all sorts of IE specific tie ins - it's simpler to just give up and use IE.
This is a bigger problem than that though - I stumble across IE specific sites fairly frequently in my browsing. Heck, the Windows Update service from MS is the biggest culprit here. I have to run IE to patch Windows, and I have to patch Windows if I don't want to be 0wned by some teenager in west nowhere. sigh...
I just fixed an annoying bug that cropped up in BottomFeeder in the last release - the external browser setting not "sticking" after you set it. It turned out to be a state problem in the class that handles external browsing, and it cropped up when I split that class out of BottomFeeder and into a reusable package of its own. It's fixed now, so changes should 'stick'. Sorry about that!
Seriously, who wants one of these? If you spend so much time on the throne that you need a headrest and cup holders, then you have real problems...
SpaceShipOne successfully took off and landed today. This is akin to Lindbergh's flight back in 1927 - the really useful space work is about to start now that the private sector thinks there's money to be made. Here's to the future!
Joseph Pelrine has some interesting thoughts on sustainable development - he uses conditioning as a metaphor:
Training is divided into strength and conditioning. Strength training is at a higher intensity level (around 80% of the 1 rep mex, for fewer repetitions - normally 6-8), while conditioning is at a lower level (around 60% of the one-rep max, for more repetitions - normally 10-15). Training at lower levels is considered to be a waste of time, since the body is working neither in the aerobic nor anaerobic areas. Some of these ideas and principles may be applicable to the intensity level of a development team. In the worse case, they are interesting as System Metaphor. If the team's one-rep max is their maximum velocity, something between 60% and 80% of that would be a sustainable pace which would also be accepted by the customer. Through training, the one-rep max may (and hopefully should) be increased. Don't know how to apply this to development, though.
Well, there's no hard and fast rule - I think this is something like the line about art - "I don't know much about art, but I know what I like". You know sustainable pacing when you're doing it - likewise, you know a death march when you're in one. I've been on "you'll work 12 hours a day and like it" projects, and that's an attempt by management to push you to the 1 rep max on a daily basis. It doesn't work, and the results tend to be really sloppy. It's somewhat puzzling - management seems to understand that not "just anybody" can run a division, or a company. Why do so many of them think that developers are interchangeable parts?
BlogLines has published a web services API for things like synching and blogrolling - it's probably something I need to look at for BottomFeeder. I already support synching via HTTP (with another running instance of BottomFeeder) and via file import - but this would offload the problem. I'll be taking a look at the APIs and seeing what's necessary.
In most cases, damage from a storm (or earthquake, etc.) is remote - it happens "somewhere else", to people we don't know. As it happens, Frances and Jeanne both came very close to Melbourne Beach, FL, where my parents live. They live over on the ocean side, across the causeway on a barrier island. They still don't have power - but my dad managed to find an internet cafe and sent me this:
That's a shot of what's left of the stairs to the beach. In the background is a partially buried (old) uprooted tree - when I was on that beach in June, that tree was much further back from the water - and there was a much bigger set of dunes. The dunes that protect the island have been chopped down to just about nothing; if they get unlucky enough to get hit again, you could see new inlets over to the Indian River. This set of storms got my attention.
Update: - my parents got off easy. Have a look at this CNN story for an example of how bad some people got hit.
I'm not the only one who's wondering exactly what it is that Jonathan Schwartz has been smoking recently. Go read this Groklaw article - it echos a lot of what I've been posting on the subject. I like this in particular:
I have another suggestion. How about we start calling a patent covenant with Microsoft a patent covenant with Microsoft? When some noticed with concern Sun's "Limited Patent Covenent and Stand-Still Agreement" with Microsoft, filed by Sun as an exhibit with their most recent 10K, whereby Open Office was not protected from patent infringement lawsuits by Microsoft but Star Office was, Mr. Schwartz believes they are just anti-Sun loonies, as he graciously put it on his blog on September 16, in a message to the "Open Office Community":
"Please do not listen to the bizarro numbskull anti-Sun conspiracy theorists. They were lunatics then, they are lunatics now, they will always be lunatics. We love the open source community, we spawned from it. We'll protect that community, that innovation, and our place in it, with all our heart and energy. . . . OpenOffice matters. Moreso every day."
All right. If Exhibit 10.109 doesn't mean what it says, then what does it mean? One possibility is that it means that Sun doesn't want to be legally responsible for work it doesn't control. OK. Why not cover the parts they do and did control? Why not at least cover everything up to the present? And if they don't control it, how come they hold a dual copyright with the Open Office project? They can't have it both ways. If it's theirs, why didn't they protect it along with Star Office? And if it isn't theirs, on what basis do they claim copyright rights? These are not rhetorical questions.
Quick, someone get Schwartz his meds...
I've just slapped up another new development build of BottomFeeder - follow the download links and scroll down to the dev links. Things are looking better - I think it's going to be ready for release soon. There are a few known bugs that I need to iron out, but's getting there. This release will mark a big improvement in the tool.
Smalltalk Solutions 2005 information is up on the StS website - we will have hotel and registration information up soon. The conference will be in Orlando this year, from Monday June 27th to Wednesday June 29th. Bring the whole family next year!
Scoble says this like it's a good thing:
Keith Hurwitz and I tried a little test tonight. He sent me an email protected with our digital rights management (restricted rights built into Outlook). I wanted to see if Kunal's OutlookMT tool would post it. It didn't. Test succeeded!
Does it break copy/paste? Because if it doesn't, it's achieved nothing. If it does, then it'll end up being a true annoyance. There's another question as well - what if you send a DRM marked mail to someone like me who doesn't use Outlook? Does this mean that I simply won't get the mail, or does it mean that the DRM will leak off? You could argue that it's broken either way.
IMHO, this is exactly the wrong way to fight this battle. Tell people that stuff is confidential, and then apply consequences if they violate that trust. This smacks me the same way that "zero tolerance" policies in the schools do - it assumes that everyone is too stupid to use judgement, and instead imposes lame policies on the entire class. Color me entirely unimpressed...
NBC is announcing that Jay Leno is stepping down after his current contract is up (2009) - and being replaced by Conan O'Brien.
The banking giant used the Smalltalk development suite to develop its 'Kapital' financial risk management and pricing system.
"Smalltalk allowed us to develop Kapital much quicker than other languages would have," said Colin Lewis, vice president of JPMorgan.
"It provides good return on investment and saves costs associated with training and marketing for new products."
JPMorgan had estimated that to build Kapital in another language would have required at least three times the amount of resources to develop and maintain the application.
Lewis added that the Smalltalk part of its systems requires very little modification across differing operating systems - the bank uses Solaris, Windows NT and Linux.
"Portability and stability is a big issue for us," he said in a statement.
Smalltalk, explained its developer Cincom Systems, is based on 'pure' object-oriented techniques, and is easy for developers to use because it requires no in-depth knowledge of programming languages.
Lambda the Ultimate links to an interesting article discussing types, modules, and objects. take this, for instance:
Smalltalk-80 was an important and enlightening experiment in just how far object-orientation can be taken in a programming language. It is simple, compact, and shows a rare and refreshing integrity of concept. To accomplish its goals, it introduces the idea that the variables of a class can be either class variables or instance variables, and the methods can be either class methods or instance methods. This turns the class into a mixture of two fundamentally different concepts - type and module - with very different semantics. Smalltalk manages to do this relatively cleanly.
Unfortunately, two more recent languages, C++ and Java, have taken this same distinction and turned it into a gratuitous mess. Let's look just at these two languages for a moment, then come back to Smalltalk.
The author then goes on to demonstrate how the consistency of Smalltalk makes it simpler than the alternatives. I do have a quibble on one thing:
Smalltalk pays a high price elsewhere for taking object orientation to the extreme, notably in complete loss of static typing and serious runtime efficiency penalties. Special, one-instance forms of classes are, for many programming problems, not as good a conceptual match as modules. But at least it provides a single, consistent, and syntactically explicit call mechanism.
That's simply not the case. Smalltalk doesn't suffer from "serious runtime efficiency penalties" - arithmetic can be slower in Smalltalk (although it need not be - see the work done on StrongTalk, for instance) It's an interesting article either way
Thanks to Michael, we now have a cleaner browsing experience in the development versions of BottomFeeder. Michael integrated an interface to LibTidy, a nice library that cleans up nasty html. For now, you'll want to grab the rev of the library that's appropriate to your OS; when I package this all up, I'll bundle libraries for all the platforms I can. There are going to be a few missing - and I have no way to build a rev of the library for those platforms. The good news is, we still have support for parsing HTML in Smalltalk, just not as cleanly as LibTidy does - so it'll all work even if you don't have it installed
In the comments, Rich asks what LibTidy does. It's an "HTML Cleaner", more or less. It takes HTML as input, and outputs a cleaned up XHTML document - unclosed tags closed, etc. - which makes for far easier document handling. It's also a good example of reuse - instead of spending time writing such a thing in Smalltalk, I'm just using something that already exists.
Dare Obasanjo points out how some feeds follow the RSS specs (in so far as you can call them specs, but never mind) exactly - but end up creating a nightmare for aggregators and the users who use them. He points to a specific feed, and tells us exactly what's wrong with it - specifically, the issue of using the same link for multiple items (without a GUID being present):
Now how does the RSS aggregator tell whether the item with the title "I am item 1" is the same as the one named "I am item one" with a typo in the title fixed or a different one? The simple answer is that it can't. A naive hack is to look at the content of the
element to see if it is the same but what happens when a typo was fixed or some update to the content of the ?
Every RSS aggregator has some sort of hack to deal with this problem. I describe them as hacks because there is no way that an aggregator can 100% accurately determine when items with the same link and no guid are the same item with content changed or different items. This means the behavior of different aggregators with feeds such as the Cafe con Leche RSS feed is extremely inconsistent.
This is the sort of thing that drives us aggregator authors nuts. Presumably, authors want their content to be read. Is there a reason that some of them have to make it so blasted hard?
I expect everyone in Florida is suffering from Hurricane fatigue - certainly my parents (currently holed up in an Orlando hotel) are - Frances and Jeanne both came very close to Melbourne Beach, where they live. I've been watching coverage of the storm on the various cable channels - a few minutes ago, MSNBC was showing video of damages to the Eae Gallie causeway. I've driven down that road many times; now there's a boat smashing up against the side of it and debris all over it - not to mention the flooding of the approaches. It's a little odd looking at damage to areas you know well. Here's hoping that Florida doesn't have any more of these to deal with this year.
Jonathan Schwartz has an interesting article up on grid computing - Sun sells a service based solution here, and it might fit some people's needs. It's not as simple as he makes out though:
So when we announced our $1/cpu/hour pricing for our N1 Grid (as opposed to the ever so slightly different ones everyone seems to be building), we knew we'd strike a chord. Why build and operate what Sun could deliver as a web service? Priced by the drink, no less.
So we're now engaged with a growing population of companies to talk about leveraging an "on demand grid" for their workloads. We're also engaged with a number of CIO's who've asked their teams to benchmark their internal compute grids against $1/cpu/hr. All in, all up, at least there's now a benchmark. If they buy from us, they can simply turn the bill over to their internal clients.
And if nothing else, we've now put a stake in the ground. If you're paying more than $1/cpu/hour, odds are you're overpaying (and possibly overbuilding - another customer told me utilization in their xSeries blade farm was below 10%!).
That's hardly the only issue. If I have a complex set of calculations to offload, then I rather suspect that performance issues are one of the things I need to worry about (on Wall Street, I happen to know that this is the case). In that event, a web services accessible grid may not cut it - the network is still a whole lot slower than the local cpu. It all depends on the job and bandwidth of course - the faster the network connection gets, the more easily possible this may be - it may turn out that Sun and Schwartz are actually on to something with this idea. We'll see how it turns out.
Another day, another hurricane strike for Florida. From the reporting, it looks like a lot of the residents are starting to get evacuation fatigue; i.e., they are planning to ride this one out. That's probably a mistake - it's a Category 3 now, and could get stronger yet. There's also the fact that the Dunes got lowered on a lot of the barrier islands by Frances.... this could be very dangerous. My folks are heading out again; everyone else should as well.
This post is an example of how a good RSS tool can help you find problems quickly. I have to give credit to feedster for this one - I use a feedster RSS search in BottomFeeder, and that's how I ran across Gary's problem. I have a search set up for the word "Smalltalk", and that's how I find things like Gary's post. If you're in a position like mine and you aren't using an aggregator and Feedster to track your product - you must be nuts.
That thud you heard earlier this evening was the Red Sox losing to the Yankees. You can feel the pain in the Boston papers already. On to the playoffs - it's about time for another Yankees Series victory. But wait! It wouldn't be an end of year Yankees/Red Sox series without some classic Sox screw ups:
With an eerie similarity to last year's postseason debacle, Pedro Martinez took a lead into the eighth inning before tiring and the New York Yankees rallied past Boston 6-4 Friday night to open a 5.5-game advantage in the AL East.
Grady Little was the Red Sox manager last fall when he left Martinez in during the eighth inning of Game 7 in the AL championship series; the Yankees overcame a 5-2 deficit to tie it and earned a World Series berth when Aaron Boone homered in the 11th.
Little was let go after the season and replaced by Terry Francona. But Francona, much as his predecessor did, sent Martinez (16-8) back out for the eighth despite needing 101 pitches to get through the first seven innings; the Boston fans let Francona hear about it, much as they did for his predecessor.
Larry McCay of SDTimes has an interesting comparison of XP (Extreme Programming) to the Scientific Method:
XP builds on best practices such as unit testing, pair programming and refactoring. The basic principles of XP are communication, simplicity, feedback and courage; applying the methodology goes through the following five steps:
- Choose story.
- Write tests.
- Run tests.
- Refine, program and refactor 14repeat as needed.
- Go to step 1, repeat until all stories are complete.
Let's compare against the Scientific Method, which was first introduced by Francis Bacon. It was not used as a strict discipline until Isaac Newton later in the 17th century.
The goal of the Scientific Method is to provide a set of steps to ensure the development of provable theories that may lead to new and greater understandings of the workings of nature and its systems. These theories are gradually stepped up in generality until the highest level, at which point there may be opportunity for unification of theories.
The Scientific Method consists of six steps, and you can see the similarity with XP:
- Make observations.
- Create hypotheses.
- Make predictions.
- Conduct experiments.
- Modify hypotheses if predictions are not met and go to step 3.
- Declare hypothesis as theory.
Go read the whole thing - it's an interesting article.
Sometimes, I really wonder how a columnist manages to get paid for their writing. Take this eWeek column by Jim Rapoza, for instance. It's supposedly about RSS, but it could be about anything - it's filled with platitudes, very light on real information. After reading it, I'm not convinced that Rapoza has the slightest idea what RSS is:
One of the main benefits of RSS is its simplicity. In minutes, I can write an RSS file to syndicate a column or blog, and there are tools that make this process even easier. But the simplicity of RSS also means that it doesn't have a whole lot of intelligence over its delivery.
Many large sites that deliver RSS feeds recently started complaining that they are being hit every hour with a flood of reader requests that is, for all intents and purposes, the same thing as a denial-of-service attack. This happens because most RSS readers are pretty dumb about when they check for updates, and there's little the server can do to control this.
The dreaded "RSS is DDOS" rears it's head. Odd - Slashdot somehow manages to deal with badly behaved clients - there are, in fact, solutions to this problem (if there weren't, massively popular sites like Yahoo and Slashdot would have folded up eons ago). But hey, those paragraphs show some passing familiarity with a recent wave of blather. What about this?
But this is also that time when many of the problems and deficiencies in RSS will be discovered, and enterprise users of RSS will expect these problems to be fixed as soon as possible. If the developers and caretakers of RSS are unable or unwilling to do this, many companies may decide to take a pass on the technology.
So, to those developing products that use RSS: Find ways now to address some of RSS' shortcomings and dig for problems heretofore unknown so the technology doesn't become a burden on those who decide to use it. To the RSS community: Find a way to work together to create one standard, which will be much more robust and responsive than multiple competing standards.
Insert almost any topic from the last 30 years in the IT sector, and you could write those two paragraphs. It was a stock column, with the acronym RSS copy/pasted in. What a waste of pixels...
As you know, we offer a free download of our Cincom Smalltalk product (both VisualWorks and ObjectStudio). There's also an ESUG CD out there with just VW NC on it - it's come to my attention that there's an installer problem with that CD. You can grab a known good installation from our site.
Stephanne Ducasse has gotten permission to post the "Green Book" - Bits of History, Words of Advice by Glenn Krasner. Kudos to Stef for making this happen!
This is subject to evolutionary changes, but here's a product roadmap for Cincom Smalltalk. As always, contact me with any questions
I'm in the process of uploading another development version of BottomFeeder for download. This is under the dev download links, and is still considered to be beta code. I've extended the application level support for style sheets - users can now switch amongst available ones (and new ones can be added to the 'stylesheets' directory). I'll post an update when the files are live on the server.
Update: Grab the dev downloads now
We've got a Wiki Page that I keep updated on what's coming. This release should be out in late November (possibly early December) of this year:
Cincom Smalltalk November 2004 is a major release for both VisualWorks and ObjectStudio. The main features we intend to add:
- Preview Support for 64 bit platforms - we intend to have preview (beta) support for the AMD Opteron, the 64 bit Xeon, and the Sparc 64 bit platform. Other platforms (such as the G5 and the HP PA) will follow. This will be a full 64 bit implementation, not simply 32 bit on the 64 bit platforms. Some of what should be there:
- The 64-bit implementation uses full 64-bit adresses for objects, providing the ability to fill the entire available address space with objects
- The immediate floating-point format should provide a very usable range which, although it will be able to overflow to full 64-bit boxed Doubles, should overflow rarely in practice, providing much faster and much more space-affordable floating-point
- Shared Perm space on all 64 bit platforms - which means a much lighter weight server deployment
- The C connect in the 64-bit implementation is a full 64-bit ABI and consequently removes the annoying limitations people have encountered when trying to run the 32-bit system on 64-bit Solaris linking (or rather not being able to link) against 64-bit libraries.
- The two systems are code compatible in that the bytecode is exactly the same between the two systems, so parcels load unchanged and can be freely exchanged between 32-bit and 64-bit systems.
- We will support the ability to develop either in 64-bit or in 32-bit and deploy in the other width
- More details to follow as they become available
- Store Packages/Bundles into the base. This will mean eliminating categories and parcels as a separate view, and showing a unified package view of the product - whether you use a store repository or not
- Store will support atomic loading of packages/bundles when loading via source. At present, atomic loading only happens with packages store binary - this will change in 7.3
- Store will support file attachments - so you'll be able to include image files, ssp files (etc) when versioning. This will allow you to manage all project artifacts in Store.
- Better version support for packages. At present, one can make a package depend on another package, but not properly dependent on a specific version of another package. This support will enable us to introduce an important change in VisualWorks deployments - post 7.3, we will support (some) new packages on older versions of the base product. As an example, you'll be able to load a newer revision of a major component (Opentalk, Web Toolkit, etc.) on older versions of the product without upgrading the entire product suite.
- Base System
- Full Unicode (font) Support for Windows and Mac OS9 (These will probably remain in preview, but will be improved from the 7.2 release) - Mac OS X is planned, but will not make the current release cycle. This is currently Windows only
- An initial definition of a Smalltalk Runtime Environment. One of the most common issues people have with Smalltalk is the difficulty in packaging - with this release, we will start supporting build up rather than strip down, with a standard deployment system
- .NET Connect
- This component is currently in preview (beta). For the 7.3 release, it will be fully supported. It is possible that .NET Events and WinForms will be supported within this component
- VisualWorks will have a 2 way wizard for dealing with web services - you'll be able to point and click your way to a server and/or client interface very easily, with all the heavy lifting done by the tools.
- SNMP support should stabilize with better ASN.1 parsing
- We will support an Opentalk IIOP at Preview (beta) level. There may well not be a complete implementation (value types in particular). This work will lead to (not in this release) suppport for RMI over IIOP. More details will follow as they become available
- We will have a connection to MQS (IBM Messaging) in preview. This is stable, and in use by customers - but we do not have time for a full review before it is integrated into a supported state. That should happen in 7.3.1 or 7.4
- We will have better support in the base system for Asian locales. A few Locales will ship with the commercial product, and will be available for NC on request.
- SmalltalkDoc - A new initiative to provide reference documentation for VisualWorks. This may only make it to preview status, depending on how much work gets done on this as opposed to the existing documentation
- Full Unicode support
- Full support for the XML package that was originally developed for VisualWorks
- Full support for Opentalk, which enables object level communication between VisualWorks and ObjectStudio
- We are investigating some exciting possibilities for ObjectStudio which I am not (yet) prepared to reveal publically. Stay tuned!
Further details to come
Here's a great quote from a .NET vs. J2EE debate:
Visual Studio, like Visual Basic and other Microsoft development tools and languages, provide ease of use and a low learning curve at a price: They don't impose any kind of discipline or framework, making it too easy to crank out poorly designed apps and horrid code. This is not helped by all the amateur Visual Basic/Studio "developers" out there who have no understanding of basic comp sci concepts. (Luckily, we don't hire those kind of developers, but I'm sure we've all worked with many of them in the past.)
On the other hand, J2EE by its nature imposes some rigid rules and forces one to use some kind of a framework to deliver an enterprise level app. This takes more time, planning, and skill. As a result, though, J2EE apps, by comparison, tend to be more robust, maintainable, and scalable. This is not to say that .NET apps cannot have those qualities as well -- it just takes a lot more discipline and some self-imposed rules to achieve this -- Visual Studio doesn't give you that out of the box.
That's the mindset in too many parts of this industry - if it's simple, it can't be good. Or it won't scale. Or something. Of course, while the two pirates of complexity duke it out, people who want real productivity and simplicity can look over here. I'll be doing live updates and debugging live code in the meantime...