ESUG 2012 Comments from a European Engineer’s Point of View
And, when one customer hires four more Smalltalkers during the event and another is twice the size that they were when they last came to an ESUG conference, this gives us the kind of evidence of their achievements that we like to see.
MediaGenix’s product supports the back office of anyone who broadcasts and schedules content (e.g., a television station). In the 90s, they were told to rewrite it in Java. They did so, and within two years, they went broke. They then restarted the company using VisualWorks. They have several customers in North America (with Fox being the best known) and are starting to get customers in Australia and Singapore. However, most are in Europe, which is where they started. Altogether they have about 35 customers. They gave a talk on their testing system and another on their strategy for meeting customer needs.
Datenzaentrale handles its taxes (dog, kindergarten, waste, etc.) in an ObjectStudio fat-client application. They manage to reuse 90%—including the GUI code—even when giving the same app a web interface. The talk was on how they test the web app.
Lifeware has a web-based app to manage insurance contracts. They demoed how they generated tests after winning a contract to retire a rival system (that used Oracle for its persistence). The tests were generated via the rival system on Friday evening, and then the system was restarted using their VisualWorks system (that uses GemStone for its persistence) on Monday morning. They also spoke on how VisualWorks (and Lifeware) has many tools to support refactoring. They are working on handling some even more complex polymorphic cases.
Object Profile works for a major VisualWorks customer in Chile. Thanks to Object Profile and its customer, the innovative code profiling and analysis tools they’ve created are now in the VisualWorks distribution. We will use them internally and at other sites. They gave several talks on how to use the tools to detect performance problems in a code system and between two versions of a system.
The smalltalkedVisuals system is used by various newspapers and media outlets to prepare graphs.
Talks by Cincom and Georg Heeg showed an example of creating a new web app and database for a health-club customer, and another talk discussed a new tool for mapping an existing database to a fresh application. We presented some specifics of the products in detail—new UI work, debugger add-ons, test framework additions—and overviewed our overall roadmap. We sat with developers to hear their joys and their needs, and we received some very useful information.
Several of the conference sessions are available via video including:
- Cincom Smalltalk Product Manager, Arden Thomas’ TdF (Tour de Force) Presentation
- Cincom ObjectStudio New GUI Project – A Presentation by Cincom Smalltalk Engineer, Andreas Hiltner Presentation
- Debugger Enhancements and Cocoa Connect – By Cincom partner, Karsten Kusche of Georg Heeg eK