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Why Use Cincom Smalltalk for Mobile App Development?

Posted on in Categories Mobile App Development, Smalltalk

Why Use Cincom Smalltalk for Mobile App Development?

In the game, HexSolve, you slide numbered hexagonal tiles around on a board. If you make a chain of consecutive numbers, the highest-numbered tile increments and the remaining tiles disappear. One or more tiles are marked as “targets.” The goal of the game is to advance or eliminate all of the target tiles. There are many puzzle games in the mobile marketplace. However, according to David Buck, 

“By providing the game for iPhone®, iPad®, iPod touch® and for Android, we have access to a market of over 1.5 billion mobile devices. Now that we’ve proven the technology with HexSolve, we’re using the same framework to build other games.”

When asked why Simberon chose Cincom Smalltalk for mobile app development, Buck said,

“It wasn’t a difficult choice!  We did a few initial tests with Java and C; however, Java code isn’t portable to iOS, and C code was much too difficult for complex applications.  We really needed a better cross-platform development environment and automatic garbage collection.  Cincom Smalltalk was the best tool for the game.”

In making HexSolve, Buck used the development environment of Cincom® VisualWorks® including:

  • The browsers
  • The inspectors
  • The debugger
  • The compiler
  • Store (for version control)

For the runtime, the bytecodes were generated by the VisualWorks compiler.

The reason for using VisualWorks for any project is that the VisualWorks development environment makes it easier to develop software. The tools listed above fit nicely into a development environment that allows you to see what’s going on in the system even when things get complicated while also giving you the tools to simplify complicated code into simple code.

Buck said,

“VisualWorks, more than any other development environment, lets the developer explore, interact with, and modify code with such ease that developers in other languages can’t even understand what they’re missing.  It’s like trying to explain virtual reality games to someone who has only experienced handheld games.  It’s something you need to experience to appreciate.  Pharo and other Smalltalks have a similar feel, but I believe that VisualWorks is the best.”

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