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Cincom Smalltalk™ Digest: March Edition

Posted on in Categories Smalltalk

Smalltalk Digest

Cincom Smalltalk Digest is a monthly publication that provides news, updates and resources to our customers, partners and users. This month’s newsletter includes the following:

CUSTOMERS and PARTNERS

  • Have You Entered the Discovery Zone Yet?

  • Always Listening and Learning from Our Customers and Partners

BEGINNERS, FREELANCERS and DEVELOPERS

  • Quick Start Guide to Object-Oriented Programming in Smalltalk

  • What Are Your Next Steps for Using Cincom Smalltalk?

  • How Can You Change Fonts in Your Coding Editor?

  • Feature of the Month: MatriX

CUSTOMERS and PARTNERS

This section of the Cincom Smalltalk Digest is dedicated to our valued customers and partners.

Have You Entered the Discovery Zone Yet?

We frequently inform our customers and partners about the valuable services provided by our experienced consulting services professionals. To better communicate those opportunities, we established The Cincom Discovery Zone for Customer and Partner Services on our website. This section contains detailed descriptions of available services such as product upgrades, performance enhancements, mentoring, troubleshooting, migrations, proofs of concept and more.

Maximizing productivity and efficiency is critical right now as businesses strive to not only survive but also maintain revenue streams and creatively seek growth opportunities. Our main priority is to assist our customers and partners in their success, and our team has decades of experience in uncovering hidden opportunities for growth, profit, value and success in your business. The Cincom Consulting Services team can help you with your requirements.

  • To discover new potential for your business and learn how our team helps you uncover it, check out the Cincom Discovery Zone for Customer and Partner Services here.

Always Listening and Learning from Our Customers and Partners

As a Cincom Smalltalk customer or partner, we value your input. We often ask these questions:

Do you have any suggestions for our team? What are we doing correctly? What are we doing incorrectly? What could we have done better? Is there anything else we can do to share information with you? What sources do you use for your information?

We appreciate your feedback and want you to know how to contact us. Please send any feedback or suggestions to the Cincom Smalltalk Product Team at CSSTARTeam@cincom.com, or:

  • Contact Suzanne Fortman for business, support or engineering questions about Cincom Smalltalk.
  • Contact Arden Thomas for questions about the Cincom Smalltalk Product Roadmap.
  • Contact Jeremy Jordan to share a story regarding how you use Cincom Smalltalk.

BEGINNERS, FREELANCERS and DEVELOPERS

This section of the Cincom Smalltalk Digest is dedicated to new Smalltalkers, freelancers, and experienced developers, with informative articles and specific Smalltalk examples for learning new skills or honing existing ones using Cincom Smalltalk.

Quick Start Guide to Object-Oriented Programming in Smalltalk

For prospects who are new to object-oriented programming or those who have always wanted to try the magic of Smalltalk but don’t have lots of time to invest, we are introducing a Smalltalk “Quick Start” guide. This guide gives prospects what they need to know to get up and running, create and talk to objects, and even build a fun interactive graphic game, in little time!

Below are links to videos that will give users most of what they need to get their Smalltalk programming journeys started quickly:

What Are Your Next Steps for Using Cincom Smalltalk?

For those who are looking to use Cincom Smalltalk for their application development requirements, we have two options available.

Option One: Try the CST PUL Program

This program makes it simple for prospects to locate and request a Cincom Smalltalk Personal Use License. The CST PUL Program gives interested developers the freedom to evaluate our products before deciding that Cincom Smalltalk is the right fit for their business or project needs.

The CST PUL Program:

  • Provides both Cincom® ObjectStudio® and Cincom® VisualWorks® to developers, simplifying decision-making and allowing interested users to choose the best Cincom Smalltalk product for their business needs.
  • Allows ObjectStudio users to experiment with VisualWorks’ robust, cross-platform application development environment.
  • Allows VisualWorks users to easily access ObjectStudio’s Next Generation User Interface, Modeling and Mapping Tools, and Round-trip Engineering capabilities.
Option Two: Buy the REV 9.1 Program 

The REV 9.1 Program is a bridge between the CST PUL Program and full licensing. The REV 9.1 Program is only available for purchase on our website. This affordable, $1,000 investment gives developers an entry into a connection with the Cincom platform.

Although the program is geared off of the Cincom Smalltalk 9.1 major release, new REV Program customers will receive the new 9.1.1 release.

Program members receive:

  • Development access to the current version of Cincom Smalltalk for one full year
  • Full support for one full year
  • A 12-month preview of the customer experience with Cincom
  • Helpful tutorials and screencasts
  • Video archives that cover many topics
  • An opportunity to create a success story to market your application or business
  • … and much more!

NOTE: If you experience an issue with the REV 9.1 Program purchase link, contact CSSTARTeam@cincom.com.

How Can You Change Fonts in Your Coding Editor?

The topic of “fonts” is one of the most popular in the FAQ section of our website, and it’s easy to see why. As earlier noted (This phrase is only in customer version email, since part of this content will be used for the survey), the font used in code may not necessarily be the first thing that comes to mind when developers think of typography. However, they are critical for making the job of developing code easier and more enjoyable for those who work with it.

Fonts used in coding, however, are not the same. Some have been optimized to be legible and are designed to alleviate eyestrain for those who spend so much time reading and writing code. Similarly, when selecting fonts for applications for customer use, care should be taken.

Recently, Arden Thomas, the Cincom Smalltalk Product Manager, produced a tutorial video on Coding Fonts. This Hidden Gem screencast shows you how to change the font in your coding editor. Arden also gives examples of fonts that other Smalltalk developers enjoy using to code. 

  • Watch this screencast on Fonts for Developers, here.

There are also two other Hidden Gems screencasts that discuss various aspects of fonts:

If you have questions, comments, ideas for other Smalltalk examples or suggestions for future Hidden Gems, please email the Cincom Smalltalk Product Team at CSSTARTeam@cincom.com.

Feature of the Month: MatriX

Last month we highlighted a feature of the Cincom Smalltalk Foundation. Cincom Smalltalk supports connectivity to all major relational databases including Oracle, Sybase, SQL Server®, PostgreSQL, MySQL, DB/2 and SQLite. VisualWorks also connects easily with OODBMS systems.

This month, we are highlighting a feature of the Cincom Smalltalk Foundation called, MatriX. It is a significant benefit to be able to utilize the full power of modern multi-core CPUs. Product management wanted this capability in our products and challenged engineering to develop something in this space. The result exceeded expectations.

What came from that challenge was our multi-core solution, MatriX. The result fit the requirements of product management; it’s simple, pragmatic, easy to use and effective.

“MatriX is a framework you can use for coarse-grained concurrency. You can initiate and coordinate tasks to run concurrently (and generally on their own CPU core) and gather the results with a simple API. It is easy to utilize and receive significant benefits. Where applicable, MatriX can give you big improvements in throughput.”

– Arden Thomas, the Cincom Smalltalk Product Manager

In talking to customers and partners, we have seen several who are using it and enjoying its advantages.  In fact, one customer talked of running three times faster. That is effective indeed, under proper circumstances.

“We are successfully using MatriX in our project. One thing we use it for is to parallelize execution of (time-consuming) unit tests that check code quality. These tests execute at 28 percent of original time, when using MatriX on a quad-core box.” 

– Current Cincom VisualWorks customer

We have several videos about MatriX in our YouTube video library, including:

There are more features of the Cincom Smalltalk Foundation. To learn more about each one, click here.