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Cincom Smalltalk Digest: August Edition

Posted on in Categories Smalltalk

Smalltalk Digest

The Cincom Smalltalk Digest is a monthly publication that provides news, updates and resources to our customers, partners and users. The following are included in this month’s newsletter:

CUSTOMERS and PARTNERS

  • A Quicker Way to Start New Support Cases
  • Session Two: Learning the X’s and O’s with Smalltalk Support

BEGINNERS, FREELANCERS and DEVELOPERS

  • Quantitative and Technical Analysis Using Smalltalk
  • Why Smalltalk for Quantitative Analysis?
  • Using Cincom Smalltalk for Smalltalk Image Compression

CUSTOMERS and PARTNERS

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

A Quicker Way to Start New Support Cases

It is our goal to ensure that our customers and partners get the best value for their money and to learn as much about their companies, applications or services as possible. Doing so helps us provide valuable and timely recommendations for using Cincom Smalltalk products and services. 

If you are looking for the best way to start new support cases with Cincom Support, we provide two easy links:

As always, you can reach the Cincom Smalltalk Product Team at CSSTARTeam@cincom.com if you have any further questions or comments.

Session Two: Learning the X’s and O’s with Smalltalk Support

Expert coaching done the right way with Cincom Smalltalk Support

One way to receive coaching on how to move forward from an old release to the latest Cincom Smalltalk release is to do a little bit of self-study with the release notes. The release notes contain new feature descriptions and changes, and the bug fix files list the ARs addressed. A little reading can go a long way toward a smoother, less-frustrating upgrade. 

Coaching Session Two: Upgrading Cincom Smalltalk

You have been a loyal Cincom Smalltalk customer or partner for years, and now it’s time to take advantage of the features that the newer release of Cincom Smalltalk offers.  You can see that the currently supported versions of Cincom® ObjectStudio® and Cincom® VisualWorks® will give your team the opportunity to increase the value of your application by using these features to enhance it.

The purpose of this coaching session is to determine when you should upgrade your application. We feel that there are some planning issues you need to think about and even document before taking the step to move your application forward:

  1. How long has it been since the application has been upgraded?
  2. How large is your application?  How do you identify size?  Is it by lines of code, parcels, classes, packages, etc.?
  3. What configuration methodology do you employ to manage your application?
  4. What areas of your application have overrides to the base product in place?  Can you easily identify those areas?
  5. Who will be doing the actual work? 
    • Do they have the necessary skills to move the application forward in the time frames you have determined?
    • Before they start the upgrade, will they have time to review and understand all of the changes described in the manuals and release notes of the versions released after the one they are currently using?
  6. What is your development methodology?  Does it allow for a high level of flexibility in addressing unexpected events along the way?

To avoid unnecessary frustration, do your homework before you begin. Become one with your Smalltalk application. The upgrade itself will go smoothly, but if you would like Cincom to help in the upgrade process, look into our Cincom Smalltalk Consulting and Services option.  

When it’s time to upgrade your application, you can rest assured that you’ll be taking advantage of the new features of Cincom Smalltalk and bringing even more value to your organization.

As always, Cincom Smalltalk Support is here to help you move forward when questions or product challenges arise.  Let’s get connected so we can coach you on your upgrade to the latest Cincom Smalltalk release. We look forward to hearing from you.  Just contact us via:

You can reach the Cincom Smalltalk Product Team at CSSTARTeam@cincom.com if you have any further questions.

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.

Quantitative and Technical Analysis Using Smalltalk

Arden Thomas, the Cincom Smalltalk Product Manager, created a series of screencasts that serve as an introduction to Quantitative Analysis (QA)—a technique for understanding behavior that uses mathematical and statistical modeling, measurement and research. This screencast series demonstrates how to perform Quantitative Analysis as well as create charts and indicators in Cincom Smalltalk. In addition, this series showed how to create algorithms and interactive charts.

Who May Be Interested?

If you have ever wanted to:

  • Learn how to do technical or quantitative analysis on stocks
  • Tweak and explore algorithms
  • Build or experiment with your own charting system
  • Learn a powerful language
  • Have some working examples for a starting point

… this screencast series may be of great interest.

On our website, you can find more information about Quantitative Analysis.

What’s Covered?

Here are the topics that are covered in the introductory series to get you started quickly:

In these insightful screencasts, you will also learn how to:

  • Do some basic number analysis on stock data series
  • Write code to create indicators using some current article examples
  • Build charts that you can use and customize

Why Smalltalk for Quantitative Analysis?

Arden Thomas is the product manager of the largest commercial Smalltalk, which traces its roots back to Xerox PARC.  Before working for companies that sell Smalltalk, Arden used to regularly experiment with new languages. He came across Smalltalk, and after a brief learning curve, never looked back. He could do virtually everything he wanted in a smart, clear, succinct language that lets him express ideas and organize them in the way he wanted.  

Doing this lets Arden combine a hobby of over three decades with the greatest computer language ever created. Recently, he wrote an article for the magazine, Technical Analysis of Stocks & Commodities, which was published in the August 2020 edition.   

You need no experience with Smalltalk or even much programming experience. Many non-programming professionals are very successful with Smalltalk. Smalltalk was the language created and used at Xerox PARC, where the graphical user interface, drag and drop, files and folder, model-view-controller (MVC) and much more were pioneered or invented. 

Simply put, Smalltalk lets you do more with less, creating clear, succinct solutions that are easier to understand and maintain.  Because of this, they often let sharp folks get their arms around harder problems, which is a competitive advantage. 

To check out these screencasts and learn more, click here.

If you have questions or comments about these screencasts or anything related to quantitative analysis, please email Arden Thomas at athomas@cincom.com. For additional comments, questions and suggestions, contact the Cincom Smalltalk Product Team at CSSTARTeam@cincom.com

Using Cincom Smalltalk for Smalltalk Image Compression

Arden Thomas launched the Hidden Gems screencast series to highlight shortcuts, tips and techniques that may make it easier for others to use or jumpstart their use of Cincom Smalltalk. In these screencasts, Arden discusses how he uses multiple Cincom Smalltalk components, as well as features he uses for his own productivity that he considers “hidden gems.”

This month’s Hidden Gems is about Image Compression. This screencast should also be of interest to folks interested in the Quant Gems series, since it demonstrates an application that is a stock chart.

Image compression uses Zlib to compress the image, often to a third of the original size, and decompresses it when the image is started.  Compression is fairly quick, and decompression is even quicker. This can be useful anytime you’d like your image to be more compact in size, and it’s simple to do.

In Hidden Gems, we say “many techniques are simple and easy once we show you how.” The application used in the demonstration is the result of a series of videos that show how to:

  • Download stock data
  • Parse stock data and create data series objects
  • Use model-view-controller (MVC) to present the data as a candlestick chart
  • Build a Date Axis so that you can scroll in and out with the mouse wheel
  • Build a list of the Dow Jones Industrial Average stocks
  • Integrate multiple applications together simply to create this application