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Sparkle: Let's Annoy Users Differently - Wednesday, January 26th

For our January meeting, we'll be hosting GemTalk 's Martin McClure who will talk about a new Smalltalk IDE - Sparkle. If you're setting out to develop a Smalltalk IDE from scratch, what design decisions do you make? You'd love to "fix" the things that have long annoyed you in existing IDEs, but new designs risk creating their own novel annoyances. The Sparkle project-in-progress is creating a new and not entirely conventional development environment for GemStone Smalltalk. Come see factors that have influenced its design, get a demo of the current state of the tools, learn about the project's next steps, and share *your* IDE annoyances. Martin heard about Smalltalk in 1975, *finally* got his hands on a running Smalltalk system ten years later, and hasn't let go since. In his 25 years on the GemStone team, Martin has worked on many aspects - some VM internals, some user interface design, but mostly all the things that go in between. In his rare spare t
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JsSqueak - Wednesday, December 29th

For our December meeting, Florin Mateoc will show us JsSqueak , a JavaScript implementation of (JavaScript compiled) Squeak. Whereas SqueakJS or TruffleSqueak are implementations of the Squeak stack VM which run the Squeak bytecodes, JsSqueak compiles all the Squeak code to JavaScript (including the VM plugins), it exports the image state as one big JavaScript storeString, and then loads them, and runs the JavaScript implemented minimal VM (mostly primitives) and the JavaScript-translated Squeak methods as one combined JavaScript application. The compiled JavaScript application can be run either in a browser or in Node.js While JavaScript, especially with its newest additions, is a very powerful language, which allows us to implement most Smalltalk-specific features (e.g. processes/green threads are implemented using generator functions and recursive yield* for all invocations, DNU is implemented using proxies and proto manipulation, the Smalltalk parallel class hierarchy is implemente

A Tour of Architectural Abstraction with Objective-S - Wednesday, November 24th

This month, the UKSTUG will take a look at Objective-S , an architecture-oriented programming language based on Smalltalk and Objective-C, by hosting his creator Marcel Weiher. As per Alan Kay, “Code seems large and complicated for what it does” . Objective-S addresses one source of this accidental complexity: using software architectural abstraction to directly expresses the much wider variety of architectural styles typical of modern software systems, compared to traditional programming languages that still follow the call/return architectural style of scientific programs from the early days of computing. Marcel Weiher started his forays into dynamic object-oriented computing by implementing Objective-C on his Amiga 35 years ago and hasn’t stopped since. Stops on the way have been at Apple, the BBC, Microsoft and various startups, as well as contributing to Squeak. He is currently a principal software engineer at Citymapper and PhD student at HPI, where he is trying to distill some

Cincom Smalltalk 9.1 - Wednesday, October 27th

For this month's meeting, Cincom Smalltalk product manager Arden Thomas will discuss recent product changes and improvements and demonstrate some tools and features of ObjectStudio and VisualWorks 9.1. Arden started working with Smalltalk in 1986, looking for a better way to do software development – and he found it. Arden built factory floor layout tools for IBM, worked at ParcPlace as an SE, an instructor, and consultant, and at a hedge fund building financial analysis tools. Arden is currently the product manager for Cincom Smalltalk. This will be an online meeting from home. If you'd like to join us, please sign up in advance on the meeting's Meetup page to receive the meeting details. Don’t forget to bring your laptop and drinks!   Update 30 November 2021: the recording of the presentation is now available on Vimeo .

Dr. Geo - Wednesday, September 29th

The next meeting of the UK Smalltalk User Group will be on Wednesday, September 29th. For this month's meeting, we take a look at an example of an application written in Smalltalk. Specifically, one that fits in a cultural tradition that is as old as Smalltalk itself, if not older: that of using computers as tools to teach powerful ideas and to augment thinking. Dr. Geo is an interactive geometry software with programming capabilities in Smalltalk. Dr. Geo aims to be an open, easy to study, modify and extend interactive geometry software. Ten years old kids use Dr. Geo to explore Euclidean geometric sketches; agile kids extend and program it with its embedded dynamic Pharo language and user interface. Hilaire Fernandes started the development of Dr. Geo in 1996. In 1998, he ported it to GNU/Linux at a time where no interactive geometry software existed on this system. It latter became officially a GNU application blessed by Richard Stallman. In the spirit of free software and acce

One year of presentations

With the latest uploads, we have now reached one full year of published UKSTUG presentations. These cover most of the Smalltalk dialects and a wide range of topics. You can check out all the presentations on Vimeo . Many thanks to all the presenters, and to everyone who attended the meetings!

Variables in Pharo - Wednesday, August 25th

The next meeting of the UK Smalltalk User Group will be on Wednesday, August 25th. Marcus Denker will talk about Variables in Pharo. We like to say that “Everything is an Object” in Smalltalk. This is true in many cases: Classes, methods, even the execution stack are reflectively available as objects. This talk shows how this idea can be extended to Variables and how Pharo implements first-class Variables for Globals, instance Variables, Class Variables, and even temporary variables. This presentation explores the Variable hierarchy, shows how variables simplify the compiler and how the reflective API provided by variables is used by the debugger. In a hands-on tutorial, we extend the language by defining new kinds of Variables. Marcus is a permanent researcher at INRIA Lille - Nord Europe . Before, he was a postdoc at the PLEIAD lab/DCC University of Chile and the Software Composition Group, University of Bern. His research focuses on reflection and meta-programming for dynamic langu