VA Smalltalk Summit 2009

Day 1 - April 21st, 2009

Title Length

VA Smalltalk: Today, Tomorrow...and Beyond
Mike Taylor, CEO, Instantiations and Eric Clayberg, VP of Product Development, Instantiations

Instantiations' CEO, Mike Taylor, and Senior VP of Product Development, Eric Clayberg, kick off the VA Smalltalk Summit with a presentation covering the latest VA Smalltalk market trends and their vision of how VAST will evolve over the next 12-24 months. Includes a Q&A session at the end of the presentation.

57 mins

VA Smalltalk 8.0
John O’Keefe, Principal Smalltalk Architect, Instantiations

The Instantiations VA Smalltalk product continues to evolve. This talk focuses on the new capabilities that are included in V8.0 as well as our product directions beyond that release. Includes Seaside 2.9, enhanced browsers, new document delivery system, and more.

64 mins

Not Your Regular Pet Project: Using Smalltalk and Seaside in the Enterprise
Ernest Micklei, Sr. Developer/Architect and Soemirno Kartosoewito, Independent Software Consultant, Nationaal Spaarfonds

Nationaal Spaarfonds (part of Delta Lloyd Group / Aviva PLC) is one of the largest online retailers of insurance products in The Netherlands. Their insurance web shops and mid-office applications are developed in VA Smalltalk. This talk focuses on a project developing an online application for claiming damages for Cats and Dogs Insurance Products. Not your regular pet project, it is a real application. It is built using VAST 8.0 beta and Seaside. Ernest and Soemirno explain how they use the new Seaside jQuery integration in the project.

36 mins

Creating - a VA Smalltalk Seaside User Experience
Adriaan van Os, Nationaal Spaarfonds

This talk is about the new Open Source Code Repository for VA Smalltalk named VAStGoodies. It describes why VAStGoodies was developed, what capabilities it provides, how it works, and the future plans for enhancements.

VAStGoodies is the first public application that has been built using VA Smalltalk V8 Beta1. Adriaan touches on the VA Smalltalk V8Beta1 Seaside frameworks from a user's perspective, the VA Smalltalk Squeak porting layer, and the Squeak VAPackageExporter that he (and the VA Smalltalk development team) uses to port code from Squeak to VA Smalltalk.

42 mins

Experiences with Enterprise Application Integration using MQSeries and Web Services
Sebastian Heidbrink, Tricept Informations systeme AG

Tricept Informationssysteme AG is one of the largest German VA Smalltalk consulting companies. Tricept has been engaged in development of object-oriented enterprise applications in heterogeneous system environments for financial institutions, insurance companies and other enterprises since 1993. Their fat client financial processing software was converted to a server application two years ago and permits offering functional services via web services to role-based smart clients.

54 mins


Day 2 - April 22nd, 2009

Title Length

RESTful Web Services in VA Smalltalk
Joachim Tuchel, objektfabrik

RESTful Web Services are everywhere - they are used in well-known sites including Amazon, Google and Yahoo. Joachim demonstrates how to use VA Smalltalk and the Server Smalltalk Feature to both consume and provide RESTful Web Services. Using a Yahoo! Web Services example, he shows how easy (and powerful) it can be to integrate a VA Smalltalk application with modern technologies. Joachim also demonstrates adding value to your Seaside application through use of RESTful Web Services.

60 mins

Web Services in VA Smalltalk: Enhancements for 8.0, Overview of Deployment Strategies and Debugging Tips
Diane Engles, Sr. Software Developer, Instantiations

The Web Services framework has been extended to accommodate the document/literal wrapped style of wsdl. Diane presents a complete example that contrasts the differences in processing between document/literal and document/literal wrapped. She also discusses how to deploy wsdl with and without using a deployment descriptor, and points out good places to set breakpoints along the way to assist in debugging problems.

22 mins

Implementing Genetic Algorithms Efficiently in Smalltalk
Bob Whitefield, ModelDesign Corporation

Mendel is a genetic algorithm framework written in VA Smalltalk. Genetic algorithms and evolutionary computation use principles from nature to solve difficult optimization, search, and pattern recognition problems. Mendel simplifies the use of genetic algorithms, allowing this powerful technique to be easily applied to a wide variety of problems. A version of Mendel is used by a major agricultural supplier to optimize truck tours, saving nearly a half-million dollars on transportation costs in the first year. This talk gives a brief overview of evolutionary computation, describes Mendel and how it was implemented in VA Smalltalk, and shows several examples of it in action.

42 mins

Gaining Object Persistence
Martin McClure, Software Architect, Gemstone

Many VA Smalltalk applications use a relational database for persistence. However, it is often simpler to just store the Smalltalk objects themselves. The combination of VA Smalltalk and GemStone/S makes this possible. In this presentation, Martin demonstrates the process of connecting a VA Smalltalk application to GemStone, and discusses the issues involved.

44 mins

Open Q&A – Instantiations Staff

Join John O’Keefe, Solveig Viste, Diane Engles, Taylor Corey, Eric Clayberg, Ed Klimas and Mike Taylor for this open-microphone question and answer session. They take questions via the webcast chat, and answer them live.

54 mins


Speaker Bios

Eric Clayberg
Sr. Vice President of Product Development, Instantiations

Eric is a seasoned software technologist, product developer, entrepreneur, and manager with more than 18 years of commercial software development experience, including 11 years of experience with Java and eight years with Eclipse. He's the primary author and architect of more than a dozen commercial Java and Smalltalk add-on products including WindowBuilder Pro, CodePro, and the award winning VA Assist Enterprise product lines. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from MIT and an MBA from Harvard, and has co-founded two successful software companies. He is co-author of the book "Eclipse: Building Commercial-Quality Plug-ins,", part of the Addison Wesley Eclipse series.

Taylor Corey
Smalltalk Specialist, Instantiation

Taylor has a B.S. in Computer Science and began programming in 1985, working in engineering environments. He started using Smalltalk in 1992, working for Knowledge Systems Corp. and has worked on many varied ST projects, with different companies up to the present time. He joined Instantiations in 2006.

Diane Engles
Sr. Software Developer, Instantiations

Diane began her programming career in Smalltalk at FedEx in 1994, developing a real-time 3000 seat customer service application. She took a detour to work in Java on other client-server and web applications for a few years, then joined the VA Smalltalk team in 2006. Diane looks forward to keeping VA Smalltalk one of the most productive development environments for years to come.

Sebastian Heidbrink
IT Consultant, Tricept Informationssysteme AG

Sebastian Heidbrink has been working with Smalltalk since 2002, mostly in finance and research. In addition to his activities as Smalltalk architecture and technology consultant and financial business analyst with implementation competence, he promotes server development and extends the environment with framework extensions including logging and unit testing. Former Smalltalk activities included a project dealing with distributed modular simulation of mechatronic systems.

Soemirno Kartosoewito
Independent Software Consultant, Nationaal Spaarfonds

Soemirno is a software engineer with over 10 years of experience in both corporate and small business environments. He has fulfilled several roles in the software development process, but is in his heart still a programmer. Through the years Soemirno has acquired a very disciplined approached to software engineering, based on Extreme Programming practices, and has successfully applied these principles on the projects he worked on. He is a recent Smalltalk convert, after working in both Java and Ruby for the past few years.

Ed Klimas
Vice President of Professional Services, Instantiations

Ed has spent over thirty years in various positions in research and technology development and management, including fifteen years successfully growing a software engineering firm that developed mission-critical secure software systems. These systems were widely praised for their cost effectiveness and resultant quality. He is also a recognized lecturer and author of numerous object-oriented software engineering articles and co-author of the popular book, Smalltalk with Style. Ed has a Master's in Electrical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University.

John O’Keefe
Principal Smalltalk Architect, Instantiations

John has been in software development for over 40 years, with the first 25 years spent developing in everything from assembly language to PL/I and SNOBOL. He joined the original IBM Smalltalk prototype team in 1990 and was a founding member of the IBM VisualAge Smalltalk development team. John was Team Lead and Chief Architect of IBM VisualAge Smalltalk from 1997 to 2007, joining Instantiations in February, 2007 to lead the VA Smalltalk development team. He is currently focusing on porting Seaside to VA Smalltalk and enhancing VA Smalltalk internationalization support.

Martin McClure
Software Architect, Gemstone Corporation

Martin has been joyfully using Smalltalk for more than twenty years. As a Software Architect with GemStone Systems, he leads a team that designs and implements a distributed object system that acts as a bridge between a Smalltalk client and a GemStone Smalltalk server. Other career highlights include developing embedded and robotic systems in FORTH and assembly language, data modeling and architecting a telecommunications order processing system, designing and prototyping embedded hardware, and touring with a high-tech juggling troupe. When he's not in front of a computer, he can often be found contra dancing or blowing glass.

Ernest Micklei
Sr. Developer/Architect, Nationaal Spaarfonds

Ernest is a senior developer/architect with 17 years of experience in Smalltalk programming and design. He has participated in large projects for the Insurance, Banking and Public Transport industries. For a few years, he has switched to the more enterpricy side and worked on even larger Java projects and did some Ruby and Flex work too. Recently, he has been infected by Seaside and re-entered the Smalltalk community.

Mike Taylor
President and CEO and co-founder, Instantiations

Mike has a 25+ year career in the software industry, with extensive senior management experience in the enterprise software development and Java software tools arenas. Extremely active in the Eclipse Foundation, Mike has been an Add-in Elected Board member since 2005. Mike led the Market Research and Advertising Working Groups which support Eclipse-related activities such as EclipseCon, open-source projects, demo camps, webinars, committees and more. Mike has founded several high tech companies in addition to Instantiations, serving as Vice President of Professional Services at Digitalk and ParcPlace-Digitalk, both leading companies in the Smalltalk arena. He holds a BA and an MBA from the University of Washington.

Joachim Tuchel
Founder and Director, objektfabrik

Joachim is the founder and Director of objektfabrik, a consulting and development firm located in Ludwigsburg, Germany (near Stuttgart). Joachim has been working in VA Smalltalk projects for over a decade as a developer, architect, project manager and coach. Before founding objektfabrik in 1999, he worked for several consulting firms building mid-sized to enterprise-level systems for companies in the financial and manufacturing industries. Joachim holds a degree in Applied Computer Science and Business Information Systems from the University of Cooperative Education (Berufsakademie) in Stuttgart.

Adrian van Os
Nationaal Spaarfonds

Adriaan van Os has been working with Smalltalk since 1995, mostly in finance, insurance, trading and economic research. His Smalltalk development experience includes meta-model based data warehouse software with work-flow capabilities, large scale object databases and web applications. Adriaan is involved in various (Camp) Smalltalk open source software projects and has been given presentations at conferences like Smalltalk Solutions and ESUG.

Solveig Viste
Sr. Smalltalk Developer, Instantiations

Solveig began life as a Smalltalker at Knowledge Systems in 1991 prototyping IBM's Common User Architcture. When Object share began its work on Smalltalk widgets, she joined in, developing several "widget kit" add-ons to Visual Age. She was pleased when Instantiations offered her a chance to work with Smalltalk again in supporting the VA Smalltalk successor to Visual Age.

Bob Whitefield
Independent Software Consultant, ModelDesign Corporation

Bob Whitefield is an independent software consultant and the founder of ModelDesign Corporation. Bob began using Smalltalk in 1989 and has yet to find another language he likes better. In addition to evolutionary computation, Bob's interests include reflective business frameworks and user interface design.