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What's New

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Language & Runtime

Increased Performance with SIMD

Instantiations is constantly working to further improve VAST performance. The latest optimization is the usage of SIMD algorithms which are dramatically improving the speeds in certain lower-level operations. 

SIMD has enabled substring searching optimizations across the String class with improvements of up to 20 times faster. The CRC32 checksum algorithm is up to 17 times faster leading to improved read/write operations of ObjectDumper and ObjectLoader within the object swapper.
SIMD improvements

Faster JIT on ARM

Having a JIT (just-in-time) compiler available for the VAST virtual machine improves performance significantly beyond just the base interpreter. 

The recent JIT update for our ARM targets yielded a significant performance improvement of up to 63%  across the board for both Windows® and Linux®.
JIT improvements
Core Libraries icon

Core Libraries

Unicode Examples

Unicode fixes and enhancements

Various improvements were made to the core Unicode framework to update an already solid implementation.

Compression algorithm updates

Currency on the latest versions of ZStandard (v1.5.5), Brotli (v1.1.0), LZ4 (v1.9.4), and zlib (v1.3) provide performance improvements and minor bug fixes.
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Development Tools

Richer Unicode support for inspectors

Some of the Unicode improvements made during this release involved the code inspector views with VAST. 

Support for Unicode element views in hierarchical inspectors was added to correctly display the various Unicode components, like UnicodeString, Grapheme, and UnicodeScalar.
Richer Unicode inspectors

Code editor update

The code editor was updated to the latest Scintilla. This update enables future possibilities for new visualizations, Unicode improvements, and other languages beyond Smalltalk.
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User Interface & Visuals

Windows Table Widget available in Composition Editor

This update allows you to easily augment your existing parts-based programs with table views.  

Abt visual parts have now been developed so that the Windows® table widget common control is available as part of the composition editor. This adds to the support that already exists at the common widgets level. 

Additionally, cell contents in tables are no longer limited to strings, and can now be objects that can format themselves as strings. 
Windows Table Widget improvements

CommonWidgets corrections

Among other enhancements, improvements were made to the CommonWidgets layer to facilitate parts-level improvements.
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Web Technologies

WebView2 support

It’s no longer a binary choice between native and web applications. Get the best of both worlds with VAST's latest integration with Microsoft Edge’s WebView2 framework.

WebView2 allows embedding web content into VAST native applications and building hybrid systems with bi-directional control.
Learn more from Mariano Martinez Peck's talk at ESUG 2023
Webview2 support

Unicode integration for Seaside

VAST-specific code has been added to Seaside to allow for the use of our specific  UnicodeString  and Grapheme classes. The result is that these Unicode components will now render correctly within Seaside applications
Unicode added to Seaside
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Unicode integration for databases

The database drivers in VAST have been updated to allow Unicode strings to be read, written, and used to define SQL queries for all supported VAST database technologies, including: DB2, Oracle, PostgreSQL, SQLite, and ODBC.  Additionally, character semantics are now handled automatically.

Unicode support is optional (opt-in) and can be enabled or disabled at different levels, such as "per session" or "system wide".
Learn more from Esteban Maringolo's talk at Smalltalks 2023
Unicode added to databases

Unicode integration for GLORP

The GLORP Object-Relational Mapper now has full Unicode integration. It allows reading and writing of domain objects containing Unicode strings.

 Unicode support is optional (opt-in) within GLORP.
Unicode for GLORP

Improvements to databases and GLORP

Many general improvements were made to the various database drivers and GLORP while the Unicode support modifications were made.
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Additional Libraries

Grease separated from Seaside

There's more flexibility with the usage of Grease. It can now be loaded independently of Seaside because it has it's own VAST feature.
Grease added as its own feature
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