What's new with VA Smalltalk?
  • Upcoming New Release v8.6.1 
  • 64-bit Virtual Machine Project
  • New Smalltalk Foundation Announced
  • ESUG 2014 Conference/Presentations
  • Smalltalks 2014 Conference Scheduled for Nov. 5-7
  • Free Upgrade/Migration Guide Available

Dear Smalltalk User,

   I'd like to take a few minutes to update you with the latest news about VA Smalltalk, Instantiations and the Smalltalk Industry! 
    The engineering team at Instantiations has been hard at work on powerful new features that will significantly enhance the capabilities of VA Smalltalk. The new release is scheduled to happen before the end of November 2014 and will include all the features listed below and more, plus maintenance upgrades and bug fixes. All VA Smalltalk customers who have active support subscriptions will be able to download the new release free of charge.
  • Real-time Code Analytics (Detect/Report/Repair errors and warnings on-the-fly)
  • Enhanced Refactoring support with new interactive workflows
  • New SQLite3 support
  • .zip/.gz support on all platforms
  • EMSRV upgrade (eliminate 2GB limit on Linux)
  • Seaside 3.1.1/Grease 1.1.6 (including Seaside-REST support)
  • Expanded Getting Started book
  • New Linux installer
...much more detail can be found at New VA Smalltalk Release
   For about two years Instantiations' VM team has been working on a new 64-bit virtual machine that will become the foundation for the product into the future. The new VM technology will be released in two stages, first a new 32-bit VM and shortly after that the 64-bit version. We plan to release a beta of our new 32-bit VM early next year (perhaps sooner) for testing.  Our goal is to demonstrate the 64-bit VM by late summer 2015 (at the ESUG Conference). The team is working hard and is optimistic they will meet or beat the target dates.

   A few of the important technical capabilities of the new VM are:

1. An enhanced incremental garbage collector that will be introduced with the new 64-bit virtual machine.  Additionally, there will be new configuration settings that will give the user even more control over memory management in VA Smalltalk.

2. VA Smalltalk's new virtual machine will use the popular libffi library for bridging with compiled languages, and as a result the virtual machine will support more calling conventions than ever before.

3. Easy migration for current VA Smalltalk systems. The team is working hard to ensure that our customers can easily migrate their existing applications to the new virtual machine.  One way this will be realized is to make sure the team's top priority throughout the project is to maintain backwards compatibility with the existing virtual machine.  We are also building automated tooling to help migrate existing images so that, in many cases, they will simply run on the new virtual machine without modification.

   In the meantime, if you would like more detail, CTO John O'Keefe gave a presentation at ESUG this year with information about the 64-bit VM work.  Below is the YouTube link to the second part of his presentation, the VM discussion starts at 12:30 into the clip.

To watch the video: VA Smalltalk Update Video including 64-bit VM Info



Exciting news...a new Smalltalk Foundation has been established by a stellar group of senior Smalltalk industry veterans. The mission of the Smalltalk Foundation is to foster the understanding, advancement, and dissemination of Smalltalk software technology. The new organization was announced on August 18, 2014 at the 2014 ESUG conference by founder Evelyn Van Orden (formerly of Xerox). In addition to Evelyn there are 4 other Directors, Barbara Noparstak (Digitalk founder), David Buck (Simburon founder), Stephen Travis Pope (Smalltalk developer, formerly of Xerox PARC), and myself, Mike Taylor (Founder/CEO Instantiations); plus a Board of Advisors comprised of approximately 20 Smalltalk luminaries and technologists.

The Smalltalk Foundation, based in California, USA, is an international organization that is in partnership discussions with both ESUG and FAST. The US announcement of the Foundation is targeted for the Splash/OOPSLA ACM conference that will be held October 20-24, 2014 in Portland, OR.

We'll share more details as they evolve!


    At the 2014 ESUG Conference in Cambridge, UK CTO John O'Keefe and Director of Engineering Seth Berman both gave talks that will be of interest to VA Smalltalk users. You can view the talks at the links below:
  • "VA Smalltalk Update", by John O'Keefe
               See the videos (2) at: VA Smalltalk Update 1 and VA Smalltalk Update 2      
               View a pdf of the presentation slides at: VA Smalltalk Update Slides
  • "Pushing the VA Smalltalk Editor Onward and Upward", by Seth Berman
              See the video at: VA Smalltalk Editor Video
              View a pdf of the presentation slides at: VA Smalltalk Editor Slides

You can also find the videos and slides of all ESUG 2014 presentations at: ESUG 2014 Videos   ESUG 2014 Slides
Some great candid photos from ESUG at: ESUG 2014 Photos

   Instantiations is pleased to once again be a Platinum Sponsor of the Smalltalks Conference. This fall Smalltalk notables Allen and Rebecca Wirfs-Brock will give the keynote presentation. Allen was instrumental in developing Digitalk's Visual Smalltalk, as well as being a leader in modular Smalltalk design. Rebecca created the field of Responsibility Driven Design, which spawned a variety of modern disciplines such as TDD and BDD.

   Their presence is just a preview of an outstanding presentation program you won't want to miss. Smalltalks 2014 will feature a research track for papers, complete with published proceedings and an outstanding program committee. As always, the conference will also feature an industry track.

For more information and to register go to: Smalltalks 2014 Conference


   Are you still using IBM's VisualAge® Smalltalk? Did you know that even if you're currently using VisualAge 3.0 (or even earlier) you can easily upgrade your applications to Instantiations' modern, fully supported VA Smalltalk?

   VA Smalltalk is 100% VisualAge Smalltalk compatible, supports modern operating systems, and includes many, many powerful new capabilities. You can quickly and cost effectively protect and extend the useful life of your important Smalltalk investments.

   We hope you'll join the hundreds of companies worldwide who have made the easy step up to VA Smalltalk. Instantiations' engineering team has prepared a comprehensive guide that will answer your questions about upgrading and migrating to today's new VA Smalltalk. The guide is available as a free pdf download at Upgrading to VA Smalltalk.


   We invite you to explore VA Smalltalk further...just send an email to info@instantiations.com or call 1-855-4-SMALLTALK (toll free in North America) or start at our home page www.instantiations.com.
Mike Taylor
President & CEO


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