sábado, 17 de marzo de 2012

U8 - A platform for social development with Smalltalk

Finally U8 has arrived! I have been working on U8 with Elvio Fernandez, Miguel Isasmendi, Matias Castilla and Alejandro Reimondo since september 2011. During that days Ale presented to Smalltalking the S8 platform and decided that is going to have a MIT licence. He offer to Smalltalking to promote the use of Object Technology through S8. Sure we had the option to put S8 in Gitub and wait, but we decided to follow this rule of 100-point project  and we began to think about U8. 

What is U8?
-a platform to DO social working on Smalltalk
-Smalltalking support - 10 years of bakground guarantees the platform is going to alive next 10 years :)
-a microdonation system that promote real work on the platform, a way to support your work, not just a platform for fun, that system we call Brownies system 
-A way to publish your code and already run on the web!
-Forks to do derivate work 
-Save image in real time on the web!

So... What is S8?
There is a lot of topics to talk about..., the topic of most interest to me is to explain what we are doing with S8. A breaf description of our regional point of view about OT and Smalltalk, and our proposal of a modern formulation of development using Smalltalk. The S8 platform was implemented to let us(smalltalkers) be responsible of our execution environments (as it was in the early days of smalltalk).

That impose a change of attitude and the formulation/idea must be supported by tools and evidence/experience of others in the same field. As a demostration on how we can do that with S8, I can mention the platforms we have implemented for using the U8 service (designed to make worldwide social development with smalltalk http://u8.smalltalking.net ), for example How to load Panoramio Templates framework dynamically and render photographs in a page or a wrapper to Google QR Code API (click on ShowIt to view the contribution). Also U8 support works outside a WebBrowser, for example for Desktop or Android devices (see FFI support or demo app using PhoneGap for Android )

How S8 started?
On January,2011 Alejandro Reimondo started a new platform to run his smalltalk frameworks efficiently on top of a modern,  robust and mantained VM.
The VM is implemented in C++, run in multiple platforms,  generate eficient machine code, do not use bytecodes,  is mantained and developed by Google, and a wide  community of users writing enhancements and adaptions.

He called the platform S8; it is a smalltalk running on top  of V8 the Google's javascript VM.
The platform is open and let us extend/adapt the VM  to your needs and support full smalltalks semantics.

In mid-june,2011 Ale released a Proof of Concept version of  the S8 platform to show his sponsors that it is possible  to run efficiently smalltalk on top of that VM with API  calls and other interesting features to make easy the  migration of systems from other smalltalk dialects.

This way to run smalltalk in a three layer architecture, give  the smalltalker more visibility of the execution machinery  (most primitives are written in smalltalk and/or javascript;  a few services are implemented as VM addition/enhancements).

S8 Arquitecture 

All the layers of the architecture are object oriented and  open source; so it is easy to modify at any level  to build/migrate apps to any target.

He also migrate frameworks (and applications)  written with VSE years back as demostration of applications  that run as windows desktop app (32bits), command line 64bits,  embedded in web browser, and running in Android devices  (with transparent integration with native java,  at Android's SDK level).

How to start using U8/S8?
Go to http://u8.smalltalking.net/ and Start Coding!

Have fun!

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