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st4u

ST 4U 81: Using Breakpoints in VA

May 11, 2011 7:30:49.617

Today's Smalltalk 4 You takes an overview look at the debugger in VA Smalltalk. If you prefer a written walkthrough to video, then skip down to it. If you have trouble viewing it here in the browser, you can also navigate directly to YouTube. To watch now, click on the image below:

VA Debugger

If you have trouble viewing that directly, you can click here to download the video directly. If you need the video in a Windows Media format, then download that here.

You can also watch it on YouTube:


Today we'll take a little deeper look at the VA Smalltalk debugger. This tool has a lot of functionality, so it'll take more than this tutorial to cover the entire tool. To start with, we've created a simple Counter class. This gives us a jumping off place beyond the workspace to work with the debugger. The class is pretty simple - it has one instance variable, and two api methods to either increment or decrement the counter:

Counter Class

Next we'll script some simple interactions with the object in a workspace. To simulate a more complex bug, we've implemented a simple bug in the subtraction method:

Execute the Code

Having discovered that the decrement functionality doesn't work right, we'll go to the browser and put a breakpoint in. Again, this example is very simple; the idea is to show you how to use breakpoints. Put the cursor down in the method where you want the breakpoint, right click, and select Break:

Insert a Breakpoint

It turns out that you can configure your breakpoint -

Configure a Breakpoint

  • Select a specific process for which this breakpoint applies (ignoring it in all others)
  • If this code is in a loop, break on a specific iteration
  • Specify a boolean condition for which the break applies

If you let all of those default, then the breakpoint will halt your code anytime it is reached - yielding a debugger. Once you have inserted the breakpoint, you'll see a little red indicator appear in the browser:

Breakpoint Added

Now let's return to the workspace, and exercise the code that should hit the breakpoint:

Execute the Code

Now we've landed in the debugger. The top pane contains the context stack - all of the methods that were in the process of executing when we hit the break. To the right you'll see an inspector for all variables - temps, instance, and method arguments. At the bottom, you have the code pane. Since this is Smalltalk, you can change the code. Note that recompiling the code will remove the breakpoint.

In the Debugger

Now, if you hit the Break option in the debugger or browser while you have the cursor at the right place (where you inserted it), the options differ a bit:

Break Options

If you deactivate the break, the marker will change to yellow:

Break Deactivated

Finally, if you select Clear, the breakpoint will be removed.

Need more help? There's a screencast for other topics like this which you may want to watch. Questions? Try the "Chat with James" Google gadget over in the sidebar.

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news

Irony is Not Dead

May 11, 2011 22:39:06.837

Go and make your own one liners for this headline:

WikiLeaks Threatens Its Own Leakers With $20 Million Penalty

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js4u

JS 4U 55: JQuery Each Function

May 12, 2011 7:28:36.955

Javascript 4 U

Today's Javascript 4 You. Today we look at using the JQuery each() function. If you have trouble viewing it here in the browser, you can also navigate directly to YouTube.

Join the Facebook Group to discuss the tutorials. You can view the archives here.

To watch now, click on the image below:

JQuery each function

If you have trouble viewing that directly, you can click here to download the video directly. If you need the video in a Windows Media format, then download that here.

You can also watch it on YouTube:

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social media

Fighting Social the Old Fashioned Way

May 12, 2011 13:38:29.000

There's some irony in the fact that Facebook hired an old line PR firm to plant negative stories about Google in "old media":

For the past few days, a mystery has been unfolding in Silicon Valley. Somebody, it seems, hired Burson-Marsteller, a top public-relations firm, to pitch anti-Google stories to newspapers, urging them to investigate claims that Google was invading people’s privacy. Burson even offered to help an influential blogger write a Google-bashing op-ed, which it promised it could place in outlets like The Washington Post, Politico, and The Huffington Post.

Looks like it's time to grab some popcorn and watch the clueless people from both firms have at it like a pair of jealous high school stereotypes...

Update: Oh look - the PR firm Facebook hired is "apologizing". Let me translate their statement: "We're really, really sorry that the public found out about this. It would be awesome if you all just forgot about it, ok?"

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st4u

ST 4U 82: Loading GlorpDBX into Pharo

May 13, 2011 7:25:31.789

Today's Smalltalk 4 You shows you how to get GlorpDBX for Pharo loaded into your image using Metacello configurations. If you have trouble viewing it here in the browser, you can also navigate directly to YouTube. To watch now, click on the image below:

GlorpDBX

If you have trouble viewing that directly, you can click here to download the video directly. If you need the video in a Windows Media format, then download that here.

You can also watch it on YouTube:

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smalltalk

Smalltalk Training Redux

May 13, 2011 18:51:58.705

The two weeks of Smalltalk training are done - there's a group splitting off from the place I work, and they are taking a copy of the application with them. So, I've been getting them up to speed on Smalltalk (VisualWorks, specifically) for the last few weeks (2 weeks of training with an off week in the middle). I'm on my way home now, and I feel pretty good about how it went.

It's very different from when I was doing this full time back in the early and mid 90's. Back then, I mostly saw C and Cobol developers, and just getting them past the basic OO hurdle was a problem. This group had some Java developers and some database guys; the db guys had a tougher time of it, but they seemed to be ok by the end of the second week. The Java guy in the class was fine - he had issues with some of the VW specific stuff that always gives newbies difficulty (hello, AspectAdaptors), but otherwise latched on pretty fast.

It's been fun - I had forgotten how much I enjoy teaching :)

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games

Honest Hearts Trailer

May 14, 2011 2:20:39.953

There's a trailer out for the next Fallout: New VegasXbox 360 Games) DLC - Honest Hearts:

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itNews

Single Points of Failure are Bad

May 14, 2011 10:55:57.543

The Blogger outage at Google doesn't bring "the cloud into question" - what it highlights is the folly of relying on anything that leaves you with a single point of failure:

My question is, “What if this had happened to another Google service?” Say, Google Docs? What if every document you wrote and saved on Wednesday was suddenly taken offline on Thursday, and you no longer had your presentation or your notes or your research for a client meeting today?

What if I had all of my documents stored on a file server at corporate HQ, they weren't doing offsite backup, and some disaster occurred? The issue isn't "the cloud" - it's relying on a single point.

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law

Software Patents Considered Harmful

May 15, 2011 8:58:15.000

It's now long past time to take patents for software out back and shoot them. Heck, I might be convinced that patents in general aren't working any longer, but it's very clear in software. Consider the latest example of patent trolling:

A company called Lodsys claims to own four patents covering the in-app purchase mechanism found on iOS devices, and is seeking licensing fees from at least five individual developers, the Guardian reports. Some developers have received hand-delivered documents threatening patent infringement lawsuits if they don't pay up.

In what universe should that concept have been considered a patentable innovation?

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podcast

IM 30: Teaching Smalltalk

May 15, 2011 12:38:38.027

Welcome to episode 30 of Independent Misinterpretations - a Smalltalk and dynamic language oriented podcast with James Robertson, Michael Lucas-Smith, and David Buck. This week's podcast is a conversation Dave Buck and I had about teaching Smalltalk. When it was recorded, I was in the midst of the second week of a training class I just finished teaching, and we talked about that.

You can subscribe to the podcast in iTunes (or any other podcatching software) using this feed directly or in iTunes with this one.

To listen now, you can either download the mp3 edition, or the AAC edition. The AAC edition comes with chapter markers. You can subscribe to either edition of the podcast directly in iTunes; just search for Smalltalk and look in the Podcast results. You can subscribe to the mp3 edition directly using this feed, or the AAC edition using this feed using any podcatching software. You can also download the podcast in ogg format.

If you like the music we use, please visit Josh Woodward's site. We use the song Troublemaker for our intro/outro music. I'm sure he'd appreciate your support!

If you have feedback, send it to jarober@gmail.com - or visit us on Facebook - you can subscribe in iTunes using this iTunes enabled feed.. If you enjoy the podcast, pass the word - we would love to have more people hear about Smalltalk!

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podcastAAC

IM 30: Teaching Smalltalk

May 15, 2011 12:39:05.067

Welcome to episode 30 of Independent Misinterpretations - a Smalltalk and dynamic language oriented podcast with James Robertson, Michael Lucas-Smith, and David Buck. This week's podcast is a conversation Dave Buck and I had about teaching Smalltalk. When it was recorded, I was in the midst of the second week of a training class I just finished teaching, and we talked about that.

You can subscribe to the podcast in iTunes (or any other podcatching software) using this feed directly or in iTunes with this one.

To listen now, you can either download the mp3 edition, or the AAC edition. The AAC edition comes with chapter markers. You can subscribe to either edition of the podcast directly in iTunes; just search for Smalltalk and look in the Podcast results. You can subscribe to the mp3 edition directly using this feed, or the AAC edition using this feed using any podcatching software. You can also download the podcast in ogg format.

If you like the music we use, please visit Josh Woodward's site. We use the song Troublemaker for our intro/outro music. I'm sure he'd appreciate your support!

If you have feedback, send it to jarober@gmail.com - or visit us on Facebook - you can subscribe in iTunes using this iTunes enabled feed.. If you enjoy the podcast, pass the word - we would love to have more people hear about Smalltalk!

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itNews

Variant Privacy Rules

May 15, 2011 13:46:42.786

I wonder whether the growth of variant data privacy rules around the globe will impact the outsourcing push much. The author of this piece seems to think it will. If nothing else, it gives any firm that uses Inidan outsourcing a decent sized headache to deal with...

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smalltalk

Version Control Blues

May 15, 2011 18:52:16.000

I'm supposed togive an overview of Store usage tomorrow, and I wanted to set up a personal repository (the main work one can be slow, as it's across the WAN, whether I'm in my home office or in Dallas). I was going to use PostgreSQL (I use that on my Mac), but the Windows machine is fully locked down - I don't even have local admin.

Fortunately, SQLlite doesn't require admin access - just the dropping of a dll into a working directory. Unfortunately, this is where I ran into a few interesting issues with version control. We are on VW 7.6 at work, so I wasn't sure whether "loading the latest" from the public repository would work (and it's a tiresome process, involving a load on my Mac, copying to a USB stick, shuffling the stick... rinse repeat until it works). Here's what I was looking at, just for the EXDI level access:

Note the lack of references to a specific VW version. What I ended up doing was firing up a base VW image for VW 7.6, looking at the timestamp in the transcript, and making guesses as to what would work in 7.6 based on that. Less than an exact science, that. I guess it's something that all of us who publish to the public store should keep in mind.

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st4u

ST 4U 83: Setting up a SQLLite Store Repository

May 16, 2011 6:15:59.396

Today's Smalltalk 4 You shows you how to set up a personal Store Repository using SQLLite - even if you have a fairly locked down Windows machine to deal with. If you have trouble viewing it here in the browser, you can also navigate directly to YouTube. To watch now, click on the image below:

Store for SQLlite

If you have trouble viewing that directly, you can click here to download the video directly. If you need the video in a Windows Media format, then download that here.

You can also watch it on YouTube:

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itNews

Google Stakes Out the Ground Sun Died On

May 16, 2011 15:31:05.183

Didn't Sun try (multiple times) to sell useless bricks... err, "network computers"? Here's Google, trying the same thing for gosh knows what reason. This example of the baseline problem is pretty good:

But, there are some things you can't do strictly on the Web--like play Portal 2 or Minecraft, and living completely in the cloud takes a significant culture shift. There is also a huge trust factor with storing your entire life online, and the small issue of what happens when you can't get connected to the Internet and your Chromebook is a glorified paperweight.

Business travelers often need to work on planes, for instance - and it's a minority of flights out there with a network connection (and when they do exist, they are sloooooooow).

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st4u

ProfStef: Learning Smalltalk in Pharo

May 16, 2011 16:07:37.041

Last year, I did a series of screencasts on the interactive "ProfStef" learning workspace in the "one click" Pharo download. Recently, I was asked whether I could make that available as one continuous video, so I did a bit of editing, and here it is. There are transition title screens between the major segments, and the entire thing is just under 30 minutes in lenth. If you have trouble viewing it here in the browser, you can also navigate directly to YouTube. To watch now, click on the image below:

ProfStef

If you have trouble viewing that directly, you can click here to download the video directly. If you need the video in a Windows Media format, then download that here.

You can also watch it on YouTube:

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smalltalk

Moose 4.4 Released

May 16, 2011 17:38:12.361

Moose 4.4 is out:

We are happy to announce the Moose Suite version 4.4 (download)

What is new:

  • New EyeSee engine for scripting visual charts
  • New Kumpel importer for SVN repositories
  • New Metanool engine for supporting dynamic annotations of models
  • Simplified look and feel
  • Improved VerveineJ compatibility for Java parsing
  • Improved FAMIX support for Java systems
  • Improved support for complex shapes in Mondrian
  • Improved RPackage engine support for the Smalltalk importer

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js4u

JS 4U 56: Querying a Specific Element on a Page

May 17, 2011 6:15:40.663

Javascript 4 U

Today's Javascript 4 You. Today we look at using JQuery to query specific page elements. If you have trouble viewing it here in the browser, you can also navigate directly to YouTube.

Join the Facebook Group to discuss the tutorials. You can view the archives here.

To watch now, click on the image below:

Querying Elements

If you have trouble viewing that directly, you can click here to download the video directly. If you need the video in a Windows Media format, then download that here.

You can also watch it on YouTube:

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smalltalk

PharoCasts Features ProfStef

May 17, 2011 6:24:47.953

My recording of the ProfStef content into screencast form is not only available here, but also on the Pharocasts site now.

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games

More PSN Fallout

May 17, 2011 8:01:34.190

Well, maybe less Fallout, if you get my drift. Due to the issues surrounding the PSN data breach, the latest Fallout: New VegasXbox 360 Games) DLC will be delayed on PS3 - it's out today for XBox and PCs:

An update on the official Bethesda Blog explains that due to the recent troubles with PSN, the Honest Hearts add-on will be delayed for PS3 versions of New Vegas. No other information has been given, though Bethesda promises to keep folks informed in the meantime.

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law

Software Patents Still Considered Harmful

May 18, 2011 6:27:57.982

Which set of clowns over at the US PTO didn't think that this was too obvious an idea to patent:

Patent number 7,945,653 is titled Tagging digital media. If you added “with someone’s identity,” this would be one of the rare cases where the title would reasonably describe what the patent covers.

Tagging followed by an automated email is now owned by Facebook. Can we just close down the patent office now, and declare everything they've done since, oh, about 1985, invaild?

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smalltalk

Exploring Regex in Smalltalk

May 18, 2011 6:35:28.092

Build it in Smalltalk, or hook up to a standard service? As Travis discovers with respect to Regex, it depends on a number of things - there's no simple "yes/no" answer that covers all cases....

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st4u

ST 4U 84: Recovering Code in ENVY

May 18, 2011 7:42:58.090

Today's Smalltalk 4 You starts looking at how ENVY (the source code control system) for VA works. To do that, we'll go back to the example used in the debugger screencasts - an example that we didn't version of, or save an image for. Never fear though - ENVY keeps track of everything for you. If you prefer a written walkthrough to video, then skip down to it. If you have trouble viewing it here in the browser, you can also navigate directly to YouTube. To watch now, click on the image below:

VA Debugger

If you have trouble viewing that directly, you can click here to download the video directly. If you need the video in a Windows Media format, then download that here.

You can also watch it on YouTube:


Today we'll start looking at how ENVY (the source code management system) works in VA Smalltalk. To do that, we'll go back to the simple Counter application that was used in the debugger screencasts. When we did that, you might recall that the code wasn't specifically published in the repository, nor was the image saved. Like other Smalltalk systems, all of that work was saved. Unlike the ones that use a change log type system, it's all integrated in VA with source code control. What you see below is a view of the Applications browser - you'll note that the CounterApp is not there. That's because we're only looking at what's in the image now:

Missing Code

What we need to do is look at all of the Application Editions in the source code repository. Pull down that menu item from the launcher:

Application Editions

Scrolling down, we find CounterApp. Notice the version is just a timestamp; try clicking on some of the other Applications, and you'll notice normal version strings. That's because those were specifically published (by Instantiations), while our application was simply checkpointed by ENVY. That checkpoint does let us recover, however.

Application Editions

Now select the edition, right click, and pick Load from the menu. This will load the checkpointed edition into the image:

Loading

To complete this, select the class(es) on the right, right click, and select Load again. In this example, there's only one class to load:

Loading

Now open up an Application Browser (on the image, not on the repository) to look at what you recovered:

Browse Applications

There's your code - now ready to be moved forward (and published with an actual version string). Next time we'll take a look at how to publish an edition with complete version information

Recovered Application

Need more help? There's a screencast for other topics like this which you may want to watch. Questions? Try the "Chat with James" Google gadget over in the sidebar.

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smalltalk

ESUG and Smalltalk Hosting

May 18, 2011 8:29:46.000

Via Torsten comes some great news out of the ESUG community:

With the support of ESUG there is a new ESUG SummerTalk 2011 project called SmallHarbour. It wants to provide a simple platform to host smalltalk web applications (similar to seasidehosting.st but also for commercial projects.
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fnvdiary

That Podcast 18: Honest Hearts, Now WIth Weather

May 18, 2011 8:56:09.228

That Podcast: FNV Diary

Welcome to episode 18 of "That Podcast: An FNV Diary" - a podcast where Michael Lucas-Smith and I document our trials and tribulations in Fallout: New Vegas.

On today's podcast, Michael returns to talk about "Honest Hearts" with James. We covered the first act of the DLC - i.e., not the endgame, where you have to go in one of two directions. We'll be back to talk about that after Michael finishes his playthrough.

You can subscribe in iTunes (or any podcatcher) using this feed, or this one for the AAC edition. You can get to the podcast directly in iTunes via this link. You can also go to the iTunes store and leave a comment, or join the Facebook Group and discuss the podcast.

If you want to download the podcast directly, I've provided it in three formats:

Got feedback? Send it to James. We'd really appreciate it if you head on over to iTunes and leave a comment - enjoy the podcast, and we'll see you in the wastelands!

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fnvdiaryAAC

That Podcast 18: Honest Hearts, Now With Weather (AAC)

May 18, 2011 8:56:33.248

That Podcast: FNV Diary

Welcome to episode 18 of "That Podcast: An FNV Diary" - a podcast where Michael Lucas-Smith and I document our trials and tribulations in Fallout: New Vegas.

On today's podcast, Michael returns to talk about "Honest Hearts" with James. We covered the first act of the DLC - i.e., not the endgame, where you have to go in one of two directions. We'll be back to talk about that after Michael finishes his playthrough.

You can subscribe in iTunes (or any podcatcher) using this feed, or this one for the AAC edition. You can get to the podcast directly in iTunes via this link. You can also go to the iTunes store and leave a comment, or join the Facebook Group and discuss the podcast.

If you want to download the podcast directly, I've provided it in three formats:

Got feedback? Send it to James. We'd really appreciate it if you head on over to iTunes and leave a comment - enjoy the podcast, and we'll see you in the wastelands!

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smalltalk

ESUG 2011 Site is Live

May 18, 2011 15:49:38.692

The ESUG 2011 site - for the upcoming conference in Edinburgh - is live now. You can register there for the conference, the link for that is in the first paragraph. I wish I was going, but I'll be driving my daughter off to her freshman year of college right in the middle of the event - timing just didn't work for me.

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smalltalk

Smalltalk in Belgium

May 18, 2011 15:58:15.000

The Belgian Smalltalk Users Group is meeting on May 31:

The Belgian Smalltalk User Group (BSUG) is organising its next meeting on Tuesday May 31 at the VUB Software Languages Lab, 10th floor of building F, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Pleinlaan 2, 1050 Elsene.
We will start at 18:00 and have a program with 4 sessions each lasting about half an hour, leaving ample room for discussions.

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news

Simpler Might Be Better

May 18, 2011 17:35:40.000

Lots of websites go in for complex designs that make use of Ajax, CSS, and things like Flash to animate content, hide it behind expanding sections, and otherwise "prettify" things. Om Malik points out that there's still a place for simple and to the point - witness the Drudge Report, which drives more traffic to news sites than Facebook and Twitter combined:

He also set a paradigm for web design that still stands to this day. Critics who call his site ugly miss the point. It’s easy to navigate, doesn’t hide important information under sub-sections, and has a minimalist approach to layout. It’s also data-driven. Visit the Drudge Report several times in a day and you’ll see how he tweaks headlines and moves articles around to get the optimal configuration.

Another site that does something similar - Real Clear Politics (and their associated sites that cover other topics). Pretty is fine, but if people can't find your content, then you've made a very basic mistake. Food for thought...

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