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The folks at Finworks have announced that their Group Investment System developed for Allan Gray went into production yesterday (September 27). The application was written in Seaside and runs on top of GLASS. Finworks was our first Beta customer and as I’ve reported in a number of posts were actively contributing to the tools work over the summer (here, here, here and here) while developing their application.

Head on over to the Seaside Users page for a little more info about the Group Investment System application and a list of some of the other commercial applications written in Seaside.

I’ve pretty much spent the last couple of weeks catching up on some of the things that had fallen by the wayside on the way to ESUG.

While I was away, Otto Behrens and Liliana Ivan from Finworks, made a number of contributions to the tools, including a port of TestRunner to the GemStone tools – very cool.

Once I’d cleared the decks a bit, I started to build the OmniBrowser-based Monticello tools, but before going very far, it turned out that we needed to update our Seaside code base to the latest Squeak version of Seaside2.8 (Seaside2.8a1-pmm.481). I ended up spending a couple of days doing the merge, as I fixed a handful of bugs in the tools along the way.

Janko Mivšek of EraNova was able to port the Squeak version of AIDA/Web to G.L.A.S.S. in just a couple of days. He used an Alpha version of the Seaside appliance and was fairly happy with the results. AIDA/Web is a Smalltalk-based web framework that has been available on the VW platform for a decade or so and has recently been ported to Squeak.

Before getting back to the tools for a final push (which should take a couple of weeks), I’ll be spending a little bit of time looking at performance and scaling. Based on very limited testing, Seaside2.8 appears to be about twice as fast as Seaside2.6 in GemStone. I’ve also been really pleased with the early results of muli-gem/multi-core testing – rates beyond 100 requests/second appear to be very realistic. Once the tools are in the bag, I’ll get real serious about characterizing GemStone/Seaside performance.

We’ve had a handful of folks use the Alpha version of G.L.A.S.S. and they’ve given us very useful feedback, but we’re really waiting for the OmniBrowser-based Monticello tools to be finished, before opening up the Beta of G.L.A.S.S. As I mentioned earlier, I’m expecting it to take a couple more weeks to finish off the Monticello tools, followed by a couple more weeks of Alpha, then we will be ready to Rumba.

At ESUG, Lukas, Philippe and I started porting Magritte and Pier to GemStone and we discovered that the Morphic-based Monticello tools are way too slow. The combination of lots of package versions and a slow wireless connection exposed the weakness in the Morphic-based tools: way too many round trips between the Squeak and GemStone. We’ll have to have OmniBrowser-based Monticello tools before we can widely distribute the G.L.A.S.S. beta.

Fortunately, Damien Cassou as part of the Summer of Squeak project has made an excellent start, implementing an OmniBrowser-based Monticello Browser for Monticello 2. I should be able to adapt his Monticello Browser to Monticello 1 and then use it as a jumping off point for creating the rest of the Monticello tools in OmniBrowser.

I am finally beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

At ESUG, we announced that G.L.A.S.S. will be distributed as a VMWare appliance:

By bundling everything into a VMWare appliance, we not only eliminate the hassles involved in getting all of the different pieces of software installed and configured to work together, but we also make it possible to run G.L.A.S.S. on any 64 bit hardware, independent of OS. VMWare provides free virtual machines for Windows and Linux. VMWare Fusion is available for Mac OS X.

When the appliance is booted, GemStone/S and Apache are automatically started giving you immediate access to your Seaside applications. A Squeak development image, pre-configured with all of the Monticello packages needed to run the OmniBrowser-based tools is included in the appliance. The development image can be run from within the appliance, or it can be downloaded to your favorite development machine and connected to the GemStone repository for remote development.

Everything you need for deploying a Seaside application in a nice, neat little package.

We’re in limited alpha public beta for the appliance and the tools. If you are interested in participating in the beta program, download the latest version of the appliance and join our Beta mailing listgo to our G.L.A.S.S. site and sign up.

100 Smalltalkers from around the world converged on Lugano, Switzerland last week for the 15th International Smalltalk Joint Conference. The conference featured an interesting program, a very picturesque location, a breathtaking trip to Monte Generoso, and a cool group of people as recorded by Adrian van Os, Lukas Renggli, and Serge Stinckwich.

This was my first trip to ESUG and I was very impressed. Kudos to the ESUG board for doing and excellent job. If you haven’t been to an ESUG conference, I recommend that you start making your plans to attend next year. If a trip to Europe is not in the cards, then consider becoming a member and show your support for a great organization.

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September 2007