Archive for March, 2007|Monthly archive page

Working by the Seaside

For a long time I’ve wished I could get a programming job using Smalltalk, but, since I’m so new to Smalltalk I doubt that will happen for a while. So, I’ve decided to manufacture one for myself.

You see, at the company I work for I’m the Information Technology Manager. I’ve been kicking around the idea of making our intranet a bit more dynamic in it’s content. Right now we only have static content on it. I’ve been thinking about implementing some application like content (expense report entry, time sheet entry, etc.) on the intranet to try to get internal users to use the intranet more.

I “tossed and turned” over what I should use to develop these dynamic applications. My main choice was between PHP and Seaside. Neither my staff nor myself know anything of great significance about either (although I do know a bit about Smalltalk). In a moment of insanity I actually thought about going with PHP, because, for my staff’s sake, its more “mainstream”. After thinking about it a little further I decided to go with Seaside because while Smalltalk and Seaside are at this point a bit niche, I, in all good conscience can’t choose to go with an inferior language and I can’t choose to throw away a framework like Seaside.

So, I’m going ahead with Seaside and my staff will have to learn to love Smalltalk like I do.

VisualWork-ing Again!

About a month ago I purchased my first Mac. In summary, I love it — but that’s another story.

I tried to install VisualWorks NC on the Mac but found out that the non-commercial edition isn’t supported with the Intel Mac and the Net Installer doesn’t work. I quickly found out, through the VWNC mailing list, that while it isn’t officially supported you can run it under X11. Being a Mac newbie I had no idea how to accomplish this despite all the excellent advice from the mailing list. I gave it a try a few weeks ago but wasn’t successful. I thought I’d wait until 7.5 came out since, from what I understand, 7.5 is supported on the Intel Mac. Well, taking a month off from VW is just too long so I decided this weekend to give it another try and I was successful. I’m not sure if anyone else out there is interested but here’s what needs to be done:

Install X11 on the Mac

  1. Pop the Mac OS X Install Disk 1 into the Mac and when the Finder window opens on it scroll down and double click on Optional Installs
  2. Follow the prompts and when you Custom Install on… page open the Applications list and select X11
  3. When its done you should see X11 under Applications > Utilities

Install VisualWorks – As far as I can figure this can be done one of two ways:

  1. I copied the vw7.4.1nc folder from by old Windows install (C:/Program Files/vw7.4.1nc) to my Documents folder on the Mac.
  2. You could also download the individual files/packages from the Cincom website. These are only used for base image, documentation, parcel loading, etc. You won’t actually be running the VM from here.

Install customized Mac Intel applicationLukas Renggli has created an application that starts up X11 and runs VisualWorks when you drop an image on the application. You can find the file here.

  1. Download the file and drag the application (its the only file in the zipped file) to your Application folder
  2. Edit the .bash_profile file in your home folder. You probably can’t see this file (if it does in fact exist) since Mac OS X hides files and folders that start with “.”. I was successful in opening the file even though I couldn’t see if. See below for instructions on how to see hidden files.
  3. Put the following line into the file: export VISUALWORKS=~/Documents/vw7.4.1nc/image . This is your working folder and doesn’t have to be the VW image folder. I use /Documents/Smalltalk/images. [Update] Apparently this does have to be the root of the VisualWorks folder structure. When it wasn’t I was running into strangeness when trying to load a new package from the public repository.

At this point you should be able to drag an image onto the visual-mac-intel-741d application and it should open.


Showing hidden files

In a terminal window type the following two commands:

defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles TRUE
killall Finder

Finder will close and then re-open with the “.” files and folders showing. To hide the files and folders again execute these:

defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles FALSE
killall Finder