Articles about Smalltalk

We are the Knights who code Ni!

A Venn diagram describing the overlapping populations of Monty Python admirers and software developers would probably show a very large intersection between the two groups. But that's not the only reason software development and motor boat enthusiast Göran Krampe has announced a new programming language called “Ni”. The …
Simon Sharwood, 18 Sep 2015
Xerox PARC's world-changing Alto

PARC Alto source code released by computer history museum

The Computer History Museum in Mountain View has released another foundational piece of software to the world at large: some of the code that gave the world the Xerox Alto computer, which among other things helped inspire a couple of young garage developers, Steves Jobs and Wozniak. To the modern eye, the Alto looks odd – …
Steampunk fan with goggles

Fed up with Windows? Linux too easy? Get weird, go ALTERNATIVE

It's hard to believe, looking at the modern computing world, but there is still more to life than Windows or Unix… and today, most of the alternatives run on vanilla x86 hardware and are free. Most of them need considerably lower resources than the market-leaders, too, so an old PC is ideal for trying them out. VMs are fine, …
Liam Proven, 01 Nov 2013
The Playmobil bank set, complete with armed robber

How City IT is under attack from politicians, diesel bugs, HR

Comment The stupidest thing I’ve ever said was “if it was a jet, the tower would have collapsed” on September 11th and I feel the same about RBS. As I pass it most days, part of me expects to see crowds outside, perhaps including the police and TV camera crews, because I can’t understand why it still functions. The Reg has covered in …
Dominic Connor, 27 Jun 2013
A rude gnome

How Microsoft shattered Gnome's unity with Windows 95

Feature There never will be a year when Linux conquers the desktop, because desktop computers are going to merge into tablet-style touch-driven devices and disappear. But desktop Linux was getting close, until Microsoft derailed it a few years back. The GNOME project’s recent release, GNOME 3.8, served to remind me of the significance …
Liam Proven, 03 Jun 2013

Google's JavaScript assassin: Web languages are harder than VMs

The problem with programming languages is that everybody’s got an opinion - just ask Lars Bak, the Virtual Machine guru who is building Google’s planned (by Google at least) replacement for JavaScript. Bak has spent 15 years working on object-oriented VMs (virtual machines) at Google and Sun Microsystems and notched up 50 …
Gavin Clarke, 18 Jan 2013
Steve Jobs and the Apple Lisa

Happy birthday, Lisa: Apple's slow but heavy workhorse turns 30

Read a press release from Apple in the 1990s and it'll end with something along the lines of: “Apple ignited the personal computer revolution in the 1970s with the Apple II and reinvented the personal computer in the 1980s with the Macintosh.” All of which is true up to a point, but the statement does overlook the product …
Bob Dormon, 18 Jan 2013
The Register breaking news

El Reg Movember lads sprout mighty Unix beards for cancer charity

What is it about facial hair and computing? From the greats of SmallTalk and C++ to Java and Ruby, beards and moustaches are not a rare sight in the world of computer science. James Gosling, Barjne Stroustrup, Alan Kay and Yukihiro "Matz" Matsumoto have expressed their genius not just through the curly braces in the machine but …
Gavin Clarke, 30 Nov 2012
The Register breaking news

Word and Excel creator: How Gates, Jobs and HAL shaped Office

Films, according to Charles Simonyi – the man behind Microsoft's Word and Excel used by 500 million people – are great for showing the future of computing. Simonyi reckons Kubrick's seminal 2001 a Space Odyssey from the moon-landing days of 1969 foreshadows the kind of video calls now in Skype. Minority Report does much the …
Gavin Clarke, 28 Nov 2011
The Register breaking news

Fear and slow loading: Eclipse celebrates 10 unsettling years

In November 2001, IBM made its Java tools IDE and platform, developed for WebSphere Application Studio, available under an open source licence. It was the beginning of Eclipse, which now claims 65 per cent of the Java IDE market. But why was Eclipse founded and what has been its impact over a decade? The Reg spoke to Mike …
Tim Anderson, 23 Nov 2011

The life and times of Steven Paul Jobs, Part One

When sober, F. Scott Fitzgerald may have been devastatingly intelligent, but he got it dead wrong when he wrote "there are no second acts in American lives". Think Elvis, for example. Or lefty sinkerballer Tommy John of the eponymous surgery. Or, for that matter, Grover Cleveland, whose two acts as US president were separated …
Rik Myslewski, 06 Oct 2011
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Google brings out new programming language

Google has built a brand-new programming language for "structured web programming", one that appears to be suited to browser-based apps. Two of the search giant's engineers will discuss Dart, Google's new language, at the Goto international software development conference next month. News of the new language was posted to the …
Gavin Clarke, 09 Sep 2011

Cobol cabal will take over THE WORLD Australia

The old advice was “Go west, young man”... but it seems the new one should be “Learn Cobol, youngster”. That at least is the implication of a report from Australia on the languages and environments that are heavily used. The Sydney-based Object Consulting has released a paper detailing those languages which will no longer be …
Tim Worstall, 20 Feb 2011
The Register breaking news

PARC turns 40: mice, money, and the new interwebs

Mention "Xerox" and "PARC," and you'll likely be greeted by a rolling of the eyes or an off-hand comment like: "Didn't they invent the mouse and let Microsoft make all the money?" That happened to me more than once when I mentioned I was heading to the Palo Alto Research Center to interview a few folks for the iconic institution …
Gavin Clarke, 20 Sep 2010
The Register breaking news

The Linux Chronicles, Part 1

Last Autumn I volunteered to review Windows 7. But in the following weeks, I found Linux to be preferable in many ways. This is pretty significant progress, and outside the 'community' has gone largely unnoticed, too - I haven't seen all that many Ubuntu stories in the Wall Street Journal. But what comes next is going to be …
Andrew Orlowski, 30 Jun 2010
The Register breaking news

Undead COBOL celebrates (another) 50th birthday

COBOL is celebrating its 50th birthday. Or at least the name is. In May 1959, during a meeting at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., the US Department of Defense organized a committee charged with developing a "short range" approach to a common business computing language. And on September 18th of that year, the new Short Range …
Cade Metz, 18 Sep 2009

Volvo test-drive goes virtual

Test-driving a car will never be the same again, at least if you’re thinking of buying a Volvo S60 Concept. Why? Because the Swedish car firm has designed a videogame to let you try out its motor. Volvo_videogame_01 Volvo - The Game is a virtual test-drive Volvo – The Game will apparently introduce potential customers to …
James Sherwood, 06 May 2009
The Register breaking news

Come on, Sir Tim!

Stob It is twenty years since Tim Berners-Lee, then a humble techie at CERN, sent a memorandum to his manager entitled Information Management: a Proposal. The Register is proud, on this important anniversary, to be republishing that historic document for the first time, so that we can all reflect properly on Sir Tim's achievement, …
Verity Stob, 17 Mar 2009
The Register breaking news

Boffins breed new programming race

ETech Does the world need more programmers? Of course, it does, says Jay Silver. Everyone should be a programmer. That's not to say everyone should make their living as some sort of ponytail-ed, Python-obsessed shut-in. But just as everyone should know how to write, everyone should know how to program. And that's the computing …
Cade Metz, 09 Mar 2009

The Mother of All Demos — 150 years ahead of its time

Sometime in the late sixties, as Douglas Engelbart was preparing what would one day be called The Mother of All Demos, his boss flew to Washington to meet with the money man. The demo that birthed the modern computer mouse - and so much more - was funded by Bob Taylor, a NASA program manager who would one day take his own place …
Cade Metz, 11 Dec 2008
The Register breaking news

XML daddy eyes code riding storage metal

QCon 2009 Tim Bray, co-inventor of XML and Sun Microsystems’ Director of Web Technologies, found himself manning “the hangover slot” to give the morning keynote at day two of the Qcon developer conference in San Francisco on Thursday. “And dear god, I’m going to be talking to you about storage,” he said to his limp-but-game audience. “ …
John K Waters, 22 Nov 2008
California flag

COBOL thwarts California's Governator

Inspite - or perhaps because - of its "difficult" birth, Common Business Oriented Language (COBOL) has become a survivor in the world of computing. That's caused problems when it comes to maintaining systems running the language. COBOL has now taken center stage in the rumbling controversy over the State of California's budget …
Phil Manchester, 14 Aug 2008
Ruby on Rails teaser

Why is Ruby on Rails so darn slow?

Tim Bray, the co-creator of XML turned Ruby on Rails enthusiast, has told developers to face up to lingering performance problems in the scripting stack. In a keynote at the Silicon Valley Ruby Conference last week, Bray called Rails "a big deal, a hot deal". And the Sun Microsystems director of web technologies is walking it …
Gavin Clarke, 21 Apr 2008

XP daddy: go incremental on design

QCon 2008 Age mellows us all and the co-inventor of extreme programming (XP) and an early Smalltalk advocate, Kent Beck, is apparently no exception. During his presentations at QCon this week Beck advocated the principle of taking "safe steps" in the evolution of a software design to ensure that technical risk is properly managed. Beck …
Phil Manchester, 14 Mar 2008
Warning: roadworks

Extreme Programming in risky position, says co-creator

As the celebrated 2.0 incarnation of the web lures an increasing number of organizations into the cloud, enterprise IT managers are warming to the quick-and-dirty capabilities of PHP, JavaScript, Perl, Python, and Ruby for developing database-driven web apps. And a new generation of tools is elevating scripters to the status of …
John K Waters, 13 Mar 2008
Warning: roadworks

10 ways to improve your code

SD West 2008 Neil Ford's Software Development West presentation, 10 Ways to Improve Your Code, was aimed at Java programmers, but Ford's "advanced code hygiene" discussion had wisdom for coders of many stripes. Ford is a senior application architect and "meme wrangler" at ThoughtWorks, an IT consultant that specializes in development and …
John K Waters, 10 Mar 2008
triangular warning sign featuring exclamation mark

Web pioneer hits critics with Lisp gauntlet

Maverick programmer and venture capitalist Paul Graham is challenging all comers to beat him after finally releasing a working version of his Lisp update – called Arc. Best known for his pioneering early 1990s work on web development and spam filters, Graham announced in 2001 he was working on an economic version of Lisp, one of …
Phil Manchester, 07 Feb 2008

Dip into concept programming

It's always a good time for a new paradigm in software development and one of the latest is concept programming. Originated as a private project by Hewlett Packard (HP) software engineer Christophe de Dinechin in 2000, interest in concept programming is on the rise following publication of an updated description late last year. …
Phil Manchester, 16 Jan 2008

Calling the PHP cowboys in from the range

Now that PHP is taking that big step from popular webhead scripter to serious enterprise tech, PHP coders need to add a new word to their vocabularies: methodology. Of course, there’s no quicker way to send cowboy coders stampeding for the hills than to say that word. (“Process” would do it, too, and there would be screaming.) …
John K Waters, 15 Oct 2007
The Register breaking news

In the beginning, there was the flowchart...

Stob Those who can, do. Those who can't, make those who can draw a picture My first effort in instructing computers, about 30 years ago, was drawing a flowchart. Here it is as I remember it, albeit without the smears and crossings-out with which my 14-year-old self doubtless decorated the original. A simple flowchart describing …
Verity Stob, 16 Aug 2007
Apple logo

Making the move to the Mac

As should be pretty clear from previous ramblings, I've about given up on Windows and am in the process of trying to reinvent myself as a Mac developer (I should perhaps say re-reinvent myself, since I worked with Macs back in the early days of the original 128K Mac, over 20 years ago). Things are going pretty well so far, …
Uncle Mac, 14 Aug 2007
The Register breaking news

NetKernel - taming XML and Web 2.0

After seven years in the making, and three years quietly simmering in production environments, 1060 Research's NetKernel is set to take on the corporate middleware mess. No one can deny that enterprise middleware is in a crisis. Each silver bullet has failed to stem the growing complexity and ever-rising cost of incremental …
Andrew Orlowski, 23 Oct 2006
The Register breaking news

To iterate is human

Column In the previous article, I made the following observation: A collection that holds its elements but doesn't allow you to traverse them is unlikely to prove popular. There are many ways to offer traversal, but if the caller needs to be able to know the position of elements in some way there are essentially only three general …
Kevlin Henney, 16 Sep 2006
The Register breaking news

To iterate is human

In the previous article, I made the following observation: A collection that holds its elements but doesn't allow you to traverse them is unlikely to prove popular. There are many ways to offer traversal, but if the caller needs to be able to know the position of elements in some way there are essentially only three general …
Kevlin Henney, 04 Sep 2006
The Register breaking news

Refactoring and Smalltalk

Steve Taylor has emailed us with some interesting remarks on Pan Pantziarka’s review of Ken Pugh’s Prefactoring book: “Your book review of 'Prefactoring' (pre-factoring? Isn't that what we used to call 'design'?) credits Martin Fowler's 1999 book with coining the term 'Refactoring'.” Good point about "design", Steve, but if …
David Norfolk, 15 May 2006

Beyond Java

Book review Bruce Tate is not a happy Java bunny, and hasn’t been for some time. In a previous book, ‘Better, Faster, Lighter Java’ (O’Reilly, 2004), he advocated the use of a number of popular open-source frameworks as alternatives to the perceived heavyweight bloat of J2EE using EJBs. Rather than be bogged down in layers of code and XML …

HP Labs also decimated

On Tuesday Hewlett Packard CEO Mark Hurd HP promised that the layoffs wouldn't affect HP's R&D. The changes would be "minimal", he said. But HP has confirmed it is closing DEC's old Cambridge Research Laboratory, and axing three projects in Palo Alto. A spokesman told The Register that around 70 of the 700 Labs positions would …
Andrew Orlowski, 22 Jul 2005
The Register breaking news

Forgotten language enables nonstop gadgets

Swiss embedded software company Esmertec has acquired the start-up founded by VM pioneer and former technical lead of Sun's HotSpot project, Lars Bak. OOVM was founded in Denmark in 2002 and privately-held Esmertec acquired the company for an undisclosed sum. OOVM produces a virtual machine that allows programmers to hook in …
Andrew Orlowski, 27 Jul 2004
The Register breaking news

Ultimate geek challenge at IPSC

The 2004 Internet Problem Solving Contest (IPSC) kicks off this Friday. Hundreds of programmers from around the world will compete to develop the most efficient and elegant ways of solving a set of problems. In true geek style, competitors battle for bragging rights, not a prize. This is the sixth year in a row the contest has …
Lucy Sherriff, 20 May 2004
The Register breaking news

Spring has sprung: a new desktop era for the Mac?

We all know what's wrong with personal computers, and we must all at some time despair at the lack of imagination of modern UI designers, who offer us ever more creative ways of futzing. These 2D desktop architects started from what Neal Stephenson called "massively promiscuous metaphor-mixing" [download here] ... i.e., …
Andrew Orlowski, 17 Dec 2002
The Register breaking news

Scott McNealy on: Sun's secret weapon and its biggest mistake (not you, Apple)

Interview Hard to imagine, in all the time we've been here the most we've gotten out of Scott is smalltalk about haircuts and parking. The following should help to put that right. On Monday we had an hour at Sun's HQ in Menlo Park, where the CEO and his executive team have relocated, Sun says, to be closer to their customer center. They …
Andrew Orlowski, 06 Dec 2002
The Register breaking news

Borland JBuilder 7

Review VERDICT: It's laden with features, but at version 7 JBuilder faces stiff competition from leaner, more modular alternatives. SPECIFICATIONS: Written in Java and runs on JDK 1.3.1 and anywhere that JDK runs. Supports Windows NT 4, 2000 or XP, Red Hat Linux, Solaris on UltraSPARC II or higher and Mac OS X. PRICE: £2,149 ( …
PC Pro, 18 Oct 2002
The Register breaking news

Java or Cocoa? Mac developers choose their brews

Letters Re: Apple pulls OS X guidelines after developer protest We held over a huge postbag generated by last week's Mac developer story. Was Java up to snuff, we asked? Mostly, opinion was positive. Mostly, but not unanimously... The fact that Apple developers reacted as they did just shows they still don't get it. Apple went out of …
Andrew Orlowski, 07 Dec 2001
The Register breaking news attacks Geoworks WAP patent claims in court

As we anticipated, a legal challenge has been made against Geoworks' WAP-related patent (US 5,327,529). has filed suit in the District Court in San Francisco asking that the patent be declared invalid and unenforceable - and that was not therefore infringing the patent. says in its Complaint that …
Graham Lea, 04 May 2000
The Register breaking news

TechSearch loses round to Intel in patent case

Intel won a battle against US patent firm TechSearch yesterday. TechSearch last year took action against Intel for allegedly infringing the patent on the International Meta Smalltalk patent. IM was a firm originally under Apple's wing, which developed an emulation mode that Techsearch claimed was infringed on by several of Intel …
Mike Magee, 21 Dec 1999
The Register breaking news

Merced, Pentium patents threatened in $8 billion suit

Techsearch LLC, which earlier this year threatened Intel with all sorts of dire consequences, seems to have won the first round in its legal fight against the chip giant. The patent in question relates to technology first designed by a firm called International Meta, which was originally under the wing of Apple. International …
Mike Magee, 11 Nov 1999
The Register breaking news

Corba Component Model gets thumbs up

It would have been a big surprise if the OMG had not approved the Corba Component Model (CCM) specification yesterday in San Jose. The final nod will come in November at the OMG's board meeting. CCM is based on CORBA (Common Object Request Broker Architecture), which is the most widely used cross platform glue. CCM is …
Graham Lea, 31 Aug 1999
The Register breaking news

Web precursor Xanadu project goes open source

Project Xanadu, a 1960s hypertext vision and the industry's most delayed vapourware, is putting some of its code on the Web as open source with an X11 licence. Ted Nelson, Xanadu's guiding light, invented the terms hypertext and hypermedia in 1963 but failed to develop a working system incorporating it. Despite this, he and his …
Graham Lea, 27 Aug 1999
The Register breaking news

Meta Smalltalk patent spat assumes Merced meaning

Correction Since we filed this story yesterday, we have heard from the ILDF plaintiffs who now inform us that the patent in question, below, has now been assigned to Techsearch. Val Scott, representing ILDF, said that she is filing another motion for the judge to reconsider. MM New factors in the ongoing patent case between ILDF …
Mike Magee, 12 Jul 1999
The Register breaking news

Intel, AMD, Cyrix, Rise and IDT in May

Here are The Register URLs for most of our stories about x.86 processors during the month of May. Intel, TechSearch, IMS case takes further twist IMS went into bankruptcy, Intel set up a shell company to try and get the Smalltalk chip patent…the saga continues. Panic at Chipzilla central The introduction of the 550MHz and …
Mike Magee, 30 May 1999