Archive for the Spoon Category

Smalltalk Reflections episode three is up

Posted in Appsterdam, consulting, Context, music, Smalltalk, Spoon with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 16 December 2014 by Craig Latta

Check it out!

Context release 4 alpha 1

Posted in Appsterdam, consulting, Context, Naiad, Smalltalk, Spoon with tags , , , , , , on 9 December 2014 by Craig Latta

Context 4 alpha 1 is released. This one fixes loading errors in the welcome page, supports remote debugging and process browsing, and makes Naiad and remote messaging support available as Monticello packages. Thanks in advance for reporting bugs!

a most useful virtual machine debugging aid: simulated objects

Posted in Appsterdam, consulting, Context, Smalltalk, Spoon with tags , , , , , , on 2 December 2014 by Craig Latta

Squeak’s virtual machine simulator is extremely useful for debugging. You can use it to inspect and change objects “while time is stopped”, between the execution of individual virtual machine instructions. Traditionally, though, it takes an address-based view of objects. There are several useful utility methods which, given an object address, will print useful information to the Transcript. Wouldn’t it be nicer, though, if you could use normal inspectors to look through the fields of the objects in a simulated virtual machine’s object memory?

I created simulated objects for this purpose. They are instances of a SimulatedObject class; each one has an interpreter and an address. They can print useful information about themselves, like the interpreter can, but they can also modify themselves and interact with each other, changing the interpreter’s object memory appropriately. Are you wondering about the instructions of a compiled method? Would you like to make a few choice modifications to those instructions? A simulated object for that method’s address will help you.

Simulated objects play nicely with Squeak’s object inspectors, and, more importantly, with its object explorers. You feel like you’re inspecting normal objects, except that you can’t send normal messages to them. Or can you? I’m pondering this. It might be useful, for example, to terminate a process in a simulated interpreter’s object memory, without having to do it in another process. Time is stopped, but perhaps you could queue up messages to send when it starts again, through a collaboration between simulated objects and a coordinating object in the memory they describe.

I’ve been using simulated objects recently to chase references with the absolute assurance that I won’t be creating new ones. They’re very useful for debugging virtual machine primitives. Sometimes, when I’m debugging a headless system with a broken remote messaging system, it’s the only user interface I have for inspecting things. And it’s sure a lot nicer than inspecting things in a C debugger.

What will you do with them?

the Smalltalk Reflections podcast, episode one: a tribute to James Robertson

Posted in Appsterdam, consulting, Smalltalk, Spoon with tags , , on 2 December 2014 by Craig Latta

We did it! On James Robertson’s birthday, David Buck and I released episode one of “Smalltalk Reflections”, a podcast about Smalltalk. Our first episode is a tribute to James, who started the previous incarnation of the show. It’s hosted by David and myself, and features remembrances from several friends and co-workers, as well as a few choice words from the man himself. I edited it, and wrote the theme music. Enjoy!

debugging remote exceptions works

Posted in consulting, Context, Smalltalk, Spoon with tags , , , , , , on 20 November 2014 by Craig Latta
a debugger for a remote unhandled exception

a debugger for a remote unhandled exception

I have debugging working for remote unhandled exceptions. My motivating use case was debugging messages not understood by the Context console’s embedded web server. The console is a headless app. In development, I run it with a remote-messaging connection to a headful system. Now, when there is an unhandled exception (like a message not understood), the exception requests that the headful system open a debugger (as its default action).

Before opening the debugger, the headful system replaces the sender of the first relevant context on the headless system with the last relevant context on the headful system, hiding all the remote-messaging-related contexts in between. The picture above shows an example of this. On the headful system, I sent “zork” to an object on the headless system. The debugger shows a continuous context stack which spans the two systems. This all works with little special handling in the debugger because of the complete transparency of remote messaging. It doesn’t matter that the contexts and methods that the debugger is manipulating happen to be remote.

the IDE app README

Posted in consulting, Context, Naiad, Smalltalk, Spoon with tags , on 27 October 2014 by Craig Latta

Here’s the current README for the IDE app. And oh yes, I’m considering renaming the project from “Spoon” to “Context”.

Context README

I’m available for work.

Posted in Appsterdam, consulting, GLASS, Naiad, Seaside, Smalltalk, Spoon with tags , , , , , on 17 February 2014 by Craig Latta

Hey there, it’s my semi-regular reminder that I’m available for work. Consultant or employee, I’m comfortable as either. Check out my résumé. Thanks!

current design for Context’s virtual filesystem

Posted in consulting, Context, Naiad, Smalltalk, Spoon with tags , , , , , on 13 January 2014 by Craig Latta

I’m writing Context’s virtual filesystem support now. The directory structure looks like this:

--
root
   classes
      <each class>
         methods
            all
               <each method>
                  literals
                     <literal objects>
                  source
                  version
            inherited
               <inherited methods>
            local
               <locally-defined methods>
         slots
            all
               <each slot>
                  <instances ordered by slot>
                     references
                        <referring objects>
                     slots
                        <etc>
            inherited
               <etc>
            local
               <etc>
   processes
      <each process' suspended context>
         method
            instructions
            literals
               <literal objects>
         sender
            <etc>
   README.html
--

What do you think?

the initial Context webpage

Posted in consulting, Context, Naiad, Smalltalk, Spoon with tags , , , , , , , on 10 January 2014 by Craig Latta

Here’s what you currently see in a web browser when you start a Context system:

the initial Spoon webpage

the initial Spoon webpage

A Spoonful of Raspberry Pi

Posted in consulting, Naiad, Smalltalk, Spoon with tags , , , , , , , , , on 3 January 2014 by Craig Latta

Image

Spoon is up on the Raspberry Pi and exchanging remote messages with Spoon on my laptop. Morphic works, but it’s pretty slow, so I’ll be sticking with MVC for now (the Raspberry Pi is a 700MHz machine… I’m looking forward to Tim’s profiling work!). I’m writing a talk for FOSDEM in February called “A Spoonful of Raspberry Pi”. What should the Pi do? I’m eager to hear your suggestions!
Image

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