Saturday, October 31, 2009

Assessments 1.16

I just published a fix that addresses a failure to debug checks because of Assessments' own internal checks. Basically, the additional machinery needed to run tests tripped a check against runaway process manipulation while opening a debugger on a test. Problem fixed :).

Assessments 1.15

I added preliminary support for SUnitToo's instance based resources. Note that these may be quite expensive for cases in which there are numerous small tests.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Wonderful proposition I'd like to test

Check out this article --- life might have originated first as a difference in value, followed by a distinction that separates this different value from its environment. You know, Laws of Form, objects/messages and all that. Fascinating!!!

Smalltalks 2009 is just one month away!

The Smalltalks 2009 conference is just one month away. I thought I'd offer a reminder of a few dates and other useful information.

The Fundacion Argentina de Smalltalk (FAST) is organizing the conference. The event will be held from November 19th through November 21st at the Ciudad Universitaria site of the University of Buenos Aires. This year's event will feature the presence of Dan Ingalls, Stéphane Ducasse, and Alex Warth. We are very pleased to see that 220 people have registered for the conference already. To register and get more information about the conference, please visit FAST's website here.

Our sponsors will provide a conference shirt to those that register before October 26th. If you would like to participate by giving a talk or tutorial, keep in mind that the deadline for submitting proposals via the website is October 28th. Finally, Smalltalks 2009 will host a coding contest. For more information on the contest, please visit this Google group.

Thank you, and we look forward to seeing you at the conference!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Writing again

So, now that I am more or less done with Minesweeper, Fundamentals II's chapter 6 is growing again... the target date for the second volume Fundamentals of Smalltalk Programming Technique is ESUG 2010. I better get going, there's a lot to write about.

Minesweeper sample app

So, finally, I finished hooking up the Minesweeper solvers I wrote many years ago to a graphical visualization that lets you play the game as well. These are now available at the FTP server (, user smalltalk, password now). The game comes in two formats: a Windows .exe, and the VisualWorks image for those that want to use other operating systems. If you want to get a VisualWorks virtual machine for your platform, feel free to download the NC VisualWorks distribution here. As usual, UPX does a wonderful job of packing the .exe... it's 10-15% smaller than a .rar archive of the image alone. Enjoy!

And now, the release notes...

Known Limitations.

  • The solvers do not make guesses. It is not the point of my Minesweeper research to produce such guesses.
  • The C and K solvers may require a very large amount of time to complete in some cases. These cases, although not too frequent, appear with large boards that have more than 20% of mines (e.g.: 40x40x370). Eventually, I would like to add a [STOP!] button.
Future Work.
  • I would like to add significantly more efficient solvers. This is not necessarily easy because the problem is NP-complete. However, the C and K solvers point to some interesting data I need to track down. We shall see.
  • Write about this program in chapter 7 of the Fundamentals book.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Assessments 1.13 and 1.14

I just published Assessments 1.13 to the public Store repository. Changes in this version:

  • Added a class side helper method in Validator to assist typical UI interaction.
  • If you hold shift while evaluating an assessment, then Assessments uses the TimeProfiler to profile the execution (if the TimeProfiler is loaded).
  • Added ComplexConditions to the list of prerequisites.

Update: version 1.14 adds a missing package comment.