[Pharo-project] Misc. newbie questions

Eliot Miranda eliot.miranda at gmail.com
Sun Jan 8 00:40:04 CET 2012

On Sat, Jan 7, 2012 at 6:32 AM, Philippe Marschall <kustos at gmx.net> wrote:

> On 06.01.2012 06:41, Gerry Weaver wrote:
>> Hello All,
>> Firstly, let me say that I am enjoying Pharo very much at this point. I
>> wish I would have found the time to look at this a long time ago.
>> I have a few misc. newbie questions.
>> 1. VisualWorks - I am doing a lot of thinking about projects that I
>> could use Smalltalk on. I have a consulting project coming up that might
>> be a good candidate, but I'm sure I would be required to use a
>> commercial Smalltalk version for it. I guess it may be odd to ask about
>> VisualWorks on this list, but I'm not really looking for a comparison to
>> Pharo. What I'm interested in is your opinion of the product. I would
>> like to know if any of you would consider using it on a project. I would
>> appreciate anything y'all could share in the form of experiences good or
>> bad. I am trying to get my hands on it, but Cincom's mail server
>> (windoze) is having issues. I am also having some trouble getting
>> pricing out of them. Anyway, I would like to get your take on the Cincom
>> products.
>> 2. There appear to be some tool choices in the Pharo image. I would like
>> to be able to create a class and it's methods in an editor in one go. I
>> like being able to see all of the class code at once. Is there a way to
>> do this? I just want to be able to type it all in and accept (evaluate?)
>> all at once.
>> 3. I've seen some discussion about images and image sizes. What is the
>> current state of this. Is it possible to strip an image down to just the
>> required components for an application (ie; no world menu, etc.). I
>> would like to be able to run an image that would bring my gui
>> application up filling the image window such that it looks a close as
>> possible to a conventional gui application.
>> 4. I have been reading about something called "Opentalk". It is a way
>> for images to be able to comminucate with each other over the network.
>> I've also seen something callesd "rST" that appears to do a similar
>> thing. In addition, I notice that someone has done some FFI bindings for
>> zeromq. What would y'all recommend as the best option to achieve
>> something like this in Pharo?
>> 5. I'm trying to figure out exactly what the Pharo gui toolkit provides
>> in the way of widgets. Is there a widget gallery type thing somewhere
>> that shows all of them? I know I can play with them in the image, but it
>> would be nice to see a list of what is there with a brief description.
>> 6. I know Pharo doesn't currently support OS threads in an image, but
>> I'm wondering about the FFI. Is it possible to call a foreign function
>> in a separate OS thread or asynchronously in Pharo?
> My understanding is with the very latest mt Cog VMs that FFI call-outs
> happen in a native OS thread. I'm not sure whether the required
> infrastructure is already in Pharo.

That's the idea in the MT (multi-threaded) VMs.  But its not the case in
the standard VM.  This makes all FFI calls from the VM thread, blocking the
VM until the call returns or calls-back.  N.B. the MT VMs are not yet
production ready.

> Cheers
> Philippe

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