September 25, 2008

Exciting News for Dolphin Users

Object-arts announces a partnership with Lesser Software with the aim of creating the next generation of Dolphin Smalltalk called Dolphin NG Development. Great news for the clients who are working in this great environment. Here is the full announcement available at the Object-Arts website: 

"We are pleased to announce that over the last few months we have entered into a partnership with Lesser Software with the aim of creating the Next Generation of Dolphin Smalltalk. This new version of Dolphin will be targetted towards professional software developers and will leverage the experience that Lesser Software have built up over a number of years in high performance Smalltalk virtual machines and development tools.
Lesser Software's current product set includes LSW Vision Smalltalk, whose virtual machine retains full bytecode compatibility with the original Digitalk Visual Smalltalk Enterprise (VSE) platform. Existing VSE developers can migrate their codebase to Vision Smalltalk, usually within minutes, gaining the ability to run their applications on a fast, modern and fully supported virtual machine. 
Similarly, as a result of the new agreement, Dolphin users will have access to the full Dolphin development environment and class library (including MVP) running on top of the Vision Smalltalk substrate. The new system will be completely source code (rather than bytecode) compatible with existing Dolphin Smalltalk X6 projects, so adopters of the new platform will instantly gain a number of key benefits:
  • Speed. The Vision VM is Just-In-Time (JIT) compiled and is FAST. The current Dolphin VM is based on a very fast interpreter. In some circumstances this has advantages over JIT compilation but if you want SPEED then JIT is the way to go. Early estimates indicate that the new Dolphin will be between 2x and 5x faster than Dolphin Professional X6.
  • Multi-threading. Currently, the Dolphin VM is single threaded (although with an ability to run external calls on separate threads). The Vision Smalltalk VM is true multi-threaded which will allow Dolphin applications to take full advantage of the modern generation of multi-processor and multi-core machines.
  • Unicode Support. Internally, the new VM is entirely based on Unicode. For many of our international customers the ability to use Unicode in their applications will be a huge benefit.
  • Smalltalk Link Libraries (SLLs). In the same way that Digitalk Smalltalk introduced the concept of SLLs, the Vision Smalltalk platform also allows Smalltalk code to be distributed as collections of small, pre-compiled units that in many ways are simailar to Windows DLLs. Dolphin Smalltalk users will be able to deploy their applications either as SLLs or fully bound into executable files as they are today.
  • 64 bit OS Support. Whilst the current Vision Smalltalk VM is 32 bit, development is underway on a full 64 bit version. Once this is ready, new Dolphin users will be able to benefit from this immediately with no additional effort.
  • Maintenance and Support. The Vision Smalltalk platform is fully supported and is being actively developed by Lesser Software. With this new way forward both existing and new Dolphin developers can be sure of a supported route into the future.
At present, no pricing structure has been set for the new platform. However, following its release we still intend to continue to keep the current Dolphin products (DPRO and DCE) in existence. Hence, the Next Generation Dolphin environment will likely be positioned at a price point above that of the existing Dolphin Professional product.
If you are excited as we are about the potential behind this announcement you'll probably want to learn more about when development will commence on the Next Generation product. If so please follow this link to Dolphin NG Development.
Andy & Blair
September 2008"

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