vastgoodies services API

To make the VAStGoodies client work right from the VA image, I needed a service API in addition to the Seaside application that is running on Requirements for that service include “get all available configuration map names” and “get a download url for a particular version of a configuration map”. Instead of implementing a full-blown end-to-end SOAP based Webservice, I decided to implement a much leaner RPC-style design that simply returns Smalltalk expressions.

Method Categorization and Browse Unsent for VA Smalltalk

Method categorization is an important part of documenting the interface of classes, which is quite unique to Smalltalk to my knowledge. Therefore most developers spent time reorganization their methods in commonly known categories such as initialize-release, accessing and instance creation. PhilemonToolMethodCategories is a goodie that contains some extensions to the standard browsers that deal with categorization. In particular, it offers a different “Move to category…” menu item that pops up a menu with existing categories and another submenu with suggested category names. Statistics is the open source software repository for the VA Smalltalk community which was launched early this year by Adriaan van Os. As of today, the vastgoodies site has been extended with a page showing the activity statistics. Main purpose of this page is to let the community see that contributions are indeed downloaded and to give credits to those that maintain them. Similar information has been available on Squeaksource for some time now and I was surprised to experience the effects on me with this kind of monitoring.

Navigating Inspector for VA Smalltalk

This goodie is also known as the “Diving” inspector as it allows you to navigate through an object structure by following each variable on a double-click. The inspection depth is shown in the inspector just above the “self”. You climb up the structure by clicking on that list item. missing image of /2009/03/navigating_inspector.png Once loaded into your image, it takes over the standard inspector but uses any dedicated inspector as its model (e.

FileBrowser for VA Smalltalk

FileBrowser is a new addition to the configuration map “Philemon Tools” , available at, for VA Smalltalk. This little but powerful tool has the following features: navigate through your local filesystem showing the contents of files (including images) file selection based on pattern matching support for custom templates for editing (see templateGroups:) configurable contents font navigation history spawn external programs associated with the selected file (e.g. starts Notepad on Windows for .

Coding extensions for VisualAge for Smalltalk

The configuration map “Philemon Tools” , available at, now contains an application that enhances the source code browser in VisualAge for Smalltalk. In short, it provides the following features: code completion paste buffer (hold shift while selecting menu item "paste" to select from previous copied source) repeat edit action (like VisualWorks "again") modifier+key combinations (see below) Control+t ifTrue:[ {selected source} ] Control+g ifFalse:[ {selected source} ] Control+Shift+( ( {selected source} ) Control+1 Browse hierachy or implementors Control+2 Browse references or senders Control+3 Show previous occurrence of selected text Control+4 Show next occurrence of selected text Control+5 Show containing Block Control+p Cycle forward through suggestions of completing method|variable|class name Control+Shift+p Cycle backward through suggestions of completing method|variable|class name F2 Format + Save F5 Save F6 Revert F7 Indent selected source F8 Un-indent selected source The code completion part is written by Erik Stel.

Importing directly from

A small but handy enhancement of the previous submitted VAStGoodies tooling, is the ability to import configuration maps from VAStGoodies directly into your library. This feature is available in the standard Configuration Maps Browser. missing image of /2009/03/import_vastgoodies.png It uses the same Envy dialog to select versions from available maps. missing image of /2009/03/import_select_vastgoodies.png As always as soon as one finishes a feature, a new idea pops up. What if the tool can automatically detect the recent changes available for downloaded material ?

Tracking Object instances in VisualAge for Smaltalk

InstanceCounter is a tool that can be used to watch the number of instances present in your image. It can be started from the Transcript Philemon menu or by evaluating: InstanceCountMonitor openOnClasses: #( ByteArray Process) missing image of instance_count_monitor.png The menu item named “Pointers 1st instance” opens the PointerFinder tool. This is a tool to find the path on which an object is referenced. It is based on an implementation in VisualWorks by Hans-Martin Mosner (c) 1995.

Tooling available for VAStGoodies

Early this year, Adriaan van Os announced that wants to be the open source software repository for the VA Smalltalk community. To promote this great initiative, I proposed to create some tools that allow you to contribute to directly from your Smalltalk image. Initially, it includes an editor to edit project annotations and an uploader that takes a versioned ConfigurationMap to publish it. Future versions will enable you to download new and updated versions of projects directly into your repository.