A Moribund Smalltalk still alive and kicking: The APIS VisualSmalltalk IDE

by Thomas Brey

After we briefly described the history of Visual Smalltalk (VS), we show how some proprietary rather complex derivates of VS emerged over the years. Despite the fact that the last official major release was in 1995, there are still successful products actively developed with VS. We show in detail the current status of VS at the APIS company, focussing on usability improvements of the IDE as well as on the proprietary Java Interface, which was developed independently from JNIPort and JavaConnect, featuring a high level of automation and integration (fully automated import of jar-files, browse and compile Java in VS). We show that even a smaller company can succeed in keeping a 13 year old Smalltalk IDE up-to-date.

Bio: Thomas was born 29.01.1969, 1997 M.A. in Information Science, University of Regensburg, Germany, 1997 started a mini business (software development & consulting, hardware), 1997 - 2004 half-time employment at University of Regensburg, (teaching OOP with Smalltalk and software ergonomics), 2002 - 2005 cofounded company "Speech Experts GmbH" and developer, a Smalltalk based Speech Processing framework presented at ESUG 2004, left company in 2005. 2006 joined APIS IT GmbH, responsible for development of the Smalltalk IDE.