Ian's Dolphin Smalltalk Pages

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Overview

This page provides a brief description of the Smalltalk language and of Dolphin Smalltalk along with a timeline for the Dolphin implementation.

Smalltalk

Smalltalk is an Object Oriented programming language originally designed at Xerox PARC in the 1970s and, after a number of interim versions, finally appearing as a properly defined language in 1980 (commonly known as Smalltalk-80). Since then it has progressed with versions of the language being implemented for various platforms by a number of different vendors, most notably ParcPlace, Digitalk and IBM, with each providing their own enhancements. In the mid 1990s an ANSI working group started specifying a common definition for the core of the language. This was completed in May 1998 and a copy of the resulting standard can be obtained online from Techstreet at http://www.techstreet.com/cgi-bin/detail?product_id=56122 in either PDF ($30) or paper ($175) form.

There is a small, but very dedicated, section of the programming community using Smalltalk (with a little 't' please, never SmallTalk) and it is used in many different areas. A visit to the Smalltalk Industry Council site (STIC) at http://www.stic.org is a good place to start if you want to know more about the uses and availability of the language. There is also a public newsgroup, comp.lang.smalltalk, for the discussion of matters Smalltalk (although it has a tendency to descend into silly language wars with people who haven't yet seen the light).

The Links page on this site also has a small selection of links to other Smalltalk and Object Oriented sites.

Dolphin Smalltalk

Dolphin Smalltalk is an implementation of Smalltalk that began life around 1995 and which is targeted at Windows based systems. It was originally created by Intuitive Systems Ltd but has now passed into the ownership of Object Arts (OA), staffed by two of the original developers, who have an ongoing development and maintenance programme. Full details about the current version, the pricing structure, the availability of extra packages and much, much more can be found on the Object Arts web site at http://www.object-arts.com/content/navigation/home.html

There are some other related online resources for Dolphin ...

A Brief History of Dolphin Smalltalk

1996 to late 1997 A number of beta versions were made available for download, at no cost, from the OA web site for evaluation by interested parties.
Late 1997 The first release version was provided as a free download. There were a number of additional packages, including one for the licensing and distribution of executable files, available for a fee.
Spring 1998 Version 2.1 was released, but now as a fully commercial package. The previous version was upgraded to version 1.1 and remained available as a free download. Two patches were subsequently made available for 2.1 which were also integrated into the commercial version to provide a "Summer 1998" edition.
Spring 1998 The missing version (2.0) was only available as a 30 day trial on the cover disc of a UK computer magazine (PCW).
Summer 1999 Version 3.01 was released as the new commercial version and 2.1 was made available for free download from the website. Due to a number of problems 3.02 was released a short time later.
Summer 1999 For two months 2.1 was provided on the cover disc of another UK magazine (PC PLUS) and a short "how to program in Smalltalk" series was included within the magazine. There was also a reasonably favourable review of 3.02 (scoring 8/10), the main downside mentioned being the lack of documentation.
Autumn 1999 Release of maintenance versions, 3.03 and 3.04, of the commercial product.
January 2000 Release of maintenance version 3.05 and the appearance of the Web Deployment Kit (WDK) and Web Browser Plug-in. This allows the creation of Smalltalk applets which can be distributed over the internet and executed in a client's web browser.
March 2000 Release of maintenance version 3.06.
November 2000 Version 4.0 released. Rationalisation of the available products to give three distinct versions (Value, Standard and Proferssional) which are provided as complete images rather than a basic image and installable add-ons.
March 2001 Release of maintenance version 4.01.
Summer 2001 30 day trial versions of the packages are made available on the OA web site.
May 2002 Release of Dolphin XP 5.0 shortly followed by a maintenance release 5.01. Amongst a lot of other additions this release see the integration of the RefactoringBrowser (hence the XP in the name) into the basic development environment.
February 2003 Maintenance releases 5.0.2 and 5.0.3
April 2003 Dolphin 5.1 released.
May 2003 Maintenance release 5.1.1.
October 2003 Maintenance release 5.1.2.
December 2003 Maintenance release 5.1.3
March 2004 Maintenance release 5.1.4.
November 2005 The release of Dolphin 6.
January 2006 Maintenance releases 6.0.1 and 6.0.2 and release of the free Dolphin Community Edition.
August 2007 Object Arts announce that they will no longer be developing Dolphin Smalltalk. The Community Edition will still be available and the current professional version can still be purchased from the OA web site. Attempts are being made by users to ensure the future of Dolphin - see the newsgroup for details.
September 2008 Object Arts announce an agreement with Lesser Software to produce a new version of Dolphin named NG (Next Generation). No release date has been announced.

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