What a blast to meet and discuss with so many people whose works I'm fan of! The five days conference put together over 170 participants, with a high concentration of languages designers and implementors.
A few notes of interest:
- Newspeak, a new programming language designed by Gilad Bracha, is extremely promising. I haven’t seen such an important development in the field object-oriented languages (beside F-Script!) since Self in the early nineties. Trust me, you really want to check it out (there are a few papers and presentations floating around).
- Gemstone System had a big presence at the conference. They are doing very cool stuff developing Gemstone/S, their beautiful object database. A big news for me is that Gemstone/S now runs on Mac OS X (I’m currently installing it from the DVD James Foster handed me). There is also a lot of work put into Maglev (i.e., not your daddy's Ruby VM).
- Cog is a new open source virtual machine. Primarily developed for Croquet and Squeak, it will also be useable for other languages/environments. Cog is designed by Eliot Miranda, who is so experienced at this kind of stuff he can probably write a new VM while sleeping. Very promising technology.
- Stephane Ducasse (with whom I wrote the OOPAL paper) is working on Pharo, which aims at producing a new Smalltalk environment. It consists in a radical redesign of Squeak and hopefully will produce a great platform in the coming years.
- Andres Valloud's book on hashing is out. It's the only book I know of dedicated to the subject of analyzing and designing good hashing functions. It contains an extensive analysis of existing hash functions in various programming languages and offers many practical advices to design your owns. The examples are in Smalltalk but the principles and algorithms can be easily used in other languages.