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Read Dan Ingall's announcement for version 2.3
Last updated at 2:44 pm UTC on 16 January 2006
To: squeak@cs.uiuc.edu
From: Dan Ingalls
Subject: Re: Squeak 2.3 beta available
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Many thanks, Andreas, for highlighting the new features of Squeak 2.3 that are available for test in the beta image. I was busy with Charlie's birthday and didn't want to spend the whole evening at the computer.

A couple of other things occur to me worthy of mention, as folks may want to try them out in beta and let us know of anything that seems amiss.

> Interface changes
>We have now new Morphic menus (I just love them) and a preferences panel
with help messages for most entries.

Note especially the preference for inboard scrollbars. I spent a while getting these to work right, as it really makes a difference on PDAs where there is no mouseOver tracking.

Also note that Morphic windows now have the ability to adjust pane boundaries (and I fixed a couple of bugs there, too).

And the multiple selections finally work in morphic (cf changelist)

Andreas was too modest to mention that his file contents browser has been included. The normal way to get at it is through the fileList menu options. It is wonderful to have the diff feature, and I extended its availability to the changeList and versions browsers. Also note that the 'compare to clipboard' command (in the "special" menu of the text editor) has been changed so that it spawns a window with the detailed diffs. It can be really useful.

Numerical stuff
> The new coercion scheme is in 2.3beta, we have array math and a brand
> new wavelet transform hanging around (see class FWT).

The new coercion scheme has been extended to collections and points. This was inspired by Travis Griggs's collection arithmetic package. We probably have some more work to do to fully include, eg, the FloatArrays.

Also note that the 2.3 VM does Float/Integer coericons internally which makes this most common case uncommonly fast.

Finally, although it's not exactly numerical, the VM now includes a string search primitive that dramatically changes the performance of most string searches. The primitive is parameterized for casesensitivity, and has been incoporated into most of the other code such as beginsWith:, match: and the like.

> Weak classes / finalization support is now part of the standard image
>[Note: Some people were already running into this - you really need a
new VM for this stuff to work properly]

Oops. I forgot to mention that.

> Flash is a vector graphics package designed for vector graphics
> content delivery over the internet. Many sites use this to enhance
> their web pages and it's a lot of fun to play with. If you have access
> to any .SWF files just open them from the file list.

Note that balloon objects built from SWF files can be scaled and rotated to any angle without loss of detail. Use cmd-click to get a halo for the flash player, and then choose make controls from its menu. This will allow you to choose fastest, medium or nicest, the Sears good/better/best choice applied to anti-aliased rendering. Also bear in mind that speed and quality will depend on your color depth setting. Things will be nicest if you use 16- or 32-bit color (natch).

Finally, there is a significant new system (called Squeak Pages) designed to allow morphic worlds to be cached in Squeak, but resident on Web Pages. This is largely the work of John Maloney and Ted Kaehler. We will write more specifically about this when we have had a chance to shake it down a bit ourselves.

- Dan