QKS is pleased to announce that SmalltalkAgents 2.1, a netborne update, is
now available. The installer is available for downloading from our FTP
[If you would like to mirror the update, please drop me a note. We’d
especially appreciate help mirroring this in Europe and the Pacific Rim.
Our web site (http://www.qks.com) will have a list of the latest available
We’d like to highlight some of the new features included in this release.
Code Fragment Manager
SmalltalkAgents 2.1 now supports the Code Fragment Manager (CFM). We are
excited about this important milestone for QKS and SmalltalkAgents. This
feature provides direct access to native PowerPC code libraries. Not only
can you more easily call code written in other languages, you can also take
full advantage of the increasing variety of libraries available from Apple
and third parties.
In addition, QKS has also incorporated CFM-68K support. This unifies and
simplifies the way SmalltalkAgents links to non-Smalltalk code. With this
approach, the same SmalltalkAgents environment or standalone application
can work with a single “fat” library on both 68K and PowerPC platforms.
After a lengthy and technically challenging development effort,
SmalltalkAgents 2.1 breaks new ground in integrating 68K and PowerPC code
for performance. 2.1 introduces a plug-in mechanism for extending and
enhancing the virtual machine with fragment-based accelerators. These
enhancements provide for substantial native performance, and will also
allow us to deliver additional performance enhancements as DLLs. STA 2.1
will carry Apple’s “Accelerated for PowerPC” designation.
The SmartComponents library contains new classes for building intelligent
user-interface components. These classes support greater-than-32,000 pixel
coordinate systems, automatic scrolling, and improved drag-and-drop. This
release includes a new list view for displaying lists of arbitrary size as
well as an outline view for displaying hierarchical information, much like
the views in the Finder.
TextEdit’s 32K limitation has long stood in the way of Macintosh users,
especially where two-byte languages made this a 16K limit. We have
replaced TextEdit with the WorldScript-Aware Styled Text Engine (WASTE).
WASTE not only removes the 32K barrier, but also provides WorldScript
awareness, styled text, and embeddable objects (e.g. graphics). Our “fat”
WASTE code fragment runs at native speeds on either platform, and is
available for royalty-free distribution with your standalone applications.
We will provide the WASTE C source code.
We have improved the functionality of STA’s TCP/IP classes. In addition,
we have included new methods for writing TCP-based servers.
Release notes are available on our web site at
and include more details, examples of use for the new features, and a list
of bug fixes and known problems. I expect that we will add more
information to these notes as we receive your feedback.
We know that you have choices about the tools you use, and we appreciate
your choice of QKS and SmalltalkAgents. We look forward to your feedback
on this release, and please feel free to contact me directly if you’d like.