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[Help-smalltalk] Updates

From: Paolo Bonzini
Subject: [Help-smalltalk] Updates
Date: Sun, 18 Mar 2001 13:08:46 +0100

1) GTK bindings are at proof-of-concept status (at least you
can show widgets).  There's no support for callbacks, and
calling the GTK event loop blocks the entire VM.

2) To overcome the problem, I have started integrating the
VM with a portable non-preemptive threads implementation,
GNU Pth -- the idea would be to run the GTK event loop in
a separate thread from the VM.  So far I have rewritten things
so that I/O operations across the VM block at thread-level
rather than at process-level.

Since the implementation is not preemptive and has a 100%
user-mode scheduler, if I could hook into the scheduler I
could have the VM run each Smalltalk Process into a separate
user-mode thread (I cannot do that directly because the VM
is not reentrant).  This would provide great benefits, like
non-blocking FileStream I/O without changing a single line
of Smalltalk code!  Otherwise, I'll have to think a bit about
how to attach semaphores to FileStreams.

3) I18n support is problematic, and I am not sure that it will
be available in 2.0; actually, I'm not sure about the collation
part, the only one for which you cannot reliably and portably
retrieve locale data from the C library.  The other ones should
be there, possibly after some rewriting and integration with a C

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