VisualWorks

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Objectworks advert from 1989

A cross-platform Smalltalk development system originally introduced in 1988 by ParcPlace Systems as Objectworks and then came in two different versions that supported Smalltalk and C++ on DOS, Apple Macintosh and sundry UNIX systems, but renamed to VisualWorks in the early 1990's thereafter due to a name clash, gained an OS/2 port and the C++ version was dropped.

VisualWorks had one notable cross platform development feature in that it could mimic the look and feel of the other operating systems it supported from any of their platforms, so you could design your program on OS/2 and test how it would function on MOTIF or Windows.

After the merger of VisualWorks developer ParcPlace Systems and Digitalk a version of VW was released under the name VisualWave that integrated the VW development system with SmallTalk libraries developed by Digitalk, these included mainly web development tools but also a host of others, and existing VisualWorks customers could buy it as an upgrade. While this package could develop for OS/2 as a target, it is not certain if a native OS/2 hosted version was ever shipped.

The VisualWorks product product line was acquired by Cincom in 1999 who have sold and developed it since, although active development has slowed down considerably as the company places more emphasis on their own in house developed SmallTalk system for MS Windows.

Known VisualWorks add-ons and utilities

  • Sina/st - OO abstraction language - Open source - Discontinued.
  • Objectworks FACETS - Library and utilities collection - Commercial - Discontinued.
  • Versant Argos - IDE/RAD and OO Database system - Commercial - Discontinued.

Versions

  • Current version: 8.0, supports MS Windows, Mac OSX, Linux, Solaris and AIX
  • Up until the turn of the century the toolkit also supported both native and cross development for SunOS, HP/UX and Digital UNIX.
  • Version 2 introduced in the summer of 1994, added Database Application Creator a visual RAD database development system and a tighter OS/2 and Windows integration.
  • Initial 1992/3 versions for OS/2 2.0 and Windows 3.x were both called v1.0 even though they were based on UNIX versions with higher version numbers, they were later synchronised.

Licence

  • Commercial, OS/2 and Mac OS version discontinued; Unix, Mac OSX and MS Windows versions still available.
  • A freeware version is available for download with a no commercial usage clause.

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