More than 1.5 years after Pharo was born, we are happy to announce the first beta release! At this point, there are still known problems, but no major changes will be introduced anymore.
The system is stable enough to get serious testing now. Various people already reported that they are using Pharo in their (commercial) projects.
In spring of 2008, Pharo was started as a fork of Squeak 3.9. The name "Pharo" evolved from suggestions like Beacon, Tombolo, Atoll, Lagoon, Lighthouse, etc. Our mission statement is the following:
Pharo's goal is to deliver a clean, innovative, open-source Smalltalk environment. By providing a stable and small core system, excellent developer tools, and maintained releases, Pharo is an attractive platform to build and deploy mission critical Smalltalk applications. Pharo is MIT licensed and is steered by a board of benevolent dictators. The board makes final decisions if no consensus can be reached within the community. Pharo fosters a healthy ecosystem of both private and commercial contributors who advance and maintain the core system and its external packages.
Until today the core image has seen 400 batches of updates. The following list gives an overview of important achievements:
Integration of Polymorph GUI and widgets
Integration of FreeType font support with subpixel anti aliasing
Menu cleanups and operating system menu support for OS X
Removal of EToys, MVC, MorphicExtras, SqueakMap, Sound, and various cruft
Full block closure support
MIT license clean
Reduction of the memory footprint
Many enhancements, such as regex, new input sensor, new preference browser
800 closed issues in the bug tracker
The increasing number of people that contribute and use Pharo indicates that the project is on the right track. Here are just three excerpts from mails posted to the mailing list during the last two months:
"Pharo is the most exciting thing to come along for me in quite awhile!" – Steve Wirts (June 19)
"[...] you have an organization which is able to deliver"
– Janko Mivšek (June 23)
"I absolutely believe Pharo is 100% on the right track, and a critical component in a potential Smalltalk resurgence." – Robert Peters (July 9)
Also the download statistic of the Pharo image shows that Pharo has already found quite some interest (lines show number of downloads per month for the Squeak-dev resp. Pharo image):
Thanks to Damien Cassou for building Pharo images and providing the statistics
What's left for the final release of 1.0? The list of open issues for milestone 1.0 tracks the remaining tasks. Also, we need to decide on the packages (developer tools) that are integrated in the official Pharo image by default. But we don't plan to keep the beta tag forever, so stay tuned...
Posted by Adrian Lienhard on July 31, 2009
Yesterday, we sprinted for almost 12 hours and I am quite amazed what we achieved during this time.
We focused on fixing and integrating the issues relevant for the upcoming 1.0 release. In total, 18 batches of updates were pushed into the stream. During the sprint, the bug tracker has been updated 135 times!
We also made progress fixing failing tests, improving the speed of OmniBrowser (David and Alex), writing the Pharo by Example book (Oscar), and creating a first version of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pharo.
The 10 participants were: Alexandre Bergel, Andreas Leidig, David Röthlisberger, Fabrizio Perin, Lukas Renggli, Niko Schwarz, Oscar Nierstrasz, Philippe Marschall, Stef Ducasse, and me (taking the pictures).
Many thanks to http://scg.unibe.ch to host the sprint and sponsor the pizza!
Posted by Adrian Lienhard on July 5, 2009