Dallas, Texas-based consulting, services, training and object software house ObjectSpace Inc is now shipping its ObjectCatalog, the fourth component in its initial set of products (CI No 2,546). It is conceived as a way to enable different development teams to locate re-usable components, written in C++ and Smalltalk, that are stored around an organisation. These […]
Dallas, Texas-based consulting, services, training and object software house ObjectSpace Inc is now shipping its ObjectCatalog, the fourth component in its initial set of products (CI No 2,546). It is conceived as a way to enable different development teams to locate re-usable components, written in C++ and Smalltalk, that are stored around an organisation. These components could be pieces of software, design patterns, frameworks or documents. Users fill out questionnaires from a graphical front-end that define search patterns for finding entries stored in local and remote catalogues. Matching entries, collected using fuzzy logic techniques, are displayed on a bull’s eye graphic according to their degree of similarity to the request. ObjectSpace vice-president and co-founder Dave Norris said full-text searches of code are simply not specific enough. A search for a sort routine might yield hundreds or thousands of instances when a straightforward text search is used. ObjectCatalog enables developers to search for a sort routine, written in Smalltalk, running under Windows for array processing. A function to publish headers from new C++ work to ObjectCatalog is already included in many C++ development environments, Norris said. Headers can be copied from existing C++ code as it’s parsed and sent to the ObjectCatalog. The same publish functionality is present in all Smalltalk development environments – ObjectCatalog is written in ParcPlace VisualWorks – although existing Smalltalk work must be opened and a definition published to the ObjectCatalog. Companies such as Hewlett-Packard Co are looking at incorporating the product wholesale into their environments. ObjectSpace is currently cataloguing what it said is the largest archive of Smalltalk code at the University of Illinois, a mirror site of the UK’s Manchester archives. The site was forced to close after 10 years because of traffic congestion. The company, which is readying a C++ class library system tool kit for stuff like sockets and inter-process communication for introduction this month, said it’s also looking at extending ObjectCatalog to other environments such as Microsoft Corp Word documents. ObjectCatalog runs under Solaris, HP-UX, AIX, Windows NT, OS/2 and Windows95, priced at $8,500 on the server, and between $500 and $800 for each client, depending on volume. ObjectSpace, which claims to have created its own distributed C++ and Smalltalk environments a few years back, will launch its next set of technologies into the distributed object world. It’s currently doing non-disclosure work with Microsoft Corp on OLE 2 and its Network Object Linking & Embedding successor, and Digital Equipment Corp’s ObjectBroker, and will Common Object Request Broker Architecture-enable the ObjectCatalog as well. The company, not currently an Object Management Group member, and not interested in Object Request Broker technology per se, believes that one distributed object mechanism will prevail over time.