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Wheat / News: Recent posts

CodeCon Details

CodeCon has released the schedule for the conference. Wheat will be demo'd Sunday:

Jim, Kragen and I have been working furiously to get the system ready in time for the demo. Nothing like a deadline! There is a new Wheat API for the templating system, some reg-ex support, new work on Farm (the development environment), and improvements in file system layout.... read more

Posted by Mark Lentczner 2005-02-03

Winter Update

It has been way too long since an update about Wheat. For now, I just want to alert you all to two project events:

1) Wheat has been accepted as one of the projects to be demo'd at CodeCon 2005. This is a three day open source project conference held in San Francisco. The web site is:
However, they don't seem to have much info up there yet...

2) The wonderful people at CommerceNet's zLab have taken an interest in Wheat and decided to "learn by doing". So, for a whole week in December, their Kragen Sitaker and I pair programmed on and in Wheat. We learned lots, coded lots, and identified what needs more work.

Posted by Mark Lentczner 2005-02-03

Summer Progress

Summer has a bit slow, but progress has been made nonetheless. Several areas of infrastructure got worked on:

* The server threading architecture has been extensively rewritten as a pre-launched-thread server with a pool of worker threads. It is now thread-safe and signal-safe.

* Persistence was improved in that now only modified object mounts are persisted. XMLMedia supports checkpointed storage.... read more

Posted by Mark Lentczner 2004-08-17

Blog in Wheat

The simple blog application for Wheat is now written and running entirely in the native Wheat language. In just a month we have come from being able to execute a simple expression to running a whole application (albeit a simple one). The Wheat code for the blog application can be viewed on-line.


If you check out the latest source from the CVS repository, build and run it, you can then point your browser at the running Wheat server and see the blog application running. It is known to build and run under various unix flavors, Mac OS X, and Windows with cygwin.... read more

Posted by Mark Lentczner 2004-05-27

3 + 4 = 7!

Wheat executed its first compiled method yesterday! The method was:
doit(): { return 3 + 4; }
The result was 7. While this doesn't seem like much, it actually tests a surprising amount of the language machinery: Wheat now has a working lexer, parser, compiler, method builder (assembler) and virtual machine.

Two months ago, we were working on the Blog application. By the beginning of March we had a skeletal Blog with an RSS feed running. However, this was coded entirely in the C++ syntax for Wheat. We decided that not having the Wheat native text syntax running was an impediment to people understanding and trying out the project. The language and compiler were put ahead of completing the Blog.... read more

Posted by Mark Lentczner 2004-04-19

Rounded the first curve....

...And we can see our first application: A Blog. We now have enough machinery to render and serve real web pages with content drawn from Wheat objects. We hope to have a full running Blog application within a month.

Some amusing code stats: Over 20,000 lines of code in 97 files (not counting the included libraries expat or ptypes). About 25% of that is unit tests. There are 72 public classes in header files and another 53 in implementation files.... read more

Posted by Mark Lentczner 2004-02-20

Wheat source is now available...

SourceForge seems to have cured the problems with the anonymous CVS access. The anonymous CVS server now has up-to-date copies of the Wheat source. A good build that passes all its unit tests is at the tag markl-gravity-20040102a. If you're feeling adventurous, try the head revision. On Linux or MacOSX you should be able to do this in a shell:

mkdir someplace-for-wheat-development
cd someplace-for-wheat-development
cvs login
# just hit return when asked for a password
cvs -z3 \ co -r markl-gravity-20040102a r1
cd r1
make # there is a bug, you'll have to make twice the very first time!
./bin/wheat-r1 -t root/config.xml
# runs 69 unit tests, all should pass
./bin/wheat-r1 root/config-web-text.xml
# runs the Wheat server
# Point your browser at http://localhost:8100/... read more

Posted by Mark Lentczner 2004-01-09

A month's worth of development

It has been a while since the last Wheat update. Quite a bit has happened:

Jim Kingdon and I have been working on the rendering module: This lets objects control their mapping to the web server URL space and control their own rendering via XML templates. The code is close, and is capable of rendering some very simple blog entries!

Other things that got coded in the last month:
- XML Media is now working (Wheat objects stored in XML documents)
- Debugging support (displaying object information in gdb)
- Build under Linux
- Many virtual machine refinements (semantics and implementation of inheritance, stacks, message lookup and sending, primitive installation and execution)
- An initial object library (very rudimentary)... read more

Posted by Mark Lentczner 2004-01-05

XML Work & Input Needed

This week saw lots of work on the XML media implementation. The entire storage system, which is normally the host file system, has been abstracted so that the XML document tree can alternately be stored in memory. This makes unit testing of the XML media very easy: Just mount it on memory storage instead of file storage and then do string compares to make sure it is writing correctly.

The XML writer is coming along. It currently can write a Wheat object as a single XML document. Next is supporting objects that persist as collections of XML documents (needed for persisting large object trees). I expect to complete this by the end of this week. When done, Wheat will be persisting all its data.... read more

Posted by Mark Lentczner 2003-11-24

Site updates: Notes from Hacker's Talk

The web site ( ) has been overhauled. The site now features a full set of contact URLs so you should be able to find everything. I've also put the latest news item on the page.

A major addition are my notes for my talk at Hackers. Now there are some words to go with those images...

Lastly, I realize that the XHTML 1.0 and CSS 1 compliant layout doesn't work perfectly in all browsers (which seem notoriously non-compliant... especially IE...). I think it should all be readable in most browsers. If not, please drop me a line.... read more

Posted by Mark Lentczner 2003-11-17

Demo at Hackers

This past weekend I showed Wheat R1 at the Hackers conference. It got quite a bit of enthusiastic response, and won second place as Best Work-in-Progress.

My slides are on the web site (click Home Page) but the commentary is still missing... Give me a few days to catch up on my sleep!

- Mark

Posted by Mark Lentczner 2003-11-12