Monday, December 10, 2007

Transition to new site, repository, etc...

The transition to the new site ( is going well.
We have the new web site up, a new wiki, and the new subversion repository (complete with ViewVC web browser).

We're just finalising the new Contributor Agreement, and a bit of policy. Then, hopefully, the doors will be open again for contributions on the project.

We're also working on getting a Bugzilla instance up and running for defect and enhancement request tracking. If all goes well this will be added to the list of available tools on the web site.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Embedded CAL

Andrew Eisenberg's work on embedding CAL editors into Java source (in lieu of Java expressions) has now been made available for downloading on the main Quark page. See the previous posting here entitled "Sneak Preview".

This download isn't a part of the main Open Quark distribution (at least not yet), but it is a very nice experimental addition to the Eclipse tooling for Open Quark, and could be taken forward as a fully supported tool in the future. As always we (and Andrew!) would appreciate feedback.

Monday, September 24, 2007


Version 1.6.1 of the Quark Framework for Java is now available. The full release notes are available here.

While this is a point release (for bug fixes and small features), it has a number of interesting features. Chief amongst these is the inclusion of concurrency modules. Version 1.6.0 included internal support for concurrent CAL but lacked the library support to make this convenient and practical. This release includes missing library support allowing parallel function application to be programmed elegantly.

The Eclipse tooling continues to improve in this version, with a new Quick Outline view, and other enhancements.

This release also includes a new document, "Getting Started with Open Quark", which aims to help new users determine where to find information in the other collateral.

As usual, we highly value feedback and contributions to the project. Please visit our discussion forum.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Sneak preview

Our Summer intern, Andrew Eisenberg has been busy working on how to embed CAL fragments directly inline Java source within Eclipse. This is Andrew's last week before he returns to the University of British Columbia to complete his PhD. Accordingly, Andrew has made some videos to demonstrate his work.

We will shortly make the software and other collateral available, but by way of a 'sneak preview' the videos are now accessible for viewing online.

The demo is in four parts:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

Those who just want to cut to the chase may be able to skip right to Part 4, which offers a full worked scenario and discusses some more advanced features.

1.6 in the wild!

Yesterday, the Quark team completed another release and so the Quark Framework for Java V1.6 is now available in the usual place.

This release is quite rich in features, with a number of new libraries added that we hope will be of interest to people.

As usual, we are really keen for people to provide all kinds of constructive feedback on our Google Group, and of course the team is now setting about the next release.

Additionally, we expect to have a some very interesting auxiliary work posted up soon - the results of our intern Andrew Eisenberg. Andrew is just finishing up his time with us and preparing to return to the University of British Columbia to continue with his PhD. All will be revealed (we hope) within the next few weeks.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Long time no post...

...mostly because of my nice long Summer vacation :-)

While I was away though, the team produced release 1.5.1. This release has a range of improvements as listed in the release notes.

An interesting experimental feature is the ability to share the state of a program across multiple concurrently executing threads (as opposed to the ability we've had for ages to concurrently compile and execute logic that doesn't mutually update states of a common program). We anticipate that this feature will grow into a convenient and fully-supported feature of the framework. In the meantime however, it allows people to play with "parallel CAL" so long as they are prepared to do some work to set up scenarios and are happy to take a performance hit.

The benchmarks at the "Computer Language Benchmark Game" site were updated with 1.5.1.

Looking forward to 1.6 now, we expect to deliver a bevy of features and new libraries. Over the next several weeks, some details will be posted on the forum to whet appetites and solicit feedback.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Version 1.5.0 released!

Today we released V1.5.0 of Open Quark.

We managed to complete the standalone JAR feature to our satisfaction, and there are quite a number of Eclipse plug-in enhancements in this version, including wizards for setting up new projects and modules - hitherto a little awkward, as this had to be done manually.

Documentation is also updated and available in the Eclipse plug-in for the first time as help.

See the main Quark Framework page for more details, and please provide feedback on the CAL Language Google Group.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

A worthwhile short delay?

OK, we think we're going to delay the release to next week now. We made the call because of the potential to include a cool extra feature that we think may benefit a cross-section of users. This is the ability to have Quark produce small 'baked' JARs containing only the executable Java classes and an entry point to a CAL function of type [String] -> () i.e. a main function taking string arguments.

I use the term "baked" above, because such JARs will not include a Workspace with the metadata necessary to be able to use the contents dynamically (such as in the many cases where we use Quark as a functional metaprogramming library for Java, typically creating transient functions under application control). However, this is great for writing straightforward apps and utilities. Being small and having much less metadata to load up to support dynamic programming means that startup time is drastically improved too with this deployment model.

So, hopefully we'll be able to dot the I's and cross the T's on this feature for next week, and if it makes it into the next revision then we will probably badge it as Open Quark 1.5.