Browsing Processes

James Robertson’s Smalltalk 4 You 87 looks at process debugging in VA Smalltalk. This reminded me that there’s a great tool wandering the interwebs that makes the task even easier. Back in the dim and hazy past, Jeffrey Odell created the VA Process Browser, a companion to the SUnit Browser that’s found in VA Smalltalk today. It looks like this:

As you can see, it gives you a nice list of all processes currently in the image, along with their current status. The display updates on a periodic basis, or you can manually refresh it. All the things you could reasonably want to do with a process are easily accessible, and the tool itself is launched from the Tools menu of the Transcript window.

Unfortunately, Jeffrey appears to have moved on to other endeavors, and the VA Process Browser code has fallen by the wayside. If you’re out there somewhere, Jeffrey, it would be great if you’d make the source available on, or, if you send the necessary permission, I’d be happy to do it on your behalf. In the meantime, interested parties will need look around or ask the right person to obtain a copy.


4 Responses to “Browsing Processes”

  1. 1 Marten Feldtmann 2011-05-26 at 01:30

    Or use an alternative – available at

  2. 4 John O'Keefe 2011-06-07 at 13:39

    I actually have a newser version of Jeff’s ProcessBrowser — I added a column for stackSize.

    There is also a ProcessBrowser in Seaside (WAProcessStatus) with the same columns as Jeff’s (i.e., I haven’t added a stackSize column to it yet). It currently supports Inspect, but not Debug.

    Long term (which means when I have a Saturday with nothing else to do), I want to create a ProcessBrowser that come with the product. It would be integrated with the functionality of the ProcessPeek goodie also.

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