Smalltalk for Everyone Else
Subject:   Its a lot to get used to
Date:   2006-09-24 19:28:30
From:   tlaurenzo1
Having recently tried to get started with Squeak, I can say that it is hard for someone used to text editors, interpreters, and compilers to get used to the typical Smalltalk environment such as Squeak.

I get Smalltalk the language, but I don't get Squeak (which from what I understand is fairly typical as a Smalltalk environment). It'd be nice if there was some kind of guide like "Squeak and Smalltalk for those addicted to their text editors and command prompts." From some comments I see around, I think that I am not the only one with this mental block.

Good article nonetheless.

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Showing messages 1 through 4 of 4.

  • Re: Its a lot to get used to
    2006-09-28 10:49:44  whartung [View]

    Yes, it's the classic language vs library syndrome. For all of the simplicity, dynamism, and exploratory nature of Squeak and Smalltalk, the key is mastering not just the language, but also the class library. And the class library is quite daunting.

    For someone who's used to dealing with files filled with lines of code, learning a system 10 lines at a time through a browser window in a disjointed way can be quite difficult.
    • Have you tried the powerful tools available
      2007-01-25 20:16:10  jacaetevha [View]

      In Squeak (not sure if other Smalltalks have something like it) there is the MethodFinder and the MessageNames dialog that help you learn/discover the system in wonderful ways. After finding the MethodFinder I can't hardly stand not to use it. It takes a receiver, an argument (or list of args), and an expected result and gives you what methods in the system would produce that result.


      MethodFinder methodFor: #((2 64)18446744073709551616. ).

      '(data1 raisedTo: data2) (data1 raisedToInteger: data2) '
  • ...but it shouldn't be.
    2006-10-02 06:28:50  cbmanica [View]

    I don't see why those of us who use highly capable text editors and command prompts should be forced to view proficiency and comfort with Emacs as a "mental block". The fact that Squeak (and apparently other Smalltalk environments as well) tie you to a text editor only marginally more capable and useful than Notepad is only one of many unnecessary absurdities one must accept if one wishes to explore the Smalltalk design paradigm.
  • Its a lot to get used to
    2007-01-25 20:09:04  jacaetevha [View]

    No, Squeak is not fairly typical. You can however use emacs key bindings or the wonderful svi package so that the browsers feel more like the powerful text editors you are used to.

    The point about the image though is not so much that you lose those things, it's that the productivity gain you experience FAR OUTWEIGHS what you "lose".