[Newbies] Squeak Guilt

Claus Kick claus_kick at web.de
Tue Dec 16 19:48:28 UTC 2008

Ryan Zerby wrote:

> I'm in a position where I want to learn Squeak/Smalltalk because it's
> cool, but I find myself thinking that I should spend my time working
> on something that might actually advance my career.  I used to be a
> Java Programmer, but am now a Build Engineer, so  I don't directly
> program anymore.  I feel that I should be keeping my Java skills up...
> but that just isn't as spiffy
> Anyone else in this boat? Is there a Squeak Support Group? A 12 step
> program?  Anyone have a good rationale why I can go ahead and spend my
> time on Squeak without feeling guilty? :) :)

I am in that boat and I think I have at least sunk  it once. I learned 
Smalltalk (VS) as my first programming language at uni in 2000.

Then I learned a couple of other languages and then some years later, I 
actually worked as Smalltalker (VS) for a year and a half before 
switching jobs in order to move in together with my girlfriend.

Nowadays, Perl and mostly Java earn my keep, and you would think that I 
would never even think about Smalltalk any longer. Well, no, still 
there, still interested, still coding Smalltalk (VWNC, Dolphin NC, 
Squeak) in my rather limited spare time, though, still cursing about 
some of the nonsense "features" Java offers.

I *loved* being a professional Smalltalker, but unfortunately there were 
wider circumstances.

What I think is nice about Smalltalk is the openess of the system, which 
can also be a curse of course.

For a simple example: In VS, the default File>>move:to: does not 
overwrite existing files. That was unnerving, for the API just differs 
whether you use 0 or 1 as parameter in the API call.
Well, in Smalltalk, you just create File>>overwritemove:to: and set the 
parameter for the API call, then just use that method.
Try to do that in Java, or have a look at the java.io.File API 
("rename() - what actually happens, whether the File is copied to the 
new name or simply renamed is depending on the platform").

Smalltalk _is_ fun, has always been, will always be, and, at the right 
time, at the right place, you can even earn money with it.

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