Documenting Squeak

Boris G. Chr. Shingarov usib6tfj at
Mon Mar 30 21:12:40 UTC 1998


I guess someone already invented this before me but here is
what I think can be of interest:

The code & doc browsers -as well as other tools- should be
tightly integrated.  Imagine e.g. a new user inspecting some
object with the inspector, and the object has an instance
variable pointing to an IdentityDictionary.  The user selects
the IV in the browser and sees 'an IdentityDictionary' in
the value pane and now he wonders what could this IdDict mean.
I definitely think there must be a tool integrated into each
of the other tool, to lead the user to the complete explanation
of what IdDict is, - by means of just one mouse click.  One
approach is to use class comments as what such click can link
to, but I guess a prototype(delegation)-based system gives
us more field for fantasy, because we can target many of our
documentation goals by simply defining a mandatory message
#explain, to return an explanation of what this object is,
who put it there and for what reason, and how to make profit
out of it (it obviously can't be elegantly done in a class-
based system).

All:  Did anyone see anything similar before?  I'm designing
a new set of browsers/inspectors/debuggers/workspaces for
work with Cheese and am looking for fresh ideas (if the tools
will be nothing more than standard Smalltalk tools then they
will be not worth implementing - but then Cheese will lack
any tools and will be usekess and die).


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