Getting Started with Squeak

Mark Guzdial guzdial at
Wed Sep 30 13:33:01 UTC 1998

>> There are very few languages well suited to creating UIs. Smalltalk may be
>> the only one.
>Please explain that statement. I am a Smalltalk novice. What makes the
>*language* well-suited to creating UIs. The MVC or pluggable paradigms?
>They are not language specific.

Dan Olsen talks about this in his new book on "Developing User Interfaces"
(Morgan-Kaufman, 1998).  I don't think I grok all the subtleties, but I'll
try to relate the story.  The self-reflective and late-binding nature of
Smalltalk allows you to create views that are more de-coupled from their
models.  For example, when a textbox sends #getText to its model, it
doesn't care what the model is, as long as it can respond to getText -- you
can even swap the model at run-time, and as long as the message is
answerable, it all works.  Olsen contrasts this with C/C++ where the
compiler requires the model and view to be linked together at compile time,
the types have to match, etc.  Java can do this de-coupled model-view, too,
but it had to invent (overly-complex, IMHO) inner classes to make it work.


Mark Guzdial : Georgia Tech : College of Computing : Atlanta, GA 30332-0280
(404) 894-5618 : Fax (404) 894-0673 : guzdial at

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