I agree: it's a mindset (was: Re: Apple hyping java...)

catonano a.peluso at fulltrading.it
Mon Apr 1 19:10:19 UTC 2002

Lunedì, Aprile 1, 2002, alle 01:13 AM, John Hinsley ha scritto:

> n issue with Squeak is a mind set thing (rather like
> those who complain about Linux/BSD because it doesn't behave like a 
> Windows
> application). Someone who approaches with a child's view might play 
> about with
> the games, with the drumming bunny, and so on first. That way they'd 
> get an
> idea of what the mouse did, and what the code looked like. I'd not 
> approach a
> Python interpreter without reading some kind of instruction first 
> (what?!! You
> mean the indents do something?).
> Once you find the source code, it's pretty much straightforward 
> Smalltalk
> (which may be a little ideosyncratic in this day and age, but is hardly 
> off
> the wall).
> The issue is probably further compounded in that Squeak isn't just an 
> IDE, but
> a quasi Operating System (it'll be a real OS soon enough) a set of
> applications, and some source code tools. Furthermore, there are 
> several ways
> (etoys, MVC, Morphic) in.

Well I have a debt with Squeak.

A bit of years ago (Squeak 2.4) I read the bank account tutorial. I was 
a complete beginner in programming.

I understood. I understood what objects were, I understood message 
sending, attributes and methods.

I loved it.

I tested my bank account withdrawing and putting money in.

Then, I played with a traffic light demo.

It was INCREDIBLE how immediate it was to turn lights on and off.

I was not a programmer and never studied math (ancient greek, instead).

I've been able to make some associations between an article I read about 
the messaging between, ehm, "cellule" in Italian (sorry I haven't got 
the English term for it) made of molecules passing from a cellula to 
another and the right molecule acts on some other molecules inside the 

Some time later I was contracted to work on a java web app made with 

I hated the fact that I have to declare the class of an object. String 
string = new String() was really ridiculous.

But I could work on that app because I had understod with Squeak.

VisualAge helped me really so much. That's a SmallTalk enviroinment 
applied to Java. I think that's a miracle

The fact that not everyone recognizes its superiority is a mistery to me 
as the success of Windows and the failing of the Lisp machines.

Today I don't work in that shop any longer and I saw Project Builder for 
the first time in my life after reading so much about it (I'm a big 
lists lurker)

I can't use it. I understand what's its paradigm but I can't get it.

A method is NOT a piece of text.? How can this community be so rigid on 

ProjectBuilder is considered an "expert" tool.

Objects in Squeak are living entities. Not so everywhere else. It's so 

Now I can't work in java any longer (or until I don't find a decent tool)

The "expert" programmer I met on my job (40 years old, a degree in math, 
15 years of experience) didn't like VisualAge because it kept all the 
stuff inside itself and not revealing it.

"Why not in the filesystem as everyother dev tool?" He asked. He 
preferred Jbuilder (his experience was in Delphi)

Now, my point. It's a mindset.

David, I think that if you took a look at PB with no instructions you'd 
get it in a minute. As I did with Squeak.

As for all the rest, I agree with you, anyhow. I left Squeak because I 
was not able to follow it. File Ins, no docs on how to do things, trick 
discovered casually, etc.  Yes, finding things is difficult, in Squeak. 
And it was a moving target.

But now I know what SmallTalk is. It's the try to make machines a little 
more similar to human beings instead of trying to make human being more 
similar to machines (Sorry David).

My 2 cents.

P.S. Not SmallTalk X neither Eclipse run on MacOsX at now. Anyone can 
suggest me an enviroinmentg I could find nice, knowing what my mindset 
is ?  ;-)  Thanks !!

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