Fresh Meat/Spreading Smalltalk

Bob Ingria ingria at
Wed Apr 17 04:51:17 UTC 2002

At 04:48 PM 4/16/2002 +0200, Cees de Groot wrote:
>Bruce Boyer <bboyer99 at> said:
> >I've always wondered why there isn't an O'Reilly book about Smalltalk.  All
> >the O'Reilly books have an animal on the cover.  Probably, Smalltalk's would
> >have a dolphin on it.  Wonderful symbolism, because dolphins exhibit far
> >greater intelligence than all the other animals.
>A Smalltalk book would be an idea, but there's the snag: which Smalltalk?
>Books for any single Smalltalk implementation would have too small a market
>(even for O'Reilly, which often jumps in early in growth markets, see both
>Zope books), and a book about all Smalltalks would not really be useful

I'm kind of fond of Pletzke's _Advanced Smalltalk_, which does deal with 
the (then) major Smalltalk dialects.

However, instead of doing a mix-and-match cross-dialect book, how about 
something like _ANSI Smalltalk_?  Granted that not all dialects implement 
the full ANSI standard, it is nevertheless the case that a lot of what's in 
the ANSI standard consists of the common core of methods that all dialects 
have implemented.  This might be more appealing to O'Reilly than a 
dialect-specific book.

Such a book would, perforce, not deal with GUI building or the fine details 
of a particular environment, but one could put in pointers to the 
dialect-specific books that cover these details (e.g. Mark Guzdial on 
Squeak, Ted Bracht on Dolphin, whoever currently has a VW book in print, 
...)  And, to get people going to try out code in  the workspace and to 
write their first methods, one could abstract away and present the common 
core of all Smalltalk tools (e.g. accepting methods; print it, do it, 
etc.)  From experience, I know that one can started in Smalltalk using a 
description of an environment that does not exactly match what one is 
using.  (I started learning Smalltalk using Smalltalk Express (Smalltalk/V) 
but with a VW-oriented book.

Bob Ingria
As always, at a slight angle to the universe

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