Documentation, more, more
mwgrant2001 at yahoo.com
Thu Sep 11 03:03:28 UTC 2003
--- In squeak at yahoogroups.com, Daniel Vainsencher <danielv at n...>
> you need. Have you looked at
> Then we can make sure that this material is easily enough
> rearranging the Swiki.
I'm in the process of looking. It will take a little to pen a
response. BTW please be patient, I'm a consultant and we are are the
end of the fiscal year....
> Nah, we like Swikis. They're late bound and we like that.
> are into exploration and education, not planning and enforcement.
Others are into exploration too. It isn't enforcement and besides
there is nothing to provent you from having Swiki's at the same time.
The limited objective here is to provide a predictable and structured
environment for the beginners (let's do away with newbie) so so they
can EASILY find what they need to get started. You must prime a pump
for it to work. Frustration is counter productive to learning.
> > The R project that I mentioned before has a
> > very good approach to documentation. In particular there is
Richard O'Keefe gave an excellent description of the R environment,
documentation, and site (item 69542 " Re: Documentation, more,
more " above). I also use the online help frequently...it is easy
and productive. I mildly disagree with one thing he said, however.
Programming work can and is done in R (S). It is vectorized, loaded
with math capabilities, and for those reasons is an excellent general
purpose language for number crunching.
> > As for my help. OK, I'll do what I can. In my way, or do you have
> > some specific needs?
> You never did get around to specifying which parts of the R site
> most useful.
That easy. The forum is the most useful. I check it several times a
day. Actually there is more than one forum. There is a help forum and
a developer's forum. Also the is a separate bug reporting mechanism.
As a result the help forum is much easier to browse the Squeak's.
There is another significant difference that Richard politely did not
point out. The Squeak forum is consistently friendly and enthusiatic.
The R help forum occasionally has cutting responses from some of the
guru's. Sometimes it is deserved and sometimes it isn't. Given the
quality of R and in particular the massive mailings to the forum,
however, it is understandable. R documentation is superb (but not
flawless) and the answer is usually under people's noses in broad
> [problems creating code]
> So, IIUC, the problem is mostly deciding the subclass structure?
> practice is to subclass either Object, or another class that is
> for extension by subclassing, like Morph (a negative example -
> never subclass collections, they're intended to be used, not
Thank you. This is very helpful. Though I seem to recall advice in
one or more other OO languages saying do just the opposite. But these
thing do reflect the language don't they. Now I know how
Squeakers/STers look at it.
And it was just the prospect of subclassing to subclasses in the
large 'crystalline' ST system that was making me nervous--it
intuitively seems hazardous here.
> As to sample code, you have an image full of code you can look at,
> >300 packages on SM. Not all are good examples, and there is not one
> specific "correct" style, but you shouldn't worry about it too much
> the beginning - first make it work, then make it right.
Yea, I've done this at the method implementation level as I've added
some statistical and sampling methods to Collections. That's fine for
methods. But it really doesn't illuminate the alpha-to-omega aspect
that I think would be helpful to beginners. Let me repeat from my
'Now, the things that I think missing are the details how to CREATE
something useful or viable with Squeak. That is: "here is
this 'thing' I created in Squeak; here is why I used Squeak or
Smalltalk as opposed to Java or Lisp or whatever; here are the
classes and methods I created and WHY I gave then the behavior that I
did; here are the places that I put these classes in the Squeak
environment; here is a modest little interface to help you interact
with the 'thing'; and of course, here is what this Squeak 'thing'
The Ralph Johnson material also does do it at this point, but some of
his exercise might be extended into what I'm talking about. Also I've
started to re-explore some of the other Squeak related links. Frankly
I've not looked at Squeak for several months and does appear the more
material is there and/or things are getting more organized. Still
there is a long way to go to get a smooth entry portal for beginners.
> > > Which of the free books (or others) do you consider the best
> > > learning the language/libraries/environment as present in
> > Smalltalk?
> > Let me think about this, and maybe answer later. A broader
> > on books may help others on the forum?
> Sure. I note that Stef's books site is not directly linked from
> http://minnow.cc.gatech.edu/squeak/63. If we had links to select one
> right there, that might solve part of the problem.
Finally, it seems I need to look at David Fraught's app from today
and discussion. (I think I'm a fourth category, David. More on that
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