New Squeaker Introduction

j thej at
Thu Nov 24 08:18:06 UTC 2005

Count me in on the documentation effort. I'm an ideal "Squeak  
Newbee" (aka  Sucker for Punishment ;-) to bounce tutorials and  
questions off of.

 From my perspective:

-The Squeak environment was the first point of confusion when I  
started to investigate it.
It is very different from a conventional environment in it's  
interaction and organization. Existing documentation for this is OK.  
However, I would like to see (..and will help build) a tutorial /  
cookbook on how to manage projects, filing in/out and other  
environment basics as such. I think a Cookbook / FAQ style would be  
best for teaching how to use specifics of the environment and  
especially Widgets.

-Following closely to my first point is exploring Squeak. I have yet  
to find a "complete" description of how to use a code browser; it's  
capabilities and what these capabilities allow the user/coder to do.

-The Smalltalk language is without a doubt the best documented aspect  
of Squeak. Unfortunately, it is also the simplest aspect of Squeak.

-After the Smalltalk language, I believe that the base objects should  
be taught. I have read opinions that state you don't need to know the  
"lower levels" of Squeak to start using it. Statements that say you  
can work at a higher level..but how can anyone do anything in  
Smalltalk/Squeak if they don't have a clue what is in the base  
classes and how to put them to use !!! I haven't found ANY  
documentation worth spit that 'introduces' the base classes. Teaching  
the base classes really needs to be a focus for any Squeak  
documentation effort. A BIG plus about the base classes is that they  
are not the 'moving target' that the rest of Squeak can sometimes be.  
They are mature and don't change much (right ?!!?)

One of my first efforts with Squeak was to learn eToys. I found the  
documentation at the time so spotty and incomplete that I wrote my  
own introduction:

Jason Hogue

On 23-Nov-05, at 4:45 PM, Blake wrote:

> On Wed, 23 Nov 2005 11:52:20 -0800, Jason B Burke  
> <jason.b.burke at> wrote:
>> I'd be happy to give you my perspective on this. The first language I
>> learned was
>> Basic (it was a sad start, but the only free option on the Apple ] 
>> [ =).
> Compadre!
>> I believe that the main issues is the documentation.
> One of the main issues, no question. The other main issue, IMO, is  
> that Squeak, in particular, is a moving target. Code rots faster  
> than it is replaced. That's why with, for example, Stephane's bot  
> book, he made his own simple context for learning.

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