Good, thorough Smalltalk reference

Lynn Hales lhales at
Mon Jan 16 18:25:30 UTC 2006

Hello Gary and All, for me documentation is paramount.  By looking at how many Smalltalk programmers there are and how many "newbies" there seem to be there is a large barrier to entry that I think many can't or don't want to see.  It's documentation, how to's, cook books, best practices all in book form - electronic or paper. Class comments are very important but they are not even close to a substitute.  Up to date writings are mandatory for wider adoption and participation.  All the talk about learning the class library, how to program in Smalltalk, how to create GUI's in Morphic by reading Class comments is nuts.  That's not a best practices approach and by just looking around it is easy to see it isn't working.

If we want the benefits of wider participation in the Squeak world then we need to write and keep what has been written up to date.  Lynn

Monday, January 16, 2006, 4:22:29 AM, you wrote:

GF> Rich,

GF> Others have offered far better than two cent's worth; all I've got is one
GF> shiny penny.  As has been pointed out, Squeak and Smalltalk are dynamic
GF> systems which change both with development and with use, so a generic book
GF> is bound to be at least somewhat inaccurate.  My suggestion, therefore, is
GF> to look into a book which defines or even includes the precise version of
GF> Squeak (or other Smalltalk) upon which it is based.  This will, by the
GF> nature of the beast, leave you with a more or less outdated version of the
GF> language, but it shouldn't be outdated by much and can probably be updated
GF> (as can you) fairly easily.

GF> The most current of these, as far as I know, is Stef's "Squeak: Learn
GF> Programming with Robots," ISBN 1590594916.  This book takes the reader by
GF> the hand, assuming nothing, and leads on to a pretty fair overview of both
GF> Squeak / Smalltalk and of programming in general.  A huge advantage of this
GF> book is the author's active participation on this list.

GF> Two more excellent choices are Mark Guzdial's "Squeak: Object-Oriented
GF> Design with Multimedia Applications" (ISBN 0130280283) and his later
GF> "Squeak: Open Personal Computing and Multimedia" (ISBN 0130280917).  Both of
GF> these are based on older versions of Squeak (which they include) and deal
GF> especially, as you might guess, with Squeak's particular strengths in
GF> multimedia, but both are quite useful.  Finally, "Squeak: A Quick Trip to
GF> ObjectLand" (ISBN 0201731142) by Gene Korienek et al, teaches Smalltalk in a
GF> conversational manner which some love and some hate, using Squeak (included)
GF> as its foundation.

GF> None of these are "references" per se, which as others have pointed out is a
GF> tough thing to do, but any of them can bring the user to the point where the
GF> self-referencing features of Squeak / Smalltalk can be understood.

GF> I hope that helps.

GF> Gary

GF> ----- Original Message ----- 
GF> From: "Rich" <rjseagraves at>
GF> To: <squeak-dev at>
GF> Sent: Sunday, January 15, 2006 9:23 PM
GF> Subject: Good, thorough Smalltalk reference

GF> So that I don't have to keep posting queries to this list like the one
GF> I just posted, I was wondering if anybody could recommend a good,
GF> thorough Squeak/Smalltalk language reference.  So far searching online
GF> I've found alot of "The 5 minute intro to Smalltalk" type stuff, but
GF> as these intros becomes less helpful as I try to do more interesting
GF> stuff (after all, you can only add 2 numbers or filter a list so many
GF> times in the Workspace before the "coolness" wears off ;-).  Thanks
GF> alot.

GF> -Rich

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Best regards,
 Lynn                            mailto:lhales at

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