How does a newbie get past the feeling thay he is trying to
understand an elephant whilst looking through a keyhole?
Roel.Wuyts at ulb.ac.be
Mon May 1 07:11:49 UTC 2006
Indeed; this is one of the things I wanted to add to the
StarBrowser,but never found the time to do. But it coiuld be worth it...
I would add:
1- classification: 'Basic Collections' : Set, Array, String,
OrderedCollection, SortedCollection (and maybe Stream)
2- classification: 'Basic Enumeration methods' : #do:, #collect:,
3- classification: 'Boolean' : True, False
4- classification: 'Loops and conditions' : #ifTrue:, ifFalse:,
ifTrue:ifFalse, ifFalse:ifTrue, #while:do:, ... (some more)
5- classification: 'Interesting objects' : Smalltalk, ??
More suggestions ?
All of these methods/classes should have a comment with some very
simple examples (I guess quite a lot of these already do).
On 30 Apr 2006, at 22:11, Ralph Johnson wrote:
> Most Smalltalk classes build on a lot of other Smalltalk classes.
> So, they are hard to understand until you know the classes that
> they use.
> In fact, you can't print out Object and completely understand it,
> because it has methods like "inspect" that call a lot of other
> classes. It is possible to build the image up from a small base,
> but it is not done one class at a time. Each layer is partly new
> classes and partly adding methods to existing classes. This is a
> good thing, not a bad thing, but it makes it harder to learn
> When an expert teaches Smalltalk, it is like getting a guided tour
> of a city. We show just the part of Smalltalk that a beginner is
> able to understand, and avoid the parts that are confusing until
> they have the background. You don't get that by looking at the
> image. For example, I tell people to ignore the GUI, the compiler,
> and all the tools at first. Just focus on Collection classes and
> numbers. We spend several weeks with just the core classes before
> we move on to other things. The GUI is way more cool, but I think
> students learn better if you ignore it at first.
> Unfortunately, one of the disadvantages of Smalltalk over Java is
> that it is harder to learn on your own. It is not hard to learn
> with a guide, but newcomers don't know what to look at and what to
> ignore. It would help to have a beginners browser that hid most of
> the classes that beginners want to ignore anyway.
> -Ralph Johnson
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