A Lisper asks, "Am I supposed to like Smalltalk?"

Zulq Alam zulq at orange.net
Wed May 17 19:04:30 UTC 2006

Chris Muller wrote:
>> As someone who really misses the flexibility of a flat file *and* IDE
> navigation could you explain the benefits to me?
>  As someone who works in Java/eclipse every day, I find scrolling through the flat-files hard on my eyes and a total mess.  
In Eclipse you can either navigate using the explorer and outline *or* 
you can scroll. Are you sure it's not just the Java you're finding hard 
on your eyes? :-)

> The other thing that flat-file people seem to like are huge scrolling lists of packages, classes, methods, whatever.  Isn't it easier to simply type a few letters of what you want and make the computer show you a narrow list of choices?
Ctrl+H brings up a rather inelegant search dialog which will show you a 
list of choices, narrow depending on your criteria. So if you know what 
to search for you can, if you don't know what to search for you can look 
at the list in the file.

>  Two browsers.  Navigation within a single "text file" is just different keystrokes/mouse movements than navigation between windows, right?
I should have said two or more. It's an issue of screen real estate. 
Each editor can deal with all the methods in a class. You can then have 
multiple editors. A Smalltalk editor can only edit one method at a time, 
i.e. you can't move away from code that does not compile and that you do 
not want to save.

The tracing message browser is an improvement as you can easily switch 
between related methods. If you select a different method with a dirty 
editor it will open a new browser which is better but still not right. 
You should be able to browse independently of the changes you are making 
without forking.

>>    - Show how code is related by spatial relation to other code.
>  Not sure what this means..
A poor mans categories I guess. Put members that are related near each 
other. Distance unrelated ones with additional whitespace and or comments.

>  >    - Move around a class in a fuzzy way, e.g. Page Up/Down, Ctrl+End in
> Windows.
>  I assume you want to page up through the source and method declarations.  I suppose you could file-out the class..
It's maybe like glancing at a few of the methods in another category 
with one or two key strokes. The key stroke may not get you exactly 
there but it'll get you close enough. It's fuzzy because the page may 
straddle one or more categories and this may be what you want. You could 
even switch between a few quite easily once you get your bearings in the 
file. There may not even be any logical ordering of the file but you'll 
soon get your bearings anyway as above and below are easy concepts for 
us to internalise.

>  >    - Look at class declaration stuff easily (is there or could there be
> a key for this?). I'd just use Ctrl+Home in Windows to get to the top of
> a Java file.
>  Command+h on the class pane.
Thanks for the +H, helps get to the top of the editor - which I didn't 
know for Squeak. In a Java file I would have used this to look at the 
class declaration and first few member variables located at the top of a 
file. When looking at a method, the equivalent in Squeak is one mouse 
click to look at a different classes definition and *two* mouse clicks 
to look at that methods class definition!

>>    - Jump around the class method by method Ctrl+Shift+Down/Up in
> Eclipse - Squeak might be able to do this?
>  Sure, just arrow up/down the list of methods..
Firstly, you have to save any changes you've made in the editor and 
ensure they compile before you can do this or open another browser.

Secondly, you need to use the mouse to move the focus to the list.

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