[squeak-dev] Where's the beef? (Was: Re: [Newbies] [semi-OT] (fwd)
Re: What Killed Smalltalk?)
lenglish5 at cox.net
Sat Dec 12 08:59:40 UTC 2009
To continue and extend my rant in response to this thread, here are
examples of Books I'd Like to See for Squeak/Pharo:
Books like these:
Articles like these:
interfaces like these:
Without these kinds of materials available specifically oriented towards
squeak/pharo use, your average beginning/intermediate programmer is NOT
going to find squeak/pharo all that attractive.
Another area lacking (where squeak should shine above all others) is in
the voice-over demo/tutorial on youtube arena. A youtube video of
VNC-based pair-programming on a beginning/intermediate level problem
using squeak could be very compelling, I think. This would be the poor
man's version of my idea about a web-cast of a live pair-programming
session. Actually doing the live webcast, complete with mutli-channel
chat/feedback/comments/questions and then making it available the way
Metanomics interviews are, would be a very good teaching/marketing tool
for Smalltalk. A primitive example of this is found about 2 minutes into
this science friday video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4fWPwOLJFA8
People have devised web-page playback of the video synced with the local
chat discussion without the distracting superposition of the text chat
on top of the video image, which could be very useful in a
teachingseminar context, I believe.
Lawson English wrote:
> Steve Wessels wrote:
>> That's right. Smalltalk hasn't died. I am fortunate enough to be
>> part of a team developing financial software for many years using
>> People have predicted Smalltalk's death about as often as Apple's death.
>> I think comparisons between Smalltalk and Java have to take marketing
>> into account.
>> Paying Smalltalk work is harder to find. Here's an interesting
>> twist. Companies looking for skilled Object Oriented developers, if
>> they understand what they need, will seek programmers with Smalltalk
> Speaking as a long-term script kiddie who likes to collect languages,
> I can tell you that the main reason(s) why *I* find Smalltalk
> difficult to use involve(s): lack of documentation, lack of
> well-documented example code, lack of compsci teaching materials
> written with Smalltalk for the example code, etc. Notice a trend?
> Smalltalk may have been designed to be easy to learn and use, but it
> has never been adopted by the pedagogical community of teachers and
> how-to book-writers, so naturally new programmers (from whom
> experienced programmers grow) are never attracted to it.
> The main issue is lack of ways for new programmers (experienced in
> other languages or otherwise) to learn not just the syntax of the
> language, but how to DO stuff with it.
> E.G.: I can't grab the Unix Programming or Unix Network Programming
> books by Stevens and work through Smalltalk equivalents of the example
> code. There's no Data Structures in Smalltalk books, nor Algorithm
> Analysis in Smalltalk books, nor build your own virtual world from
> scratch using Smalltalk and OpenGL, or Game AI in Smalltalk, or...
> There IS a Numerical Methods book in Smalltalk, but that's hardly
> beginner/intermediate level, IMHO.
> You get the idea. All the reference material for Smalltalk is geared
> for complete beginners, or for people who are exceedingly experienced.
> No middle ground.
> And some of the most interesting (sounding) aspects of Smalltalk, such
> as the Teatime architecture, are hardly covered in ways that relative
> newcomers can understand (speaking as a relative newcomer with a 2
> year AAS degree and a couple decades intermittent experience
> Smalltalk (e.g. Squeak) may not be fast enough to be used in high-end
> production implementations, but surely it could be the
> language-of-choice for learning new aspects of compsci and
> programming. After all, many of these "new aspects" of compsci and
> programming were originally developed/matured using Smalltalk. Why
> should people have to go to a less versatile language in order to
> actually learn to use the results of Smalltalk-based research?
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