[Squeakland] Squeak first impressions and a couple questions

Bert Freudenberg bert at freudenbergs.de
Sat Nov 4 06:00:09 PST 2006

Hi Jeff,

we have a very friendly beginners list at


and the regular Squeak Developers list at



- Bert -

Am 03.11.2006 um 17:26 schrieb Kim Rose:

> Hi, Jeff -
> Welcome!  Reading your email indicates to me you have a somewhat
> technical background with programming languages and given such you
> might find a good community of colleagues through the "Squeak-dev"
> list  - subcribed to via the "Squeak.org" website.
> While I'd encourage you to "stick around this list" and participate
> in dicsussions, this list is read primarily by teachers, parents,
> technology coordinators, computer clubhousers, curriculum creators,
> etc.  People on this list wouldn't generally be familiar with things
> like Glade, WXSqueak or Seaside...(I think you'll find more of them
> off "Squeak-dev".)
> cheers and happy Squeaking,
> Kim
>> Hello all! :)
>> I'm a squeak newbie and pretty much a newbie to programming as a
>> whole. I've explored a little bit of a variety of languages, but
>> never really got serious about any of them because I always had the
>> impression that I would have to invest a great deal of time and
>> effort into studying them before I could use them to do anything
>> useful. This is an unfortunate thing for someone who really does
>> want to, (and sometimes "needs" to), do some programming.
>> Additionally, the languages I've looked at have always given me the
>> impression that even after learning them creating simple programs
>> from them would be a very time consuming process. This might be fine
>> for people who want to BE PROGRAMMERS, but what I want is to HAVE
>> WORKING PROGRAMS. (Bold there is for emphasis, I'm really not
>> shouting at you all :)
>> So anyway, after exploring and doing short tutorials in a lot of
>> languages, (c, C++, perl, ruby, java, php, Visual Basic, Basic), I
>> finally found squeak. This is the first one that I've really liked
>> at first glance. Why, you ask? Well, the first thing I loved about
>> it was that I was able to make a race car move around the screen
>> very quickly and now I know how to do it again in under 5 minutes if
>> I want to. But after I got over how cool that is and did a little
>> more sober reflection, (as well as searching the web to find out
>> what all there is to squeak), I started to appreciate it even more.
>> For one thing I don't know of any other language in which you can
>> modify an active script during runtime. Secondly morphic programming
>> seems very cool. I haven't fully got the hang of it yet, but it
>> looks like it has a lot of potential. Third, I was pleasantly
>> surprised to see some of the tools that have been included in
>> squeak, such as the painting program and wonderland. I'm also happy
>> to see the projects that are in the works, and I look forward to
>> using completed version of croquet and squeakNOS in the future.
>> On the downside, as I think others mention a lot I'd like to see
>> more and better documentation. Most of the tutorials I've found on
>> the web I have been unable to make work, and I believe it is because
>> they were written using an earlier version of squeak. Also the pages
>> I've opened with Scamper aren't being rendered properly. The only
>> other real downside I see at the moment is that some of the projects
>> I wish were complete aren't finished yet. Actually there is one
>> other one, and that's that it, (or the "e-toys" part of it? I'm not
>> sure exactly what the definition of etoys even is yet, is that just
>> whatever you make with the prepackaged morphs?), appears to be
>> marketed as if it were just for kids. I don't know why that's the
>> case. Comparing making the race car in squeak, (e-toys?) versus
>> doing so in another language reminds me of comparing running a
>> computer on DOS versus running one with an OS that uses a GUI. These
>> easy to conceptualize and use drag-and-drop, point-and-click
>> interfaces might be arguably childish, but I don't know too many
>> adults running DOS machines right now.
>> After having played around with squeak for about a week, I do have a
>> few questions, if anyone would be kind enough to answer them.
>> 1. When creating a new morph, how do you get it to appear in the
>> flaps registry?, ( I managed to successfully create a read only text
>> morph by copying the textmorph class and removing the
>> HandlesKeystroke method, but I don't know how to get it into the
>> supplies flap. )
>> 2. I figured out how to get my race car to react to keystrokes, but
>> I'd like to get it to react to keys that are still down. In other
>> words, when I keep holding the up arrow after hitting the left
>> arrow, I want it to continue accelerating without me needing to hit
>> the up arrow again. Is there a way to script "KeyBeingHeldDown" or
>> something like that?
>> 3. While playing around with text entries, I managed to get scripts
>> to fire based on the text's last character... unless that character
>> is the enter key. I tried <cr> for carriage return, and other
>> variations to represent that, to no avail. How can I start a script
>> from a person hitting enter after typing a command in the text field?
>> 4. I did see an older version of squeak that used a buttonbar in
>> which morphs could be placed on little squeak logos which would then
>> act as creators of those morphs. Was that removed, and if so why?
>> 5. Are there any plans to make some standard morphs for widgets such
>> as those which come with Glade or WXWidgets? I know about WXSqueak,
>> but I'm wondering if there are plans to make those kinds of windows,
>> listboxes, etc. as morphs, so that I can create and manipulate them
>> in the same way I do with all the other morphs. I understand that
>> it's unlikely that such morphs would look "native", but I believe
>> that is an overrated concern. Whether the aesthetics match my
>> windows theme, Mac, Unix, etc. defaults is not concerning to me. I
>> just want them to function in the same way.
>> 6. On that same note, any good tutorials for WXSqueak that work with
>> Squeak 3.8? (I did manage to get it installed through squeakmap, and
>> the system browser shows a lot of WXwidgets packages, classes, etc.
>> so I believe I did it right, but I have no idea how to use it.)
>> 7. Also, is there a tutorial for Seaside that works with Squeak 3.8?
>> Thanks!,
>> Julio :)
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