Getting Started with Squeak

Kevin Fisher kfisher at
Thu Oct 1 13:04:11 UTC 1998

If I could just interject my 0x02 here...I've been touching Smalltalk on
and off for several years now (Thanks to Squeak I have a decent environment!).
However my first encounter with Smalltalk was back in the very early 80's when
I was still in elementary school...I saw a video about 'new' technologies and
it showcased Adele Goldberg giving a tour of the Smalltalk-80 system running
on either an Alto or a Star (memory is a bit fuzzy on this).  I believe
this was pre-Mac and definitely pre-Windoze.  From that point I've never
truly been able to seperate the GUI from the object...the Smalltalk
environment made a lot of sense (which is probably why I've never liked
or gotten used to regular C-based GUI programming).  It only really
makes sense to me to do GUI programming in an object-oriented fasion;
C++ is better than raw C for this (although MFC can make me cough
hairballs :).  However, none of it is _fun_ to do, it's more of a tedious
chore that detracts from what you are trying to do (I still shudder when
I think of my first Motif-based program...)

In my limited experience with Squeak & Morphic, I've found it to be pure
bliss compared to my C/C++ endeavours...with NO documentation I've figured
out a lot and I'm amazed how easy it is to put something together...not
in a lobotomized Visual Basic way, but in an intelligent and natural
way... (well, natural to a programmer anyway).

I've always thought of things in artistic terms...the painting is the end
result (what you are trying to visualise) and the programming language
is the tool or brush.  I think the C/C++ way has created a tool that is
more complex than the end ends up obscuring what you are
trying to visualize since you spend more time learning how to use the
tool than creating your work of art.  Refreshingly I've found Smalltalk
to be the other way around...the tool is easy to learn and almost seems
like a natural extension of my thoughts.

Anyway, enough of my rambling...I just have to agree that Smalltalk/Squeak
is a much easier way to do anything GUI related...and a heck of a lot
more fun, too.

(I must thank the Squeak team for making this wonderful environment
available, and even taking the time to respond to my silly 
questions too...)

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