First impressions [was: Re: Word from the Squeakend]

Henrik Gedenryd Henrik.Gedenryd at
Tue Mar 14 08:31:55 UTC 2000

Dan Ingalls wrote:

> One thing became clear during the first day, and that is the need to work on
> our first impressions on the website and, more importantly, in the
> Squeak release image.

Alright! I've assembled a few ideas I'll happily share.

> We declared a new Squeak Central Project to this end that will consist at
> least of the following general items:
> Remove as many irritants as possible (surprising window controls, etc).

Whenever you (read: "I") try to bring a "Play with me" to the front you get
a gratuitious chance to rename it.

1. It shouldn't happen.

2. These windows should have informative names already from the start :-)

3. Even better, show mini-pics of the projects instead of just text
labels/minimized windows. Perhaps a thumbnail of just a *part* instead of
the whole of the project desktop to make its contents less small. Also, both
a picture + describing text wouldn't be bad. And/or balloon help.

3b. project mini-windows could preferrably be morphs (eg. placeable on the
desktop) instead of windows. Then you could place them all on a background
and nest that or put that away; or put explanatory text next to it, balloon
help, etc.

(In MVC this would be a Morphic world window.)

> Use the first screen to introduce the major features of Squeak

So why not have the system start in Morphic from the beginning. A very
subtle way of introducing it...   I know some will find it slow but a way
into MVC could be provided. Or even "hold down shift to start up in MVC".

- A SqueakBook taking you through the configurations you would want to do
would be nice (preferences, appearance, etc.). Even nicer if it would
generate & file out a "script" that will reinstate all these in a fresh

This book might even explain such things as matching Squeak & OS screen bit
depth for max speed, etc.

> Devote a project to each of these, with documentation as well as demos

- A guide to the various web-sites, with URLs and descriptions of what they
contain, would be very nice. (Eg. the GSUG fixes mirror, uiuc, etc.)

- Just as a tip, a note learned from web pages: Outdated contents sometimes
look worse than no contents at all. Eg. "What's new in 2.4" does look worse
than no "what's new" at all. In general, anything that will make the age of
something become obvious is best avoided.

- Why not include some text material in the image: 1) Many people have modem
connections. 2) It's easier to find, esp. for a newbie.

I'm thinking of Andrew's (I think) Quick Reference sheet, for instance; a
Smalltalk BNF; a Mac character & ascii table (for Bert ;-) .

Just my 2 cents,


< = > .

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