[squeak] Re: SLOC in Squeak History

michael.cole at nimiq.net michael.cole at nimiq.net
Tue May 11 11:26:48 UTC 2004

Hi Sam,

You bring up great points re: the power of Smalltalk. Within a method,
one can often take in the context of any piece of code without the need
to scroll. It seems cognitively plausible that this is a huge efficiency
in constructing the mental model of the logic that is the method.

Sam Adams <ssadams at us.ibm.com> wrote:

> Steve Burbeck gathered a lot of metrics on Digitalk Smalltalk years ago.
> We had lots of discussions about the squidgy issues mentioned.
> We decided to measure message sends per method, which over the entire image
> averaged to 6.  In most cases these methods where less that 6 lines long,
> including method header, comments and blank lines.
> I've seen lots of really long methods in Squeak as opposed to Digitalk
> Smalltalk, but I would bet the average is still around those numbers.  The
> really interesting thing about that figure is that it almost guarantees
> that the vast majority of methods will be readable at a glance, assuming
> the programmer used decent naming practices.
> Another interesting observation about the nature of Smalltlak code is the
> environmental impact of nearly all method code being written in a browser
> with a relatively small edit pane.  Since you can see most method source at
> a glance in the browser without scrolling, you tend to write methods that
> way, too.  This "above the fold" influence of the design of the IDE has had
> a huge impact on the inherent simplicity of most Smalltalk code, though it
> was probably an artifact of low res displays and the desire to have several
> windows/browsers visible at once, IMHO.
> Regards,
> Sam
> Sam S. Adams, IBM Distinguished Engineer, IBM Research
> tie line 444-0736, outside 919-254-0736, email: ssadams at us.ibm.com
> <<Hebrews 11:6, Proverbs 3:5-6, Romans 1:16-17, I Corinthians 1:10>>

More information about the Squeak-dev mailing list