the Difficulty of using squeak

Lex Spoon lex at
Sat May 14 00:00:58 UTC 2005

Hey guys,

Thanks for taking the time to desrcibe the pain in detail.  :)  It is
very helpful for figuring out how to make things easier for new people.

There is such a thing as "minimum extent" in Morphic but right now it is
not honored.  Just browse to #minimumExtent to see what I mean!  The
answer to that particular question is the following, a method I have
written many many times at this point for various Morph classes I make 

	extent: aRectangle
		^super extent: (aRectangle max: self minimumExtent)

I wish the root extent: class did this by default.

Regarding documentation of frameworks, I think the swiki is a great
place to document them.  It's easy to do and it avoids burdening the
harvesting process.

Regarding layouts in general, it sounds like the system just isn't very
polished right now.  I think you are right that these infinite loops can
happen (and that sort of thing is high on *my*  wish list for making
Morphic nicer to use--Smalltalk should be a *safe* language that cannot
screw you up like that if you misstep).  I actually like the two-stage
logic that you complain about, and I don't see how that would cause
infinite loops.  It actually looks like it will help, by separating
activities into two parts.  First you handle all the events, and then
you do the layout, and then you do any redrawing that is necessary.  If
layout happens while events are in the middle of being processed, that
sounds like a recipe for confusion!

Hang in there, guys.  I'm sure you guys will get on your feet soon!  

And for the future, I don't think we have a great process for posting
comments right now.  I guess you could post changesets to Mantis that
include new class comments?  Then they'll get reviewed and ultimately
harvested if they sound good.  Also, if anyone is super-eager about
improving the new-user experience in Squeak, by all means spearhead a
team to work on that issue.  I'm sure a lot of people will help out if
someone stepped up to do the grungy organizational workk.


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