How does a newbie get past the feeling thay he is trying to understand an elephant whilst looking through a keyhole?

Laurence Rozier laurence.rozier at
Sat Apr 29 17:21:58 UTC 2006


If you open the Objects tool from the World menu, you get some categories
which cut across packages, classes and methods . These categories are not
optimal or exhaustive, but they can help one zoom in on some wood. From
Object tools,select a category of interest(Graphics is a good choice), drag
out an object and bring up a halo and browse the class. Yes, you're back in
the browser but at least with a little context. If you do this with a few
objects in the category you'll notice similarites and differences. Now the
Object Explorer can help - there's nothing like working with wood! One easy
thing you can do to increase bandwidth while browsing is to open the World
menu and select Appearances/Preferences then browsing. Select
opeionalButtons. Now when you open a new browser, you'll get a row of
buttons which get you more wood. Mouse over the inheritance button and pay
attention to it's color. Hopefully all this helps some.

There is a deeper issue here which Americo has touched upon on the Croquet
list and I'd be very interested in your take on his tutorials at:

Other help is on the way.



On 4/29/06, Stephen Davies <stephen.l.davies at> wrote:
> Hi,
> I'm trying to get familiar with Squeak.  I used Smalltalk/V way back,
> have and read and understand the Smalltalk 80 book, so it's not
> completely new to me....
> But Squeak is so much bigger.  I'm really struggling to get an overall
> sense of the beast - I can't see the wood for the trees and for me, at
> least, the environment seems to contribute to that because of the
> method-by-method interface to the code seems to make it harder to get
> the big picture.  Methods are presented in alphabetical order, without
> much clue as to how they relate.  Similarly for classes.
> Are there any pointers/suggestions?  I feel like I'm missing some tool
> I don't know about.  It's great that you can see everything, but
> understanding for me would be aided with some sort of "gradual
> revelation"; a way to replace all the details of a class or bunch of
> classes with conceptual documentation - showing in a screen or two the
> overall story of that class's purpose and place in the system.  And a
> way to dip under that to the implementation as needed.
> Any comments or suggestions for me?
> Thanks,
> Steve Davies
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