Editing class method sources in single place

Diego Fernández diegof79 at gmail.com
Thu Jan 31 17:39:02 UTC 2008

Hi, I'm following this thread with interest because I’m trying to  
learn about interaction design.

I want to add some comments to the discussion:
There is an assumption that the current browser is difficult or  
strange for the newbie. But that assumption is not backed by any survey.

I think that interfaces for “beginners” are good for “casual”  
applications like multimedia kiosks. But for applications that we use  
regularly,  we start as beginners and them we want to become  
“intermediate” as soon as possible. So a good interface design should  
allow the transition from beginner to intermediate quickly.

 From that point of view, the justification of editing all methods  
like in a text file, just to make the system friendly to new comers,  
is not good enough. The system is better for beginners if you can  
learn the system model quickly, a flat view of methods maybe looks  
nice but is not going to help with the fact that browsers are an  
special kind of inspectors for method dictionaries and classes.

To me the source of usability problems in browsers is that there is  
two modes of work: editing and browsing.
One problem is that when you are in “edit mode”, you can’t browse  
code: you have to save the code first, or open a new browser window.
And when you are in “browsing mode” and start to follow senders,  
implementors, references you end with a lot of browsers opened but  
just a few a relevant.

And for beginners, I think that big annoyance in Squeak are not  
multiple browsers, but hotkeys,  input focus, and undo.
For example the FillInTheBlankMorph lost the focus when you point the  
mouse pointer to another place, this is an unexpected behavior.


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