[self-interest] Our two weapons are fear and surprise...and..

Michael Latta lattam at mac.com
Wed Aug 5 21:54:33 UTC 2009

No question having an interactive interpreter is useful for a novice  
to experiment.  Where image based systems excel is when a paused  
system can be explored programmatically. Being able to bounce between  
running the system and exploring the objects is where image based  
systems really excel.  Being able to use code to walk object graphs  
while the main execution is paused is something the current crop of  
IDEs fall short.  In my experience the masters of the language are the  
ones with loaded workspaces full of magic incantations that save them  
lots of time and "magically" expose the system they are working on in  
ways a novice would not think to use.  Slogging through object  
inspectors in Java IDEs is not the same as debugging a Smalltalk or  
Self system by a long shot.  A novice Smalltalk or Self user however  
will mostly drive the exploration manually.


On Aug 5, 2009, at 3:25 PM, Niko Schwarz wrote:

> Hi Michael,
> On 05.08.2009, at 23:13, Michael Latta wrote:
>>  With image
>> based programming there is also the ease of access to the objects and
>> internals that far exceeds most memory based programming
>> environments.  But, again mostly those benefit the experienced user.
> Now, are you sure that is the case? Because from my tries of teaching
> people smalltalk, I recall that blocks and the fact that you could
> look up the definition of ifTrue: did not help. But what did help was
> the ability to test an whose class we had just defined in a workspace.
> And then we tried out the inspector of an object, and after some
> confusion, I believe that was helpful, too (although the workspace
> might have been better).
> cheers,
> Niko
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