[self-interest] Hello! (or, What's the best way to learn Self?)

Jan-Paul Bultmann janpaulbultmann at me.com
Mon Dec 27 12:37:08 UTC 2010

Hey Casey,
Even though the docs on (http://docs.selflanguage.org/ , which you have probably seen :)) are a nice start. They are far from complete.
My approach was to set me a small goal of what I wanted to do with self. I wanted to get rid of the grey background and put in a nice pic.
Turns out I fabulously failed at it, because I wen't deeper and deeper down the system until there was noting more I could do, than contributing to our Klein VM written in Self :D

So instead of reading the docs from beginning to end, just jump into the image (and make a backup of it, best a clean fresh one, git comes there in pretty handy), consult them when there is something you can't quite grasp.
But the self environment is really a playground.
And you can of course always ask in the IRC channel fro a quick answer :) (I tend to shift my day night rhythm towards the american one on good days :D)

Cheers Jan
On Dec 27, 2010, at 6:56 AM, Casey Ransberger wrote:

> Forgive the newbie! I've been lurking for awhile, figured it was time.
> I found Squeak about three years ago, and it tied a lot of loose threads together for this particular token SIGPLAN weenie. I've read most of the Self papers, and am fascinated/awed by the object model. In a lot of ways it's close to an ideal to me.
> Smalltalk had this strange, unexpected effect on me: it crystalized things for me in a way that hadn't happened since Lisp, and before that, assembler. A lot of my preconceptions about programming disappeared into message passing, it's one of those new ideas that subsumes and unifies a set of old ideas. 
> I'm really excited about Self, because it attacks the few things that were hurdles for me when I was learning Smalltalk. What's the difference between a Class Variable and a Class Instance Variable, and why would a Class Instance Variable be different from an Instance Variable? And WTF is a "Pool Dictionary" anyway? It seems we don't speak of them for some reason:P 
> It's really good to see so much buzz around the system. When I first started reading about it, Self was a dead language, one of those mysterious wonders I would hear spoken about with reverence in mostly empty halls, lost to a microprocessor gone out of vogue, and only present like some distant, unseen celestial body, in the influence it exerts on other objects in its domain. 
> Now I'm hearing about new releases and it works on x86! Thank you!
> I figured I'd ask what a good starting point might be for picking up the syntax and UI: I grok the object model pretty well (I think.)
> -- 
> Casey Ransberger

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