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Discussion 3 - Robert Simpson
One problem that I initially had in Squeak was attempting to pass instances of classes. I quickly found out that since Squeak is a type-less variable system, you can not type cast variables and pass them. If this were possible I could have simply sent a ‘self’ to another class who would then be able to execute methods and have access to variables within. I could not find any information on type casting within Squeak, so I knew that this was not an option. By redesigning my class system I was able to overcome this problem. The class I wanted to pass the instance to now owned that instance and performed all operations on it. This is something I’ve found throughout Squeak; that one class needs to drive all of the others. There is not a lot of jumping around between classes allowed because there are no singletons or casting.
One thing I found very useful in Squeak is the open ended code design. Every time I dive into the Java source code I quickly try to get out. However, in Squeak source code all seems much more organized and simple. I like being able to look at all of the default classes and their code because it helps my own coding style, as I can take pieces of their code to use on my own. I also like how you can examine any object in Squeak, including the menus. This makes everything you do in Squeak an opportunity to learn something new. It also keeps the design much more open, so that it can be altered by many people to be the most efficient.
I found Nick's post good because it highlighted how much easier the system browser makes organization in Squeak. He also talks about how open the code is, which was something I found very good about Squeak myself. The system browser is a useful tool that most Squeak programmers enjoy about the interface.
I also read William's post about how he cannot figure out how certain premade classes are used. This was a problem I ran into a few times myself, some classes are not well documented enough. The user is left trying to play with a class until it magically works. He liked the inspect function in Squeak which is very useful for finding out data types or specific values.
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