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Discussion 3 - Ashley Durham

Having just taken 2335 this summer, I've become very good friends with the Java API. Whenever I sat down to program, I would open up the API at the beginning because I knew that I would probably need to reference it shortly. Therefore, when I found out that Squeak had no such API, I was frustrated and wondered how I would ever be able to learn how to program in this language.

However, I've come to learn that Squeak has a 'built-in' API of sorts. While there is no explicit API, there are several features that provide aid in programming. One such feature that I've found to be particularly helpful is the method finder. It allows you to type in the name of a method or even just a part of the method name. It then brings up all methods that match your input along with descriptions of those methods. This is particularly useful in Squeak because methods are named in an intuitive and useful manner. Usually, you can tell what a method does just by its name. To use the method finder, go the world menu -> open -> method finder. This is what you'll see.

Uploaded Image: methodfinder1.PNG

Though there are many ways to use the method finder, I will describe just one. Suppose that you want to find a method to help you manipulate a page you're working on for the Squeakpoint project. You simply type 'page' into the top pane, then hit Alt+s to accept your selection. It will then bring up a list of methods matching your selection. This is what it looks like.

Uploaded Image: methodfinder2.PNG

Suppose you are interested in the first method, addPageControlMorph. Simply click on the method name in order to see its description pop up on the right pane, like so.

Uploaded Image: methodfinder3.PNG

I have described in detail only one way in which a method finder can be used. Please refer to the instructions found in the lower pane of the method finder in order to find out about other useful information the method finder provides.

Two other discussions I found interesting and helpful are those of Laura Parker and Kalpit Patel.
Discussion 3 Kalpit Patel
Through Kalpit's post, I found out a bit more about the Squeak help website, He described the search feature that can be used to help you locate the help information relevant to your problem. He also discussed the examples that can be found on this site and are very helpful.

Discussion 3 - Laura Parker
Laura talked about overcoming the problem of not being able to switch windows without first saving code. This can be very frustrating if you need to reference another method you've already written in order to get the current method you're writing to compile. She offered the solution of opening up another browser window, and it is the best method that I have found for handling this problem as well. However, it can get crowded quickly with too many windows all over the place. I wish that Squeak provided a better way to handle this problem. This is one of the things that frustrates me most about Squeak.

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