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Discussion 3 - Alex Groleau

Discussion III
Alex Groleau
gtg820w
9/25/2005

Eclipse/Squeak integration in #2.

Part I:

1. One major and general problem I have experienced in Squeak is that many classes that already exist in Squeak have few or no methods that are actually useful and a myriad of undocumented ones. This most likely results from the open-source nature of Squeak. Some classes are really bad, whereas others are somewhat respectable. Classes like the TextMorph require massive hacking of the original code at times to eliminate bugs and other oddities. There were some essential methods in TextMorph, like obtaining the caret position, that, looking directly at the source code, just returned the number one. Alternatively, one might be better off writing one's own class for doing something, even if Squeak already has the capability. More often, however, one should work around these problems so as not to alter pre-exisiting classes, but rather just extend from them and hope for the best.

2. I found two features of Squeak to be extremely useful. One was the FileDirectory class and the other was the FileStream class. Using these two classes I was able, to an extent, to integrate Squeak/smalltalk fully into the Eclipse IDE with complete CVS repository support. Now group members can code outside of Squeak (by directly editing the .st files) and have the code automatically imported back into Squeak for testing. Alternatively, group members can still code inside of Squeak, but there changes are not saved to preserve the repository. This basically forces everyone to file out their code as a .st file for the most flexibility in team projects. The FileDirectory has many useful enumeration commands that made it easy to sort through the local file system. The FileStream class has a nice method called fileIn: that I used to automatically file in .st files through Eclipse into a constantly clean Squeak image. Here is a screenshot of the overall system:

Uploaded Image: eclipseSqueak.jpg

Part II:

http://coweb.cc.gatech.edu/cs2340/4734 - Jiasheng He has discovered a very cool feature for browsing the heirarchy of Squeak and multiple classes at once in a very clean interface called Whisker Browser. This beats out the System Browser for sure and I am going to stick this in my team's default Squeak image.

http://coweb.cc.gatech.edu/cs2340/4726 - Wes Floyd found out a way to enable color syntax highlighting in Squeak. This is very useful for general syntax mistake checks. Amazing I didn't see this before.

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