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Discussion 3 (Part I/II) - Nick De Jesus
Without going into difficulties I'va had with the language, one feature I did find useful in Squeak is the System Browser window in general. With a neat, organized, easy to traverse, design, it provides one less head ache to finding out the inner workings of the languages, It is also rather useful for making new projects, as the the class/method categories portion of the window play rather well in organized and planning out one's program in true OO fashion. The searching and finding ability of the Browser is invaluable when finding new classes from which to pull vital methods from, especailly since every class/method you could possibly want/need is RIGHT THERE. Though the whole language leaves much to to be desired in the ways of documentation, its browser at least is easy enough to navigate and has a great UI. Accessing the System Browser is easy, as all one has to do is choose Open... and then Browser from the desktop menu or left-click once in the world (if in Windows/Linux)... but in Smalltalk, it is referred to as the Red button. Even if you do not like the lanugage Squeak, I know a feature like this System Browser is undeniably useful, and I can imagine how very handy a tool like this could be in other languages such as Java or C.
There are multiple parts to the System Browser:
- Class Categories - This does not hold code, but rather neatly organizes (usualyl alphabetically) ALL classes in Squeak, including ones you have made. Very good and quick to move around in. The find feature here makes shooting in the dark less painful.
- Classes - This, of course, displays the details of a class in focus. Good for inspecting and editing the general details of the class
- Method Categories - In true OO fashion, one wants to abstract as much detail away, and this lets you do that, while still keeping your many method organized into relevant groups according to functionality. This also makes it easier to premeditate the needs fo certain classes and its method while designing.
- Methods - naturally, you can program the methods directly in the System Browser. I for one do this often enough.
Ejike Onyekwuluje makes a very lengthy, but agreeable discussion regarding the Inspect feature of Squeak. This is a very handy tool indeed, and it essential in debugging as well as retaining high readbility and easy maintenance.
Jiasheng He also talks about their take on the System Browser, and it was good to hear another perspective on it. Their view is overall neagitve, but still valid. It complements my own discussion as far as discussing the advantages and disadvantages of the System Browser.
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