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Discussion 3 - Colin Gillens

Discussion 3 - A problem with Squeak.

My first and most difficult problem with Squeak up to this point manifest itself in the Workspace tool. After seeing the professor using this tool in order to instantiate and manipulate objects I began to attempt to follow along and create my own objects with different behaviors. My problem arose when in the process of creating objects I neglected to provide handles through which I might be able to reference the objects. The problem seems trivial now, and in other object oriented languages I wouldn't have imagined that I would ever attempt to manipulate an object through it's class name, but something about Squeak just seemed simple to me to the point where such a manipulation might be possible.

I trace the problem to the presentation of the programming language itself. The unprofessional and mostly unstructured layout of the interface and the connection of the underlying Smalltalk code intended for use by children all but tells me that it should be expected that basic coding principles and approaches do not apply.

What I see now is quite the opposite of my original subconcious assesment. Keeping in mind that the programming language is developed on a platform meant to be introductory, it now makes more sense to me that rather that having the material abridged for a younger age group, the developers would have instead allowed the freedom in the environment which seems to exist while also enforcing the standards of structured code I have come to know from the later languages with which I am more familiar.

The term handle I used refers to a 'variable' name.

This is the segment of code which frustrated me when I could not get the desired behavior.
StarSqueakAntColony openInWorld

This is the acceptable segment of code as I realize it now.
antColony _ StarSqueakAntColony new.
antColony openInWorld

Useful Discussions

Discussion 3 - Jiasheng He
I found this discussion particularly useful because I accustomed to having a more complete view of a class through scrolling a single frame as one would in a traditional file editor for JAVA or C. I was unaware of this view prior to reading the discussion but I definitely intend to utilize it in the future in order to edit multiple functions of a single class at one time. This view allows for a more fluid coding approach giving a programmer the ability to adjust details of various functions which would communicate or hinder communication simultaneously.

Discussion 3 - Nirav Shah
This discussion pointed me in a good direction to ways to implement aspects of Milestone 2. My group will be working on coding within the FillInTheBlankMorph and the CustomMenu objects to accomplish layout and template selection.