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Squeak-A Quick Trip to Objectlandby Gene Korienek
We have read our share of programming-language books and have learned much and little. The style used by conventional programming-language books is a blend between that of a reference book and that of a code-examples book, with some explanatory comments squeezed in between. When approaching the creation of this book, we never considered writing it in a conventional format. The unconventional nature of Smalltalk demands a novel approach. So, we wrote the book in the form of dialogues involving a human named Jim, who has reasons to converse about the nuances of the object-oriented paradigm, Smalltalk programming, and the Squeak environment. The dialogues take place between Jim and the Objective Wizard (an outspoken, outlandish, and outstanding object) in some chapters, and between Jim and the Objective Librarian (a well-spoken and reflective object) in other chapters.
It bears noting that the setting for this book is the virtual world of ObjectLand. However, since, as of yet, humans are unable to enter ObjectLand, you will want to keep in mind that ObjectLand's real-world analogue is Squeak.The intent of this book is to teach the reader to solve problems in the object-oriented paradigm and to implement solutions using the object-oriented programming language called Smalltalk in the Squeak environment. It must be read from start to finish and read completely. As you read it, you will soon realize that it is not a reference book. It is more like a storybook with To Do Lists. Read it as you would read a story. It has a plot; it has character; it's meant to entertain.
The other big difference between this book and conventional programming books is that you should have a current version of Squeak running in a computer next to you while you are reading. You can participate in the story, and the To Do Lists ask you to complete tasks to reinforce the chapters' information.
The conversation between Jim and the Objective Wizard contains English sentences interspersed with Smalltalk code. You can easily recognize the Smalltalk code because it is always in a different typeface--
This book can be read in about 15 sittings. That's one chapter per sitting. The completion of the To Do Lists is mandatory. A To Do List appears at the conclusion of each chapter. You will notice that the completed To Do code is not included with the book. The reason for this is that we all know you will look at it as soon as a To Do task gets difficult. We don't want you to look at our solutions to these tasks. We want you to work through the difficulties and reap the learning rewards. If you really want to see our solutions, then check the "About the Authors" section to find out where we are.
Learning Smalltalk and the Squeak environment can be a tricky task, but after teaching introductory and advanced Smalltalk classes for a few years, we have figured out how people learn to use Smalltalk. We have found this book's approach to be an extremely effective path to understanding the object-oriented concepts and gaining skill in solving problems by writing squeaky clean code--in Squeak.
Try it, it works!
Once you have completed this book, you probably will not need it again. You will have been introduced to the cast of characters and will have learned the story. You will need a more advanced book. We suggest that you continue your journey up the Smalltalk learning curve by rambling through the list of texts for further reading that we've included in the back of this book--or perhaps, look for a future ObjectLand book someday.
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Computers and Internet » Computer Languages » Smalltalk