Monday, July 25, 2005

Into Smalltalk

I think it is a good idea for a software developer to frequently learn a new programming language ( Even if you don't need the language at work, it'll change the way how you look at problems. So for this year, I decided to learn some Smalltalk. Well, I have to admit that it is not totally new to me. I've done a bit Smalltalk a few years ago but it was fairly basic. This time, I'll do a little application to cover different aspects and to really learn the language. The application is about recording working times for the projects I'm working with. Nothing spectacular but I think it has the right size for a "pet project". The application will get a small web interface which I plan to implement in Seaside.
After checking out Cincom Visual Works and Squeak, I opted for the latter since it runs at reasonable speed on nearly every platform. Visual Works is also pretty cross-platform but the user interface was so damn slow on my PowerBook that I wasn't able to really work with it. Squeaks user interface is, well, some sort of ugly but it's ok and very functional. And because my application will get a web interface, I don't really care about this.
Finally, I found a great book that's freely available online. It's called "Smalltalk by Example", you can get it from I immediately liked the style this book is written. If you are an experienced software developer, you can get the important things out of the book without having to read through much "noise". It's also a very good reference.
Oh, and one more thing at the end. There is a great intro into Squeak available at It contains some nice videos.


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