September 2007


Sep 17, 2007: 20. Documented Squeak


In a time of unpleasant news about Smalltalk - see VW's 9-11? and Dolphin in coma - it is nice to report some good Smalltalk news:

At long last there is decent documentation for Squeak for beginners. It is called Squeak by Example, and it can be bought as a book and/or downloaded for free here

This gives access to a pdf-file of 3.6 MB.

This is very well done, by six people who really know Squeak - Andrew P. Black, Stéphane Ducasse, Oscar Nierstrasz, Damien Pollet, Damien Cassou and Marcus Denker - and it should help anyone who is interested in Squeak or Smalltalk to find his or her way in Squeak much faster and easier than before.

Indeed, this is the first extensive documentation of Squeak that I have seen that is well done and fairly complete.

Hence, if you are interested at all in Smalltalk or Squeak this is a must have, and indeed this much improves Squeak because it finally and for the first time has been well-documented.

This is a major improvement for Squeak and of Squeak's documentation.

When I first found Squeak, six years ago, there was hardly any documentation, outside a wiki with many bits of random entries by random users of random versions of Squeak, and it was hard, even by ways of the university library system, to find books about Smalltalk.

Over these six years little was done to documented Squeak properly (what was done, did it not very effectively nor completely), though one good thing that happened is that Stéphane Ducasse put out a lot of books about Smalltalk in pdf-form on line:

This was quite useful and helpful, except that it was not about Squeak but about various other versions of Smalltalk, often rather old also, and with an environment and code that differed from Squeak.

Now there finally is good documentation for Squeak, that should enable anyone who is new to Squeak and to Smalltalk to get it far more quickly than has been possible so far.

This should make Squeak much more interesting for many, because it makes Squeak much more accessible and much easier to understand, in a much smaller time than was required for this before.

And therefore this is good news for Smalltalk and for Squeak.

Maarten Maartensz


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