Squeak: A Quick Trip to ObjectLand
||Author: Gene Korienek, Tom Wrensch, Doug Dechow|
List Price: $39.99
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Publisher: Addison-Wesley Pub Co (13 December, 2001)
Sales Rank: 306,023
Average Customer Rating: 3.4 out of 5
Customer ReviewsRating: 4 out of 5
An unstructured introduction to Smalltalk, not for everyone
Smalltalk is a language that I have played with on and off over the years, but have never approached with a great deal of seriousness. This spring, I will be teaching a course in programming language concepts for the first time. Therefore, when I received this book, I was happy for the chance to refresh my knowledge of the language. Squeak is an open source implementation of Smalltalk and it is very easy to use. The CD with the book contains an implementation of Squeak and it is possible to download it from the website ...BR> Written in the style of a chat between the user and a Smalltalk objective wizard, the conversation steps you through the basics of object-oriented programming, as implemented in Smalltalk. It is not a typical book on how to program, to get up to full speed in Smalltalk, you will have to find some additional material to work through. Nevertheless, it works very well as an introduction to the structure of the Smalltalk language.
To people who are accustomed to reading traditional introductory programming books, this one may turn them off. While there is some of the traditional sequence that starts with a "Hello World" program and goes through variables, conditional expressions and loops; file I/O and user-defined data types, it lacks much of the standard structure. The authors rely on the chat method sending messages to shift the knowledge from source object to target object.
If you are interested in a basic introduction to the Smalltalk language and can tolerate a conversational approach to learning, then this book will work for you. However, if your interest is in learning more than the basics or you prefer a structured approach to learning, then this book will probably not serve your needs.
Rating: 3 out of 5
Nice introduction to squeak
As an object-oriented programmer, I found this to be an excellent book despite some obvious deficiencies. As a C++ and Java programmer accustomed to using VI, I found this book helpful in that it contains a very nice introduction to the Squeak environment, in which all squeak code is written and run. The book covers Smalltalk syntax and basic OO design. It is written in an enlightened manner as a dialog between two objects (a teacher and a student) who pass messages back and forth. In this manner, the object-oriented paradigm is used even in so far as the gramatical style of the book. It is a quick and fun read but at times trite. A few obvious typographical errors exist. Unfortunately, the arrangement of topics in the book is awkward and prevents anyone from experimenting with any substantial code until they have finished 3/4 of the book. It is essential that anyone new to Smalltalk works the exercises as they appear in the text inorder to develop some experience with the environment. Anyone wishing to use Smalltalk to solve real problems must obtain further language references, as this book is only a brief introduction.
Rating: 1 out of 5
Buy "Smalltalk 80 The Language" instead.
This book stands out for all the wrong reasons. I've got quite a few books in my little CS library and this is the only book I've regreted buying. Squeak is a Smalltalk-80 system with extra libraries for multimedia and communications. For the same price as this book you can learn about Smalltalk from the "Smalltalk 80 The Language" book. This book is more detailed, has extensive example code for the presented techniques, has an entire example system, and it actually challenges the reader instead of insulting his intelligence. The Squeak book falls flat on these points. I think it was Alan Perlis who said that a language which didn't change the way you thought about programming wasn't worth knowing. Smalltalk is one of those languages worth knowing. The Squeak book doesn't get this message across. This book is not about enlightenment. You will never find yourself closing this book then sitting back inorder to give yourself a chance to try to inernalise some idea which you suspect you only half understood. The reason why is not because of fantastically clear writing but because you never get past the "point the mouse at this..... now click and type the name of the class" stage.
If you want to learn about Squeak and you realise understanding requires effort, then don't buy this book.
· Squeak: Object-Oriented Design with Multimedia Applications
· Smalltalk With Style
· Squeak: Open Personal Computing and Multimedia
· Powerful Ideas in the Classroom
· Smalltalk, Objects, and Design