[Pharo-project] small thoughts... system browser to show super methods & wide debugger

Ben Coman btc at openInWorld.com
Mon Mar 5 05:32:58 EST 2012

Just sharing some small thoughts as they cross my mind on the chance the 
are of any interest. Not necessarily looking for any response or action.

1. In the System Browser when viewing a method, this might include an 
expandable list of overridden methods.  Beneath the code of the current 
method being viewed each 'super' method would be listed with an 
expandable '+' symbol.  I have attached a mock up [1] showing all 
expanded but the default might be the collapsed state.

2. The debugger lists instance and temporary variables to be inspected, 
but not every object that 'passes through' the method being executed is 
held in a variable.  More often messages are chained together such that 
to inspect the object returned from the middle of this chain you need to 
select that bit of the code and choose to inspect it again.  However 
there may be side-effects of executing that a second time so you are not 
guaranteed to end up looking at the object actually encountered by the 
execution of the method. 

What would be interesting would be if in certain circumstances every 
object returned by every message in a method was held to be inspected.  
This might take the form of hovering or right-clicking on any message an 
choosing something like 'inspect context'.   The circumstances this 
might be turned on for could be:
a. globally
b. ongoing execution from within debugger
c. certain methods / classes / categories.

3. With screens getting much bigger, perhaps the debugger could have an 
option to show code from previous calls back to a certain level.  I have 
attached a mock up [2].  Even though this image shows using a lot of 
vertical space, this would be scrolled.  Ultimately it would be 
horizontal space required as the code steps in, but todays wide screens 
match this even better than those a few years ago. Note the yellow 
highlighted line in the top pane which can position how far back you look.

cheers, -ben

[1] SystemBrowser - showing-overriden-methods.png
[2] Debugger - expanded code display.png
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