[Pharo-users] [ann] gtdebugger in pharo 5.0

Martin Bähr mbaehr at email.archlab.tuwien.ac.at
Sun Jan 10 11:04:40 EST 2016

Excerpts from Sven Van Caekenberghe's message of 2016-01-10 16:21:10 +0100:
> I have written many serious libraries with lot's of documentation and I have
> supported them for years, I have written standalone articles for various
> audiences and I am active on the ML's; I did my part for your points a) to e)
> Should I stop if even you cannot see it ? 

maybe this is the part of the problem, there is a lot of stuff, but it is not
always easy to find.

the graphic last month with a list of interesting tools and libraries for
various aspects of pharo was very informative. more of that would be nice.

same goes for documentation, a lot of it exists, but it could maybe be structured better.

what i mean here is, to group documentation by topic:

what do you want to do?

gui programming:
  from introduction to morphic/bloc/etc to serious complex gui applications
web development:
  seaside tutorial
  zinc tutorial (that is an excellent beginner tutorial btw)
  rest, etc...
data visualization:
  introduction to roassal, from simple example to advanced. most if not all of
    that is in the agile visualization book.

> You helped with PBE and did screencasts, which is b) - is that a 'complete'
> lack of beginner documentation ? 

since last year i have observed several students from middle-school to
university level, who all managed to learn pharo with little help, just by
pointing them to a series of tutorials.

the only extra motivation i have given them is a small task to solve on top of
each tutorial. very rarely i had to answer extra questions. for the most part
the students were able to work on their own with only the existing
documentation available to them.

while this is only anecdotal evidence, it shows that pharo is approachable by
beginners. and i would claim, even complete beginners who have never programmed
before, however i don't know if any of my students actually were complete

> Yes, Pharo (Smalltalk) is a bit strange, needs some getting used to, but
> basically it is like most other OO languages (but better ;-).

and i would say it is only strange to those who are already somewhat
experienced and have only seen and used curly-brace languages.

> I disagree, I once let one of my sons take some Python lessons on the
> Raspberry PI. We had quite a few WTF moments, not the least when things did
> not go as advertised (in other words, error messages and debugging is ugly as
> hell). But more importantly the course (one of the 'best') started explaining
> weird syntax from the beginning, that is not beginner friendly at all. The
> underlying model is not nice, you cannot hide that for long.

what i like about python syntax for beginners is the indenting. it teaches
clean code formatting. the rest is no better or worse than other similar

greetings, martin.

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