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Re: [Help-smalltalk] GNU vs. Squeak vs. VW

From: David Given
Subject: Re: [Help-smalltalk] GNU vs. Squeak vs. VW
Date: Thu, 19 Jul 2007 00:19:40 +0100
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Frank Sergeant wrote:
> Could the regular users of GST describe how they go about developing and
> debugging in GST?

Back when I used to do Smalltalk development I did it in traditional Unix
style: vi (or possibly nedit in those days) and discrete program runs.
Debugging happens with print.

I'll admit that I've never been terribly happy with the Smalltalk browser
big-pile-'o-code system of development. IMO, you lose all the meta information
about how your code is organised, i.e. what file it's in and where in the file
it is; it means that you can't put disparate code chunks next to each other.
Of course, there are other categorisation systems such as, er, categories, but
they never seem as useful to me.

What's more, I generally distrust the business of developing code in an image.
Without periodic resets and recompiles from scratch, you run the risk of
ending up with unreproducible state in the image; for example, if your app
built a data structure with code that you then removed, the image will still
work but any rebuild will fail.

(It's interesting to note that the professionals tend to serialize their
images to CVS periodically --- typically daily --- and start each session with
a fresh image. Which means that they are, to a certain extent, following
traditional compile-run-debug methodology...)

Of course, I come from a traditional Unix background, and tend to prefer the
methodologies and programming styles that I'm used to. Enough enterprise-level
Smalltalk code has been written using different methodologies that I'm sure it
all works very well for people who are used to that. But that's not what you

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