Excerpts from book:

This book is the book that I wanted when I started programming in Smalltalk. None of the books on the market seemed quite right; they all lacked some of what I needed to get my job done. Some were more like reference books, making sense if one already understood the material, but not very good if one lacked the basic knowledge. Others simply went over material that I could easily get by looking at the system classes using a Browser. The bottom line was that none of them seemed to provide answers to the questions I had: how do I use these capabilities when writing my application, how can I do the specific things I want to do, which is the best approach to take, how can I modify my development environment to make it more productive? In short, I wanted information that would steer me in the right direction and none of the books seemed to give that. This book is written for people who have similar questions and needs, who want to become productive in Smalltalk programming in as short a time as possible.

A lot of the material describes standard Smalltalk, but some material is specific to VisualWorks from ParcPlace-Digitalk. The book assumes that the reader is using VisualWorks 2.0 or VisualWorks 2.5, and where appropriate it explains the differences between these two releases. All the examples have been verified on both VisualWorks 2.0 and VisualWorks 2.5. Note that in most examples, to save space I have not shown the temporary variable declarations, so you will be prompted when you try to run or accept the code.


"Example is the school of mankind, and they will learn at no other". Like Edmund Burke, and like most people, I learn best from example. People generally find it difficult to take a theory and apply it to create a practical example. They usually find it far easier to take a concrete example, work with it, and extrapolate out the general behavior. Because of this, I've tried to include plenty of examples in the book, practical examples that the reader can use when developing applications. My goal has been to make this book different by focusing on practicality, on helping developers solve the real programming problems they face. The book has an attached diskette which contains the code for most of the examples.

This book presents the information that the reader needs in order to understand the concepts and the capabilities of Smalltalk. It then goes a step beyond and gives practical examples of how readers would use the capabilities when developing products. The book starts with the basic concepts of object-oriented development, specifically in the context of Smalltalk programming. It builds on this and talks about control structures, Collections, Streams, and other useful building blocks. Then it extends the basics and shows how the reader can use the Smalltalk classes when writing application programs.