Questions about usage of the system and tools

Getting Started

Postby cgittinger » 28. Apr 2009, 12:02

I have got a number of questions on how to start getting to know smalltalk and especially st/x.

I admit, that it may be quite hard to get a system like that to know easily - our resources in writing documentation are limited, so for many questions, the old answer "use the source, luke" still applies.
Once you are familiar with the browser, and got a feeling on how to search senders, implementors etc. you will probably have less trouble with missing documentation.

One thing which is completely useless, and therefore not delivered is "javadoc-kind-of" generated class documentation. There is a menu item in the browser to generate it upon request, and it can also be seen through the builtin webbrowser - either locally or on http://live.exept.de.

Most documents are found both in the system itself via the launchers documentation menu, and via the web on the documentation server http://live.exept.de/doc/online/english. Notice, that the web-texts are typically less up-to-date, as it represents the documentation of the running server on that system, which is typically somewhat older.

I recommend starting with the "tutorial for beginners". It can be opened via the launchers "documentation" menu, or in the web (http://live.exept.de/doc/online/english/getstart/tutorial.html).
This text includes a more or less step-by-step introduction to the workspace and browser tool, describes the smalltalk language, and provides first hints for web-application and GUI-application programming.

Then browse through the tool documentation (the next menu item in the launchers documentation menu, or http://live.exept.de/doc/online/english/tools/TOP.html). This describes the debugger, filebrowser and ui-painter.

For small projects, you would probably use fileIn/fileOut and changeSets for storage of class files.
However, we recommend setting up a source code repository (CVS or SVN) and use that for code storage.
Currently, CVS is better integrated into the stand-alone-exe building process, but Jan is working hard to make SVN the much better choice - his package handling is already much more advanced. So expect a general switch away from CVS soon...

The information on how to generate a stand-alone executable is less user friendly than it ought to be; it is found in "deploying an application" in the "launcher-documentation-programmers guide-deploying menu" entry (http://live.exept.de/doc/online/english/programming/deployment.html).
However, for simple applications which do not require complicated prerequisite rules, the new packageBuilder interface may be all you need (it is found in the launcher's "Tools" menu).

By the way, I try to put useful links into a common index-document "keyword index". Please look there first.
Also, notice that many classes include some documentation right in the documentation method, or as executable doit code fragments inside the methods (look at the end of some collection-class methods for examples).

regards, so far [more to be added].

Claus
cgittinger
 
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