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Learning Smalltalk / Squeak?

Reading the Design Patterns thread brought this to mind.  A lot of the code samples in the book are in Smalltalk, and I get the gist of what they do without knowing the language. Still, I wouldn't mind learning it for it's own sake. Plus, I believe an OOD class that I'll be taking this year or next uses Squeak for the assignments.

So, any recommendations on good smalltalk books and which implementation to learn with? I've downloaded Squeak, but the environment looks really, uh, screwy. I'm not sure what you're supposed to do with (but my kids think it looks cool).

Advice welcome.

Friday, September 19, 2003

You might want to check out  Lambda the Ultimate usually has a variety of programming intros / techniques / etc, and the folks there really like Smalltalk.

Friday, September 19, 2003

The best current book that I am aware of for learning Smalltalk is "On to Smalltalk" by Patrick Henry Winston:

This is a basic beginner's book, so if you already have the basics mastered, this is probably not a good place to start.  It uses a dialect of Smalltalk called Smalltalk Express, which is (I think) still available as a free download.  SE is a great Smalltalk environment, though the class libraries will differ a lot from Squeak, especially where Smalltalk meets the operating system.  Winston is an excellent writer and teacher, though.

Friday, September 19, 2003

For something online, check out the UIUC Smalltalk archive hosted by Ralph Johnson (of GoF fame):

This is like the online Smalltalk clearinghouse.

Friday, September 19, 2003

Cincom VisualWorks is very complete with very good Cincom documentation and free download (non-commercial). See also

Squeak has two books. The beginner book is Squeak Object-Oriented Design with Multimedia Applications.

Dolphin (Windows only) is small enough to learn quickly yet still powerful. The book is The Dolphin Smalltalk Companion.

IBM Visual Age is very large (lots to learn), but it does have free download (non-commercial). There are (old) books.

See also

Alex Peake
Friday, September 19, 2003

My favourit for learning Smalltalk / Squeak was "Squeak a quick trip to ObjectLand" by Korienek, Wrench and Dechow.

The chapter about making the transition to "Object-Oriented Thinking and Design" is the absolut best, I ever read and changed my thinking in objects forever.

Florian W.
Friday, September 19, 2003

Give a look at the free PDFs on Stephane Ducasse's site ( ) and also at his teaching material ( ), which, while a little outdated, is nonetheless valid.

Giovanni Corriga
Saturday, September 20, 2003

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