So this is not exactly the tutorial I was expecting. But it's also quite possible my expectations were a little skewed.
Unfortunately Avi Bryant wasn't able to make the conference so Randal Schwartz stepped in. And no disrespect to Randal but if I had known this substitution had occurred, I would have picked a different tutorial simply because I had seen his presentation last year and was interested in a different perspective.
Partly I feel like I was expecting too much from this tutorial and part of me feels like I got something different than described.
When I read the description in the link above I don't get the sense of a remedial no-background talk. But like I said Randal took this over at the last minute for Avi so I have no complaints with him.
I think I focused a little too much on the last paragraph of the description whereas I should realize that that is what usually gets covered least at the end (or not at all):
"But we’ll also address the practical concerns that keep people away from Squeak: how to get rid of the pastel colors and bitmapped fonts so that you can stand to look at it; how to get your source code into version control so you can collaborate with others; how to find documentation and examples; how to integrate with the OS and with C libraries; how to manage deployment."
I am relatively comfortable with the ideas of smalltalk and reading it's code, just not completely sold on the language and environment. So what I was mostly looking for was the addressing of "practical concerns that keep people away from Squeak":
- how to get rid of the pastel colors and bitmapped fonts so that you can stand to look at it;
- just a mention that this is possible. I would have really liked a detailed course on how to customize the ugly duckling away
- how to get your source code into version control so you can collaborate with others;
- there was a pretty good description of version control and options for doing this
- how to find documentation and examples;
- this was well done and is a core part of the wonder of smalltalk
- how to integrate with the OS and with C libraries;
- I don't think there was any mention of this (unless I really zoned out)
- how to manage deployment.
- I don't recall anything like this
But really it was a well done tutorial, just not what I was expecting. But I think
this was just a combination of over ambitious expectations and last minute teacher changes.
Here is the smalltalk course I would love to have:
- develop a real world useful app while I watch. e.g. take some unix sysadmin tasks and automate them and create a reporting system etc. ie, show me that squeak can kick python's ass at something where python excels
- show me how to recover when my image crashes or I've accidentally broken things
- show me how to customize my way from the default image to one of the premade developer images. then explain to me why these aren't already the defaults
- show me how to convince my bosses that I should do a trial project in smalltalk. :)