Why Smalltalk you might ask? Well, the first reason is because once, long ago I asked two of my mentors how I could get my head around this new Object Oriented thing. They both, without hesitation said “Smalltalk.” If you can figure out Smalltalk they said, you’ve figured out Object Oriented programming.
Now, I never did learn Smalltalk. I started to, but it turned out just hanging around these two guys long enough did the trick also. They were both that smart. But I’ve always felt I still needed to make good on that advice. So I took both the books off my shelf I had purchased and decided to dig in. Of course, these books are now about a decade and a half out of date and many of the resources have disappeared. One of the books, Squeak By Example has nominally been replaced by a successor effort, Pharo and its Pharo by Example book. The second book however, Squeak: Learn Programming with Robots has not been replaced. This is particularly upsetting because it is targeted at a specific market that is no longer represented in the Smalltalk community. The Pharo by Example book is a great resource for at least moderately experienced programmers. For young programmers there are the EToys and Scratch environments. However, the Middle/High School age market the Robots books was targeted at no longer has such a nice, complete resource.
Another issue is both of these books are still easily purchasable. Arguably, one could still make use of them in the modern Squeak environment, but not easily. Both originally had a pre-built image file to accompany the books. It took me awhile to find these.
So my mission? With the help of the Way-Back-Machine and occasional correspondence with the authors (yes they still answer their email!) I am going to attempt to recreate the websites associated with each book, expand on them and then see if I can transition them to the newer environments.