Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Why's the Smalltalk debugger not focused on more in Smalltalk IDEs?

I can't help but wonder why Smalltalk's lovable trait of letting you develop in the debugger isn't leveraged far more by the IDEs. Suppose you just noticed that a method call doesn't have enough arguments. That is, you wrote this:

self doSomething.

But you should have written:

self doSomethingWith: anArgument

Well now, that's a fantastic situation for refactoring, isn't it? You could automatically rename the method in the receiver, and you'd know quite precisely who that receiver is. Little of that is leveraged. But of course, if Smalltalk is to play any serious role in the future, we should play by our strengths.

Well, here's a strength: the most powerful debugger in any modern IDE.

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