Freedom of Choice

Interesting topic for debate Do we want choices? over at the Smalltalk Tidbits blog.

Having recently taken a look at Cincom Smalltalk, I was definitely left rather overwhelmed by what seemed to be a lot of overlapping concepts. I think there are several different cases:

  • There really are too many concepts, no mater how well they are explained
  • A subset of concepts are useful at a users level of sophistication. So typically a newbie needs far fewer concepts to get started
  • A subset of concepts are useful for a particular task. For instance, are ther differering needs for grouping classes during development versus packaging for deployment

I can't find the reference now, but I am pretty sure that the Cincom Smalltalk documentation warns folks away from one concept - could be an idication that it is in the 1st category.

Documentation such as turorials can help with the 2nd and 3rd categories, but obviously tool support is invaluable; many tools have a normal and advanced set of menus, though this can be rather unsophisticated.

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