[smalltalk-central] Some thoughts about new tutorials

Eric Winger eric at thewingers.net
Wed Sep 27 04:05:57 BST 2006

This all sounds good. Thoughts below.
On Sep 26, 2006, at 3:23 PM, Mark D. Roberts wrote:

> At 12:51 AM 9/27/2006, Eric Winger wrote:
>> Just a passing thought. I had envisioned that the tutorials would be 
>> .pdf's or something like that, but maybe they can be just web pages. 
>> Then the screen shots could be in a directory of images which could 
>> be screen grabbed easily. Did you have any thoughts yet on what the 
>> tutorial format would be?
> My thought was to just use HTML. The images go in a separate 
> directory, as you say, and then updates are fairly simple.

> With PDF, of course you have to recreate the PDF every time you make 
> changes to the non-PDF sources. We use PDFs for all documentation at 
> Cincom and we are now moving towards both PDF and HTML. A lot of 
> developers don't really care for PDF and the Adobe tools are getting 
> clunky. To really do authoring with PDF, you end up needing Acrobat 
> Pro, which is getting more and more bloated with each release.

> With HTML, we'll need to settle on a few style sheet points, but it 
> should be much more manageable.
> Personally, I'm not so worried about maintenance of this content in 
> the longer term. It's an editorial job and of course somebody has to 
> do that, but it's a lot less work than getting the tutorial written in 
> the first place. I'm more worried about finding people to write them.

yes. I like Bruce's idea. This seems like a rather lengthy tutorial for 
a beginner. Perhaps we can chunk this down into some manageable pieces?

Beginner tutorial (install and features)
Introduce OO using the photo library as a rough guide
Photo Library tutorial part I - build the models
Photo Library tutorial part II - build the gui
Photo Library tutorial part II - put on the web interface (seaside?)
Photo Library tutorial part IV - store in GemStone.

just tossing this out as fodder.

> Bruce had the following idea for an example:
>> We could have a tutorial that built up the model objects for a photo 
>> library (we all have heaps of digital photos these
>> days).  We could then show how to build (code), populate, maintain 
>> and query the model just using doit stuff - then
>> people could move on to build, say, a web interface or a GUI or add 
>> in real image manipulation stuff etc.  Then they
>> could move on to persistence (Glorp, GemStone etc) ...
> ...which sounds good to me.
> At the outset, the important thing is to have a good concept and a 
> good example. If the tutorial is well-executed and the example is 
> compelling, then somebody else can revise it to track changes in the 
> IDE without much fuss. If the tutorial has too many problems, then the 
> tendency will be to just dump it and start over from scratch.

> M
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