Tackling Software Navigation Issues of the Smalltalk IDE

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Executive Summary

The IDE used in most Smalltalk dialects, including Pharo, Squeak and Cincom Smalltalk, did not evolve significantly over the last years, if not to say decades. For other languages, for instance Java, the available IDEs made tremendous progress as Eclipse and Net-Beans illustrate. While the Smalltalk IDE served as an exemplar for many years, other IDEs caught up or even overtook the erstwhile leader in terms of feature-richness, usability and code navigation facilities. In this paper, the authors first analyze the difficulty of software navigation in the Smalltalk IDE and second illustrate with concrete examples the features they added to the Smalltalk IDE to fill the gap to modern IDEs and to provide novel, improved means to navigate source space.

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