One of the guys I work with, Blaine Buxton, was quoted today on James Robertson’s blog. He was talking about how nice Dolphin Smalltalk is compared to the other Smalltalks because it has clean browsers with consistent hot keys.
I agree with him. VW looks OK and has a ton of great features but the hot keys are all messed up. Some placed you can make your shortcuts work while in other browsers (like the debugger) they won’t work. It makes simple things more complicated than they need to be. I spent some time my first week back at my current job (back in Smalltalk after a couple years away) making the shortcuts work like Squeak (as much as I could). They are close but not perfect. This type of stuff shouldn’t even cross my mind – VW should just have a setting to use Squeak keys and have it work in all browsers.
VA had similar problems when I used it last. I’ll assume it has probably gotten better now with Instantiations running the ship.
Squeak’s UI is OK for old school fans (and it is free) but for people new to Smalltalker it probably feels icky and clumsy. I hope they look past it to see all the gems inside.