searchQuick Apprise: TWO #GoogleSummerOfCode #FOSSASIA

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The intended “searchQuick” (sQuick) is an application to enable a user to search a set of books or texts, like an encyclopedia, or some other topical book collection offline built in the open source platform Pharo 4.0.

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After building various mock-ups for a user friendly graphical interface for the application, the rudimentary features which would be present in the first release were finalized.

The chief features would include :

  • Search for word(s)
  • Browse files in the current image
  • Help or Tutorial
  • About section
  • Feedback or Suggestion Aid
  • Explore the code ( Cardinally Open Source 😉 )

Main Screen (copy)

LATEST MOCK UP OF GUI FOR sQuick

At this moment, the most viable options available (apart from the use of GTSpotter, Rubric or Bloc suggested by developers on the forum and #pharo IRC) include:

  • The use of Spec to build the UI which provides a comparatively easier option to implement Button Click Actions, User Input Search String Retrieval etc. But the graphical interface designed by placing the widgets is not a very fancy one and dependent on the current theme of the image.
  • The Morphic GUI gives the application a very pretty look in comparison, however the user input search string retrieval method is not a straight-forward one and is under construction.

After considering various pros and cons, the suitable alternative is considered to be the one made with Morph as it gives a refreshing look to the application.

UPCOMING:

  • Completion of GUI development
  • Commencement of Index build

Stay tuned for more…
Post any queries , will be happy to help 🙂


Starting with Smalltalk, Pharo and Spec

It’s been a few weeks since I started with Smalltalk, Pharo and Spec. Under the guidance of Mr. Martin Bähr, Mr. Sean DeNigris and people from the #pharo community (@thierry, @kilon, @maxleske) I have been able to learn Pharo in a systematic way. I have implemented the knowledge gained by building a few simple desktop applications using the resources available online.

This post intends to clear all your doubt regarding the basic definitions of Smalltalk, Pharo and Spec.

GETTING THE BASICS CLEARED

Smalltalk is an object-oriented, dynamically typed, reflective programming language. It was designed and created in part for educational use, more so for constructionist learning. The language was first generally released as Smalltalk-80.

A Smalltalk environment is its own little world, designed around a conception of a computer with a minimal operating system and populated with living objects. A Smalltalk implementation is composed of an image (binary code), a major source file and a ‘changes’ file. The image is called Virtual Image (VI) because is independent form the platform you use for running Smalltalk. Smalltalk systems store the entire program state (including both Class and non-Class objects) in an image file. The image can then be loaded by the Smalltalk virtual machine to restore a Smalltalk-like system to a prior state.

As Sean DeNigris wrote to me: You may not realize it, but you have opened a portal to some of the greatest minds in the history of our industry. You have in your hands, not a programming language, but a live, dynamic, turtles-all-the-way-down environment designed to provide ‘support for the creative spirit in everyone’. More practically, Smalltalk is a programming tool that allows productivity unimaginable in most systems. And, if you put in enough time and effort to actually think in it, it will help you program better in any language you use.” ; Smalltalk is more dynamic and powerful than what one can think of.

Pharo is an open source implementation of the programming language and environment Smalltalk. Pharo is not Smalltalk. Pharo is Smalltalk-inspired.

Pharo offers strong live programming features such as immediate object manipulation, live update, and hot recompilation. Live programming environment is in the heart of the system. Pharo also supports advanced web development with frameworks such as Seaside and more recently Tide.

The official Pharo website defines it as: Pharo is a pure object-oriented programming language and a powerful environment, focused on simplicity and immediate feedback (think IDE and OS rolled into one).

Pharo relies on a virtual machine that is written almost entirely in Smalltalk itself.

Spec is a simple framework for describing User Interface (UI) for Pharo Smalltalk. It takes a model and a layout description, runs it through an interpreter and a UI is produced as a result. All the widget implemented this can then immediately be reused as any other widget.

It also allows the separation of concerns between the different parts of the user interface as expressed in the MVP pattern. Spec emphasis the reuse of the widgets as well as their customization.

I hope now you have got the classifications of Smalltalk , Pharo , Spec all cleared up which remains a basic doubt in every beginners mind.

INSTALLATION GUIDE

Visit the official Pharo website’s download tab to get the desired version of Pharo for the corresponding OS.

For a step by step tutorial describing various ways to install Pharo in your system visit the ‘Installing Pharo in many flavors’ blog written in a very systematic manner by Guille Polito.

Follow the steps as given in Spec Documentation to install Spec in a Pharo Image.

RESOURCES

Visit http://pharo.org/documentationto to get more resources to study from.

INTERESTING READS

 

searchQuick Apprise: ONE #GoogleSummerOfCode #FOSSASIA

banner-gsoc2015.png.pagespeed.ce.1-XG35qq3R8SQJ5DGgL9

The intended “searchQuick” (sQuick) is an application to enable a user to search a set of books or texts, like an encyclopedia, or some other topical book collection offline built in the open source platform Pharo 4.0.

header



In the inceptive coding period of this project development the tasks achieved are as:

    • Designing the basic graphical user interface using Morphs in Pharo 4.0. The morphs elements utilized to make the interface elements included:
      – TextMorph for labels etc.
      – PluggableTextMorph to display the contents of the file
      – ImageMorph for background, header GIFs etc.
      – TextMorphForEditView to enter the search string.
      – SimpleButtonMorphs for creating buttons whose click will perform the desired action.
      – MenuMorph , MenuItemMorph to make the list of files available as ‘Browse’ menu.
      – DropListMorph to make a drop down list menu for the selection of languages.
    • Loading the files in the current Pharo image and making methods/classes that would directly access those files from the image and display their names as a menu list
    • Making a Metacello Configuration of the project for easy project loading in Pharo.
    • For further ease, the project configuration was directly added to the Meta Repo of Pharo 4.0 at SmalltalkHub.com and now the project can be directly loaded through Configuration Browser in Pharo 4.0

                  World > Tools > Configuration Browser > sQuick(jigyasa)

    • Removing the cache of the instance of the MainInterface so as to allow the users to open up many search/content windows simultaneously
    • Making of a content window that would display the file name and the file content when the file name is clicked from the ‘Browse Files‘ menu
    • Designing mock-ups for the UI for an enhanced user interface which include the latest search engine feel

mockup

UPCOMING:

  • Augmenting the UI for a pleasant user experience
  • Initiate working on the search tool / indexer build.

Stay tuned for more…
Post any queries , will be happy to help 🙂