Dept. of Computer Science and Engineering
Smalltalk is an object oriented programming language designed to be run on a workstation with a dedicated processor, bit-mapped display, and pointing device. Smalltalk environments are highly interactive with multiple overlapping windows appearing on the screen simultaneously. These windows or Interactive Displays (IDs) both display data and monitor the mouse and keyboard for user input. They accomplish these actions by making use of multiple Model-View-Controller (MVC) triples. IDS are central to Smalltalk, yet constructing them is an unduly complicated process. SIG, the system described herein, eases the process of creating IDS in Smalltalk by introducing display types and abstract views. A display type is a specification for an ID. Display types provide a mapping from a user's data structure to an ID on that data structure. Display types are "interpreted" by abstract views. Together, display types and abstract views allow IDS to be generated from specifications. New MVC triples can be added (and removed) from a generated ID dynamically and conditionally, based on the current status of the user's data structure. In addition, display types may reference one another to compose IDS.
Nordquist, Peter R., "Interactive display generation in SMALLTALK" (1985). Scholar Archive. 88.