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Class Browser

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If, every time you wanted to look at some code in your Smalltalk image, you had to evaluate an expression like the one above then things would soon get pretty tedious. Fortunately, there is a much easier way, and this is to use a tool called the Class Browser. To bring up such a browser choose Tools/Class Browser or click on the Open Class Browser toolbar button in your workspace.

You can use this window to browse through all of the classes in your image. The top left pane allows you to select a particular class to browse. Smalltalk classes exist in a hierarchy, which will be explained in the next chapter in the section on Inheritance. For time being just be aware that the root of this hierarchy is a class called Object and that this is the class that is initially visible in the top left class hierarchy pane of the Class Browser.

The easiest way to find a class so that it can be browsed is to select the browser and type Ctrl+Shift+F. Try this and your cursor will jump to  the Go Search field in the toolbar. Type, "Point" and hit Enter twice, to locate this class and display it in the browser. The top right methods pane now contains a list of all the message selectors that Point objects can respond to. The lower pane currently displays the class definition, although there are also two other tabs available to allow it to show either method source code or a comment for the current class.

It is using this tool that you will perform most of your programming work with Dolphin Smalltalk. Not only can you browse through existing classes and methods in the system but you can also create new ones. We'll see how to do this in the subsequent chapter but for moment let's just a do some browsing.