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What have you learned?

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This chapter has been a long haul simply because of the fact that Smalltalk is nearly all to do with Objects and Messages. For this reason, you can now console yourself with the knowledge that you have covered around 80% of the entire Smalltalk language. So far, you have learned about:

Simple messages
Binary messages that take one parameter
Keyword messages that take one or more parameters
Sequences of messages
The order or precedence of messages
Cascading messages to a common receiver
Simple arithmetic
Workspace, temporary and global variables
Assigning to variables

Perhaps most importantly you should also know that:

Everything in Smalltalk is an object
Every object is of a particular class that governs its behavior

As I say, we have now covered probably around 80% of the language of Smalltalk. There are very few other computer languages for which you could do this in a single chapter. The Smalltalk language is quite small because it takes a few simple concepts, such as Objects and Messages, and applies them consistently throughout. This is why you should have found the basics fairly easy to grasp so far. However, there is still a great deal to learn. Although the language itself is small, the Smalltalk system is quite large, and this is what makes it a rich and powerful environment in which to work and play. So, we've got a long way to go but, hopefully, you'll find it's worth it.

It's probably best, at this stage, to close the workspace window you've been working with so far. This will clean up any workspace variables you've created. We'll open a new workspace at the start of each subsequent chapter.