There are three kinds of messages in Squeak.
- Unary messages take no argument.
1 factorialsends the message
factorialto the object
- Binary messages take exactly one argument.
1 + 2sends the message
2to the object
- Keyword messages take an arbitrary number of arguments.
2 raisedTo: 6 modulo: 10sends the message consisting of the message selector
raisedTo:modulo:and the arguments
10to the object
Unary message selectors consist of alphanumeric characters, and start with a lower case letter.
Binary message selectors consist of one or more characters from the following set:
Keyword message selectors consist of a series of alphanumeric keywords, where each keyword starts with a lower-case letter and ends with a colon.
Unary messages have the highest precedence, then binary messages, and finally keyword messages, so:
2 raisedTo: 1 + 3 factorial → 128
(First we send
3, then we send
+ 6 to
1, and finally we send
raisedTo: 7 to
2.) Recall that we use the notation expression \(\rightarrow\) result to show the result of evaluating an expression.
Precedence aside, evaluation is strictly from left to right, so
1+2*3 → 9
not 7. Parentheses must be used to alter the order of evaluation:
1+(2*3) → 7
Message sends may be composed with periods and semi-colons. A period-separated sequence of expressions causes each expression in the series to be evaluated as a statement, one after the other.
Transcript cr. Transcript show: 'hello world'. Transcript cr
This will send
cr to the
Transcript object, then send it
show: 'hello world', and finally send it another
When a series of messages is being sent to the same receiver, then this can be expressed more succinctly as a cascade. The receiver is specified just once, and the sequence of messages is separated by semi-colons:
Transcript cr; show: 'hello world'; cr
This has precisely the same effect as the previous example.