1.3 What is an Image-based System

Most software developers are used to writing code in text files using a plain text editor or Integrated Development Environment tool (IDE). The program state and other configuration data tend to be stored separately in one or more data sources (e.g. XML configuration files and/or databases).

Image-Based systems like Smalltalk do not differentiate between code and data. The Image is a snapshot of an entire Smalltalk system frozen in time. The Image is stored in 2 files;

  • “.image” file: which contains all classes and methods, but also the state of all objects
  • “.changes” file: which contains a log of all the changes to the source code of the system.

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