proposal for starting work on partitioning

Avi Bryant avi.bryant at
Sat Apr 2 23:16:32 UTC 2005

Hi all,

Sorry for being so quiet; I've been extremely busy (in fact, if it
continues like this, I should probably step down as leader here, since
it's silly to have a leader who takes a week to answer emails...).

Anyway, comments below...

> > I see that most of the listed packages have still not been assigned.  I
> > wonder if we might have more luck making the initial package list even
> > more coarse, and trying to get more than one maintainer for each.  E.g.
> > just have one Tools package with a few maintainers, instead of trying
> > to find a maintainer each for Tools-Browser, Tools-Changes, etc.
> Definitely. And as I have said, people can always divide further later
> on.

If that looks like it will work better, great.  We haven't had such a
rush to sign up for pieces that I feel that list is set in stone;
Doug, if you have a more granular set of packages in mind, please feel
free to just change it.

> > Also, it would probably help a bit to beg on squeak-dev for more
> > volunteers. :)
> Indeed. But Avi has the ball now. ;)

I'm a little reluctant to ask for too much outside help until we have
a better sense of what the task is, how well the tool support works,
what good approaches to the problem are.  I was hoping we would do a
reasonable amount of work just with the people on this list first to
establish that before begging for more people to get involved.

So let me beg here instead: who is actually interested in doing
partitioning work?  Anyone?  Is this just something that we care about
more in the abstract than in practice, and nobody really wants it
enough to do it?  Are there other ways we should be thinking about
this that would get more traction? (like, "how many bits of code can
we package up and unload from the image?")

> And I say (yet again) don't get held up in refactoring. Let's just start
> pumping out 2-3 PIs so that we get this show on the road.

I don't really know what "pumping out PIs" means, or at least what
purpose it's supposed to achieve.  It seems to me that something like
"registering packages on SqueakMap" is much more meaningful, no? 
Which tools (apart from the PackageList that nobody uses for anything,
and I think we agreed to drop) actually know or care with PackageInfo
instances exist inside the image?

> > Basically, I think there is more danger that the effort will stall if a
> > private stream is used, because then there will be a big merging effort
> > required at the end.  In fact, if everyone can see progress being made
> > in the public stream, that might encourage more people to contribute.
> Yes, I agree in full. Avi?

Fine with me.

> > Is there anything else we need to do to help this move forward?  Will
> > most of the PI managing/recategorizing be done with the Monticello
> > tools?  (We've discussed adding MC to Basic as part of this.)  Also, we
> > should add Ned's PI extras to Basic (the 3.9 stream).
> I would like to hear Avi's thought on how we handle the PIs, as classes
> or instances?
> There was a discussion around that earlier, and possibly classes is the
> way to go since our main tools (ChangeSets, MC) are centered around
> that. But I trust Avi to make that decision.

I don't see a concrete place yet where introducing PI subclasses will
help with the packaging work, especially given the init script stuff
that Miso, Ned and I have been kicking around.  So let's stick with
instances for now.


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