Avi Bryant avi.bryant at
Thu Mar 10 13:50:05 UTC 2005

On Thu, 10 Mar 2005 13:55:48 +0100, goran.krampe at
<goran.krampe at> wrote:

> I am still unsure if Lex is interested in merging Universes with SM or
> as I describe above we simply make SM able to map them and get to them.
> If Lex wants to continue with Universes totally separate from SM
> (meaning no merging) then I will simply make sure SM handles them as I
> always want SM to handle stuff in the Squeak community - it would then
> seem very stupid to add a similar mechanism to SM because then we would
> have two such competing mechanisms.

Well, exactly: this is an area where it's unlikely for two competing
systems to both survive for long.  People don't want to register the
same package in two different places, with two different dependency
systems, etc.  One of three things is going to have to happen:

1. We do a lot of work to merge the two concepts into a new package
repository system, that combines the best of both SM and Universes. 
Frankly, I think this would be a bad idea; the two were designed with
different goals and different visions, and I think I've seen enough of
squeak-dev dynamics to know that we would spend more time arguing
about how to do this merge than it was worth.
2. We do no work at all, and let the two of them fight it out
evolutionarily: people will register their packages with one or the
other (or, for a time anyway, maybe even both), and eventually one
will fade away into disuse.  But this would be a shame, because as I
mentioned in (1), they really have quite different goals - they happen
to overlap in the area of managing a list of Squeak packages, but
that's the *only* purpose of Universes, and is (in terms of vision)
really just an incidental part of SqueakMap.  Which suggests, to me,
3. We split the responsibility: SqueakMap is the "map of the Squeak
world", which lists all the various resources like universes,
repositories, people, websites, images, whatever.  Universes are where
you go to actually register a package.  Each of them does what they do
best, and there's a nice, well defined relationship between them.

Now, it's maybe it's a bad idea for me to use the names of the
existing systems when describing (3) - clearly, SqueakMap in that
scenario would look very different from how it does now (even if it
were fairly similar internally), and Universes would have to change as
well.  Really, what I'm proposing is that we have *a* central, public
system that holds metadata about resources like repositories (both
development and release) and user accounts  (ideally shared by all the
various Squeak systems), and *a* system of distributed repositories in
which package versions get registered.  SqueakMap and Universes seem,
respectively, like great starting points for these, but if (for
example) you really don't like the Universes dependency model and want
to propose that this fictional package repository system use another
one instead, that would certainly fit within the scope of what I'm


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