Distributed Squeak

Michael van der Gulik mikevdg at hetnet.nl
Mon Apr 14 09:34:02 UTC 2003

Hello Squeakers.

After studying distributed systems, distributed algorithms, parallel 
programming, and the associated practical work at uni, I think I'm 
almost ready to tackle an ambitious project:

Distributed Squeak.

Okay, it's been done before. But I'm going to do it again, and better 
:-). This will be my master's project (although it still has to be 
formally confirmed), and I've got 6 months to do it (until November). At 
the moment, all my ideas are a bit hand-wavy, but I'll be digging in and 
designing lots of things once I've finished hacking the Minix kernel 
(another practical at Uni).

See the homepage for the basic idea - http://dpon.sourceforge.net. More 
info will be added when I've managed to write it up.

Basically what I want to do is make a distributed, multi-user Squeak 
"image" (although it wouldn't really be an image anymore). So instead of 
starting up Squeak locally, you'd start up a "client" and log into a 
network of Squeak servers on the Internet. Objects could be migratable, 
remotely invocable or replicated, depending on the implementation of 
each distributed object. The advantages should be obvious - 
collaborative development for one. SqueakMap wouldn't be needed because 
everybody is using the same "image" concurrently. I'll quietly not 
mention the disadvantages :-).

I think it can be done. It's just difficult, not impossible.

If anybody knows of any related existing systems or technology not 
mentioned on dpon.sourceforge.net, I'd like to know. Also, feedback on 
whether this is actually a sane idea is greatly appreciated before I 
waste 6 months of my life :-).


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