Distributed Squeak

goran.hultgren at bluefish.se goran.hultgren at bluefish.se
Mon Apr 14 11:02:54 UTC 2003

Hi Michael!

Michael van der Gulik <mikevdg at hetnet.nl> wrote:
> 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 

Well, if I were you I would do two things:

1. Take a hard look at Magma.
2. Talk with Stephen Pair and Craig Latta.

Magma is a GemStone kindof OODB for Squeak and does give multiple
running Squeaks a common transactional object memory. It doesn't have
support AFAIK for changing the "locus" (location of execution I believe
it means) by using remote message sends but there are a bunch of Squeak
frameworks for that.

Stephen is also building stuff in this vein and has demonstrated "remote
object memories" at OOPSLA etc. He has also done modifications to the VM
to better facilitate these systems (like dirty marking etc). And a bunch
of other stuff too. :-)

And Craig has just recently looked through all the "remote message
send"-frameworks in Squeak in his Squat project so he should be able to
give you a quick rundown on what is available and how they relate to his
own new networking framework he promptly decided to build. :-)

> whether this is actually a sane idea is greatly appreciated before I 
> waste 6 months of my life :-).

Well, please do look carefully at the stuff that is out there before
duplicating work. But I think that combining some form of "remote
message sending" with Magma would get you very far. Or perhaps something
using Stephen's work.

> Michael.

regards, Göran

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