Whither Squeak?

stéphane ducasse ducasse at iam.unibe.ch
Sat May 20 06:33:59 UTC 2006

Hi david

We are the faulty guys, but I'm a bit mad, because we spent a lot of  
time trying to improve the system.
And this is like that this is not on purpose that we changed  
ownership. So I will not continue on that path,
but I imagine that you understand what I feel.
Removing mess from this image is not an easy task for multiple reasons.


On 20 mai 06, at 05:54, David T. Lewis wrote:

> On Fri, May 19, 2006 at 05:30:41PM -0700, Dan Ingalls wrote:
>> I worked out removal of MVC ages ago.  It left a few pieces of  
>> Paragraph as I recall, but it was a push-button operation called  
>> discardMVC back in those days.  I see it's still in 3.9, but i  
>> wouldn't be surprised if it's not quite "push-button' anymore.
>> 	- Dan
> I don't want to complain about something when I don't have a  
> constructive
> solution to offer, but I can't help mentioning something here. There
> is a great deal to be learned from the Squeak image, including  
> concepts
> and implementations that have survived *in the image* for decades. But
> various well-intentioned efforts to improve, update, clean, enhance,
> and modularize Squeak (call it what you will) are having the  
> unintended
> consequence of damaging its historical context.
> Case in point: SystemDictionary>>discardMVC was stamped by 'di' as of
> April 1999.  But in any recent image, I would be led to think that  
> this
> method was attibutable to 'sd' and that it was originally written in
> September 2004. There is absolutely no way for someone to look at a
> current Squeak image and figure out that Dan ever had anything to do
> with it. And if I had not seen this email, I would not have thought to
> dig out an old image and see if it would still run long enough to find
> out who really wrote the method.
> Similarly, the well-intentioned modularization of the system would  
> lead
> a newcomer to conclude that the entire object memory, virtual machine,
> and interpreter were recently created by someone with the initials  
> 'tpr'.
> Worthy initials indeed, but rather misleading when the version  
> histories
> show no prior authors.
> This is not just a matter of authorship. If I were to try using the
> #discardMVC method, it probably would not work. Looking at the method
> history, there would be nothing to clue me in as to when it last did
> work, or even whether I might reasonably expect it to have worked at
> any time in the past. But if I knew that the 'di' stamp was in effect
> as of about 1999, I would know that it did in fact work at some time
> in the past. I would know that if I were to pull out an old image of
> that general vintage, I would have a resonable chance of seeing it  
> work,
> and some way to figure out how to update it for a current Squeak  
> image.
> I do not in any way mean to diminish the contribution of folks whose
> initials do not happen to be 'di', but for me it really takes a lot of
> value (and enjoyment) out of the image when I can no longer look at  
> the
> version history of methods and classes and get a sense of where they
> come from, who created them, and when they were done.
> I'm sorry that I don't have a constructive suggestion to offer, but I
> think it would be really nice if we could come up with a way to  
> preserve
> this kind of contextual information as we evolve and improve the  
> image.
> Dave

More information about the Squeak-dev mailing list