Whither Squeak?

Juan Vuletich jmvsqueak at uolsinectis.com.ar
Mon May 22 23:07:36 UTC 2006

Hello Ralph,

I am the guy who tried to split Morphic in smaller packages that could be 
easily unloaded.
I failed. I did split Morphic in 3 big packages and a few small ones, as you 
can see in Squeak 3.9. That took some work, but it can be done. The big 
problem is that Etoys was not designed as a separate package from the rest 
of the image. Writing Etoys impacted everywhere. Therefore we have tons 
dependencies on it absolutely everywhere. The same happens with Projects, 
Morphic and lots of other "optional" functionality.

It is easy to fix those dependencies to remove the packages. But this is 
modifying (actually simplifying) lots of methods we won't remove.

I wanted something better: To redesign those dependencies in such a way that 
just unloading the Etoys package would leave everything working, and to 
allow re-loading it back. This is easy on small examples, but an inmense 
amount of work with something like Etoys in Squeak 3.9. Added to this were 
the difficulties in publishing my stuff. This kind of changes generates new 
versions of almost all the packages in Squeak all the time, conflicting with 
any other thing someone could be working on, and giving a very hard time to 
MC. So despite all the help Stef gave me, I finally abandoned the idea.

I hope to be of some help. BTW, let me thank you. Some of your wrintings 
were really important when I took my first OOP course at the university.

Juan Vuletich

For anyone who can be interested, I'm redesigning Morphic as an experiment. 
The image I'm working is a 3.7 with no Etoys, no Projects and a lot of 
Morphic removed. The Morph hierarchy was removed to OldMorph, and Morph is 
my new experiment. The TestMorph class is what I use to play there. It is 
available at http://www.sinectis.com.ar/u/jmvuletich/NewMorphic13.zip . 
Warning: This is really early and primitive. If anyone wants more details, 
I'll send them.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Ralph Johnson" <johnson at cs.uiuc.edu>
To: "The general-purpose Squeak developers list" 
<squeak-dev at lists.squeakfoundation.org>
Sent: Friday, May 19, 2006 9:20 AM
Subject: Re: Whither Squeak?

> On 5/19/06, Cees De Groot <cdegroot at gmail.com> wrote:
>> - Squeak 3.x is so far quite succesful in resisting us applying
>> software engineering efforts to it. The reasons are manifold, but two
>> major reasons are manpower and available tools, neither is going to
>> change any time soon;
> What does this mean?  Is this another way of saying "A lot of people
> have been trying to modularize Squeak and we haven't gotten very far."
> I'd like to see some of the concrete problems that rose during
> attempts at modularization.  Why is it so hard?  For example, I have
> heard that people have tried to strip Morphic out of the image, and
> they have tried to strip MVC out of the image, and both have failed.
> Why did it fail?
> I think this is a very interesting question, and understanding why it
> failed will teach us a lot about software in general.  If it is hard
> to modularize code in Smalltalk, which is one of the most flexible and
> visible languages in the world, imagine the problem modularizing the
> Linix kernel!
> Is this what you mean?
> -Ralph Johnson
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