Whither Squeak?

Juan Vuletich jmvsqueak at uolsinectis.com.ar
Wed May 24 13:06:51 UTC 2006

Hello Alan,

That would be great. Thanks for your encouragement! The attention my 
experiment is getting will help me find time to make it advance.

Juan Vuletich
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Alan Kay" <alan.kay at squeakland.org>
To: "The general-purpose Squeak developers list" 
<squeak-dev at lists.squeakfoundation.org>; "The general-purpose Squeak 
developers list" <squeak-dev at lists.squeakfoundation.org>
Sent: Tuesday, May 23, 2006 4:49 PM
Subject: Re: Whither Squeak?

>A good exercise (and very useful) would be just to build a new (and much 
>better) Etoys in your new Morphic. There is nothing sacred in the current 
>version of Etoys.
> Cheers,
> Alan
> ----------
> At 04:36 AM 5/23/2006, Juan Vuletich wrote:
>>Hi Daniel,
>>I used MudPie for splitting Morphic. As I said in another message, I 
>>failed at making Etoys and MorphicExtras easy to unload and load back. 
>>This is because for fixing the bad dependencies without needing two 
>>versions of many core methods (i.e. methods not in the package we are 
>>removing). Doing this carefully is way too much for me (and for anybody, I 
>>guess). Squeak is too big!
>>My experience with MudPie was excellent. It is great for spotting those 
>>dependencies. It works great, and when I needed some help, or new 
>>features, Daniel helped me a lot, and implemented many of my suggestions. 
>>Thanks, Daniel! And I can say: MudPie does work in 3.9.
>>The problem was not lack of tools like MudPie. I could think of a tool 
>>that could automate the generation of some of the code needed for removing 
>>dependencies. But I don't think that would be a good solution. The only 
>>way to clean code is by understanding it. So, to me the problem is: too 
>>much work, too little time.
>>Juan Vuletich
>>----- Original Message ----- From: "Daniel Vainsencher" 
>><danielv at tx.technion.ac.il>
>>To: "The general-purpose Squeak developers list" 
>><squeak-dev at lists.squeakfoundation.org>
>>Sent: Saturday, May 20, 2006 7:42 AM
>>Subject: Re: Whither Squeak?
>>>Hi Ralph
>>>Improving design:
>>>One of the problems is that Squeak did much of its growth without any 
>>>explicit package system. As a side effect, these systems usually enforce 
>>>a-cyclic dependencies. Cyclic dependencies (considering just 
>>>compilation-time-obvious dependencies, like a method in one class 
>>>refering to a parent) are rampant in Squeak (see references to Morph), 
>>>making it difficult to decompose.
>>>I wrote some code to aid finding, reducing and keeping down the incidence 
>>>of such dependencies, called MudPie[1] (available from SqueakMap, I don't 
>>>guarantee it works 3.9, but will if there's interest). DanI wrote some 
>>>other modularization aid code. Some people have looked at these efforts, 
>>>for example Juan, and tried to use them - I'll let them speak about their 
>>>usefulness and/or problems. I would call neither tools, since they didn't 
>>>include a real UI and such, which is sufficient cause for them to never 
>>>have become widely used.
>>>Package system:
>>>I believe that the management of the code of Squeak in tool supported 
>>>packages is a critical component of any solution - this is the only way 
>>>to keep the boundaries up to date. So the existance of MC exists makes 
>>>this task somewhat feasible, but there have been various problems with 
>>>its use to manage the whole image.
>>>- Performance (loading updates to the image using MC is much slower than 
>>>loading changesets).
>>>- System changes (like introducing Traits) require going through various 
>>>intermediate stages, but MC itself only model merging the code in order 
>>>to reach the final stage to be loaded.
>>>- Workflow:
>>>-- Support for cherry picking is very basic in current MC (which MC2 
>>>should improve).
>>>-- MC is quite workflow agnostic, but maintaining Squeak does require 
>>>some workflow (people write fixes, other people merge them), and 
>>>maintaining it as a set of packages requires even more of it 
>>>(coordination of entry of package changes into the official release). 
>>>Right now we use a combination of SqueakSource, Mantis, and email, glued 
>>>together by (what seems to me like) lots of overhead.
>>>Daniel Vainsencher
>>>[1] listed in 
>>>>On 5/19/06, Cees De Groot <cdegroot at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>>>  the tools have
>>>>>performance problems when trying to manage the whole image.
>>>>Can you be specific?  What tools?  Can you give stories of how tools 
>>>>failed you?
>>>>>On a more philosophical stance, Squeak has grown organically. And
>>>>>anything organic tends to get fuzzy, maybe even almost fractal,
>>>>>borders between the various parts. Try separating a leaf from its
>>>>>stem, on the cell level, for starters...
>>>>Squeak is a bit more extreme than others, but not a lot.  As Fred
>>>>Brooks said, all successful large systems started as successful small
>>>>systems.  Organic growth is typical, not atypical.  Refactoring is a
>>>>lot of hard work and Squeak doesn't have people being paid to do this
>>>>kind of work.  But I find it hard to believe that Squeak is worse than
>>>>Word, or Gnu EMACS, or any other large system that has been around for
>>>>a long time.  The difference is that Microsoft pays people a lot of
>>>>money to modularize Word.  It goes though periods of organic growth,
>>>>and then periods of modularization as they try to reuse code across
>>>>projects or within Word.  Most software does this.
>>>>This is why I think modularizing Squeak is an interesting project,
>>>>because we can learn lessons from it that will apply to all software.
>>>>So, we need to write about what we are doing, the problems we
>>>>discover, and the lessons we learn.
>>>>Squeak hasn't needed to be modular enough for people to do the work to
>>>>make it so.  Now it does.  (Well, it probably has for several years,
>>>>so "now" means "the last few years".)
>>>>-Ralph Johnson
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