[squeak-dev] Re: worst crash yet trying to load stuff from Packages Universe in 3.10.2....

Jerome Peace peace_the_dreamer at yahoo.com
Tue Dec 16 02:36:26 UTC 2008

[squeak-dev] Re: worst crash yet trying to load stuff from Packages Universe in 3.10.2....
>Greg A. Woods; Planix, Inc. woods at planix.ca
>Mon Dec 15 19:54:06 UTC 2008

>On 15-Dec-2008, at 1:46 AM, Jerome Peace wrote:
>> Sure you wouldn't like to become a mantis reporter?
>If I can send an e-mail that will create and/or append to a report,  
>then sure!
>> Puck would like to know exactly how to recreate this failure.
>> (So he can try it out on some of his "friends" :).
>Looks like all I had to do was try to load SmallDEVS from the default  
>package universe.
At puck's insistence I loaded the SmallDEVS package (by itself) into a 3.10.2 image. I didn't run into the trouble you described. So SmallDEVS alone is not the problem. I looked at the 3 class side methods for LabelMorph and they all look correct as far as answering an instance. I do not have the Pinesoft UI Enhancements in my image so I still suspect that they have a buggy overide somewhere.

Unreproduceable results are not worth tracking. I usually insist on a mantis report first. I made an exception here. I'll be happy to look into it again if you can describe a recipe for reproducing the bug and put it into a mantis report.

Mantis does not have a email to append feature yet. In their discussions about it, they seemed to think that would lead to spam. 

The effort to make a good report acts as a good filter. It doesn't guarantee a report will get attention. But if someone will go through that much work, maybe it will be worth other peoples time to play with it. 

Fair warning. This is a volunteer community. That usually means the person something most annoys gets to work on it first.

>> My curiosity would like to know why you are so ambitious as to load  
>> so much.
>I want to start with everything I want, either functionality or as  
>reference classes.
Okay. So the question is would there be a way to do that, that would work?
Then we create your ideal starting image and share it with others.
Advantage: It will take less time to download a 20Meg pre-made image than universe load the pieces from around the world.

Why not make out your list and see if someone with similar interest would be willing to help build the image.

*/>Partly I want to start this way because I have VERY quickly learned  
>that I can accidentally break an image just by trying to file  
>something in that someone else has published, even if it has  
>supposedly been "blessed" in some way by being included in the default  
>package universe for the release I'm using.  I'm not quite so  
>disciplined that I will remember to be very careful with image copies  
>later on so I'm trying to create a stable baseline image with  
>everything I think I'll want for now.
Ok. So making the portmanteau image first, saves having to remember what you left out later. You feel it is less risky than trying to read a module in later and breaking an image you have invested your development effort on. Fair enough.

>> And I sympathize with you wanting it all to work right away. Out of  
>> the box.
>To quote from <URL:http://wiki.squeak.org/squeak/5918>:
>	"The Stable 3.10 universe is a package universe for Squeak 3.10, akin  
>to the ones done for 3.7 and 3.9. It includes 214 optional packages  
>that have all been verified to at least load into Squeak 3.10."
In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice they are different.

>I don't exactly know if what it refers to is the same thing that I get  
>when I press the "Package Universe" button on the initial World in the  
>3.10.2 release image I'm using, but I've now proven at least three or  
>more of the packages from the default PU for 3.10.2 won't even file in  
>cleanly, and I'm just picking from what I would consider to be a  
>_very_ conservative list of things I'm interested in.
>> What you may be slowly realizing is that all this is Beta software  
>> at best.
>"beta"?  3.10.2 isn't even a ".0" release (though it is an even  

Yes. The release process has been struggling. The maintanence choices got people into trouble making bugs much harder to correct. In the end deadlines, not quality dictated what got released. Somebody with authority has to care before this will change. I wonder if the will is out there.
Still you never know.

>Perhaps I'm confusing a nice big button everyone says to press if I  
>want stuff back that was taken out of old-time Squeak releases with a  
>part of the actual release, but then again there's that claim above  
>I'm quoting.
>> Test coverage in squeak is a recent thought.
>Perhaps, but I didn't have anywhere near this much trouble with 2.8 or  
>3.0.  Squeak's QA has completely disintegrated, at least if you  
>consider the default PU button to be a part of Squeak.

Um, the problem you are describing is there. I would wonder how much is due to laxer quality controls vs. the exponential explosion of combinations that need to be tested. There are a lot more options now than eight to ten years ago.

People have tried to deal with it by striping away pieces and trying for a slimmer basic image in hopes that the quality of that would improve.

Except that there have been major additions.
3.8 added I18n enhancements. That introduced much more complexity especially with fonts and character sets.
3.9 went on for two years. It attempted to add so much from different sources integration problems abound. I've documented what I personally have found on mantis. There is much more that others have come across too.
3.10 was supposed to last six months. It went on for a year. It was headed by Ralph Johnson in Illinois with the workhorse load shouldered by Edgar, who lives in Rosario, Argentina. There were communication problems to put things mildly.

And there were struggles with the method of image maintanence which had shifted at 3.9.  Most people will agree that using MC to maintain an image was a problematic choice. My take is that MC is an out of sequence tool. Requiring decisions about packaging to be made too early in the process of writing methods.
And patching bugs often cut accross packages. Add that to the fact that MC does not scale well. (Longer and longer times are taken to load larger and larger packages.) And Edgar's time was spent like yours. Learning how to make mistakes and then how to recover from them.

>> Most of the software is released with prayers for its survival.
> From what I've seen of PU, and it's apparent thousands of steps  
>backwards from the 3.0 days, I'm not even sure I see any evidence of  
>such prayers being made for it!
>> First time heavy users find the integration bugs.
>> That would be you.
>Hah!  If I'm a "heavy user" then I can't imagine how you would  
>describe someone who really wants to dive into Squeak and do something  
Your ambitious loading project puts you in the "heavy use" category. Your other posts and your naive expectations of what squeak will be capable of made me think "first time". Your having used squeak back when it worked better doesn't quite nullify that. It does explain some of your persistence and adventurousness.

You at least know and believe it can BE better than the current state of affairs.

>I'm still just learning here.  I'm not even interested in  
>doing any of the really fancy database, web, or image maker stuff.

Yeah. Me too.
>> Oldtimers, by instinct born of experience, tend to treat squeak  
>> tenderly.
>> As if they are walking on eggs that might break at any instant
>> and give off a rotten stentch.
>Having played with 2.8 and 3.0 in days gone by I'd have to say that a  
>great deal of this stench is quite recent.
Yeah. Puck says: " Ain't progress grand?"

Yours in curiosity and service, --Jerome Peace


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