[squeak-dev] Re: Unix updates

José Luis Redrejo Rodríguez jredrejo at debian.org
Thu Dec 17 08:46:24 UTC 2009

2009/12/16 Igor Stasenko <siguctua at gmail.com>

> 2009/12/16 José Luis Redrejo <jredrejo at gmail.com>:
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > Hi Andreas, from my experience as Debian maintainer of both: etoys and
> > squeak-vm, what I've mainly missed is:
> > a) help with the issues in non 32 bits platforms
> > b) collaboration with the people who package the vm in squeak.org
> > c) help with the issues with the Squeak license
> > For a): adding new plugins needed by the etoys image (RomePlugin,
> > GstreamerPlugin) is great when the plugin can be compiled, but it's only
> > tested in a 32 bits platform, and doesn't use to follow the gnu/autotools
> > standards that most unix applications use. As a result: it doesn't work
> in
> > other platforms, specially important are the problems in amd64. Ian
> Piumarta
> > fixed the problems the vm had in 64 bits, but whenever a new plugin is
> > added, new bugs are added, and Ian is not responsible of every plugin.
> The
> > bugs I added to mantis have stayed there for years.
> > For b): there were some discussions in this list. As result of them I
> > created a group in alioth.debian.org to work together, I offered all my
> help
> > and nobody has added a line of code.
> > For c): I don't think I need to explain anything about the license. I
> "met"
> > Squeak on 2003, and the steps to get a "free" image begun on 2007, four
> > years after being asking/trying a solution. Anyway, Squeak development is
> so
> > "weird" in the software world that I don't think the final problems will
> > ever solved: bootstraping an image from sources, or have any way to
> > demonstrate (working from the OS, not inside Squeak) that the image
> contains
> > only free code.
> >
> > c) causes etoys to be in the non-free section of Debian
> > b) has caused the current delay in Debian, because I've been waiting for
>  6
> > months, just in case anybody wants to help. I've already given up, so I
> will
> > upload the latest version before the end of this month. Before the
> setting
> > up of the collaborative project I kept the squeak-vm very updated in
> Debian.
> > In fact  I used to compile it from svn, to get the latest patches, trying
> to
> > make the images work with the newest plugins. But, even when the image
> was
> > the same in Debian than in squeak.org, and the vm was in Debian newer
> and
> > more polished than the one in squeak.org, I always saw how squeak.org
> > documentation  recommended for Debian (and derivatives) users installing
> the
> > packages avoiding to use the standard way in the distribution, and making
> it
> > almost impossible to use for a non-experienced user in Linux.
> > a) is still causing me headaches when the users fill bugs and ask for
> help.
> > My 20 cents
> Jose, we are discussed this topic during the last Board meeting.
> Let me familiarize you with some of our opinions.
> First and foremost, a distro maintainers should collaborate closely
> with VM maintainers.
Sure, and the vm maintainers have changed for years and I've always been in
contact with the current one.

> Currently, David T.Levis is a VM-dev Team Leader, so anyone who wants
> to get the latest status on
> VM, report bugs, ask for a fix and so on, should primarily contact
> with him, or as usual post on vm-dev.
> Dave runs things pretty well during last months, fixing bugs & pushing
> them to new releases.
> He also very responsive and helpful and reacts quickly on anything
> related to vm.
I know, I'm in vm-dev list. Last april he finally fixed the bug that made
the vm crash in 64 bits whenever a sound was played. The bug had been there
for years and he did a great job in a few days.

> Second, we think that best place for discussions concerning packaging
> (no matter what platform is) is vm-dev list,
> instead of a separate list. This including reporting a problems, bugs,
> and announcing new package releases.
> Lets not scatter resources.

I don't want to scatter resources, I just gave Andreas some hints after he
said he didn't understand the Linux problems. As I said in my first email,
I've done a try of making squeak packages in Debian a collaborative work,
and after six months without any help, I've given up and will continue the
work on my own. The things I've said in this email are things I've said in
the last years in this list, in vm-dev or in person with some of the
squeakers, from Alan Kay to Yoshiki Ohshima. I don't want to begin a new
discussion, I just surrender to the evidences. That's all

> And finally, we are welcome anyone who willing to step up and become a
> maintainer of distribution on linux, as well as any other platfom.
I hope so, I gave that step on February 2005 (with the packages I did in
Linex and installed in 80000 pc in Extremadura schools) so it's good to know
it now.

> Please, contact us directly on any outstanding issue, which you think
> prevents you from moving forward.
> I think we will manage to solve any of them if we will work together as a
> team.
Great, I just want to add that it would be a good progress having only one
Debian version of the squeak packages, updated, and done between all the
people who is interested in it. Now there are at least three packages for
the same squeak-vm: one in Debian, another in Ubuntu, and another in
squeak.org That's simply a waste of resources. Last april I open a
collaborative project on https://alioth.debian.org/projects/pkg-squeak/ ,
Both Matej Kosik and Bert Freudenberg have sent emails announcing it, but
nobody has joined or apported a line. I think that would be a good starting
point but I'm open to any other suggestion.

José L.
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