[squeak-dev] [ANN] VMMaker metacello config for Squeak and Pharo

Torsten Bergmann astares at gmx.de
Fri Feb 5 20:56:48 UTC 2010

Andreas Raab wrote:
>Let's be a bit careful before jumping heads-on into the Metacello 

Somehow I knew before that you will respond like this ... ;)

>I don't mind if people choose to use Metacello to load VMMaker 
>but it shouldn't be the only option.

Hey - Metacello is "just" a package management tool for Monticello using 
descriptions of the dependencies and the versions that fit together. 
Anything I did was to create such a configuration. 

Nobody forces you or other developers to use Metacello - having 
such an (additional) config does not change the way you are working 
right now. Use Monticello, SqueakSource, ... as you did before. You can 
continue to use build scripts, installers, SqueakMap, Universe, 
whatever ... to load VMMaker.

But currently I dont see none of these "loaders" is well maintained (or only 
with private scripts), anything I've found was a decription from David (see last mail) on the web. And how often does one ask which packages in which version fit
together to get VMMaker or other Squeak projects to work. Try to rebuild the
SqueakSource server and you know what I'm talking about!

Providing and maintaining a metacello spec is simple and works. And the
interesting thing is that someone (Dale) is actively maintaining this tool
on several Smalltalks - even for Squeak.  

And as Fernando responded on the pharo list:
 "And the ConfigurationOfXXX is allowing a new form of communication , unthinkable 
  just a couple of months ago...."

Metacello easily allows to have reproducable builds for projects, applications, images ...
(see http://astares.blogspot.com/2010/01/pharo-10-release-candidate-2-and-image.html)

Someone requires VMMaker in a specific version - just point him to "ConfigurationOfVMMaker" and you are done.  

>Myself for example, I use customarily a variety of images, none of which 
>support or are supported by Metacello.

Two things
 - this has nothing to do with Metacello. Your images dont have to have Metacello.
   So it is just an additional configuration, so why will you bother - it will
   not affect the way you worked before

 - it is not the problem of the Squeak community if you use non-Squeak images
   to build VM's. As community we all have to assure that VMMaker and its loading
   (with or without Metacello) is well known and works on standard images and 
   the loading and VM building is reproducable by ANYONE!
   Does the term "Truck Factor" ring a bell?  

At least your images seem to be able to use Monticello - so why lament. 
You can continue to work as before and if David could invest a minute 
to save others from annoying questions about VMMaker loading everything
is in good shape and even free's some time in the long term.

>It would not be good if we require Metacello to load VMMaker.

Is the Linux project in trouble when one create's and publishes a CD with 
linux packages that fit together? No! Same applies here. You should really
have a look first before commenting on Metacello...

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