[squeak-dev] Brave New World
eliot.miranda at gmail.com
Sat Jan 23 20:11:01 UTC 2010
On Sat, Jan 23, 2010 at 5:58 AM, keith <keith_hodges at yahoo.co.uk> wrote:
> Dear All,
> I invite you to watch the following presentation. It was recommended by
> Eliot, thanks Eliot, and he is correct it is brilliant. I have watched it
> several times.
Actually Danie Roux recommended it first in the Cuis thread.
> Eliot wrote:
> I suggest you do need to see
> http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/clay_shirky_on_institutions_versus_collaboration.html and
> think about its implications.
and it seems to me you've only seen the surface. Of course we're moving
from institutional to collaborative modes of interaction. This community
already has. The underlying implications that you've missed are (for me,
there are probably others)
- that the centre cannot hold. There is no institution enforcing one
approach. You want to hold the Squeak worlds in comforting stasis so you
can have every package load into everything (Josh is articulate on this
point and asking the question of you). But many of the community's members
have found a package-centric approach works and are using it, not to defeat
you but because it works from them in the context of this community.
- that reputation and mutual respect is essential to activate the entire
community. If the left-hand-edge views itself as superior then the 25% at
the right-hand edge are marginalised and become disaffected. Andreas sees
this clearly and points out how valuable contributions are from across the
spectrum. You however hurl the most appalling insults around and scream
like some spoilt kid who isn't getting his way. It is you who are acting
like the institution in the anger phase.
- that every community will have its left-hand edges composed of
prodigiously gifted people like Andreas (and thank the nonspecific deity of
your species for that!), and that inevitably most people's contributions
will be below average, but that doesn't devalue them.
The current "institution" is an "obstacle" to progress, and both the "trunk"
> repository and the pharo team's approaches, are inherently exclusionary,
> generating only one product, under the guidance of the professional class of
> elite programmers, and celebrities we have elected etc. (you have to watch
> the talk). [that is why the bob process was proposed in the first place]
No. Trunk is an enabler, not an institution. The squeak board doesn't
count as much of an institution because it lacks funds. Trunk excludes no
one, everyone has read rights. It is clearly not an obstacle to progress;
it is a significant part of a revived community with trunk, Pharo, Cuis and
Etoys all evolving quickly and for the better.
> We need, and have known for while that we need the equivalent of the
> printing press, the thing that actually facilitates chaos and creativity,
> that can then be co-ordinated in its diversity and creativity, rather than
> being controlled. We need to level the playing field for all of us, even the
> little guy, the below average, "way to the left" on the contribution curve
We have more than enough elements for chaos in Smalltalk itself, Monticello,
the internet, open mailing lists and so on and so forth. It just doesn't
accord with your vision of stasis in which the ability to load everything
into everything else is valued above the things themselves. You're
asserting that the medium is the message. I disagree profoundly. If I am
to give what I can to the community (a much faster VM) then I need to break
with the past. Old mages won't load. Pre-closre code won't be file-inable,
etc. Disruptive change. But it will be a good thing. Curatorship is a
niche interest, valid but not one that serves the broader needs of the
community at large.
The underlying direction of the execution machinery right now is towards
smaller and smaller kernels into which one can load packages, and away from
large monolithic images that embody a flavour or direction. Packages exist
independently of a specific context. Change sets on the other hand are
highly contextualised code that apply patches to a specific context and are
highly likely to fail to produce their desired effect in a different
context. They are extremely useful for distributing fixes but they are very
bad at embodying a component.
Once we have smaller kernels we will be able to evolve the underlying
execution machinery more easily and implement different object
representations and more efficient garbage collectors, but the broader
community won't be inconvenienced because their packages will still load.
Assuredly however old images will be left behind, and the best way of
bringing old code forward will be to publish it as a package and load it
into a new image.
What we really need as an essential starting point is actually the kernel
> image that we have talked about for so long. So thank you Juan Vuletich,
> thank you for your kernel image, I am sure it will go far.
And who is making the fastest progress towards that goal right now? You or
Andreas and Juan? Are you helping them or hindering them?
> We just need a couple of tools for CUIS that will allow contributions at
> ANY level, and tools and infrastructure that can cope with forking if
> someone wants to be liberated from Juan's benevolent control of the kernel.
So stop hectoring and start participating.
> Essentially I am proposing a paradigm shift from "centralized" scm, like
> subversion or CVS (aka trunk).
> and we need the equivalent of git/mercurial and bazaar, where development
> is decentralised and we can branch to our hearts content.
Josh has already responded to this.
> So, welcome to the brave new world, built in Cuis.
We're free to make that choice. But even better were free to not make a
false or forced choice. In the package world there is no insurmountable
separation between Cuis and Trunk or Pharo or Etoys. Code is moving in
packages between all of them (and in changesets when it can't be
accomplished easily with packages). Open your eyes and ears man, and stop
shouting at deaf ears.
P.S. In offence of Godwin's law I can't help but see the metaphor between
Keith's model of continuous integration of everything into everything else
and of Clay Shirkey's institutions vs communities and of Stalinism and the
fall of Communism. There are great virtues in socialism (change sets) but
when institutionalised (bob) it becomes monstrous (inefficiency of
maintaining pointless backwards compatibility). ;) ;) ;)
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
More information about the Squeak-dev