[squeak-dev] Re: [vwnc] image overload

Bruce Boyer bruce.boyer at alumni.uci.edu
Fri Mar 12 18:51:33 UTC 2010

This is rather a sensitive area with me at the moment, as I'm working on indexing docs.  I've had to resort to using "image" and "graphical image" to try to distinguish these two, but "image" remains unclear to anyone who doesn't already know.

I could guess that the term "snapshot" came first, as a methaphorical attempt to describe what saving that thing is, and "image" is what snapshots give (or pictures or something even worse for that thing).  But, it's only a guess.

If a really good term were proferred, the documentation cost will be amortized over a long period of time, so not a worry.  Getting it accepted by smalltalkers will be the harder problem.

I'm not sure, though, that "system file" is right.  The file part is just an artifact of saving the state of the system, providing a way to preserving it for a restart.  

Is there a recognizable term for the state of memory at a moment?  Cognitive scientists might have something, though I'm sure it would be hugely debated whether there is any such thing.

Waste of time?  Perhaps.  But, beats indexing :)

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Eliot Miranda 
  To: The general-purpose Squeak developers list ; Pharo Development ; vwnc NC 
  Sent: Friday, March 12, 2010 9:59 AM
  Subject: [vwnc] image overload

  Hi All,

      I'm sure Im opening an old topic but anyway, as I was riding the train to work today I saw a shop called "Audio Images" and it struck me how overloaded the term image is, and how poor a term for the contents of the image file Smalltalk image is.  What's in the image is a snapshot of... almost the entire system (minus platform-specific virtual machine and possibly minus sources).  So Smalltalk system file would be a far better term and stsys a more unique file extension (and according to Wikipedia STS is unused too).  I can imagine that changing form image would be hugely expensive in documentation terms (docs, websites, workspaces, etc, etc).  But I can at least dream of a better term.

  P.S.  I know, wasting one's time worrying about names.  Almost as bad as worrying about colours

  "And the wheel," said the Captain, "What about this wheel thingy? It sounds a terribly interesting project."
  "Ah," said the marketing girl, "Well, we're having a little difficulty there."
  "Difficulty?" exclaimed Ford. "Difficulty? What do you mean, difficulty? It's the single simplest machine in the entire Universe!"
  The marketing girl soured him with a look.
  "Alright, Mr. Wiseguy," she said, "if you're so clever, you tell us what colour it should be."


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