[squeak-dev] RE: [vwnc] image overload
dwallen at cincom.com
Fri Mar 12 20:51:41 UTC 2010
I kind of like the idea of suspended animation, or suspension, but there
must be better terms that convey this.
- Dave W
From: vwnc-bounces at cs.uiuc.edu [mailto:vwnc-bounces at cs.uiuc.edu] On
Behalf Of Eliot Miranda
Sent: Friday, March 12, 2010 11:05 AM
To: Bruce Boyer
Cc: vwnc NC; Pharo Development; The general-purpose Squeak developers
Subject: Re: [vwnc] image overload
On Fri, Mar 12, 2010 at 10:51 AM, Bruce Boyer
<bruce.boyer at alumni.uci.edu> wrote:
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.
Right. That's why I don't like either snapshot or image. What are
these snapshots or images of? They are intentionally abstract terms and
are unhelpful. Yes, snapshot is much better, but still hopelessly
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.
But I see a snapshot file are more than just a memory dump. It /is/ the
entire Smalltalk system, class library, potentially compiler, debugger,
tools. It is in a format that requires the virtual machine to run it,
but it is in fact the Smalltalk system in quiescent form. It is not a
memory dump. It is only a dump of the Smalltalk object heap, not the
entire memory space.
It is more than just a way of saving the state. It is also a way of
moving that state and resuming it on a different system. Once you have
the virtual machine key you can unlock the image, uh, system, but
everything you need to program the system (beyond execution display and
input devices) is there.
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 <mailto:eliot.miranda at gmail.com>
To: The general-purpose Squeak developers list
<mailto:squeak-dev at lists.squeakfoundation.org> ; Pharo Development
<mailto:pharo-project at lists.gforge.inria.fr> ; vwnc NC
<mailto:vwnc at cs.uiuc.edu>
Sent: Friday, March 12, 2010 9:59 AM
Subject: [vwnc] image overload
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
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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