[squeak-dev] General Squeak projects and advice to help people ramp up

Jeff G jgon.in.canada at gmail.com
Tue Sep 13 03:59:42 UTC 2011

Hi Chris!

Thanks for the message and the suggestions.  Based on people's responses I
decided that I should probably take my own suggestion and start writing up
some documentation for Squeak Map, Monticello, and the Inbox system to be
placed in the Help System.  My reasons for choosing this to work on are
admittedly somewhat selfish as I had basically learned just enough
Monticello to be dangerous, and so I figured that it was time I bite the
bullet and actually learned the tools I was using.  So right now I am just
reading as much as I can and experimenting and in a bit I'll work to
condense my notes into something useful and put it in the image.

After that, I may take a look at the halos, and possibly Cuis' content pack
system for holding updated icons, but that is still a ways away.  I would
love to work on Morphic3 as I really enjoy working on graphical applications
in Squeak and I sometimes want the increased performance and drawing quality
I can achieve with Cairo and C++, which I got to use quite a bit in a
previous job. Maybe the Gezira system is another way to achieve these goals,
I'll have to explore that as well. But this is all in the future and I
should finish what I am currently working on instead of flitting from
project to project.  When I have something worth submitting I'll forward it
to the list to get some feedback before I throw it in the image.

Thanks for the feedback,
Jeff G.

On Mon, Sep 12, 2011 at 9:05 PM, Chris Muller <asqueaker at gmail.com> wrote:

> Thanks for the massive wall of text, Jeff.  :)  If you have time to
> contribute, how about some look improvements to the image?  I really
> wanted to improve the appearance of the Morphic halos for 4.2, but
> even just adjusting their colors wasn't as simple as I'd hoped.  Could
> you fix that?
> If you're game for a larger project then maybe continuing the work on
> getting Morphic3 or Cuis' Morphic going in Squeak.  I believe it would
> have to be able to run side-by-side with existing Morphic to have the
> best chance for adoption, so that projects could be ported.
> Squeak is a continuum (where Pharo is more like the explorer).  This
> community here are concerned with their projects so, 98% of the time,
> the Squeak project moves by incremental steps.  The focus has been on
> improving the overall quality of the image and VM, and not as much in
> other areas.
>  - Chris
> On Wed, Sep 7, 2011 at 11:31 PM, Jeff G <jgon.in.canada at gmail.com> wrote:
> > This email was sparked by the conversation currently going on in the
> "Fork
> > Proposal" series of emails, and also by the seeming slow-down of activity
> on
> > the squeak trunk in the last little while.
> >
> > I am coming to squeak-dev as an interested semi-lurker, a developer whose
> > Smalltalk skills are still building along with my experience with the
> > Smalltalk community. The reason that the "Fork Proposal" email grabbed my
> > attention was because it threw out a concrete series of goals that people
> in
> > the community could work towards and which could be attainable even by
> > non-gurus.  This is personally something that I would find a lot of value
> in
> > and I believe that there are people like me out there, loving squeak and
> > smalltalk, wanting to contribute, but not really sure where to spend our
> > limited time for maximum benefit to the community.  I know that a lot of
> > open source is produced by scratching one's itch, but in other cases
> > communities have set out general priorities and projects that people may
> be
> > interested in working on as a way of starting up groups of developers,
> and
> > also giving pointers to ways that interested beginning contributors can
> help
> > out without having to immediately dive into the deep end.  An example
> would
> > be the "Gnome Love" bugs designed to help people get their feet wet
> > contributing to gnome.
> >
> > As part of the squeak oversight board elections candidates gave a
> statement
> > of their intent while on the board and projects that they have worked on,
> > but that appears to have been a somewhat isolated instance, and generally
> I
> > don't get a feel that there are any large concrete projects that have
> been
> > announced or stated for squeak, although people may be working on such
> > projects privately.  I would love to contribute more fully to squeak but
> I
> > am sort of at the level where I can keep working on small projects for
> > myself and slowly building up the knowledge to effectively contribute
> based
> > on what I can glean from this mailing list, the wiki and reading lots of
> > code in the image. I am willing to bet that there are others out there
> like
> > me.  So I am going to throw out some suggestions of things that would
> really
> > help me, done completely in the spirit of suggestions rather than
> demands,
> > what with this being an open source community and all:
> >
> > - projects that people are working on or that they think the community
> might
> > be interested in.  If I go to the Pharo website I can quickly find out
> what
> > their goals for the 1.4 release are.  Now of course this is largely
> because
> > of the benevolent dictator setup of the community and squeak is not set
> up
> > like this at all, but I think that some of the main contributors could
> set
> > out some of the things they are working on or that they see as having
> value
> > for the future of squeak, as a way of soliciting support or help.  I know
> > that I have asked myself if it is worth looking into the gezira bindings
> or
> > the athens project that pharo has mentioned, as I sometimes wish for
> higher
> > quality anti-aliasing that BalloonCanvas can provide me. What about going
> > through old squeakmap projects and updating them until they work with the
> > new revision? Working to remove old code from the images? Clearing out
> the
> > bug tracker by testing all old bug against the current revision and
> closing
> > those that are fixed or no longer applicable? Working to update the swiki
> > image? Cleaning out the wiki or updating some of the pages?
> >
> > - A set of easily accessible documentation that gives clear specific
> advice
> > on the steps one needs to take to contribute. Some things that would
> > definitely help me are: A set of consolidated documentation on squeak's
> > version of monticello, along with an explanation of the standard
> monticello
> > work flows and how they compare with other DVCSs. What is the analog of
> > branching  and pushing and pulling, if any, in Monticello?  A quick guide
> to
> > squeak map, how to upload your own projects and how to fix projects that
> > don't install on your version. A quick dead-simple guide to contributing
> to
> > trunk, how to save your contribution to the inbox, how to run code as
> part
> > of your contribution in case something needs to be initialized when it is
> > loaded. I had to search a little for this information and there are still
> > holes in my understanding of what some of the expectations are for the
> > trunk.  In an absolutely perfect world this would be available via the
> help
> > system in the image, so that even a complete smalltalk newbie could see
> > exactly what to do if they find a bug in the image.
> >
> > - A set of tasks, maybe kept on the wiki that include some quick
> small-bite
> > tasks that a person could pick up to start building their experience
> > contributing to squeak.  As an added bonus this could help out the more
> > experienced developers as well. An example would be more tests in the
> > image.  Are there any areas that don't require deep smalltalk knowledge
> (ie
> > probably no decompiler tests) that could do with more tests? Throw them
> up
> > as something that someone could take on. Methods that could use
> commenting?
> > Start a comment of the day contest much like pharo. Methods would
> probably
> > allow for easier contribution as they are smaller and more quickly
> > understood than a class. Giving some of the more senior developers
> > assistance with these tasks could be beneficial to the work that they are
> > trying to get done.
> >
> > So is this email one big complaint? No, because that wouldn't really be
> in
> > the spirit of open source or smalltalk.  So I would like to step forward
> and
> > volunteer my time towards helping to make some of these suggestions, or
> any
> > others that people think would help squeak, become a reality.  If you see
> > anything valuable in any of those suggestions that I made let me know, I
> > would love to know where people find the most value from my efforts.  Or
> > perhaps you have some project that you are working on that you would like
> > help with! I would like to work with the squeak community to do my part
> to
> > help it move forward, but I feel like some of the suggestions I have made
> > above would help a lot of people like me contribute their time as well.
> >
> > Thanks for reading this massive wall of text,
> > Jeff G.
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
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