[Squeakfoundation]Concrete SqF projects

squeakfoundation@lists.squeakfoundation.org squeakfoundation@lists.squeakfoundation.org
Fri, 25 May 2001 09:19:18 +0200 (MEST)


Over the last weeks (basically as long as I'm following this list) there
have been a number of (quite high-level) discussions about purpose and
principles of the SqF on this list. While I feel that these discussions are useful and
necessary, I would like to see a start of more concrete projects. Perhaps
it's helpful to try it the other way around and discuss the principles in the
context of concrete projects (where the practical issues will ultimately

While it may sound complicated to start projects in a phase where no SqF (at
least formally) exists and where we also have to avoid certain issues (like
money changing hands) I think that there are a number of projects that we
could basically start right away, which would benefit the entire Squeak
community, and also show that SqF is not only a club for debating chaordic principles
(just kidding ;-) Starting some of those projects might also help finding
(at least interim) project officers for some of the issues that will stay in
the long-term focus of SqF.

So what could we start with in practice?! The three issues which I think are
obvious no-brainers for the SqF are:

* Establish a web-presence of Squeak image releases
Meaning a central list pointing out what versions exists, when they were
released, what VM to use with it, an FAQ per release, etc. etc. etc.

* Establish a web-presence of Squeak VMs
Meaning a central list of compiled VMs that are available, references to the
source code for each version, telling people that "If the VM for version XYZ
hasn't been compiled on ABC, please drop us a copy", FAQs for VMs/platforms,
etc. etc. etc.

* Establish a web-presence of Squeak packages [GOODIEs] [ADDONs] etc.
Meaning a central list of available packages, goodies, add-ons, telling
people what this thing does, the Squeak version it has been designed for, the
versions it has been successfully tested on, perhaps a swiki for posting bugs

The above three are obvious issues that SqF needs to deal with concretely.
They do not require any programming, they do not require money, all they do
require is a couple of dedicated people for setting up the infrastructure, for
making up some web pages, write a few emails, and - most importantly - keep
it up-to-date. Also note that the above does require almost no server space -
virtually everything is available at UIUC or on some other server world-wide.
Later we can think about mirroring this stuff at some SqF server but we
don't need this to get started.  BTW, I'm thinking about the above mainly as a -
critically needed - reorganization of the stuff that's available at the
GATech Swiki (perhaps on a more robust server ;-) since there are tons of
infomation available at the swiki - they just cannot be found.

In addition to these projects we may think about a few others. Two that come
to my mind are (there may be more - I'm sure Paul has suggestions ;-)

* Review and coordinate a migration of Stable Squeak into the main release
Although not yet released (but according to John it'll happen on the
weekend) I think that this could be a very valuable task since it brings together
the best of both worlds.

* Write and post a monthly "Mini Squeak FAQ" to the mailing list
For one thing, this FAQ would help many beginners to find information faster
(all the mini FAQ has to provide is pointers to URLs answering the
questions). For another thing it could be "brought to you by the Squeakfoundation"
thus raising the visibility of the SqF and establish it as a central and known
entity in Squeakland.

Please note that because of my association with Squeak Central I am not
volunteering for any of the stuff. If you want me to, then say so and I will, but
I'd rather see the community taking the lead here.

  - Andreas

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