[Squeakfoundation]Re: FreePAN: an opportunity to share repositories!

goran.hultgren@bluefish.se squeakfoundation@lists.squeakfoundation.org
Tue, 7 Jan 2003 13:02:28 +0100

Hi Brian and all!

Brian Ingerson <ingy@ttul.org> wrote:
> > I have some concern about muddying the waters as to where to look for
> > Squeak packages - as I think Ned mentioned, SqueakMap has gained a lot of
> > momentum and mind share lately, and if FreePAN is going to work for the
> > Squeak community we'll have to be careful to coordinate/integrate with
> > SqueakMap, not compete with it.
> Definitely. It seems that FreePAN just offers SqueakMap mirroring. This
> is something SqueakMap appears not to have. Same with Ruby and RAA. 

First of all - if I haven't already said so - I am all ears for
coordination/integration/cooperation - that is always good. Mind though
that SqueakMap may have an architecture (especially upcoming 1.1) that
might make it a bit "incompatible" - I am not sure though just noting it
for the record.

Well, in fact SqueakMap has mirroring - sort of - we just haven't set up
any mirrors yet. :-) Ehrm. A mirror of SqueakMap is easily set up by
simply setting up another server (identical code) and having it
regularly update itself from the master and disabling the web UI for
changing the model. No code to be written for this.

Setting one up is on my todo-list but so is also getting SM1.1 out of
the door... And SM1.1 will offer more interesting replication with the
added ability to have additional "local" content.

SM works by mirroring itself down to the client using a transaction
model which makes it theoretically much more efficient than rsync. It
also makes it "smartness capable" - the transactions are actually
messages that get replayed at the client and the client modifies the
local mirror accordingly. At that time it can "react" to the
transactions etc.

In SM1.1 I plan to let a mirror be able to have local changes (like an
added local package for example) that can optionally be "published" to a
selected master higher up in the hierarchy.

This means that a person can have private packages in his/her local SM
and a company or organisation can have companywide packages not visible
outside the company etc.

It also means that modifications to the map can be applied locally and
then published (compared to the current model where modifications to the
map can only be applied on the master through the web UI).

Anyway, enough blabbering about that. :-)

> I suspect that FreePAN may offer other features too, but I'd leave it up
> to the Language Managers as to how much they want.
> Competition is not bad in itself. I am completely open to building
> bridges to other facilities. But I'm also interested in offering an
> alternative to CPAN for Perl, which in many ways has stagnated. 

The best way to collaborate here I think is by:

1. Explaining our architectures to each other and learn good stuff.
2. Building a bridge from SqueakMap to FreePAN so that SqueakMap is
mirrored into FreePAN. The other direction will be harder I think.

SqueakMap is an architecture heavily focused on Squeak and should remain
so. But if there is interest in mirroring the SM content on FreePAN then
of course, why not! Personally I am not sure though what the advantage
would be - don't mistake me for being negative here - I just need to get
the advantages explained to me. :-)

But I don't think I want to limit the development of SM to be
constrained by a common possibly simpler model of packages - note though
that I haven't read up enough on FreePAN to be sure it is simpler - it's
just a guess. SM1.1 will for example have releases of packages
maintained as separate "records", does FreePAN have something similar?

> BTW, I'm trying very hard not to over-architect this project. I want
> maximum payback for effort. Especially my effort. I want it to be
> something the community maintains.

>From my experience with developing SM and the current success (I dare
say) of it I totally agree. SM1.0x is very simple and works mostly
because of that AND the fact that it has a GUI inside Squeak - a very
important feature for Squeakers. And now that it is easily bootstrapped
from within stock Squeak it has gained even more momentum.

The community has helped out with addons, fixes and related stuff - and
of course by publishing packages and using it. But noone (but me) has
really dug into SM itself yet - I am waiting for that to happen still. I
have a few volunteers lined up though, we just haven't had time yet to
"sit down" and get cranking.

> > Assuming we can resolve that issue, I'd be willing to make sure Squeak was
> > properly represented on FreePAN.
> Great. Volunteered then! I'll put you down as the Squeak Content
> Manager.
> One thing we're doing is writing all the tools to build freepan in
> different languages. It would be neat to see some Squeak tools. I need
> an upload server. Seems like something you're good at.

This last paragraph got me a bit puzzled - could you elaborate? Tools?
An upload server is trivial in Squeak - but I am not sure I know what
you mean by it.

> Find me on irc (see link on freepan.org) and let's discuss it further.

I will check if you are there later today. Unfortunately I am in Sweden
so I normally don't "match" timezone-wise...

> Cheers, Brian

Cheers, Göran