[V3dot10] [Q] About updates, take 3

Eliot Miranda eliot.miranda at gmail.com
Thu Jan 25 18:26:42 UTC 2007

On 1/25/07, Ralph Johnson <johnson at cs.uiuc.edu> wrote:
> Edgar, one reason I am slow to respond is that I am busy.  Another is
> that I am not really a Squeak expert (though I am a Smalltalk expert)
> and so I want to think about things a little.  But a very important
> reason to be slow is that it gives more people time to comment, and
> the more comments, the more we know.
> You are right that it is time to release an image.  But I think it
> should not be something that people get by updating from 3.9.   People
> are too likely to get it by accident.  Moreover, not all changes can
> be in the update stream.  Imagine the day we finally install
> KernelImage and have Morphic all loadable from MC!  I don't think we
> are going to be able to put that in the update stream.
> > > I use ReleaseBuilder because seems me right reuse it.
> >
> > Yes, it's the right place to put cleanup stuff. But ReleaseBuilder is
> > meant to prepare an image for an actual release. For a person,
> > perhaps you, to take a fully updated image and put the finishing
> > touches on it - cleaning caches, undeclared, obsoletes, resetting
> > author initials, etc. pp. You *never* want to do that to some
> > unsuspecting user's image. A call to it certainly should not be put
> > into the update stream. It's okay to push the class to a user, but
> > you should not actually run it via an update.
> This is an example of the valuable insight that we get by waiting.
> This ought to be in the class comment.

VisualWorks is built using something like ReleaseBuilder's functionality,
but expressed in the form of a long script, evasluated in a workspace.
Precisely because this isn't the kind of functionality one wants or needs in
a base image I think its not the kind of thing that belongs in the base.
(IMAO) If ReleaseBuilder can unload itself as one of the last steps before
creating the release image then keep it as a class/tool, otherwise just
maintain it as a script in a well-known place, so that otehrs can use it to
create their own images.

(Again IMAO) One thing I think must change asap is the non-empty changes
file that comes with a new release.  ReleaseBuilder or whatever must
generate a fresh sources file with a null changes file.  That makes the
changes file mch more effective for crash recovery.  It belongs to the
programmer not to the release builder, so the release shouldn't pollute it.

BTW, if any one is interested and has a fresh VisualWorks image to hand to
shift-paste to see what's in the paste buffer stack :)
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