Site Access Woes -- Was: Update from server blows up.

JArchibald at JArchibald at
Wed Aug 11 13:30:32 UTC 1999

To the powers that be (or whomever) -- in this case, somewhat lacking in the 
power part:

I have spent quite a bit of time lurking various Squeak sites (mostly FTP but 
the various Swiki's also), attempting to build a set of (minimally) 
consistent pages that could be used to access resources that we would like 
Squeakers to have available. The archived materials are available in a very 
confusing set of access patterns, I would assume because of waves of 
historical points of view. Some identified sites no longer are being 
maintained (e.g., the CREATE site) but are still being referenced as primary 
locations. Many have a Macintosh orientation which is not stated in the 
accessing materials. And as is pointed out (snips follow), the structure and 
naming of pieces is easily confusing to beginners (and to be honest, to some 
old-timers too). E.g., I spent substantial time trying to find version 1.21 
(this because the headless Squeak Dan Ingalls built some time ago was built 
on a Mini of that version)--only to find that the 1.20 to 1.21 update was 
nowhere to be found. The primary documentation (e.g., seems to 
imply that to install Squeak, you should obtain four files ... (etc.), where 
as any of us accessing this stuff regularly know, you want the appropriate (or .tar, or whatever) which has all the pieces in it. Some locations 
( have an index.html which effectively prevents 
you from seeing what sub-directories exist there (after you realize the 
primary documentation is confusing and you're ready to roll your own search).

Most distressingly, when problems occur, no one is really in a position to 
fix them. (I think we do want the Disney guys and Test Pilots concentrating 
on new function). A recent example, which set my teeth on edge, was the state 
of the (primary) Mail Archive (; it was no 
longer collecting new mail. After my asking questions a couple of times in 
this mailing list, 'someone' reset the archive so that it now behaves 
SQUEAK MAIL WAS DISCARDED !!! Our primary mail archive now has copies of only 
the last 4 or 5 weeks of mail (the period since the reset). Somehow this 
should be done better. (My own response to all of this has been to create my 
own local copies of Squeak resources I _might_ someday want, seeing that they 
seem to disappear occasionally)

I am willing to help fix this situation, if I can in any way. To Dwight 
Hughes (if he is the appropriate resource), if he is given authority to 
straighten this out, I offer my services to him to help in any way that I 
can. Similarly for anyone else trying to create more reasonable access 
arrangements and documentation for these resources.

Jerry Archibald
System Objectives.
JArchibald at

On 8/11/99 4:05:51 AM EDT, dway at writes:
<< I'll second Dwight's nomination as FTP site librarian.  No amount of
 posting answers to this list will prevent first time Squeak users (who
 generally aren't on this list) from just downloading the obvious .zip file
 from and running into problems.  Volunteers often make good
 librarians anyway. :) >>

On 8/6/99 10:27:54 PM EDT, dwighth at writes:
<< BTW, is Squeak Central still looking for an FTP site librarian? I would
 be happy to help with getting this mess straightened out. >>

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