squeak releases, now and in the future (reply to Keith)

Jerome Peace peace_the_dreamer at yahoo.com
Sun Jan 27 06:53:56 UTC 2008

squeak releases, now and in the future (reply to

>Keith Hodges keith_hodges at yahoo.co.uk 
>Mon Jan 21 17:00:41 UTC 2008 
>Jerome Peace wrote:
>> Hi all,
>> I think we are at the anniversary of the start of
>> six month timebox for 3dot10.
>> I am watching a lot of interesting developments.
>> Damiens efforts seem to have become squeak's
>> And VPRI has found resources and interest in
>> developing 
>> squeaklands branch of 3.8 and OPLC.
>> As for our squeak-org branch, it seems to me the
>> maintenence and releases of squeak are in neglect.
>I do not entirely agree with this conclusion since
there is work taking
>place in this arena.
>The LevelPlayingField initiative is aiming to provide
>platform/framework whereby we can care for all of the
>releases that we use. This also provides one
framework for integrating
>portions of work towards future releases.
>Within LevelPlayingField there are spaces for several
projects that will
>contribute to a future release, and so really there
is no stagnation at
>all, and there is plenty of room for many others to

Hmm, I was being vague and hinting at a problem
without specifing it exactly.
You are correct that your work is addressing some of
the problems that concern making new releases.

Perhaps I need to claim a distinction between work on
tools and the organizational task of focusing
resources on the process of creating (and blessing)
releases. Its the second task that is not happening.
And it is bothering me that its not being talked about
(goran excepted) or acknowledged.  At least not in the
mailing list.

>We have:
>1. DeltaStreams work by Matthew, including debugging
of the SystemEditor
>for atomic loading.
>2. Monticello can also use SystemEditor (traits not
yet supported)
>3. http://installer.pbwiki.com/MinorFixesUnstable
>4. http://installer.pbwiki.com/Clean
>There are other tool based projects on the go as
well, but they are not
>yet ready to discuss publically.

>> My druthers are that time boxes get honored. That
>I myself am not such a stickler for timeboxes, I
think you could
>effectively time box bug-fix releases.

Timeboxes are important because they provide both
focus and a way to limit scope. Untimeboxed, efforts
tend to increase scope towards the end of the project.
Projects generate learning. Learning generates new
ideas. New ideas generate new scope. New scope at the
end of a project generates mischief.

Andreas suggested that the release process in any one
cycle only consider fixes and changes that are already
to go at the beginning of the cycle. I believe that
would give a release team a good way to judge what
they could do in a six month period. 

Keeping to the timebox and having a future release
team in the wings for the next six month period would
insure that ideas generated during that time are

Right now this seems desirable to me but not

>I do believe that improvements in
>tools will make everything a lot easier. The tools
that need improvement
>are not part of the squeak kernel/core so it is not
surprising that the
>kernel is not being looked after as perhaps it might
be until those
>tools are complete.

Yes, I agree. For updating a image MC is an out of
sequence tool*. It was not meant for such work and
release teams should not rely on it as much as they
have chosen to do. 

>> future release teams be sought. And that the
>> release be wrapped up and delivered, lessons
>> and new development planned for.
>> Where do we go from here?*
>I suggest that anyone who is interested in
contributing to 3.11
>contribute to and join the #squeak irc channel to
join in with others
>who are like minded and who are working on the future
of squeak in
>several different directions. (Matthew, Goran, Craig,
Gulik etc etc)

Touché.  I have not used the irc channel. I'll heed
your suggestion an look into it.

>> What endevors are worthwhile?
>We can put together ideas and use LevelPlayingField
as a place to slot
>together sub-projects.
>> What resources are available for future efforts?
>I then propose that the "official" release team be
comprised of people
>who have been taking an active role in the process,
and who use #squeak
>irc communications regularly so as to encourage many
more contributors
>and to faclitate online teamwork. Gjallar has used
this model reasonably
>best regards
>p.s. For anyone itching to contribute immediately,
the "Clean" script
>currently leaves 12 obsolete classes in the system,
so these need
>tracking down ;-)

Yours in curiosity and service, --Jerome Peace

*out of sequence tools cause there to be a lot of
backtracking. Even small errors in 3.10 required
extreme efforts to back off of because of the
difficulties in using MC. Large portions of the effort
consisted of Edgar educating himself as to the various
pitfalls and remedies. The focus of the release team
should be on what needs to go into the image (or be
taken out). Not on how to do it.

For more on the importance of sequence check out
Christofer Alexanders writings. 

Amazon reviewer: "... Book 2 in this series goes in
depth into the concept that things can only be built
to enhance life and be truly beautiful and useful if
they are built in a sequence of appropriate steps.
Useful link: http://www.patternlanguage.com/

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