[squeak-dev] Updating Universe

Ralph Johnson johnson at cs.uiuc.edu
Thu Jan 15 16:19:50 UTC 2009

On Wed, Jan 14, 2009 at 10:59 AM, Damien Cassou <damien.cassou at gmail.com> wrote:

> The rule is to never remove a package from the Universe so that people
> can update their image without problem. But if I were you, I would
> delete it :-).

There are two problems with this rule.  The obvious one is that the
universe gets lots of obsolete versions of packages, and that makes
browsing them hard in the Universe browser.  This problem can be fixed
by a better browser.

The bigger problem is that it encourages people to live in their image
and to depend on updates to fix problems.  After many years of
Smalltalk programming, I decided to throw away my current image every
week and to build a new one.  I make sure I can file out all my code
and can build a new image from a released image.  I know that this
cannot be done with the base image. But I think Squeak would be better
if it were possible to build a new image from scratch.  Unfortunately,
that won't happen soon, but I can at least keep any applications I
work on from falling into the same problem.

I would not go so far as to claim that Package Universe should delete
the ability to perform updates.  But I would say that all old versions
can be thrown away, and that people should not expect to be able to
update a year old image without breaking something.  After all,
instead of updating a package, they can just load in a new version.


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