[squeak-dev] linux installation & squeak.sh confusions

tim Rowledge tim at rowledge.org
Wed Jul 31 22:38:14 UTC 2019

One of the interesting things that happens when you try to introduce someone new to Squeak is that you come up against all the habits you've built up about how to do stuff and how they don't necessarily match current reality.

In this case, I noticed that installing Squeak on a linux machine has some curious issues. To start with, we don't actually seem to have any advice on what to install where, which makes it hard to tell people to RTFM. 

There are three plausible packages to install and each has a different shell script! The linux current 5.2b package squeak.sh is different to the all-in-one squeak.sh which is different to the version included in any locally built or grabbed from bintray package. Oh, and the version included in Raspbian is again different! We should probably try to improve that, wouldn't you say?

Once upon a time(long ago), the norm was for the .sources file to live where the vm executable did. I'd sorta-kinda noticed that it could also be in the same directory as the image too, but we seem to have drifted a bit from that earlier rule. The only install details mentioned on https://squeak.org/downloads/ actually specify only the 'same directory as image' part. This is not the best option for anyone wanting to keep images for different purposes spread in various directories. The code in SourceFileArray does actually look for a sources file in the vm path *but* with the unix approach of having date/time coded vm paths - not to mention the more general idea of the 'shared' assets directory - this isn't going to be that useful; '/usr/lib/squeak/5.0-201907192337' is ok until you update to 5.2-201908031yyyy'. Then again, anyone having several VMs in different places will have some fun if paths based on the vm location are relied upon!

I know that part of this is the result of the rather varied rules different unixes have for storing loaded applications. I don't know very much about those rules - and I really, really, don't want to have to care - so maybe somebody has ideas that might help have a decent shared location for the sources file that would fit? Could we just use vmPath/../ for 'normal' installs? 

tim Rowledge; tim at rowledge.org; http://www.rowledge.org/tim
A conscience is what hurts when all your other parts feel so good.

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