[squeak-dev] updating a 5.3 image can be broken by your preferences file

Marcel Taeumel marcel.taeumel at hpi.de
Mon Nov 22 10:48:07 UTC 2021

Hi Tim --

Somewhat improved via System-mt.1249. 

Am 20.11.2021 22:17:42 schrieb tim Rowledge <tim at rowledge.org>:
After my minor adventure in updating a 5.2 image, I grabbed the 5.3 image I actually wanted, loaded my preferences file and did an update, just in case an 5.3 fixes needed to be added.

Well dear reader, it didn't do quite what one might expect. The loading of the preferences file changed the update url and it started to load the entire 5.3 -> 6.0 update list. That in itself is an adventure to be avoided and I had to force quit the system.

Now it is apparently the case that the preferences file saves the value of 'Update URL', which is I suppose inevitable, what with it being a preference and all. I'm not sure what the properly sensible thing to do is here; after all we have that preference so that one can take a 5.3 image and update it to trunk. It is certainly a bug that the PreferenceBrowser I had open while testing this *didn't* update the update url field after loading the prefs file.

Would it not be better to try to separate personal preferences - mouse settings, backgrounds, themes, fonts, stuff like that, and per-image stuff like the update URL ? Sure, it's hard to think of a hard and fast rule as to what would go in each bucket.

The current save/load of preferences is a bit of a blunt instrument that saves every preference value no matter what and then when you load it into a different image you may be subjected to considerable surprises. Surely the better idea would be to only save the values the user has changed?

Not to mention maybe updating the system to save the preferences into the prefs directory that is used for several other utilities like Monticello. And perhaps using ST/Json format?

tim Rowledge; tim at rowledge.org; http://www.rowledge.org/tim
Useful random insult:- Immune from any serious head injury.

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