[Vm-dev] How to build a standard Unix interpreter VM on Linux using a Squeak trunk image

Mariano Martinez Peck marianopeck at gmail.com
Mon Nov 21 21:24:24 UTC 2011

On Mon, Nov 21, 2011 at 6:11 PM, Jeff Gonis <jeff.gonis at gmail.com> wrote:

> Hi David and Stephane,
> I sent David an email thanking him very much for this email on the
> squeak-dev list and I saw this message and I thought that maybe I could
> state what value David's email had for me, as a vote for David sending it.
> I had in fact gone and looked at Mariano's blog and also the Deep Into
> Smalltalk vm course slides to work on building a vm, but I generally use
> the latest squeak image in my development, and in this image neither Gofer
> nor Metacello are present. Both of the resources that were listed
> explicitly place their instructions in the context of operating inside of a
> Pharo image and using Gofer, and so if you are not in a Pharo image,
> instead of working on getting a vm built you first have to work on figuring
> out how to get Gofer and Metacello up and running in your image. This can
> discourage you and eventually cause you to turn your attention to doing
> other development in the image which is what happened for me.
Gofer is not necessary. It was used just to download ConfigurationOfCog.
You can take the Monticello Browser and download it by hand. Even more, you
can use Installer in Squeak if you want.

> David's instructions worked for the first time I tried them,

The problem is that the same instructions way not work in 6 months, since
it is very easy that platform code is not in sync with VMMaker. Or even
worst, some packages of VMMaker may not be in sync with other packages of

> even being so thorough as to tell me how to deal with the merge window
> that popped up, and worked inside a Squeak image.  Unfortunately, I
> attempted the same instructions from inside a pharo 1.3 image and came
> across several errors with what appear to be unsatisfied dependencies and a
> syntax error.  So it looks like right now we are kind of stuck with a
> situation in which the instructions for building a VM differ between Pharo
> and Squeak.

Again, in 6 months the instructions can be obsolete because it may change
the amount of plugins, or which ones go internal, which external etc. With
CMakeVMMaker this is done for you. You don't need to be aware of which
plugins you should compile etc.

> But this is why David's email was so valuable, because the most clear
> directions for VM building for me were pharo specific,

There is nothing Pharo specific. All what is done from image side is to
generate sources. Metacello works in Squeak, hence ConfigurationOfCog
should work in Squeak. And CMakeVMMaker is quite platform independent. I
didn't try it in Squeak, but I think it should work also.

> and now there are instructions suited to Squeak that I can use. So I don't
> see his email as duplication but rather as providing the directions that I
> was unable to get from the other resources.

Completely agree with this. But nobody said the opposite. David's mail is
really helpful, but Stef was asking something different: why not to take
advantage of all the work Igor and company have already done?  If you can
make it work in Squeak, then you don't even need another way of building
the vm.

> Anyway, just wanted to put in my 2 cents on why I appreciated David's work
> so much.

> Thanks,
> Jeff G.

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