[Vm-dev] [Pharo-dev] Fogbugz feedback - "Image Version"

Eliot Miranda eliot.miranda at gmail.com
Fri Mar 17 10:36:30 UTC 2017

Hi Ben,

> On Mar 16, 2017, at 8:32 PM, Ben Coman <btc at openinworld.com> wrote:
> A niggle I've had for a while is that the "Image Version" field seems to me to be useless.  
> It defaults to a particular major version. 
> (that even though only a small thing, is one more thing to maintain)
> It tends to be superseded by the Milestone field.
> The limited selection of major version is too broad to add any
> useful info beyond Milestone to narrow down action.
> So I wonder Image Version if it might be replaced by a freeform field
> "Image Version" to enter the value from System > About.
> -----
> As an extension, given the flux of the VMs with the move to 64 bit, 
> and ongoing support for both, it might also be good to have a "VM Version" field.
> Now actually I often find it awkward to report VM version.
> The text under System > System Reporter > VM General
> is quite bulky and its not clear what is the really  useful parts for identification.
> So I usually end up pasting the whole thing, but this is too much for
> an issue tracker field.  Also, there is no indication here of itimer versus threaded heartbeats which is sometimes pertinent. 
> Could suitable minimal VM version info be added to   System > About  
> so the info required for the issue tracker is all in one simple place? 

Perhaps we should start by enumerating use cares.  I originally wrote that bulky version info so that vm maintainers could identify the exact version of a VM.  The use case here is to locate or obtain the build date, c compiler and exact C and VMMaker source for the vm in order to locate the exact vm, attach a debugger, recompile a matching debug vm, etc.  At the time the version info was 

a) the commit to the subversion Cog repository of the vm sources

b)  the commit to the subversion squeakvm repository of the vm support files shared between Cog and squeakvm 

c) the VMMaker version of the StackInterpreter or CoInterpreter in the vm (including the "*" dirty mark if so)

d) the VMMaker version of the Cogit in the vm (including the "*" dirty mark if so)

With opensmalltalk-vm we can collapse a) and b), or rather, b) is no longer separate and hence obsolete, but the triad a), c) & d) are still most relevant to me.  Condensing these to a summary means having to index (e.g. lookup the VMMaker info in opensmalltalk-vm by checking out a particular commit) and that's time consuming.

So for me, while the info is poorly formatted and hard to read it is informative and saves me time.  I'm happy to see it paired down by dropping b), and doing whatever we can to make it more readable but I'd still like to see people cite it in full when reporting a potential vm problem or reporting their vm version.

What other use cases are there for this version info?  (and that's not a rhetorical question). 

> -----
> Finally, do we want these version fields to:
> * remain static for the version initially reported on, or 
> * be refreshed as confirmed in a later version, or
> * have separate fields "Confirmed in {Image/VM} Version" to track tests.
> cheers -ben 
> cheers -ben

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