[squeak-dev] [WebTeam] squeak 4.1 download confusion for Unix, esp Debian

Ross Boylan ross at biostat.ucsf.edu
Sat Apr 24 01:26:46 UTC 2010

Tagging the subject in hopes of attracting attention from someone who
can change things....

More below:
On Thu, 2010-04-22 at 20:37 -0400, David T. Lewis wrote:
> On Wed, Apr 21, 2010 at 07:57:19PM -0700, Ross Boylan wrote:
> > Going to squeak.org and following the download link for linux in the
> > upper right puts you in http://ftp.squeak.org/4.1/unix-linux/.  I don't
> > think this is very friendly, especially for a newcomer, for the
> > following reasons:
> > 
> > 1. There are multiple files and it's not clear which one(s) to get or
> > what their different roles are.
> > 2. Some of the files have 4.0 in their names.
> > 3. One of the files, judging by the name, is for Darwin.  I believe that
> > is BSD, not Linux, based.
> > 
> > If in the download section when clicks on the installation link, which
> > in turn directs you to http://squeak.org/Documentation/Installation for
> > Unix and http://wiki.squeak.org/squeak/3616 for Debian.
> > 
> > The former is only about the VM.  The latter says to use a repository on
> > squeak.org, but I thought that the current debs were going into mainline
> > debian.  (Maybe only for the VM).
> > 
> > I have some suggestions:
> > 
> > Change the "Download" section to "Get Squeak".  The linux link takes you
> > to a page recommending that you get if from your distribution, and then
> > saying "If your distribution does not have squeak packaged, or if it
> > does not have a current package, then you will need the following
> > files..."  And finally there should be links to the files.
> > 
> > Ideally, the page would indicate what version was currently packaged in
> > each distribution.
> > 
> > Finally, here is my best guess about the numbered confusions above:
> > 1. One needs
> > http://ftp.squeak.org/4.1/unix-linux/Squeak-
> > for the VM and http://ftp.squeak.org/4.1/unix-linux/Squeak4.1.zip for
> > the image/changes.  One only needs
> > http://ftp.squeak.org/4.1/unix-linux/Squeak- to
> > build the VM from source.
> > Ignore the darwin file.
> > 
> > 2. The most current Unix VM's are 4.0.  This still surprises me a bit,
> > since I thought closures needed VM support and they are advertised as a
> > 4.1 feature.  Maybe the necessary VM changes were already in place at
> > 4.0.
> Ross, I don't know how to reduce the confusion, but I do want to explain
> that the version levels of the VM are not, and should not be, the same
> as those for the image. We made version labels for recent VMs that start
> with "4" to give folks the idea that they more or less line up with the
> Squeak 4.x images (and Pharo 1.x images also btw), but maybe that is just
> leading to further confusion(?).
I know the VM and image are loosely coupled, though in this particular
case (new closure) I thought they might be.

Somebody approaching squeak new will not know any of that--really just
part of the larger issue that they won't know which files to get or what
to do with them.

I think having some introductory text on a web page that you hit before
the download directory would help.  Having a README in the download
directory would help too.  Finally, having everything in one single file
would be best for the newcomer; the single file would have the image
version number, removing possible confusion about 4.0 vs 4.1.
> The ideal situation is that any version of the VM can run any version of
> the image, and any image can run on any VM. Of course we cannot reach
> the ideal, but there is still a good deal of independence between the
> VMs and the images. This is a Good Thing.
> > 
> > 3. Ignore the darwin file.  Should it be cleaned out/relocated, e.g., to
> > OS-X?
> >
> Maybe it should be in a "unix" folder instead of "unix-linux", but
> there are so many people using Linux these days that some of them
> might be confused if they had to look for their VM in a "unix" folder.
My concern is that people get to this directory by clicking on the web
link for downloading Linux.
> My guess would be that anyone loading a darwin VM already knows what
> they are doing, and that most Mac users should be following the link
> to the supported Mac VMs anyway.
> Dave

On Andreas's question and your response about *nix platform packages, I
think the middle ground would be to provide pointers to such packages
when they exist.  Packaging for a particular platform is usually
considered the platform's responsibility, though sometimes it is shared
with upstream (upstream=squeak in this case).  Obviously it's useful for
squeak to provide a fallback for those without platform-specific


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