[etoys-dev] Status of rebase effort?

Bert Freudenberg bert at freudenbergs.de
Tue Mar 19 07:29:14 EDT 2013

(why was this marked as spam? weird)

On 2013-03-18, at 23:36, Casey Ransberger <casey.obrien.r at gmail.com> wrote:

> I know some folks have wanted to be able to rebase Etoys on a more recent version of Squeak. I'm curious about how that's going, and what the major (technical) obstacles might be, etc.
> I'm thinking about doing some stuff that I'd like to be able to use in both Squeak and Etoys. If there's a rebase on the way sometime within the next 365 days, I might be able to avoid duplicating some effort, and that's why I'm asking.
> -- 
> Casey Ransberger

The major technical obstacle is being able to load existing projects. There are thousands of great Etoys projects out there (a brilliant resource is for example the Etoys Illinois library http://etoysillinois.org/ ).

We haven't made a serious effort yet. I started by importing into Trunk some classes that were missing, so project loading failed. For some others I added a conversion method which would substitute the stored class for a different one (see SmartRefStream's '*etoys-projects' protocol).

In a Trunk image, have a look at ReleaseBuilderSqueakland>>buildInitialScreen. That tries to load the Home project, which is what you see when you start an Etoys image. My idea was to build an Etoys image that looks and feels just like the current Squeakland one, but from a Trunk image.

If you run that you'll notice an image segment loading error, which I have not investigated yet. Many details have changed in Trunk, and image segments have largely been ignored while doing these changes. I think it is quite possible to make it work, but it is not exactly trivial. 

Once the basic loading works, all we have to do is bring over the various improvements we did to Etoys since Squeak 3.8, which shouldn't be too hard. After all, Etoys scripting is still working fine in Squeak Trunk, it just looks outdated and is missing some features.

Also, we can't simply stop working on the stable Etoys release, because we do have a large user base that depends on it. Etoys is used all over the world, and pre-installed on all OLPC laptops (which shipped more than 2 million machines).

So there will be more releases from the stable code base (Karl is driving that effort), but longer-term it would be much better if we can share man power with the larger Squeak community. So any effort you could make in that direction would be very welcome :)

- Bert -

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