[plt-dev] component delivery, a social experiment

From: Matthias Felleisen (matthias at ccs.neu.edu)
Date: Wed Nov 11 10:25:20 EST 2009

Thanks for the responses. The responses propose three natural things:

1. We need the nightly builds.

2. Eli's component rules must be turned into something that people can  
read up on.

3. The email about rule violations should not go to Eli but to plt- 
dev. (It's all implemented, no need to shift it anywhere.)

;; ---

There were no comments on component-oriented distribution.

-- Matthias

On Nov 10, 2009, at 12:20 PM, Matthias Felleisen wrote:

> Ladies and gentlemen,
> Eli spent my first hour++ in my office this morning pointing our  
> serious flaws in our world. Here are two important points, and I am  
> putting them up for discussion here with a request for sensible  
> comments:
> 1. In some way we have been conducting a social experiment for the  
> past 10 days or so. As you all know, Eli spent a considerable time  
> creating the nightly build framework when he first arrived here.  
> From the nightly build, Eli's software also creates a nightly set of  
> deliveries and puts them up on the web somewhere. What you ma not  
> realize is that the nightly builds have been broken for some 10 days  
> due to the check-in of a module that breaks the component delivery  
> mechanism.
> Nobody complained, so our conclusion was that nobody noticed. Our  
> second corollary was that perhaps we only have a camel-back  
> distribution of users: those who use svn and build from svn and  
> those that use only the releases. (As Eli walked out of my office, I  
> switched to my email and the first message contained a complaint  
> about the missing nightly deliveries. This means we know of one user  
> of the deliveries.)
> 2. Which brings me to the topic of "delivery by component."  
> Apparently few, if anyone here, is aware of Eli's carefully arrange  
> delivery layers:
> -- smallest: plain mzscheme, no mred, no docs
> -- mid size: mred, drscheme, no docs
> -- largest:  everything
> Eli tells me that there are numerous people who use 'smallest'; I  
> don't know about mid.
> He (and I and I know Robby) have for a long time envisioned a  
> delivery system that starts with a core package and then asks  
> (possibly via some gui) what other packages should be installed,  
> e.g., the 'mred' layer or the server. The three-tier delivery system  
> is a first step toward this component-oriented delivery.
> Eli has carefully maintained a dependency graph and list (that takes  
> some 11megs) among the various files (8 platforms, 3 tiers,  
> everything spelled out). Since people aren't really aware of this  
> system, they easily and apparently relatively often break the non- 
> cyclic dependencies. (I am guilty of doing this myself when I wrote  
> the first docs that depended on slideshow.)
> In my opinion, we have two options:
> -- drop the dependency system and just deliver one large package
> -- enforce the dependencies. If you break them, you get a message.
>    If you don't clean them up in N hours, the file is removed.
> ;; ---
> As I said, sensible comments welcome. -- Matthias
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