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Report 1

Hello Squeakers!

First I would like to say... phew. :) We know you guys are waiting to
see what the heck we are going to do and I am sorry for this report to
be a day late or so. But when you read it I hope you will forgive us.

We know that the only thing worth anything is results - in every aspect
of the word. So please keep your expectations at a reasonable level - we
have had about 3 days now, mostly packed with communication - and while
I do think we have quite a nice report here, 3 days aren't much at all.
But we felt the pressure hard to get something OUT.

The last few days have been hectic to say the least - but despite our
bumpy start - it feels things are now moving along nicely. Ok, enough
chit chat.


Clarification
--------------
I did post it separately, but here it is again.

By this leadership group being *temporary* in the announcement we
*meant* it.

So hear us - 2006-02-15 at the LATEST, we will step down. We don't have
the energy to go any longer than a year. Period. So if SqF hasn't
delivered by then, we will either have to improvise and get a new group
formed or we are all left hanging.

The more likely period for us is probably in around 6 months.


A Course Correction
-----------------------
We want to make sure that we are seen as a legitimate leadership group
by as many as possible in this community and Doug came up with a good
idea to help doing that - by asking for the acknowledgement from the
currently forming SqF... which is still forming, but we think it can be
done. We will simply throw ourselves "at their feet". :) And we all like
that idea.

Who and what is SqF? Since SqF hasn't yet made any real public postings
and hasn't yet formed its own structure (but we think more will come
very soon about that) we are taking the liberty of at least giving you
an idea.

SqF (or what is called SqF formation) is currently a non-public
mailinglist with 29 people. That list has a good cross section of people
which includes all of the people in previous groups in charge of Squeak,
the Guides, Squeak Central and several others. Of course, the list isn't
by any means an elected representation of the community or anything like
that, but it is the best we have at the moment.

Roughly this will be done by us presenting our group and as much as we
can about how and what we want to do. This is all what we have said
previously and are saying with this report, nothing else. The proposal
will also include a veto mechanism in which SqF will be able to veto any
action on our part, as a safety mechanism - details are sketchy.

Now, this can't be done until SqF gets a few mechanisms in place, like
for example how to perform a vote :), but we are trusting in SqF to do
so ASAP.

We hope this will clear up any misunderstandings about our intentions,
and of course that it will turn out all for the best. It is *also*
putting some pressure on SqF to actually get cracking. And if we fail to
get the support from that group of people - then this initiative ends
Right There. There is of course no point in even trying to lead the
community in that case.

We are not stopping to wait for this support though - since as we have
explained - we have no idea when that will be clear. Hopefully as soon
as possible.


Organisation boring stuff
------------------------------
We have created a Swiki for our notes, todolists, simple rules on how we
work together etc. We just now made it public readonly so that you all
can see at all times what we are doing, but my advice is to read this
report in full before going there:

	http://anakin.bluefish.se/castaways

It will be moved to a more proper place on the new server when we have
that geared up. And of course we have the alias to reach us all:

	mysterious-island@discuss.squeakfoundation.org

Now, our group has gone through some changes. Unfortunately it seems the
Mysterious Island book is haunting us a bit. In the book one person fell
off the balloon (!) just before landing on the island, not sure what
became of him actually. So unfortunately the same happened (not
literally though) in reality so Michael Rueger will not be able to work
with us in this group.

Michael is though still active in bringing the 3.8 release to a close,
more on that below.

So we are now four and we will not try to replace Michael. We need to
get cranking instead and there is no real point in extending the group
because we are focusing on extensively using a team/task driven
approach.

We also want to make clear that there is no internal hierarchy or
anything like that in our group - the reason I am doing most of the
talking is... well it beats me, it just turned out like that. :) So
informally I might have ended up being a secretary/spokesperson, but
that is ALL there is to it.

I personally do not like that I have ended up so overexposed, especially
since several people have expressed serious doubts about my
interpersonal skills, but I trust you to believe us when we say that
there is no hierarchy at all.


Tasks and Teams
-------------------
We are using a simple approach here. A task can be much anything. Each
task has a team with a leader. On the castaway swiki there is a simple
table that keeps track of the running tasks, who is the leader and also
who of us (Doug, me, Marcus or Cees) is responsible on our side to track
it. We don't keep track of who are the team members - that is just all
up to the team leader.

The swiki has the current list of running tasks, but don't go there and
spoil this report - read below instead. :)


Special Advisor
-----------------
One REALLY good thing is that Dan Ingalls has offered to help us in the
role of a "special advisor". Now, what is that? Who cares, it's Dan!! ;)

Well, but seriously Dan wants to give us his input on any and all issues
so he is a full member but without the responsibilites. Which he likes
fine. :) This means he also gets all our email and has write access to
the Swiki etc. But he chooses himself how much he wants to do.

We are of course delighted to have Dan with us, especially since he is
also joining in some of the tasks!


Contact persons
------------------
In order to get a better coordinated community "as a whole" we have also
approached all the related "satellite projects" around Squeak and asked
if they want to appoint a "contact person" that we can use to
communicate with that project.

The current list of contacted such projects or communities are:

	-Squeakland
	-SmallLand
	-Croquet, Andreas Raab confirmed
	-Tweak, Andreas Raab confirmed
	-Seaside, Avi Bryant confirmed
	-Tk4
	-The Berne Guys, Stephane Ducasse confirmed
	-Japanese Squeak community, Yoshiki Oshima confirmed
	-Georgia Tech

The idea is that we are then able to send out questions and info and
request potential feedback
before going forward with certain plans that may affect the projects.
The projects also get a channel for grabbing our attention if needed. We
will start by sending out a general inquiry to get a feel of what the
projects want in a longer perspective.

We will of course have this list published later with names of the
contact persons we get. And if you know more such "satellite Squeak
communities" that we have missed - please let us know.


Burning issues
-----------------
We started trying to make an inventory of "burning issues" in the
community. The current content of the list is known to most, but we need
this list to get our bearings and to make priorities.

The list is available on the Swiki:

	http://anakin.bluefish.se/castaways/2
	
...and if you want to help us add more to that list - remember, this is
an inventory - nothing more. Also, Ned has written quite a bit on these
issues here:

	http://bike-nomad.com/squeak/community2.html

I (Göran) am still distilling the above document to find bullets for the
list. So again, here is a great place to help us out, because right now
things are hectic and we surely are missing stuff. Just email.

Some of the issues there we are trying to deal with, but we will not
remove any issue until it is solved, old and totally obsolete. Consider
that list as our "collective pains". :)


Services
---------
As many know we have a new community server called "box1". It can be
reached at box1.squeakfoundation.org, but has no webface at this time.
But lots of stuff are being consolidated to that server. Some quick
facts:

- The machine is a virtual server running Debian with lots of bandwidth
and disk. RAM is slightly more cramped, but no problem yet, and we can
always just ask for more.
- The machine is paid for using a PayPal account Cees set up a while
back ready to take donations. And quite some money has arrived so the
immediate need is definitely taken care of.
- We are several people with root access that cooperatively maintain it.
- SqueakMap, BFAV, a Subversion mirror and all new created lists are
running there.
- There is a file area which Bruce O'Neel has full control over (a Task
btw):
	http://box1.squeakfoundation.org/files
- There is a nightly backup running to a server at Bluefish, but we
gladly add another one somewhere.
- Rsync is on the box so that anyone can easily set up a mirror of the
file area.
- We have mirrored over the current www.squeak.org and we have Dan ready
to repoint it to the new server any day now.

... and probably quite a few more things is there that I am forgetting
now.

There is also an ongoing Task to create a new nice website and it will
be hosted there of course. Stephane leads that task and Bruce is working
on the design and a bunch of other people are also involved. The new
site will be wiki-editable with a team to do the editing. But Stephane
can tell you more on that. I can only tell you that the sneak peak I
have seen looks SLICK AS HELL. :)


Release of 3.8
----------------
We have talked to Michael Rueger about the 3.8 release and it is almost
ready. There are only a very few items on the todo list left. Michael
Rueger and Bert Freudenberg together with us 4 will try to wrap it up. I
don't think we need more manpower to do that, but if so we will find it,
and if you want to help - we aren't *stopping* you. :)

We have agreed together with Michael to set the release date to 1st of
march.


Up, Up and Beyond
----------------------
Hehe, that heading puts on some pressure, now doesn't it? :)

So what about 3.9 and after that?

This is not a full description of everything that we think we should do
- we have "only" picked two specific tasks that we are sure we want to
push really hard and like us all to rally around.

Also, don't take anything here as written in stone, it is of course all
up to the community to work together in all this. We just hope it sounds
good and that you will join us. :)

Note that this section does NOT deal with a lot of the things already
proposed for 3.9 - "Stefs roadmap". We just haven't had time to go
through that yet nor foster a good discussion around it in the community
- that is on our immediate todo list though and a thread will be started
right after this report has been posted. Then we discuss it all together
and we get those things nailed down.

Now, given all that... (deep breath) this is what we want to do.


ToolBuilder!
-------------
As many have seen the recent discussions on Tweak, Morphic etc spurred
Andreas to write a little abstract UI framework that gives just the
functionality that most of our tools need. Then it maps to the different
backends (Morphic, Tweak, MVC etc). Andreas being who he is :) quickly
worked something up and people started to join the fray. This little
project has a good momentum and we want to push this even harder.

Andreas started this great initiative, and we want very much for this
layer to become an official package in Basic as of 3.9. This also means
we want a dedicated maintainer with at least one co-maintainer of it and
a team/task for making this happen.

So the question is who wants to be team leader on this? Andreas? Avi?
Anyone else?

As for us - we intend to put our own efforts into this - Cees is already
involved, I will start with porting SqueakMap Package Loader over to it
and I think/hope Marcus will do SUnit.

This project has a list of its own that you can join at:

	ui-subscribe@discuss.squeakfoundation.org

Now, we believe this package will be *emintently* important given the
second thing below...


MinimalMorphic!
-------------------
This part is a bolder move. We are starting a task with Cees de Groot as
team leader called MinimalMorphic.

The task will run *in parallell* with the ongoing regular work on 3.9
and track 3.9 as the base. The job is to create an automated procedure
that brings/shrinks the 3.9 image down to a lean and clean tools-only
Morphic image. Or possibly also down to MVC, but that is up to the team.

The side product of this work is meant to be a loadable RestOfMorphic
package and an eToys package. Or at least a RestOfMorphic package
including eToys, that is also up for the team to find out.

This is a hard job and involves cleaning up Morphic to its original
simplicity and tweaking the tools to only use that part of Morphic. Dan
Ingalls wants to be a part of this work (yes!) and Juan Vuletich has
alread announced his interest/intentions in working on this, which is
just great. And there have been quite a number of people discussing
these aspects recently. Cees will contact people and get the team
together and anyone interested to help should of course talk to Cees.

This procedure will not actually be applied to the 3.9 update stream, so
3.9 will be a "traditional fat" release, and exactly what 3.9 entails is
that other "Stef roadmap"-thread we will start ASAP. But when 3.9 is
released the MinimalMorphic procedure will be appliable to it and
available on SM, which is a nice thing.

The first thing for the 4.0 release is to actually apply the
MinimalMorphic procedure in the update stream. Bam! 4.0 will start its
life as a lean and mean Morphic machine. :) We of course then also let
4.0 get a shrunk V4.sources and an almost empty .changes file.

Now, the ToolBuilder is a very important part of this dance - it defines
the needs of the tools and will make it easier to see exactly what this
small Morphic needs to deliver. So as we said before, it should enter
3.9 Basic as soon as we can make it. And since 3.9 is the last release
with MegaMorphic intact as it looks today it will give the tool
maintainers time to move over to ToolBuilder so that the tools will work
in the new lean world of 4.0.

There are of course lots of open questions and details to all of this
but this is it - this is what we want to focus hard on. Of course it
doesn't preclude other ongoing things, like getting the PackageInfo bit
working and getting started on TFNR (assigning maintainers to parts of
the image, without actually ripping them out) - I and Doug are still
very much going to focus on that during the 3.9 period.

Finally we would like to thank Avi for making us look in this direction
and Dan for pushing us even further than we first dared, as Dan so well
put it himself - "it's ballsy". :) But with Dan on board and the current
energy level in the community (Can you feel it?) we think we can all
pull this off.


Final word
------------
We are aware that there are some members of this community that don't
trust us, at least not yet.
We are also aware of a large number of people that have expressed their
support in full, and a lot of it in private.

So the only question worth asking now is... are you prepared to give us
the benefit of the doubt and work with us? We are NOTHING without you.

While we both are trying to get teams cracking on concrete things, we
also will continute to look at the burning issues list and try to
improve our processes. But we gotta have something to do next week too.
:) :)

We are now moving over from the planning/communication phase to the
"doing it" phase. We hope you join us in all the work ahead. Let the fun
begin. :)

regards, Doug, Göran, Cees (Marcus, see below)

PS. Marcus is part ill, part overwhelmed by other things at this point.
He is in catch-up mode and hasn't had time to fully catch up yet.