The Cincom Smalltalk distribution contains an ever increasing number of goodies - add ons submitted by various people. There are ones organized as internal - i.e., ones created by our own staff, but not considered (for a variety of reasons) to be part of the product. Keeping those in synch with new releases is (theoretically) easy. Then there are the rest of them - the goodies submitted by our users. There are a huge number of such goodies, and making sure that what we have on the CD is in synch with the release is a difficult problem. There's a stated process for it, but I've gotten complaints about that. Many authors now manage their packages in the Public Store, and have expressed the opinion that managing an additional level of versioning (via ftp) is onerous. On the other hand, asking Cincom staff to figure out what is and isn't new is a recipe for disaster as well - we just won't do a good job of it, or we won't notice.
The idea has been floated to build scripts to generate parcels from the public store, but there are problems with that -
- It's a database, not a server
- Unless the package was published binary, it's not even theoretically possible to generate a parcel from the db w/o loading the package first
That argues for one of two things - a Store server (hard, and not something that would appear overnight in any case) - or a small tool that would offer to publish a package to goodies. The idea would be that you would have ftp space on our server, and a small tool would be used as an interface to uploading the goodie to the correct place. That's simpler than the server idea, and - I hope - not too onerous for goodie authors. The tool would be able to push up either a single parcel or some specified archive file (for cases where a .pcl and a .pst aren't going to be enough).
So here's the question - would such a tool be useful? Would goodie authors use it? Would it make the whole submission process easier to deal with? Feel free to answer in comments or via email