[Cuis-dev] More robust package loading?

Phil (list) pbpublist at gmail.com
Fri Dec 25 02:41:51 CST 2015

Happy holidays all!  Here's my gift to the list... ;-)

It's been a couple of weeks since I attempted to rebuild completely
from a totally clean base image (2595) and of course it failed utterly
and completely.  After some trial and error, I finally narrowed it down
to a problem installing the stock FFI.pck.st.  I am running a rather
fluid version of Linux (Debian testing) and it's entirely likely that a
recent system update is causing the problem but I'm having a difficult
time getting more specific than that because when I attempt to load
FFI, all I get is this wonderful segfault:

C stack backtrace & registers:
        eax 0xff887b24 ebx 0xff887a40 ecx 0xff887ad8 edx 0xff887a8c
        edi 0xff887910 esi 0xff887910 ebp 0xff8879a8 esp 0xff8879f4
        eip 0xff887c08

Smalltalk stack dump:
0xff894cd0 M Array(SequenceableCollection)>at:ifAbsent: 0xb4c9705c:
a(n) Array
0xff894cf0 M Array(Scanner)>typeTableAt: 0xb4ca8ee0: a(n) Array
0xff894d0c M Array(Scanner)>scanToken 0xb4ca8ee0: a(n) Array
0xff894d28 M Array(Parser)>advance 0xb4ca8ee0: a(n) Array
0xff894d40 M Array(Parser)>init:notifying:failBlock: 0xb4ca8ee0: a(n)
0xff894d68 M Array(Parser)>privateReadSelectorFrom: 0xb4ca8ee0: a(n)
0xff894d84 M Parser class>selectorFrom: 0xb3753bd0: a(n) Parser class
0xff894da4 M INVALID RECEIVER>addMethodChange: 0xb4ca5d04: a(n) bad
0xff894dc0 M INVALID RECEIVER>methodChange: 0xb4ca5d04: a(n) bad class
0xff894ddc M CodePackageFile(CodeFile)>method: 0xb4c8f2ec: a(n)
Segmentation fault Fri Dec 25 03:05:08 2015

(and so on...)

Granted my main issue is largely the (lack of) information in the VM
output on the crash (i.e. I have no idea what class/method/line the is
the cause of the problem) but since this is unlikely to change in the
near term, some sort of verbose package loading mode would be most
helpful (i.e. 'loading method foo... completed loading method foo' type
messages to transcript when a package is being installed)  While this
is just about a worst case package loading problem for me, I have had
other issues in the past loading packages (almost always with the code
being imported, not the package loader itself) and am thinking a more
robust package loading process (at least when running in some sort of
debug mode) would be most welcome... does this sound useful to anyone


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