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 Forum index » Taking the Puppy out for a walk » Puppy Power
(insert bad word here) the eye candy, what about wireless?
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PostPosted: Fri 30 Sep 2005, 04:28    Post subject:  (insert bad word here) the eye candy, what about wireless?  

C'mon guys let's have a bit more effort in getting things stable and workable, it's been close to 12 months since I first made posts with regards to getting wireless networking going and it's still not in the final release.
There seems to be more effort being put into scripts for remastering and HDD installation (remember this is suppose to be a LiveCD) than wireless networking, which in this day and age seems to be an almost standard.
I'm not putting down Barry's efforts, as they are great, but it's just an observation.
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keenerd

Joined: 20 Aug 2005
Posts: 175

PostPosted: Fri 30 Sep 2005, 08:59    Post subject:  

We all do remember this is a live CD. This is exactly why CD remastering is so important. Hard drive install is useful, especially for older computers without enough RAM to support the ramdisk. Ironically, the hard drive install is also better for IDE-flash modules, since you have an extra 50Mb of RAM and don't have to make/use a (damaging) swap file on the flash card.

But there has been progress in wireless.

You precompiled ndiswrapper for nearly every card.
http://www.murga.org/~puppy/viewtopic.php?t=963&highlight=wireless

Tempestuous released driver packages for the dozen most common chipsets.
http://www.murga.org/~puppy/viewtopic.php?t=2234&highlight=

And I made WAG.
http://www.murga.org/~puppy/viewtopic.php?t=1842&highlight=wireless

Barry made a basic wifiwizard. True, the wifiwizard isn't so great compared to the ethernetwizard. I'll look for a database of product IDs. From this, the wizard should suggest a driver.

None of the above four are user friendly.

Bladehunter, I had to learn quite a lot to use your ndiswrapper package. By the end, I decided just to compile the wrapper myself.

Tempestuous's drivers are pretty good, though I get warnings on the Atheros drivers. And half the time I can't get them to work.

WAG is a bit nicer than the command line, but it annoys me. To connect I have to click six times.* It takes so many clicks, because I wanted to be able to do anything with it WAG. It would be nice if I could hear from the people who use WAG, so that I could eliminate the silly extra options.

The wifiwizard is basically a bunch of links to install packages. The wifiwizard should be integrated with tempestuous's drivers, and bladehunter's drivers as an alternative. And one of these should be included with Puppy. Bladehunter, you were right to say it's silly to force people to download something so they can connect to the net.

There's been a lot of progress. At least now its possible to use wireless.


* turn off dhcpcd, reseat, reseat, scan/profiles, choose network, dhcpcd on
But six clicks is better than 200 keystrokes.
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JohnMurga
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Joined: 04 May 2005
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PostPosted: Fri 30 Sep 2005, 10:47    Post subject: Re: (insert bad word here) the eye candy  

bladehunter wrote:
C'mon guys let's have a bit more effort in getting things stable and workable, it's been close to 12 months since I first made posts with regards to getting wireless networking going and it's still not in the final release.
There seems to be more effort being put into scripts for remastering and HDD installation (remember this is suppose to be a LiveCD) than wireless networking, which in this day and age seems to be an almost standard.
I'm not putting down Barry's efforts, as they are great, but it's just an observation.

I have to agree ...

Running over to my lappy with the new 1.0.5 thinking I would at last be able to set up networking on it (with the new wireless lan features), and then being presented with a message-box telling me I had to download stuff to get networking working ... It just upset me.

What's more, I point this out and it attracts public and private critism ...

Considering I have had to defend Puppy from external zealotry in the past I find it dissapointing to find the same behaviour from within.

Anyway, I hear that 1.0.6 might be Kernel 2.6 again ... So 1.0.5 might be the best release you see for a while Sad

Cheers
JohnM
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rarsa


Joined: 29 May 2005
Posts: 3053
Location: Kitchener, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Fri 30 Sep 2005, 11:00    Post subject:  

Quote:
There's been a lot of progress. At least now its possible to use wireless.
It's been possible from long ago. I've used puppy wirelessly out of the box since 1.0.1

The good thing is that now its possible with a larger number of devices.

Quote:
C'mon guys let's have a bit more effort in getting things stable and workable, it's been close to 12 months since I first made posts with regards to getting wireless networking going and it's still not in the final release.


I don't think that we should expect to have all the device drivers in the CD and still keep it small.

There is a fine balancing act to keep all the mission goals in check as some are conflicting, for example:
In the context of Hardware drivers, these two:
- Booting from CD, Puppy will load totally into RAM so that the CD drive is then free for other purposes.
- Puppy will boot up and run extraordinarily fast.

Conflict with
- Puppy will be extremely friendly for Linux newbies.
- Puppy will just work, no hassles.

Quote:
There seems to be more effort being put into scripts for remastering and HDD installation (remember this is suppose to be a LiveCD) than wireless networking, which in this day and age seems to be an almost standard.
My take (without knowing what's in Barry's head) is that it is the hability to remaster puppy what reconciles the conflicting goals.

We cannot expect Barry to have time for everything. Barry works on what interests him or have high priority according to his scale. You have worked on wireless among other things and I think you've had an impact on Puppy accessibility.

I think that the next step for wireless is to round up the bits and pieces we have and review what's missing, and what needs to be done next. I have very clear ideas about that, I'm sure that you too. Let's take it from there and move on. Deal?

To tell you the truth I've also been frustrated/discouraged by the lack of interest in CUPS. I've been planning to puppyfy it and make it more accessible. The problem? I received a very cold response when asking for testers. So if I don't see interest, I think that it has a lower priority for people using Puppy. The same with Videoconferencing.

Users are the ones encouraging me to work on one project or another. My experience is as a user driven software developer.
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JohnMurga
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Joined: 04 May 2005
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PostPosted: Fri 30 Sep 2005, 11:21    Post subject:  

rarsa wrote:
There is a fine balancing act to keep all the mission goals in check as some are conflicting, for example:
In the context of Hardware drivers, these two:
- Booting from CD, Puppy will load totally into RAM so that the CD drive is then free for other purposes.
- Puppy will boot up and run extraordinarily fast.

Conflict with
- Puppy will be extremely friendly for Linux newbies.
- Puppy will just work, no hassles.

How exactly do these conflict ???

Sorry ... I was going to shut up, but that was too funny ...

Cheers
JohnM
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raffy

Joined: 25 May 2005
Posts: 4765
Location: Manila

PostPosted: Fri 30 Sep 2005, 11:40    Post subject: Time and Narrowing of Focus  

More people will of course join and help out if they have more time in their hands, which is often not the case. The relay type of movement where the developer has to interact with the user/tester suffers this problem, plus the skill gap on the part of the user, that would in turn require closer supervision.

Because of these constraints, the developer would be better off moving forward on his own, but cover limited scope, for example, only one or two devices. This should be alright - it is perhaps more important to see the effort producing results at the user's end than covering a wide selection of devices.

Now, this last point reminds me of what Rarsa suggested sometime ago - that having limited devices to focus development on will make things easier.

You will find good examples of devices here. As with many innovators, the company founder seems to be looking for a webpad solution (especially mpeg2). (I guess webpads are supposed to be wireless.)

A closer example is my intent to test Guestoo's Xampp dotpup since last month. Alas, I have tried only once and have not resumed testing since Embarassed
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rarsa


Joined: 29 May 2005
Posts: 3053
Location: Kitchener, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Fri 30 Sep 2005, 13:04    Post subject:  

Quote:
How exactly do these conflict ??? Sorry ... I was going to shut up, but that was too funny ...


Smile Don't shut up, join the fun Smile

Please notice that I qualified my comment with "In the context of hardware drivers..."

Quote:
- Booting from CD, Puppy will load totally into RAM so that the CD drive is then free for other purposes.
- Puppy will boot up and run extraordinarily fast.
To meet these goals, puppy has to be small and don't try to do too much automatic HW detection.

Quote:
- Puppy will be extremely friendly for Linux newbies.
- Puppy will just work, no hassles.
To fully meet these goals puppy needs to support a larger number of HW devices which require including the drivers (increasing the size of puppy) and have automatic HW detection (Which slows boot up time).

That is with the current Puppy model. And I agree, It's funny that my comments imply that there is an inherent conflict.

Maybe it's time to think outside the box: The goals don't say that the CD image has to be the smallest.

I just had an epiphany:

Right now Puppy has a two tier distribution mechanism:
- It comes on the CD inside the image.gz, vmlinuz and usr_cram.fs
or
- It has to be downloaded.

What about a three tier distribution:
- Core HW support and applications inside the image.gz, vmlinuz and usr_cram.fs as it is now, maybe smaller.
- Additional pupgets/dotpups on the CD with additional HW support and second tier applications.
- Ability to download third tier puppgets/dotpups.

Second tier applications should not add too much to the iso size. They would take no space in RAM unless they are installed and they will provide a local repository for people with slow connections or with no connection for lack of drivers.

This is just one idea. Are there more ideas That will help Barry (us?) achieve the goals for puppy?
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pakt


Joined: 04 Jun 2005
Posts: 1089
Location: Sweden

PostPosted: Fri 30 Sep 2005, 15:40    Post subject:  

Improving hardware detection has been brought up a few times as one way of making Puppy better. Sometime back I extracted the files used by Kanotix (Knoppix derivative) to probe hw and found that the two binaries used ran just fine in Puppy 1.0.4 Smile.

Please refer to my post
http://www.murga.org/~puppy/viewtopic.php?p=15797#15797 for details (to avoid repeating myself) and an attachment containing the Kanotix hw detection files.

Surely this must be a good starting point for improved hw detection?

Comments?
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rarsa


Joined: 29 May 2005
Posts: 3053
Location: Kitchener, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Fri 30 Sep 2005, 15:54    Post subject:  

It looks very promissing.

I see that the HW detection scripts is quite small, but you still need the actual drivers and the time to do the detection (Knoppix takes for eeeeever to load in my desktop)

I don't remember who, had a great suggestion: Only do the HW detection once, after that, it's optional.

If that's combined with having the drivers as installable pupgets on the CD (instead of on image.gz), It may work on a puppyfied way.

Returning to the core topic of this thread "Wireless" : Knoppix does not recognize that my card requires ndiswrapper (rt2500). I have to boot with knopix nodhcp or it freezes trying to aquire DHCP. Even after I'm in Knoppix and I use ndispwrapper and iwconfig/ifconfig to bring up the card, it freezes when acquiring the IP. So, even Knoppix have issues in this regard.
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tempestuous

Joined: 10 Jun 2005
Posts: 5257
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Fri 30 Sep 2005, 23:40    Post subject:  

Imagine this ... a future version of Puppy (let's say v5.0!) where image.gz contains only the bare essential modules, for IDE, CDROM, USB, PCMCIA etc. No network, no audio. All other modules are contained in a separate directory on the installation CD.

At first boot, an autodetection process is run, and the user is invited to accept the detected hardware choices, plus configuration for certain hardware, plus a manual selection. These hardware choices are saved as a configuration file in the pupfile.

Now at subsequent boots the same modules are copied into the filesystem from the external directory and all hardware settings are persistent.
The module directory could contain any and all exotic drivers (including wireless, hence the relevance to this thread) in which case the total size of the installation CD would increase, but the booted filesystem would remain small. In fact, it would be smaller than if all modules were held in /lib/modules/...

In this scenario, one very simple CD remastering option would be to delete modules in the module directory that are known to be unnecessary for a particular user.
Installations to USB flash drive could remain "trim" in a similar manner.

And as my mind runs on ... ouch ... perhaps things like perl could be added at the boot stage.
It would almost be like creating a PuppyUnleashed version as you boot up.

???
Craig S
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Walt H


Joined: 01 Jun 2005
Posts: 216
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PostPosted: Sat 01 Oct 2005, 14:22    Post subject:  

My own $.02 (adjusted for inflation, of course Very Happy ): Anything that can be done to improve - out of the box (i.e., without having to download additional files) - to improve wireless capabilities will be a plus for Puppy. I've been using Puppy for the last two versions (1.0.3 amd 1.0.4) after dialup problems that kept me from connecting were fixed. I downloaded 1.0.5 to try out but am not sure whether it will give me what I now need.

We just moved to cable modem, and in order to expand capabilities and cut down on the cost of hardware and/or networking cables, we bought a Belkin F5D7050 USB 2.0 wireless adapter. It took running ndiswrapper and installing the Windows XP driver from the manufacturer's CD, then searching for the command to get an IP on our network (dhclient wlan0 did the trick), but I am currently online - using Kanotix 2005-03.

I my be in the minority, but I'm with John as far as including Perl - if that is what is required to make ndiswrapper (or whatever might be used in its stead) work in Puppy WITHOUT downloading additional files. People are increasingly switching to high-speed internet and wireless is an increasing share of that market. (It would have cost us as much or more for networking cable as it did for the Belkin adapter, and we can go from computer to computer with it as needed.)

Perhaps a few applications now in Puppy could be removed and made available as Pupgets/dotpups. Given the size of the new version, would including Perl make Puppy much bigger than its size in the previous two versions? (Don't know enough about Perl to know, so forgive me if this is a foolish question.) Okay, maybe this was my $.05 worth. (I was an English major and have trouble sometimes being succinct. Embarassed )

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Now that you point it out to me, the answer seems painfully obvious.
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Pizzasgood


Joined: 04 May 2005
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PostPosted: Sun 02 Oct 2005, 12:44    Post subject:  

Okay, cool. Rarsa beat me too the bit about storing on the cd, but I've been thinking about that too. My biggest beef with Puppy is over wireless. So for Pizzapup, I'm going to try out adding perl and comming preloaded with some drivers on the cd. I've been busy lately, and I'm totally booked until Wednesday, so I haven't been able to really work on anything yet. HackyRemaster is nearly finished though, just awaiting testing. So once I get time, I'm going to start on Pizzapup.
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