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 Forum index » Advanced Topics » Additional Software (PETs, n' stuff) » Desktop
WOOF version - QuickSETUP-FirstRUN "Personalize Settings"Bug
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PostPosted: Mon 24 Sep 2012, 20:21    Post subject:  WOOF version - QuickSETUP-FirstRUN "Personalize Settings"Bug
Subject description: A logic bug exist

Hostname and the International Standards Body

I fear that there is a missing understanding of what it is, why it exists, and how it is used. Or there is a mis-interpretation of its meaning in system use.

As a result, the Quicksetup-FirstRUN is not allowing completion of all localization settings. This although it does not grind the system to a halt, it does constitute a bug in its operation.

To begin, hostname is part of a standard in PC implementation that dates all the way back to mainframes. When I first started in the IT industry, we toured customer data centers for planning implementations as part of my employ. For those customers, and by 1980 there were many including all Fortune 500s, they had multiple mainframes in their datacenters. To identify the individual computers, they hung signs on thee computers "naming" them so that their staffs would know which system was being referred to. Further, by this time, Virtual Machines (VM) was quite prevalent, and each system also had internal for itself. This naming, external-internal, is the hostname which is still used, designated, and assign in even today's mainframe environments. In fact, in the Network controllers, they ID'ed the mainframes that they attached not only via its channel designation, but also its "name". One customer might call mainframe #1 "Eastern" and mainframe #2 "Western" to designate which part of the country they served. Another customer, might call mainframe #1 Visa and mainframe #2 Mastercard; and so on.

When PCs and the connecting LAN technology were introduced in 1984, we continued this practice for it became even more apparent to give each PC a name since there was going to be so many of them in a single department. Again, this name is merely a designation, as was the case for mainframes. Thus you might name 3 PCs in a department with the names of the people who used them; for example Mary, Joseph, and Ruth.

Again, the names is all of the cases mentioned above, were designation for local internal naming for the PC-mainframe. This naming is, then, and now, known as the hostname. And, its purpose is for local internal designation and use by the subsystems running within the OS. In fact, all OSes, make this name available to its internal subsystems and applications.

The HOSTNAME has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO WITH A LAN! Its an internal designation and should exist where you do or don't have a LAN for internal system needs.

Fast-forward from the old days of Async, Bisync, SDLC, and communication technologies to Linux and LANs. Just as in Microsoft, Unix and Apple's OS, the hostname is still the standard used for internal designation. Further, in all modern day implementations of OSes which use the LAN, the hostname is still in use to let others on the LAN know its name. Thus, as it relates to the LAN, there is an internal subsystem that will read the internal hostname, and present it when it moves for LAN services.

Again, we must understand that the system should have an accurate unique name designation (hostname) all the time.

So, the hostname, an internal reference of itself, is really a static name usually chosen at system setup time.

Shinobar, was the first to understand this and was considerate to include it in his FirstRUN subsystem when seen at initial system setup. In his version, Hostname is ever-present and is presented all the time whenever FirstRUN is called upon. This addresses this localization need.

Barry has presented a very similar QuickSEtup-FirstRUN, but, I fear that he may feel that the hostname is ONLY IMPORTANT TO THE LAN; the hostname does NOT exist for the LAN only! Hostname IS IMPORTANT TO THE SYSTEM AT SETUP TIME REGARDLESS OF WHETHER A LAN EXIST. Any system services which looks for hostname will make use of it for their needs. If a LAN does exist, then the PC's LAN services when inter-operating with the DHCP router and will announce the hostname appropriately. Again, here, the hostname is merely an internal designation for internal subsystems and applications usage. It is NOT tied to and is not singularly existing for LAN services.

Below is a bug I found in QuickSetup-FirstRUN logic as used in Precise Puppy as it progress from Alpha to Beta to RC. This bug is also in the WOOF version as well for all distro which are built using WOOF over the past month or so have this logic bug. This is a simple logic error where if the FirstRUN utility does not find an active LAN adapter, it will NOT allow hostname selection(s) area of FirstRUN to be presented to the user at initial boot-up. It really shouldn't work that way. be rest assured, that every major OS has user controlled hostname assignment regardless whether a LAN exists or not. Puppy should be doing the same.

Since first addressing hostname almost 4 years ago, we have seen Shinobar, 01Micko, and TaZoC collaborate to create a very consistent FirstRUN. At the beginning of this year, we have seen Barry initiate and improve his version "QuickSetup-FirstRUN". But, there still in this logic bug which should be revisited.

I hope there is understanding of this. Hostname has nothing to do with the LAN. It exist for the PC's internals. The LAN is merely one of the subsystems that uses it. As such, the "hostname portion" of FirstRUN should probable be offered for use EVERY TIME FirstRUN is run. The "decision" logic probably should be removed in this specific application. This would also provide a benefit to users because the FirstRUN application would be the same no matter which PC is was run. Hostname is just another one of those important system designations along with time and other important system fields.

Lastly, I want to share that I fully recognize the clever programming technique used in QuickSetup-FirstRUN. FirstRUN, in my view, is very very important at initial system launch for any/all PUPs. It presents a unique way to start any user initially booting. For QuickSetup-FirstRUN, the screen should be the same regardless of LAN presence. Allowing the hostname is a logical localization need which is independent of subsystems which depend upon this reference.

Please help

Thanks in advance

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