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Phoenix CE Base Version for next Community Edition
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ecomoney


Joined: 25 Nov 2005
Posts: 2183
Location: Lincolnshire, England

PostPosted: Sun 20 Jan 2008, 09:20    Post subject:  Phoenix CE Base Version for next Community Edition
Subject description: Next community edition based on 2.14r
 

Hi all. Over xmas and Ive had to have some "downtime" (not even had a perminant internet connection!), but now Im back online and Im keen to restart.

Ive used the time to test various puppy versions, puppy 3.01, puppy 3.01 Retro, and puppy 2.14R (an updated and revised 2.14). It was planned to use puppy 3.02 when it arrived as a base for the next CE, but unexpectedly Barry has switched development to a whole new litter of puppy's in the 4.xx series (currently still in alpha).

The aims of the CE project are broad hardware support, thorough testing and a wide range of available applications in the form of .pup's, .pets and .sfs's. From my tests, I must conclude that the 3.00 and 3.01 series with the new kernel are just too unstable, with too little support to be used as a base. Currently from what I can tell, a great number of people are using the existing 2.15ce as a base (including myself for the work in my own area). This is based on 2.14 and compatible with it. As a result the support for this version in terms of drivers and packages is probably the largest of any of the versions.

Dougal and Pakt have been revising and refining the 2.14 base since it first came out, and have backported many of the new features in the 3.xx series to 2.14R . I have found it to be very stable, good looking and refined.

Puppy development is chaotic, and this is what makes this distro so innovative. But there have to be times when the experimentation stops, and a stable, well supported and well tested version comes out. This is 2.14r Obviously the development of Talking Stick 3.03ce has been geared towards the 3.xx series so far. Im taking the "executive decision" that this will not be the base for the next CE, because a bugfixed and stable 3.02 version will now never be released. As the 3.xx series will not be continuing, the tried and tested 2.14r will be the base for the next CE.

The TS3.03ce project has identified some great new features that will really impress first time and existing linux users. Nothing but a completely solid foundation will do them justice.

Thanks for your continued support.

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mbutts


Joined: 11 Nov 2006
Posts: 231
Location: sitn on an iceburg waiting for my next meal to swim by.

PostPosted: Sun 20 Jan 2008, 10:31    Post subject:  

I guess I have not played enough with any of the 3. series Puppy other than Fire Hydrant which I liked for the fact of having Firefox and several other things unique to it. I do have a copy of 2.14r which I like because it mounts your drives and puts it at the bottom of the desktop and makes it easy for anyone to find their drives. Great for noobs. What little I have used it has really impressed me how well it works out of the box. As a matter of a fact, I have made several copies of it as well as I have of FH.
If the 3 series is not going to be developed in the near future and Dingo is, then I think you are doing a very courageous thing. I want stable over cutting edge for a CE version. All the hard work in 3. series being used in 2. makes the 2. series all the more powerful and helps to advance Puppy in general. I have burned one disk of Dingo, and await the beta to try next.
The new Muppy is nice too. Love the fact it comes with Wine installed. I burn most of the versions of Puppy and put them in a cd holder in case I need a Puppy with a specific feature. The newer versions with the firewall installed and easy to set up impresses me too.
Nice to hear an update from you!

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ecomoney


Joined: 25 Nov 2005
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Location: Lincolnshire, England

PostPosted: Sun 20 Jan 2008, 11:38    Post subject: ta  

Cheers for the feedback. I know its a pretty unorthodox thing going back a version to create the next release, but if the project aims are going to be met then this is what is needed. (Puppy is pretty unorthodox in any case!). I deal with end users all the time and a version number is exactly that to them - a number, they just want something that works with their machine, that is easy to operate and does everything they want it to. I was always taught that a good program does what the user wants with the minimum amount of re-learning (Ive had a formal Project management/Systems Analysis background at Uni).

The auto mount feature you mention was already identified for TS3.03ce, and I agree is an excellent feature for new linux users.

Thanks for the feedback.

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Lobster
Official Crustacean


Joined: 04 May 2005
Posts: 15117
Location: Paradox Realm

PostPosted: Sun 20 Jan 2008, 12:38    Post subject: Re: TS3.03CE - Review of Base Version for next CE
Subject description: Next community edition based on 2.14r
 

ecomoney wrote:
This is 2.14r Obviously the development of Talking Stick 3.03ce has been geared towards the 3.xx series so far. Im taking the "executive decision" that this will not be the base for the next CE, because a bugfixed and stable 3.02 version will now never be released. As the 3.xx series will not be continuing, the tried and tested 2.14r will be the base for the next CE.


Smile It is a good decision.
At the moment (and very often) I use a 2 series Puppy (2.17)
I did look at 2.14r and am sure it has many of the benefits you mention

OK we have a base
I think you also made the executive decision to use Seamonkey?
+ Icewm?.

I still feel 3.02 will emerge
but Barry has not confirmed this (concentrating on Dingo)

How soon can we get a stable alpha out (that is our main commendable intent) to test and refine further?

Do we have an emerging plan of action Cool

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cb88


Joined: 28 Jan 2007
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Location: USA

PostPosted: Sun 20 Jan 2008, 15:44    Post subject:  

ecomoney i must point out one problem with 2.14... that dougal and others are also aware of... the glibc is 2.3.5 and many applications now require 2.4 or greater..... upgrading glibc may or maynot make 2.14 unstable due to incompatabilities in glibc although they often claim to have binary compatability

In fact the latest wine will not run at all in 2.14 (wine compiled in puppy 3)

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ecomoney


Joined: 25 Nov 2005
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Location: Lincolnshire, England

PostPosted: Mon 21 Jan 2008, 23:41    Post subject: Base  

Thanks cb88, which other applications will not run because of the glibc libraries? Wine is not a program I have had much experience with.

Barry has earned himself a well-deserved reputation for coming out with new and innovative ways to package linux, and it seems he is very busy with the 4.xx series right now. A community edition should (as I have understood it) provide a well tested and stable base with wide support, rather than being a "bleeding edge" enthusiast tool with all of the latest features and programs.

I am going to contact all of the individual CE module authors to inform them of the change to the base, and find how it will impact their additions (not a great deal from what I have heard so far). Im not sure how managing the addition of the different features should be managed...perhaps each module author should be given a build with which to add their module (perhaps with some individual testing), and then an alpha released. Most of the module are now fairly complete.

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ttuuxxx


Joined: 05 May 2007
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Location: Ontario Canada,Sydney Australia

PostPosted: Tue 22 Jan 2008, 04:35    Post subject:  

I did like 2.14 until i found out that I can't click any .sfs and mount them because the owner says that basically people shouldn't be trusted with that much power, so he complicates it by having to go to a command prompt and typing a few lines just to see inside a .sfs. I hate it when people complicates things like that. I do like the 2.16 and think that a better candidate for a ce edition. Better yet 3.01 I feel is the best puppy base of all with the Slackware aspect of it, Since 3.01 I have really enjoyed Slackware programs and searching around for them, It has opened so many new doors. Smile And really Slackware just makes puppy a community of operating systems, well if you add , deb, rpm, etc.
well as long as you have Firefox and Skipstone in your mix, I'll be happy with anything. Well maybe,lol ttuuxxx

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ecomoney


Joined: 25 Nov 2005
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Location: Lincolnshire, England

PostPosted: Tue 22 Jan 2008, 09:20    Post subject: 2.14  

Hi Tuxx

Thanks for your input. There is the saying that you cannot please all of the people all of the time. I have always used community editions because they tend to be more complete and polished than the mainstream puppy distro's. They tend to be aimed more at the "linux newb" (to quote the aims of the puppy project), and are there as a "teaser" to get people to try other versions of linux, without having to do anything too drastic to their windows systems . I agree that clicking on an sfs file should do something, but I have found in supporting programs I have made in the past (I used to be a full time paid VB programmer in industry) that allowing too convenient access to the inner workings of the program can cause new users to break the code and give them an unworking system. Perhaps a message with a warning when an .sfs file would be the way to go? I have always found the challenge with programming is to create something that fits well around the skill level of an inexperienced user, but I can understand why a programmer of your level of skill would find this frustrating for day to day use.

Slackware support is something that is a very exciting new development in puppy. It has always been difficult to get very obscure packages for puppy because it is a "law unto its own" when it comes to its own package format like you say. Im assuming all of the packages compiled for the 2.xx series will work with 2.14r, including the CE edition, and this is pretty extensive already, and certainly includes all of the packages needed to be used by 99% of end users (like word processors, browsers IM clients etc). I also understand it is possible to get slackware modules to work with 2.15ce (although Ive never needed to do it).

With regard to skipstone, Ive been testing it recently and it seems very promising indeed (much better than dillo!). Although by no means as feature rich as the Seamonkey suite (i.e. web composer, email suite, address book), it offers a very quick experience for what the majority of users use most of the time...i.e. basic browsing. Im assuming that because it uses the same gecko rendering engine as firefox 3.xx then it will also be very compatible with a great many websites however standards complient they are. I even managed to get skipstone to work with MySpace!!!

My main gripes with 2.14 is that it doesnt include the new mini-browser that was used in the 3.xx series (I cant remember its name!) and that the pdf reader xpdf cant handle complicated .pdf's (again the one in the 3.xx series being much better). It also contains an outdated (and buggy) version of flash (9.0.31 when the current version is 9.0.115). Im going to post these findings and hopefully they will be fixed ready for the 2.14r series to be used as a base.

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ttuuxxx


Joined: 05 May 2007
Posts: 10730
Location: Ontario Canada,Sydney Australia

PostPosted: Tue 22 Jan 2008, 10:02    Post subject:  

Hi thanks for the very pleasant response, When it comes to .SFS a splash screen would be excellent, So many times I revisit my pup.sfs files and 2 click would be great with a warning screen, That Idea I did pass by the 2.14 developer but even still he didn't like it. Oh well.

I'm not sure if you've tried my pet package for Firefox+Flash+Java its all the latest 3 releases.
http://www.puppylinux.ca/ttuuxxx/programs/Firefox+JRE+FL/firefox.pet
It came out really nice, I change the icons to the nicer black ones as default, and also I made it the default browser once its installed:)

As email's go Thunderbird with Lightning (Sunbird Calendar plugin) is about as good as it gets. Most users tend to like it way better then Seamonkey's Email. I don't use either because I'm happy with just Gmail but you can get your Gmail in Thunderbird. But you have to set one setting so that it opens browsers hyper links, but thats easily done.

-X&Y Calculators should be replaced with Galculator.
-Plus the Latest Gimp&Inkscape would be nice, A lot of people email me asking for these 2 in future releases of Fire Hydrant. Smile
-Also some people have asked for some sort of Video editing,
-Mu's Gtk theme chooser is also very nice Smile the default one is tired.
-Netsurf is the small browser in the 3.0 series,
-ePDFView is the default pdf viewer in puppy 3.0 series.

If you need in help with themes just ask Smile I also do pretty good with backgrounds.

ttuuxxx

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Pizzasgood


Joined: 04 May 2005
Posts: 6270
Location: Knoxville, TN, USA

PostPosted: Tue 22 Jan 2008, 17:32    Post subject:  

Quote:
I did like 2.14 until i found out that I can't click any .sfs and mount them because the owner says that basically people shouldn't be trusted with that much power, so he complicates it by having to go to a command prompt and typing a few lines just to see inside a .sfs.
I don't see what the deal about power is. As far as I know, all that you're asking for is to mount a .sfs file in /mnt/. It's not like it's going to corrupt your save-file or anything. I really liked that aspect of the newer Puppies. I mean, I have the whole "open a terminal, type mount xxxx.sfs /mnt/data -o loop" process in muscle memory at this point. That's probably one of the fastest strings of text I can type. But clicking a file is even faster.

Now, if the click-mount process can also run a script contained in the .sfs file, that's another story. Then some kind of prompt would be a good idea, like with dotpups.

@Ecomoney: Using Pebble in 2.14R will require that I go through the 2.14R init scripts and update them. I don't think I'll need to recompile kernel modules though. The current ones in the package won't work, but I already have some from 2.14 that should work unless the kernel in 2.14R has been changed. I may need to recompile Pebble and Worm themselves, but that isn't a big deal. While I'm at it, I should teach myself how to compile statically to cut down the dependencies. Maybe use uclib too, to cut the size even more.

The Isolinux and Syslinux stuff won't change. Speaking of which, I'm going to start on those tomorrow evening. For real this time. I'm finally caught up on everything, at least until the weekend.


One thing that will be nice for me about using 2.14R is that I'm still running Pizzapup 3.0.1 on my desktop, which was based on the original 2.14. So now I won't feel like I'm so far behind anymore. Laughing I expected my save file to die long ago, but it just refuses. It has a small limp, but otherwise it just keeps on chugging. This is definitely a record for me Cool

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SirDuncan


Joined: 09 Dec 2006
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Location: Ohio, USA

PostPosted: Tue 22 Jan 2008, 22:24    Post subject:  

I'm glad that the project is going forward. The Slackware compatibility of the 3.xx series was nice, but I installed quite a few Slackware packages in 2.17 without problem, so it might not be an issue. I haven't looked at 2.14R yet, but I have heard good things.

As for the .sfs issue, I prefer to just click on the file and have it mount. Is there really any thing that the user can do to screw it up?

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ecomoney


Joined: 25 Nov 2005
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PostPosted: Tue 22 Jan 2008, 22:25    Post subject:  

@ pizzapup Your right, automounting .sfs files really *isnt* a big deal with some explaination of whats going on. Im very glad that some of the work you will need to do has been done already. The kernel version is still the ever popular 2.6.18.1 . Im looking forward to seeing the your work after the already working demo you produced with 3.01. Im already wondering how you will handle the selection from several different pup_saves.2fs's during boot up. It would be nice to have some kind of selection screen that is free of the other boot messages. Of course I assume there will be some kind of boot option to turn off the graphical boot, in case boot diagnistics need to be carried out.

Tuxx, I didint know about your package for firefox/flash9/java, it would have been great as I remember when setting up ecopup I did struggle to get these three components to play nicely together. Thanks for refreshing my memory toward the 3.0x series applications. Puppy 2.14 already has Galculator.

A lot of the other packages you mention would make extremely good easy to get extentions for the CE addition. Puppy's extensibility is fantastic. Im hoping to keep the footprint to an absolute minimum for the older machines out there (this is often requested). This is as much for speed of boot up as well as memory requirements...something that creates a very good first impression of puppy. Previous community editions have been much larger than standard puppy, with the inclusion of openoffice (2.02ce) and IceWM (2.15ce) and firefox (1.09ce). I believe the basic package selection if puppy "around" fine for doing just about every job reasonably well by most average (read non-enthusiast) computer users. It really is just its polish and some of the terminology that is used that prevents it getting a lot more users hooked...by which time they create their own puplets using the remaster process.

Im thinking TS3.03ce may not be such a good codename any more...Oh dear! Wink

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nic2109

Joined: 01 Jan 2007
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Location: Hayslope, near Middlemarch, Midlands, England

PostPosted: Wed 23 Jan 2008, 07:46    Post subject:  

This idea/decision has been pretty well received thus far by the gurus. So go for it!

One word of warning, however.

I have been trying for days to get GRUB to boot up a Frugal 214R install. I have a pretty complex SATA set up - 3 Primary partitions for 'doze and a 4th (logical) partition sub-divided into SWAP and several EXT3 partitions - and the PUI in 2.14R just doesn't handle it.

I'll let you know how it is resolved.

Now, for a policy/content suggestion. I reckon that the ONE BIG IDEA that is needed to make this a "proper" LTS version (btw that's "Long Term Support") will be a Package Manager that can automatically update itself. This is what will sell it to the 'doze refugees and anyone else who just wants stability and ease of use.

At the moment keeping a Puppy up-to-date with fixes is haphazard (at best) and needs quite a bit of intervention. Ubuntu and the other heavy-weight distros all handle this aspect of system maintenance.

This is, however a pretty big step to take and it requires a much more organised bug fixing, testing and delivery mechanism. Are we ready for that? It requires a pretty serious commitment from the support "staff" (ask MU about the time he spends in supporting Muppy if you don't believe me).

Having said all that I believe that it's the way Puppy should go and it will allow Barry to do what he does so brilliantly which is to develop each new version.

Here endeth the sermon!
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Pizzasgood


Joined: 04 May 2005
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PostPosted: Wed 23 Jan 2008, 18:47    Post subject:  

Quote:
Im already wondering how you will handle the selection from several different pup_saves.2fs's during boot up. It would be nice to have some kind of selection screen that is free of the other boot messages.
Hmmm... I did handle it, but I don't remember if it was free of the older boot messages. Well, I'll have to redo that part anyways for 2.14R so I'll keep that in mind.

Quote:
Of course I assume there will be some kind of boot option to turn off the graphical boot, in case boot diagnistics need to be carried out.
pfix=nosplash. The isolinux/syslinux stuff will mention that at the least.

Also, I'm going to need to modify the install scripts. I just posted something earlier that's the 3.01 equivalent, minus some Pebble specific elements (mainly more explanation in the framebuffer part and defaulting to pfix=nosplash if vga=normal is chosen).
http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?p=169265#169265
Those are also things I'll have to re-do, but the scripts didn't change very much at all so it won't be a big deal.


If anybody is interested in making a TS specific splash image, have at it. Otherwise I'll either use the same blue-paw one I've been using or try my hand at a new one, depending on my free-time. In the interest of low-size and high compatibility, the splash image will be restricted to a 640x480 jpg image. No animation, other than maybe a fade-in (which I can cover). Personally, I'd prefer something dark, to avoid major contrast if it drops out to the commandline (so the user can choose a save-file or enter a password or whatever).

I'm going to go finish reading the forum, then dive into isolinux/syslinux.

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Pizzasgood


Joined: 04 May 2005
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Location: Knoxville, TN, USA

PostPosted: Thu 24 Jan 2008, 02:16    Post subject:  

That was easier than I expected. I now have syslinux working so that it displays a 640x480x16 image, with the option to push <F1> to display the familiar list of boot options.

To clarify, that's being displayed from a USB boot Very Happy

Nearly identical files will work for the LiveCD too, just slight changes (mainly pmedia=xxx). I focused on USB because it's faster than reburning disks over and over.

I can add extra screens for every "F" key in case we want some kind of documentation besides the boot option list. Also, every screen can be either a 640x480x16 image or plaintext (with colors!)

I'm going to memorize my Japanese that I should have memorized eariler tonight, then go to bed. Tomorrow I only have one class, so after that I'll do my homework (easy, just need to make a simple edge detection program in C) then do some more work on this stuff. I need to dig up a list of valid options for 2.14 and to modify the install scripts to use this too. I'll make a new thread for it at that point too, with detailed information about stuff so people can set it up on their ends to test different formats and images and whatnot.


Before I do anything 2.14 specific, I just want to check: Is it final that we're using 2.14R? If so, should we still be using 'TS3.03CE' as the tag?

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