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Optimising Puppy performance
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SilverPuppy


Joined: 28 May 2009
Posts: 143

PostPosted: Thu 28 May 2009, 22:33    Post subject:  Perhaps this has been mentioned elsewhere, but..............  

I think the biggest "bug" in Puppy 4.2 is Puppy 4.2! I actually was one of the first to see the official release, and my first thought was........yuck! This is not the Puppy I love! This is going in the direction of MicroStink with eye-candy and widgets all over that don't amount to anything. Someone said that the widgets could go away with 4 clicks, but I think the original vision of Puppy dictates that eye-candy, widgets, and any other unnecessary "enhancement" be an add-on, NOT part of the core OS.

I think that 4.1.2, Barry's final release, was just about perfect. I foresee one of two things happening: either the Official Puppy carries forward in the future with the minimalist vision that Barry birthed into Puppy, adding only hardware support, stability improvements, and bugfixes, or there is going to be a MAJOR split as those who are true to this vision split away from the interlopers who want to make Puppy just another overdone, bloated visual-effects project like most other mainstream distros.

Barry, why'd you have to go and quit? Crying or Very sad I know for myself, I'll not be using 4.2 EVER that I can foresee. I hope that the vision revives soon........
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mcewanw

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PostPosted: Fri 29 May 2009, 06:01    Post subject: wasted by bling. Also small issue, needed to run alsaconf.  

SilverPuppy wrote:
yuck! This is not the Puppy I love! This is going in the direction of MicroStink with eye-candy and widgets all over that don't amount to anything. Someone said that the widgets could go away with 4 clicks, but


That was my thoughts exactly. I know some users (the loud-shouting Ecomoney for example) like all that stuff and fair enough that they should be satisfied. However, the "4 clicks" (if there is such a facility) should be for adding the bling for those who want it.

The fact is, that bling IS an unremovable part of the core puppy sfs file (unless you care to remaster the thing). Certainly you can turn off some of the bling CPU usage by killing the annoying processes, and some of it will no longer take up RAM space. Of course, it doesn't occupy much space on disc, but the sfs itself does tend to be loaded into RAM does it not, which is an absolute waste of RAM in such a case.

And why does anyone want two clocks on the screen at the same time anyway??? And one click on the digital clock brings up a calendar... without that annoying desktop one.

Meanwhile, others (such as tiny core) recognise the power of lean mean core + addons: almost as if they read the original puppy vision and philosophy. BarryK has purposively stood back to let the "community" bring out this puppy, but alas, the appointed team leaders have the "Community Edition with bloat" mentality and it wastes IMO what would otherwise be a perfectly good puppy. It seems very unlikely to me that BarryK himself would have embedded the bling; perhaps he would have added a one-click bling addon button instead..?

I believe Tuuxxx produced an "unofficial" bling-free version, but that's not therefore on the 'official' download page (and is it called v4.2.1 or something else - are any important 'patches/bugfixes' missing from it? - and do I want to adopt a "non-official" puppy..? Not really).

Anyway, I can't be bothered trying to work out how to get rid of the bling, so I'll have to hunt down the non-bling unofficial Pup and download that overnight (I have slow dialup only)

Don't get me wrong, apart from the bling annoyance, this pup 4.2.1 isn't bad at all. The only thing I've noticed so far that didn't work out-of-the-box on my system was sound (never had that problem with any pup before). I haven't checked all the above threads to see if others have had the same problem because I fixed it for myself. However, a new user wouldn't have a clue how to fix it. For me I had to:

open an rxct console and enter:

alsaconf

That program correctly detected my card and on the next boot the until then missing taskbar volume icon appeared and sound worked.

My test machine is a Dell Latitude CPx 450MHz Pentium III (Coppermine) with 256 MByte RAM. Puppy 4.2.1 runs okay on this setup with almost 50 MByte unused RAM (according to the provided "free" program) whilst just using Seamonkey, but that's too tight for my liking; an extra 50 MB free RAM would be good to avoid the system beginning to use swap and starting to slowdown/thrash. Indeed if the bling hadn't been forcibly incorporated it appears to me that there might well be that much extra unused RAM available; at a glance, conky/Pwidgets seems to be taking up around 21 MB RAM and xonclock another 12 MB - yuck for that indeed - but otherwise, nice enough system.
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SilverPuppy


Joined: 28 May 2009
Posts: 143

PostPosted: Fri 29 May 2009, 09:42    Post subject:  

"My test machine is a Dell Latitude CPx 450MHz Pentium III (Coppermine) with 256 MByte RAM. Puppy 4.2.1 runs okay on this setup with almost 50 MByte unused RAM (according to the provided "free" program) whilst just using Seamonkey, but that's too tight for my liking;"

No kidding! OUCH! 4.1.2 would have you running about 100MB under those circumstances!

Maybe it's been fixed now, but 4.2 first official was also very unstable. I downloaded it the first day it was out, burned it, booted it (in a machine that ran 4.1.2 perfectly) saw the widgets, said yuck, tried to get them to go away, couldn't get them to go away completely, it crashed, rebooted, tried some other stuff, it crashed again, and I erased the CD-RW I use for the shop Puppy and put 4.1.2 back on it. It's been on it ever since and I'm very attached to it. 4.2 just reminded me too much of everything I hate about Windoze Vistuh.

What was ever wrong with a simple gray interface and no widgets? Puppy was basically supposed to be a replacement for Windows 98: light, fast, and running on almost anything, but with support for modern things like USB storage. I've never seen anyone ask for it to be pretty; that was never the point, although it has always looked very presentable. This 4.2 thing is so completely missing the point it's kinda sad.

Barry? If you're still out there, PLEASE take some leadership back before your cute Puppy becomes a fat Dog!
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SilverPuppy


Joined: 28 May 2009
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PostPosted: Fri 29 May 2009, 09:54    Post subject: Oh, one other thing......  

While I'm dumping on 4.2, let me tell you that I have 4.1.2 running on an old computer at my church, full installation, and it can run Beep Media Player, Audacity, and a few other little tools on 64 MB OF RAM! That's all it has! I could have put more in it, but it simply didn't need it for the limited usage that machine gets. I did have more in it during the installation, though, while it had to use the RAM disk. But once it was running off the HDD, I wanted to see just what it actually needed, and 64MB was fully sufficient!

Anybody want to venture a guess as to what would happen if I tried that with 4.2? Anybody? 21+12=at least 33MB of additional overhead that has to be stored somewhere in RAM........and for what? I'd have no choice but to put more RAM in that box if I wanted 4.2 to run on it. That sounds suspiciously like.........MicroStink. I thought Puppy was supposed to be the answer to that vicious bloat-coding company.........
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flugwelpe


Joined: 15 May 2009
Posts: 29
Location: Vienna, Austria

PostPosted: Sat 30 May 2009, 05:22    Post subject:    

SilverPuppy wrote:
...his 4.2 thing is so completely missing the point it's kinda sad.

I think 4.2 is a major change. I'm not surprised it is a rough ride. Had that before with Puppy new versions and my machines. Maybe shipped a little too premature, but no big deal; 4.1 is there while 4.2 fixes come in and the woofs are on the horizon. And everybody can choose their favorite edition (hell, on one machine nothing works but puppy 4.0).
I think the 4.2 team people deserve respect for their work.
Yay!
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mcewanw

Joined: 16 Aug 2007
Posts: 2020
Location: New Zealand

PostPosted: Sat 30 May 2009, 06:42    Post subject:  

flugwelpe wrote:

I think the 4.2 team people deserve respect for their work.


Yes, I agree with that. Everybody deserves respect for their work.

I also think it is wrong to criticize the genuine efforts of others.

Furthermore, "bugs", IMO, are nothing to ever be crucified for, when the system itself is being created voluntarily for the benefit of others.

It is good however, to be willing to listen to users. On the whole, I'd say that has been happening. The one pity, I feel is that an "official" no-bling version of Puppy 4.2.1 was not released along with the bling version. There was afterall a poll on the "bling" versus "no bling" question, and a significant number of users made it clear that they wanted no bling. But, for some reason, there was a point blank refusal to release an official no-bling variant. In that climate, I feel that that decision was a mistake and a pity.

What has been terribly wrong in recent months has been the overblown nonsense about bugs not being fixed quickly enough. I am quite sure everyone involved in developing Puppy has been addressing such issues as fast as their time allowed and personally I gave up in terms of respecting the main complainer about bugs - he was way over-the-top and beyond decency in his approach. Indeed, I am entirely fed up with his "Mission" crusade, as if he were the true Puppy guiding light - what a lot of rubbish.

So, in summary, I think Puppy 4.2.1 is a pretty good release, all things considered - but attention should be paid to the bling issue. Keep bling for those who need it, for sure - machines do become more powerful as the years go by afterall, but please release a relatively low bling official version in future as well rather than rely on ttuuxxx unofficials. I have never been happy using "unofficial" releases or community editions personally - no offence, but I always trusted BarryK's "official" versions better, and they have always been quite moderate in terms of their 'embedded' bling. But, if bling is to become the future of Puppy, well there will always be alternative distributions which will be attractive to the non-bling lovers - but its a pity if Puppy loses that market unnecessarily for no good reason really.
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WhoDo


Joined: 11 Jul 2006
Posts: 4441
Location: Lake Macquarie NSW Australia

PostPosted: Sat 30 May 2009, 10:08    Post subject:  

mcewanw wrote:
The one pity, I feel is that an "official" no-bling version of Puppy 4.2.1 was not released along with the bling version. There was afterall a poll on the "bling" versus "no bling" question, and a significant number of users made it clear that they wanted no bling. But, for some reason, there was a point blank refusal to release an official no-bling variant. In that climate, I feel that that decision was a mistake and a pity.

You are most certainly entitled to your opinion on this point. I won't belabour the reasoning behind not having an official "no bling" variant except to say that it appears to have produced the desired result, in terms of Puppy's overall popularity, and drawn attention to the fact that Puppy will continue to be produced even after the retirement of BarryK.

mcewanw wrote:
I think Puppy 4.2.1 is a pretty good release, all things considered - but attention should be paid to the bling issue. Keep bling for those who need it, for sure - machines do become more powerful as the years go by afterall, but please release a relatively low bling official version in future as well rather than rely on ttuuxxx unofficials. I have never been happy using "unofficial" releases or community editions personally - no offence, but I always trusted BarryK's "official" versions better, and they have always been quite moderate in terms of their 'embedded' bling. But, if bling is to become the future of Puppy, well there will always be alternative distributions which will be attractive to the non-bling lovers - but its a pity if Puppy loses that market unnecessarily for no good reason really.

With or without BarryK at the helm after Puppy 5.0 or 5.01, I doubt that "bling" will be a permanent feature of new releases, except as an easy install option. The fact is that Upup2 "Jaunty Puppy", as Puppy 5.0 is now known, will have access to a far wider choice of "bling" than Deepthought ever had - through the multitude of options in the Ubuntu official and unofficial repositories. Certainly Pwidgets will be an available option for those who want them, but they will not be in the main release AFAIK. Barry is already struggling to keep the size down with the Alpha's coming in at 105Mb, and that is even more significant for retaining Puppy's appeal to those with older machines and low resources.

The most interesting thing about Deepthought is the extra interest that it has sparked elsewhere than among the normal respondents to this forum. There is now a Spanish language regional government-backed version called Molinux Zero, based on Puppy 4.2. As coolpup correctly pointed out to me in a PM, Molinux's main release is Ubuntu-based. Once they become aware of Upup2 and Woof, if they aren't already, that would be their next logical step. Then there are a host of Ubuntu variants out there that could easily switch to a Puppy base in order to pick up speed and support for older hardware. The possibilities are almost endless ... now.

It was the initial attention of these "forces" that needed to be grabbed before anything else could happen in furthering Puppy's development. That was a job for "bling" IMHO. To be able to produce an OS that looked very similar to the most bloated but widely used PC OS available, and yet was less than 100Mb in size and FAST, was the sheer curiosity factor we needed to push Puppy to the fore and get the skeptics trying it. In terms of the time and effort required to package a standard Puppy release, I didn't really have the resources to produce a "no-bling" variant as well, bearing in mind that would have required two releases; one for each kernel version. It would have almost doubled the workload and I was struggling to produce the two official releases, and their Unleashed core, updated packages and devx files as well! As Barry said, he considered that a full-time job. People who haven't built a full release or fork from Unleashed would have difficulty in conceiving that as fact.

The results of sticking with the "bling" are already becoming obvious, in the form of some very valuable new developers like gposil and Patriot and the Molinux Zero project. The more such contributors and resources we attract to Puppy development the better for all IMO. For that reason it is the Vala/Genie part of the Woof project that is the most important. Puppy needs to provide the facilities for these "new" developers to allow them to easily migrate to coding for Puppy Linux instead of Window$. In particular, we should be looking at supporting cross-platform IDE's that will attract VB and .NET programmers across to the "dark side". Just my $0.02c worth.

@Moderators - this discussion isn't about bugs in Puppy 4.2.x, so it really shouldn't be in this thread. OTOH, it is a very important discussion that certainly deserves its own thread, probably in the Next Puppy Development section. If none of the other posters objects, I would suggest splitting the discussion into its own thread and moving it to that sub-forum.

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WhoDo


Joined: 11 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Sat 30 May 2009, 10:33    Post subject: Re: wasted by bling. Also small issue, needed to run alsacon  

mcewanw wrote:
Indeed if the bling hadn't been forcibly incorporated it appears to me that there might well be that much extra unused RAM available; at a glance, conky/Pwidgets seems to be taking up around 21 MB RAM and xonclock another 12 MB - yuck for that indeed - but otherwise, nice enough system.

I don't think that can be correct. It may be a reflection of the amount of cache set aside but I'm pretty sure it has nothing to do with the size of the programs in RAM; no offense intended.

The whole pup_420.sfs file is only 97Mb in size, and that gets mounted in RAM, yes, but to a RAM drive determined by the size of your original free RAM (I think). Pwidgets, including Xonclock, is only 268kb compressed. Uncompressed it is a little over 1Mb (from memory, no pun intended). If you are getting reports of 21Mb and 12Mb respectively, that has to be cache allocated and presumably not yet used; a peculiarity of the way Puppy works and nothing more. If you don't have that RAM, then it isn't allocated. Certainly there are reports of Puppy 4.2 running in much less RAM than you have. I have it reporting only 117Mb (not including cache) used on my laptop with 2Gb RAM.

Hope that helps.

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trio


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PostPosted: Sat 30 May 2009, 10:46    Post subject:  

Still debate about bling or no bling?? Why? 4.2.1 FINAL IS OUT, period. Nothing to debate anymore! For you who wants no bling 4.1.2 is available, unofficial 4.2 "no bling" is available ...

Next puppy with bling or not .. , maybe not... period...And I am a bling maker and lover WILL NOT complaint even if there will be no bling anymore in the next puppy, unlike you....

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DaveS


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PostPosted: Sat 30 May 2009, 11:58    Post subject:  

Its been said before, but I will say it again.......... If you dont want the extras, turn them off, but dont force others to go without!
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SilverPuppy


Joined: 28 May 2009
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PostPosted: Sat 30 May 2009, 12:39    Post subject: No, no, and NO!  

DaveS wrote:
Its been said before, but I will say it again.......... If you dont want the extras, turn them off, but dont force others to go without!


You do not understand the vision of Puppy at all. Puppy was INTENDED for people who want to go without! It was made with the express purpose of being as minimalistic as possible, without all the extra "enhancements" that nobody needs anyway. The Puppy vision version of what you said is exactly the opposite: If you want the extras, feel free to add them yourself, but don't force the rest of us to put up with them or try to get rid of them!

To WhoDo, I say this: it's nice that you've attracted more talent to the development team, but it's a total waste if you kill the product that got the market share and offend a key segment of the user base. If you and your blingophyte friends want to make bling, fine, but put it in the REPOSITORY, not in the official distro. That way it's easily and freely available to all, but not forced onto (I believe) the majority of Puppy users who fled to Puppy for reasons including bling (which is a huge part of bloat; did you forget that?)

I think that bling has a valid place as a repository add-on, and even in Puplet distros, but NOT in the official Puppy. As far as I'm concerned, 4.2 is a Puplet, since it is so incompatible with the vision of Puppy. Guys, (and gals, I'd imagine) KEEP THE VISION. Don't forget what made Puppy great! If you feel that Puppy needs bling, put it in an add-on package, but don't mess up Puppy. Barry had an ingenious vision, and I will fight to keep it alive.
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markofkane


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PostPosted: Sat 30 May 2009, 12:50    Post subject:  

I agree, I think Puppy should be minimal, and if a person wants to add-on, he/she can. I like to customize things anyway. Very Happy
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DaveS


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PostPosted: Sat 30 May 2009, 13:10    Post subject: Re: No, no, and NO!  

SilverPuppy wrote:

You do not understand the vision of Puppy at all.


Yeah........ thanks for the mellow moment. Maybe I will just stick to trying to help people where I can and leave 'mission' stuff to others.
ps. 4.2 top ten on distro-watch, so maybe not so unpopular.............

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James C


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PostPosted: Sat 30 May 2009, 13:34    Post subject:  

This is becoming quite common, a bug thread going off-topic by people who are self-appointed experts on the subject of Puppy's "mission".

Let me see if I have things right. First, Barry Kauler creates Puppy Linux. Eventually, Barry K decides to step away for a while. Barry K then asks WhoDo to coordinate Puppy 4.20. Finally, Puppy 4.20 and the bugfix 4.2.1 are released. If any of this timeline is wrong, please correct it.

If anyone knows Puppy's "mission" and future direction it is Barry K and since he asked WhoDo to coordinate I can only assume that he (Barry K) is satisfied in the direction Puppy is going.

For the record, I personally don't care for the "bling" in the default Puppy, but............. if that is what the coordinator chose to do, after being asked by the man himself to do a job, I won't second guess his decision.

Besides, the "bling" is easy to turn off.
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WhoDo


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PostPosted: Sat 30 May 2009, 18:05    Post subject: Re: No, no, and NO!  

SilverPuppy wrote:
To WhoDo, I say this: it's nice that you've attracted more talent to the development team, but it's a total waste if you kill the product that got the market share and offend a key segment of the user base.

Try thinking of the BIG picture, SilverPuppy. Having a broader user base that includes Window$ refugees, and their software developers, isn't just "nice" - it's essential to growth and survival post BarryK.

SilverPuppy wrote:
If you and your blingophyte friends want to make bling, fine, but put it in the REPOSITORY, not in the official distro. That way it's easily and freely available to all, but not forced onto (I believe) the majority of Puppy users who fled to Puppy for reasons including bling (which is a huge part of bloat; did you forget that?)

Why not accept "yes" for an answer? If you read my post I clearly indicated that was where the "bling" would be from this point forward. The mission to attract new interest to Puppy has been completed. Trio is right; why kick the dead horse?

As for the "majority of Puppy users who fled to Puppy", certainly minimalism was a significant issue in the face of the Micro$oft move from Windows98 to the NT series. The "majority" also wanted an easy and familiar interface, which is why early Puppy mimicked Windows 95/98, then 2000 and XP. Puppy 4.2 was just a logical extension of that to include Vista. It was designed to show Window$ refugees that there is an alternative that won't require a hardware upgrade or a major rethink of the way they use their OS to enjoy the benefits.

SilverPuppy wrote:
I think that bling has a valid place as a repository add-on, and even in Puplet distros, but NOT in the official Puppy. As far as I'm concerned, 4.2 is a Puplet, since it is so incompatible with the vision of Puppy. Guys, (and gals, I'd imagine) KEEP THE VISION. Don't forget what made Puppy great! If you feel that Puppy needs bling, put it in an add-on package, but don't mess up Puppy. Barry had an ingenious vision, and I will fight to keep it alive.

The point is that we ARE keeping the vision! It is you who seems to have distorted it to something that suits your own ideals. Lord knows I disagree with ecomoney in so many things, but I think he is right about the roots of Puppy and Barry's vision in creating it.

I've seen that expression used before - "4.2 is a Puplet" - and I think it came from a well-known member of this forum. That leads me to think that SilverPuppy may be an alias, and the very recent registration would seem to confirm that. That said, your opinions are valid and form a part of the rich fabric of ideas that make up the Puppy community. It is a mistake to believe they are representative of the WHOLE community. That is now far, far wider than this forum, whether you agree with our choice of direction or not.

Barry and I share a vision for Puppy, and that includes minimalism. I have strongly resisted requests to increase Puppy's included software base pushing it above the 100Mb notional limit. Puppy will eventually go there, I'm sure, but not without good reason. Upup2 is now at 105Mb, but with good reason (compatibility with Ubuntu).

To suggest that my vision for Puppy was for a future of bloat and bling - meaning unnecessary software - is just plain wrong. You haven't even asked what my vision was, even though others have. My vision was the vision that Barry described in his vision statement, and remains so even today in the face of such criticism. The purpose was to make Puppy attractive enough to get people to try it and overcome their skepticism. Puppy 4.2 Deepthought has achieved that IMHO - consistently at 8 on Distrowatch 6 month rankings and climbing; now at 4 on Distrowatch 7 day rankings and climbing; Molinux Zero being funded by a regional government in Spain. Folks, we now have their attention. The bling achieved its purpose. Please, can we move on to what is most appropriate for the future, and not forget that Puppy was intended for those migrating their OS from Windows and NOT just for Linux devotees of minimalism?

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