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 Forum index » Taking the Puppy out for a walk » Suggestions
The world has changed
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amigo

Joined: 02 Apr 2007
Posts: 2261

PostPosted: Sat 24 Aug 2013, 14:23    Post_subject:  

"the most important part of base puppy is in fact its toolchain" -That! except that the real state of affairs is like this:"the most important part of base puppy *should be* its toolchain"

The only way to satisfy both Jack Spratt, who could eat no fat, & his wife, who could eat no lean, is to build a distro that is fully modular. Modular means building it and providing it based a certain 'unit' of software -most commonly called a 'package'.

Actually, even more important than the toolchain, which includes glibc, is the process of creating the toolchain and the packages of *each and every* program/group-of-programs which get included -either by default or as an option.

A clear understanding of what comprises a 'minimal system' is necessary and must really be defined. For my own distro, I define minimal as:
The software needed to boot succcessfully on local hardware (no network drives) and arrive at *console* login in multi-user mode. Period. Note that this means for a run-time system -think of what a linux 'appliance' might include. Such a system is comprised of about 50 packages of standard linux items. Because many standard programs are part of a collection from sources, the minimal system will already include many utilties which are not needed to boot to console login, but which are *expected to be present on any POSIX-conformant system*.

Now, the above run-time-only system is obviously not the default installation or even a real alternative -unless as an applicance. the above would not even include any archiving tools which would be needed in order to extend the system with optional packages. And, it certainly would not be able to reproduce itself -*which any full distro should be able to do*. So, if you add in a few archive-handlers like tar, gzip & Co, then add in the toolchain and all the stuff needed to reproduce itself, then you come to a much larger list of packages. But *the concept of 'minimal' must be kept as simple as possible* to have any value. (I saw a user ask for this one time: Just a minimal system with firefox and all the codes -which is very far from 'minimal')

For a developer which wants to create and maintain a distro, the above extended defintion of 'minimal' is the only place to start from -the smallest list of packages to comprise a system which can rebuild and extend itself.

A LiveCD is an example of an appliance -since it comes with a specific list of software which is not easily extendible within the context of a LiveCD. It is, apparently, tempting to 'construct' a one-time collection of programs, hacks(arbitrary modifications) and pre-made configuration files to constitute a releasable LiveCD (appliance), *but*, doing so means that the construction steps cannot be readily repeated or easily modified(to vary the choice of packages) -because this manual construction technique goes against the repeatability concept, and the arbitrary mix/matching of software goes against the modularity concept.

Of course, many here will argue about sfs files, mega-packages(which include dependencies from other sources), etc., But, these are also simply software packages. the differences are in how the software is deployed (made available for use). The problem with mega-packages or groups of programs which come from multiple sources, is that it destroy modularity and complicates the ability to upgrade a simgle package or whole system. And the problem with software which is temporarily available -as opposed to being 'installed', is that not all software can be deployed that way. There will always be a certain minimum that is really necessary in order to boot, login and be extendible.

Of course, the idea of including needed dependencies in the same package is tempting, but again, a very bad idea because it means you may have multiple copies of the same thing, or conflicting versions. This is where dependency-resolution comes in. It needs to be really, really good and that is a big problem -too big for this posting! This is where it is tempting to base your distro on someone else's packages. But, a LiveCD boots and operates very differently than an 'installed' system, so it does a lot of things in a different way -which means programs are used which must be compiled with different options than the package for the 'parent distro'. The more your system diverges from 'normal' systems, the more packages you'll need to supply -and critically, avoid the standard packages from the parent distro. This diminishes the utility of native dependency-resolution.

The above may explain some of why I so insist that a real distro must roll their own toolchain and create all their own packages -even if they use an already-existing package format and package-creation tools.

The most important element of building and maintaining a distro is the method/software used to create individual packages. Since package creation is the thing which consumes the most time (apart from testing and working out exactly which versions of what to include), the most effort must go into the *process* of creating packages. A 'remastering' script doesn't fit the bill as it completely ignores the concept of modularity.
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greengeek

Joined: 20 Jul 2010
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PostPosted: Sat 24 Aug 2013, 15:13    Post_subject:  

Given that those toolchain integrity parameters need to be satisfied somehow, and given that there would be different personal views on how best to satisfy them - is it even possible to make a start on such a project?

Does such a project already exist within puppydom?

Would such a project need BK to "buy-in"?

Is there a critical mass of suitably skilled persons who would be interested in trying to make such a project a reality? (including the difficulties of subjugating personal creativity and preferences to the direction and goals of the group...?)
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session


Joined: 07 Feb 2011
Posts: 90
Location: Valley of the Sun

PostPosted: Sat 24 Aug 2013, 19:09    Post_subject:  

ahoppin wrote:
Personally, I *like* Puppy's vague whiff of chaos. I *like* seeing the range of different ideas that come from a diverse community of developers who aren't cat-herded into some corporate business plan.

Well said, ahoppin. There are plenty of light distros out there, but Puppy's friendly hodge-podge aesthetic is one-of-a-kind. It forces new users to dig a little, but it never alienates them.

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gcmartin

Joined: 14 Oct 2005
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PostPosted: Sun 25 Aug 2013, 02:25    Post_subject:  

Barry creates a distro which has tools and usefulness for a single PC user who wants to get to the LAN. The guys from "down-under" work closely in the generation of BOTH Precise distros that exist in the community. Stepping back for a second to look, one would think that Barry and Pemasu are one-in-the-same as how the technology shows for in the distros for its users.

Geoffrey, Elroy and RG66 have collaborated together to make Carolina a reality as they have taken a departure and have shown how it can be great user distro.

Kirk and JamesBond have collaborated toward a far-reaching effort to address both old and new 64bit BIOS architectures and boot techniques in the great FATDOG6+ distros.

There's even a collaboration afoot to help persons who have mobility and other disabilities to have distro versions which can address those user's need to use technology via a PUP (and tools which can be used in other PUPs).

These are examples of "some" (I'm sure I have missed other obvious efforts of collaboration) who have worked together sharing and cross-referencing their ideas as they have moved to accommodate user needs and user requests in tailoring distro contents.

When we see posts from @Greengeek, @Oldyeller, etc. it seems that they too have seen or see the value in a collaboration as a means to build a greater, thought-thru, system addressing the general needs of the systems users.

@Volhout started this thread under the heading that "The World has changed" and indeed, "it has". Since 2005, we have seen countless changes in the technology landscape as well as have witnessed increasing collaborations to address a base complement of tools viewed as desired by the community...generally. He also shares what some might call the collaboration between his wife and himself is adapting Puppy to their household needs, similar in what we seen from the several collaboration already mentioned.

There is very good ideas positioned in this thread on distro content and if a new distro approach is to surface, ideas are shared where the initiation of that base should begin and its control necessary for sustainability.

Today we are staring at hardware technology changes which are struggling to get out of the starting gate into a consistent singularity as it moves from what we know as the old (current for most of us) platform to the new platforms.

I have always been impressed at how the distro developers in this community have been able to address so much of the newness of what's happening for Puppy good. An example of this is the eforts we've seen from @BarryK, @Jamesbond, @Lobster, @Smokey01 and others in the work centering on the rise of the ARM processors. This advances as even the ARM platform itself morphs and the LInux community rushes to respond.

Yes, collaboration has already demonstrated to us, that it can work and it can produce healthy results.

I saw something, today, that spells a 2010 report I read about the "life-expectancy" of dial up as the Communications Networks worldwide move from the old circuit based implementation to the newer technologies of today that are IP (packet) based. The very first "major" Corporation to announce it is discontinuing dial-up is the UK's BT. So, where I considered the time-tables mentioned as aggressive, its looking like the paper is on target for the begin dates of wind-down. I guess the FaceBook founder also read it and has attracted much attention over the past weeks on those idea he has shared about publicly available internet based upon the current technology change. What this means is that the amount of data reaching users, homes,and vehicles is destined for very sharp increases....2-way. Our concerns about distro sizes, for example, doesn't have the same ring today, as it had in 2005.

The world HAS changed. Its not the same as it use to be and continues to advance. And, as I have seen it, Puppy has continued to advance along with it; not just the technology but also in the example we see in how we work together.

Here to help

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sunburnt


Joined: 08 Jun 2005
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Location: Arizona, U.S.A.

PostPosted: Sun 25 Aug 2013, 14:41    Post_subject:  

Q5sys; Correct of course. Ubuntu does a good job I`m sure of make their crap work.
So if a Puppy base is "all Ubuntu", then it should have a good chance for portable apps.
Ubuntu has a huge base of apps., and I`m sure it`s pretty well arranged for compatibility.
As long as the Puppy variant builder doesn`t decide to go off into the weeds, all is okay.

The desktop and above is just another app. more or less, until it comes to KDE and Gnome.
A desktop environment chooser gui`d be nice, it`d show the available SFSs and RoxApps.
Many desktops take a lot of space, so keeping them out of Puppy`s Save file`s a good idea.
.
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rokytnji


Joined: 20 Jan 2009
Posts: 1380
Location: Pecos/ Texas

PostPosted: Sun 25 Aug 2013, 15:54    Post_subject: The World Has Changed
Sub_title: Not Really, Just communication got faster is all
 

Not reading the whole thread, Just shoot me why don't cha. Cool

I approach Puppy Linux like if it was a SLackware Live cd Install (with some cool tricks included).
You get the base to start things off. You can compile and install what you want like in Slackware. Like Slackware. Dependency checking is your responsibility sometimes.

Sometimes some one takes pity on everyone and prebuilds something and posts about it.

You upgrade just like in Slackware unless you have a testing branch of browser.

The world may be changing but I bet Slackware aint. Wink

I appreciate everyone and all builders on this forum. It is easy to talk the talk.
Harder to walk the walk. For all in one Puppy Iso. Look to

http://extonlinux.wordpress.com/?s=puppy

But, someone will find fault with anything . I guess, The worst thing you can do to someone is offer them something for free.

Edit: I am not pointing fingers or whatever. I know this thread was meant to see if things can be made easier on new users. Happy Happy Joy Joy. Problem is. I don't care I guess. Nobody held my hand through life after my nuts dropped.
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Karl Godt


Joined: 20 Jun 2010
Posts: 3972
Location: Kiel,Germany

PostPosted: Sun 25 Aug 2013, 16:42    Post_subject:  

Quote:
But, someone will find fault with anything . I guess, The worst thing you can do to someone is offer them something for free.

Edit: I am not pointing fingers or whatever. I know this thread was meant to see if things can be made easier on new users. Happy Happy Joy Joy. Problem is. I don't care I guess. Nobody held my hand through life after my nuts dropped.

+1
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sunburnt


Joined: 08 Jun 2005
Posts: 5037
Location: Arizona, U.S.A.

PostPosted: Sun 25 Aug 2013, 17:10    Post_subject:  

From the Puppy community web site.
Quote:
Linux is a free operating system, and Puppy Linux is a special build of Linux meant to make computing easy and fast.

This would seem to envision an on-going effort, but maybe not.
All observations are valid, and any desktop could be easier to use.

The real Q is, what could stand improving that would make the most difference?
Apps. that work for most Puppies comes to my mind. Ubuntu Puppy is this breed of dog.
.
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RSH


Joined: 05 Sep 2011
Posts: 2420
Location: Germany

PostPosted: Mon 26 Aug 2013, 02:00    Post_subject:  

sunburnt wrote:
From the Puppy community web site.
Quote:
Linux is a free operating system, and Puppy Linux is a special build of Linux meant to make computing easy and fast.

This would seem to envision an on-going effort, but maybe not.
All observations are valid, and any desktop could be easier to use.

The real Q is, what could stand improving that would make the most difference?
Apps. that work for most Puppies comes to my mind. Ubuntu Puppy is this breed of dog..


By now seven (7) pages in this thread!

Looks like everyone is talking but only a few are really listening and understanding.

Talk: huge.
Theoretical effort: a lot.
Practical results: none.

As usual!

RSH

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Q5sys


Joined: 11 Dec 2008
Posts: 1073

PostPosted: Mon 26 Aug 2013, 06:46    Post_subject:  

sunburnt wrote:
Q5sys; Correct of course. Ubuntu does a good job I`m sure of make their crap work.
So if a Puppy base is "all Ubuntu", then it should have a good chance for portable apps.
Ubuntu has a huge base of apps., and I`m sure it`s pretty well arranged for compatibility.


Ubuntu is also good at F'n things up by changing things all the time. That's were a distro like Debian or Slackware are a better choice. If you don't want to reinvent the whee every 6 months, use a distro that provides LOOOOOONNNNNGGGGG Time support and is know for Stability.
Debian and Slackware have just as many applications as Ubuntu if not more.

I just find it ironic that the people that want a long term stable puppy release always want to go wth ubuntu which is not as stable as others. I guess some people are confusing 'stable' with 'noob friendly'

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koulaxizis


Joined: 17 Jul 2011
Posts: 428
Location: Greece

PostPosted: Mon 26 Aug 2013, 07:54    Post_subject:  

Q5sys wrote:

Ubuntu is also good at F'n things up by changing things all the time. That's were a distro like Debian or Slackware are a better choice. If you don't want to reinvent the whee every 6 months, use a distro that provides LOOOOOONNNNNGGGGG Time support and is know for Stability.
Debian and Slackware have just as many applications as Ubuntu if not more


I don't like Ubuntu and i don't like Precise Puppy. Not because of its looks or selection of programs or whatever. It's just too messy, too unpredictable and too untrustworthy for a "stable" release. If i had to choose a base for Puppy, i'd go with Slackware (Puppy Slacko has proved its stability) or Debian which i find a great distro.

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koulaxizis


Joined: 17 Jul 2011
Posts: 428
Location: Greece

PostPosted: Mon 26 Aug 2013, 08:35    Post_subject:  

Seems like the thread is on fire and there are too many different views!! However Barry hasn't express his opinion yet.

I suppose that Puppy isn't gonna change at all and if someone wants something different than the "standard Puppy", will have to create it or seek for a suitable Puplet.

It was a good effort though! Volhout's thread became an opportunity to know where everyone stands.

There are so many useful apps made by users, so much effort by the developers, so great ideas and Puppy love by the whole community. I feel good and i'm grateful for being part of this.

I have read all answers many times and very carefully. Some were more "intense" than others. But the only sure thing is that everyone wants the best for Puppy and all of us recognize Barry's precious contribution to Linux.

I suppose that only Barry could give a definite answer to all the questions that came out of this discussion. But probably this isn't gonna happen. So we should all keep doing what we have been doing all this time: Try to give something back to the community and this wonderful distro.

And maybe time reveal the best route for Puppy...

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Q5sys


Joined: 11 Dec 2008
Posts: 1073

PostPosted: Mon 26 Aug 2013, 08:59    Post_subject:  

koulaxizis wrote:
Seems like the thread is on fire and there are too many different views!! However Barry hasn't express his opinion yet.

I suppose that Puppy isn't gonna change at all and if someone wants something different than the "standard Puppy", will have to create it or seek for a suitable Puplet.

I suppose that only Barry could give a definite answer to all the questions that came out of this discussion. But probably this isn't gonna happen. So we should all keep doing what we have been doing all this time: Try to give something back to the community and this wonderful distro.


Barry has, to my knowledge, never gotten involved in these discussions. He let's the community do what it wants and let's us do our on thing. He determines where official puppy goes. So if you (or anyone else) wants to do whatever... you're more than welcome to do so. As for official releases... that's his choice.
There I a great quote from him that I don't have on hand at this moment, but ill post it later when I find it.

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Q5sys


Joined: 11 Dec 2008
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PostPosted: Mon 26 Aug 2013, 09:56    Post_subject:  

koulaxizis


For a little history on the last time this came up, read this thread: http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=82060

There have been at least 3 or 4 more threads like this so far this year, but they usually end up getting deleted after someone throws a hissy fit.

Here's a post from Barry about his leadership style.
http://bkhome.org/blog/?viewDetailed=02672

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koulaxizis


Joined: 17 Jul 2011
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PostPosted: Mon 26 Aug 2013, 10:28    Post_subject:  

Q5sys wrote:
koulaxizis


For a little history on the last time this came up, read this thread: http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=82060

There have been at least 3 or 4 more threads like this so far this year, but they usually end up getting deleted after someone throws a hissy fit.


Why isn't http://sourceforge.net/projects/puppylinux/ used? We could host tones of well-tested packages for every "official" Puppy version...

Why don't we have a Puppy github account for all that wandering code?

Why can't we gather AAALL these packages, codes, scripts, translations, ideas into "official" and permanent places for easy download and usage by everyone?

Ok, anyone can create anything, that's one of Puppy's advantages and freedoms! But among with all these Independent repositories, there should also be "official" places to categorize and store all of them. And when i say all, i mean ALL, everything!!

Why should someone "google" for a package or search the whole forum? Wouldn't be easier if all working stuff were archived?

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