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PostPosted: Sun Jan 23, 2005 10:30 am 
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I'm really looking forward to the 30k release as I think it is going to be quite fine. I never felt that about 20k as it introduced so many new things that it just didn't have the polish.

Here's some notes, updates, and questions. Notice lots of this is just me spewing thoughts... Comments appreciated. :)

BLAG30000.nnnnn
==============
I've done a number of installs of the latest alpha. Text, GUI, automagick, manual installs all work fine. There's fedora graphic spew all over the place, but I should get that fixed in the next couple days.

Devel Box
========
The new devel box is working quite well. With various tweaks (using ccache on a different drive than BUILD, noatime mounts) I can recompile mozilla in 6 minutes 30 seconds! This used to be a "rpmbuild -bb mozilla.spec"--go eat lunch kind of affair. Rolling new ISOs is quick as well. Since I don't have to sit around for the build environment so much anymore, i can experiment more. Also, since it's not in my basement (it's at a co-location data center), I can work remotely and post updated ISOs much easier. I promise not to let indymedia take over this box. ;) Expect lots more releases... :)

Non-Free Software
================
With BLAG 30k, BLAG will be 100% Free Software. Previously it had non-Free binaries in w32codec (and later I realized/remembered that divx4linux was as well). These will be dropped. Folks can get them from Dag or something (e.g. like they had to go somewhere else to get Flash). This was due to prodding by Richard Stallman and the fact that it's just The Right Thing To Do.

SRPMS (Source Code)
===================
I am going to make SRPMS CD images of the source of all the packages on the CD. This turns out to be 1.2 gigs, so it will be split across 2 discs. This will make it easier for 3rd party cd vendors to distribute the source code.

The main DVD will not have source on it any more. I will be making a separate DVD with /all/ source code (including things not on the CD--KDE for example). This will make the DVD ISO much smaller, so folks can get a huge install (e.g. all BLAG, all fedora, tons of stuff from the repos, etc) all on one disc and grab whatever source they want.

I'll also make SRPMS apt-get'able (requested by jayola a number of times... ;).

The Greatest Browser On Earth
==========================
IMHO Firefox has won this hands down. If you haven't tried FF1.0, just wait. :)
We had a bit of a discussion about this last summer:
http://forums.blagblagblag.org/viewtopic.php?t=215

The consensus was to include Firefox and lots wanted Mozilla+Firefox. I'm in favor of ditching Epiphany (this saves 2.7 megs and it appears epiphany really isn't too lightweight) and Mozilla (saves 12 megs), if we can get away with it. Firefox is 8.2 megs. Mozilla will always be apt-get'able for those of us who run lots of browsers or for folks using mozilla-mail or -chat. For this next alpha, I'm going to drop /evolution/ as well, and include thunderbird. Evolution's dependencies are huge. In fact, evolution depends on mozilla, for one...

For super-low end, we could always include dillo as well, which weighs in at 325k. An XFCE/dillo combo could run on some dang low-end gear...and still be user friendly (as opposed to blackbox/fluxbox). Although w3m is quite nice for this too (command line browser that shows graphics in an xterm!).

I realize this may be a bit "extreme" to drop mozilla from the CD, but I'm kinda in the mood for it. Freeing up space gives us room for more play. Remember, there is always apt.

We wouldn't include Fedora's Firefox, but rebuild it with our own tweaks, bookmarks, extensions (?) etc. The mozilla would be Fedora's stock version.

Tweaks Forum
=============
It's been suggested that there be another discussion board be added ( http://forums.blagblagblag.org/viewtopic.php?t=600 ). This seems like a cool idea to me. How about a forum called "Tweaks" where people can post their screenshots, how they tweak various things, etc. This would be good food for finding new ways to incorporate these tweaks into the default BLAG settings.

selinux
======
selinux is a new security model developed by the US gov'ts NSA ( nsa.gov ) that has been in Fedora since Core 2. I don't particularily care for it at all. Even disabling it doesn't really fully disable it. I'm considering making BLAG's disabling of it a bit more (yes, it's really f*kin disabled) instead of Fedora's way. I filed a bug report with Fedora about this, but they're not going to change it. https://bugzilla.redhat.com/bugzilla/sh ... ?id=145881
It also appears that if you remove all *selinux* rpms from your system, it leaves selinux enabled in the kernel (!). The only way to prevent this is to add "selinux=0" in your boot arguments (this is what I requested of Fedora and they said No). I can add this to blag, but I'm a bit concerned about how this may affect things in the future (for example a BLAG30k user who later upgrades to Fedora Core 4).

Cruft
====
There is quite a bit of cruft around Fedora, and lots of stuff gets drawn in via unneccessary (IMO) "Requires:".
http://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-d ... 01075.html
I could rebuild a number of these applications, so they wouldn't require as many things. In the example in the mail above, it was discussing how Nautilus requires samba, which requires LDAP, etc. I'd love to ditch samba and just leave it in the repository. This would free up a whopping 28 megs, and perhaps even more.

There are a number of other applications I could probably pare-down as well. I've always tried to leave things a bit more "stock" when they are something reasonably "core" (e.g. Nautilus), but I'm starting to want to tweak-out those things as well.

One issue/example problem with this approach:
1) Say, BLAG has nautilus-2.8.1-4blag instead of the stock (nautilus-2.8.1-4)
2) Fedora releases an update to Nautilus (e.g. nautilus-2.8.1-5, or 2.8.2...)
3) The BLAG errata/updates repository (which is automated) grabs Fedora's updated Nautilus
4) apt-getters get Fedora's updated nautilus, AND it's Requires: (e.g samba & crap) before I get a chance to roll a new Nautilus without the Requires:

One way to get around this is to do the RPMS.errata dir a bit more by hand, but this will take a maintainer to watch. I like it automated because if a security fix comes out and I'm not around for a day or two, everyone can still get updates. Anyway, it's not the end-of-the-world if the eager apt-getters get a Fedora version before the blag version gets updated....

650 megs
========
The current CD is weighing in at 696 megs. We're dang close to that magic 700. I'd really like to cut this back by being much more aggressive about dropping things and just having folks apt-get what they need. I'd even like to reduce the size of the CD to 650 megs. I believe some of the reports of people not being able to boot from CD are due to the fact that they have an old CDROM that barfs on 700 meg CDs (could be wrong here--of course the vast majority of "not able to boot CD" problems are due to badly burned discs).

Floppy boot
==========
If we can cut down as much as possible, this will also give us space to experiment with adding floppy installs. Fedora dropped floppy images from their distro starting with Core 2. I would like to add it back to blag, since there are lots of old machines that can only boot from floppy. It would be cool if we could still keep blag running on really old kit.

Speedup Tweaks
==============
I'm thinking of adding lots of tweaks to the stock install that will give small performance gains, especially for lower end boxes. A few examples (i'm not going to do all these, I'm just brainstorming--feel free to brainstorm along):
* No gnome splash screen
* When you go to Menu->Logout, it does that fade to black first. Ditch that. In fact, ditch all those things that are fading in and out.
* Various things that run around when you launch apps, resize, etc.
* Don't run nautilus for the desktop (!?!). This is what maintains the background image (an image would be set another way), and gives you icons on the desktop. This may be too ingrained in what people expect though. It would sure speed things up to not have to load that nautilus pig though.
* Make the default desktop XFCE instead of gnome (!). XFCE has been rockin' lately. I think it would take a lot of customization, but this is a possibilty. Things would be much faster & less RAM hungry for sure.

These tweaks would be small in themselves, but would make things feel snappier.

Upgrading to Future Fedora Core Releases
===================================
In the past, I've tried to make it so blag will be reasonably easy to upgrade to future releases of /Fedora/ (for example upgrading from BLAG30k to FC4). If I lose this attitude, it may make me willing to be more experimental (e.g. the selinux thing, dropping "Requires:" from packages, etc.). BLAG would of course still be compatible with corresponding fedora releases and the repos for that release. Does any one see this forward compatibility with Fedora as a good feature? Is it a concern for folks? If not, I'll just not worry about it and when in doubt, just go for it. ;)

Website
======
Probably needs a bit of a facelift for the 30k release. I may work with Hyland on this. If there's something you'd like to see, please draft it.

I have updated the wiki & bugzilla to the latest stable releases.

Are there any other web-apps that should be added to the site? I think with forums, bugzilla, the wiki, etc. we have it pretty well covered, but if there's some new latest/greatest thing I haven't heard about, lemme know.

A nice section to add to the website would probably be a list of the big apps that are in there that aren't on the CD and instructions on how to add them. Example: mozilla, samba, openoffice.org, gcc, etc.

Wireless
======
BLAG 30k will work much better with wireless gear now. The kernel is catching up. ;) Are there any non-Fedora wireless apps that are "must have"? Kismet has been around in the past. I haven't really been using any non-Fedora wireless apps, but I'm sure there's some kool toys out there.

IPv6
====
IPv6 will probably be turned off by default in 30k unless someone knows of some really good reason why not to. I just don't see IPv6 that widely deployed.
http://forums.blagblagblag.org/viewtopic.php?t=226

The "XP Issue"
===========
Fedora Core 2 would sometimes mess up XP installs. Can someone confirm for me that this has been solved for FC3?

Bugzilla
======
If you want to make sure something doesn't get "lost" bugzilla it. Even if it's been there forever, it won't go away until I figure out a way to resolve it. ;) Also, if you can, take a look at things in bugzilla and see if there's things you can fix! Also, note that bugzilla (since the upgrade) complains about mail not being sent. The bugs do get entered, it's just not sending mail. I'll get it fixed (it expects sendmail and the server has qmail).

GUI Partitioning
============
Anyone know of a good GUI partitioning tool? At some point, I was thinking qtparted, but IIRC it had a dependency I couldn't meet (KDE?). Also, it's gotta be a stable, solid application. We can have weird alpha programs for p2p, but not for partitioning...

Peer-to-peer
=========
amule & bittorrent are in BLAG. It seems everytime you look the p2p environment is changing. What are the good p2p clients out there right now? They have to be Free and not require java.

CD Burning
=========
Does anyone know of a /truly/ good CD burning application? I know K3B is very nice, but it requires a /pile/ of KDE stuff. Also, a lot of people ask how they can burn mp3s/oggs to CD. Is there a CD burning app that knows how to convert these to .wavs first? The folks asking me don't grok command-line lame.

Games
=====
There are quite a few new games that have come out for GNU/Linux recently. For some reason, most distros leave them out (unless the distro comes on 9 CDs or something). Most games are too large to include on the CD. Does anyone know of any that are good & small? Also, what are some good ones that we can add to the repository? I'm not much of a gamer, so I'll need some help here. Perhaps if we get enough space we could put frozen bubble on the CD. :)

All for now,

-Jeff


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 23, 2005 1:58 pm 
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I have uploaded
ftp://ftp.blagblagblag.org/pub/BLAG/dev ... .00033.iso

If it disappears, just look here for the latest:
ftp://ftp.blagblagblag.org/pub/BLAG/developers/

It is 608 megs. :)

This is an alpha based on some of the ideas above. Just because I removed a package, doesn't mean it's gone. I was just experimenting with how much I could strip the sucker down.

I have done a "blagblagblag" install of it, but didn't test anything else.

Packages of note that I removed
=========================
* samba (but not samba-client). This is just the server

* evolution (but I added thunderbird)

* mozilla (yep! it's gone--Firefox is there of course)

* gnome-games (this required a bunch of other goo that the rest of gnome didn't require. Perhaps we can pop in a couple more interesting games in their place?)

* Developer stuff - there were things like ruby, tcl, python-tools (but not python itself), bits from the GNU toolchain, etc. that I yanked.

* gnomemeeting - cool looking app, but i wonder how much it's really used. Pretty big and has heavy dependencies only used by itself,

* palm pilot stuff

* httpd-manual (not apache itself, just it's manual).

* lots of other obscure packages.

All the cool stuff from the repos is still there, like amule, bittorrent, audacity, scribus, inkscape, icecast, etc.

I'll be able to strip it down a little bit more, but probably less than 10 megs or so. Still this gives us around 50 megs to play with (or 100 if we go for 700 meg CD).

I've got the fedora graphics out & blag ones in. Lemme know if I've missed any.

gnite,

-Jeff


Last edited by jebba on Mon Jan 24, 2005 12:41 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 23, 2005 6:12 pm 
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OK Jebba, Here are my thoughts on this

If I could possiblly get mmaker in an rpm form(writing the spec is sooooo hard)and maybe add the fluxbox and fluxconf rpms on there I'd be happy. As far I know,no XP install issues. BTW Ipv6 has increased my browsing speed(b/c many people are still using ipv4).

Also,another idea would be making a bl og just for BLAG updates(I know you have one,but posting BLAG updates on there, it gets confusing to find them half the time.)

also I will be building and updating rpms from source(so we can keep updated with the other repos).

And lbreakout2 is a fun game...you should include it.

EDIT:Not to mention jebba you need to update our distrowatch page

POST #100...yay

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2005 4:51 am 
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Ok, here's my take on a few things:

Quote:
I could rebuild a number of these applications, so they wouldn't require as many things. In the example in the mail above, it was discussing how Nautilus requires samba, which requires LDAP, etc. I'd love to ditch samba and just leave it in the repository. This would free up a whopping 28 megs, and perhaps even more.


Leave nautilus alone, please. :)

Quote:
Floppy boot
==========
If we can cut down as much as possible, this will also give us space to experiment with adding floppy installs. Fedora dropped floppy images from their distro starting with Core 2. I would like to add it back to blag, since there are lots of old machines that can only boot from floppy. It would be cool if we could still keep blag running on really old kit.


Definitly would be cool. I'd love to have floppy boot disk for some of the older machines I blagify.

Quote:

Speedup Tweaks
==============
I'm thinking of adding lots of tweaks to the stock install that will give small performance gains, especially for lower end boxes. A few examples (i'm not going to do all these, I'm just brainstorming--feel free to brainstorm along):
* No gnome splash screen
* When you go to Menu->Logout, it does that fade to black first. Ditch that. In fact, ditch all those things that are fading in and out.
* Various things that run around when you launch apps, resize, etc.
* Don't run nautilus for the desktop (!?!). This is what maintains the background image (an image would be set another way), and gives you icons on the desktop. This may be too ingrained in what people expect though. It would sure speed things up to not have to load that nautilus pig though.
* Make the default desktop XFCE instead of gnome (!). XFCE has been rockin' lately. I think it would take a lot of customization, but this is a possibilty. Things would be much faster & less RAM hungry for sure.


ok, on the fading, are you really going to be able to ditch it? is it disableable?

And about GNOME/Nautilus, LEAVE IT ALONE. Having a full nautilus and GNOME and fitting it onto 1 CD is part of what made BLAG so unique. Once we get below this we're starting to get into the minimalist category of distro.

And on the issue of games, I think a gaming part of the website/wiki would do good, and I'd volunteer to maintain it (as I play alot of Linux games).

Quite frankly, I don't know of any small games. Some good items to add to the repo include:

Frozen Bubble
TuxKart
TORCS (Dag's version is FUBAR'd)
SuperTux
Cube (first person shooter)

All of those are 100% open source

That's about all I can think about for now

btw, Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory for linux is a GREAT first person shooter but unfortunately is not open source.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2005 9:13 am 
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I think Nautilus can be apt-get 'able just fine. Stripping the desktop environments out is a good idea for space saving. Anyone who specifically wants a specific desktop environment will no doubt know how to acquire it.

The fading is too much like WinXP anyways and totally unneeded. I would rather it is disabled and then can be turned back on by those who need it.

I think stripping out a lot of packages is just fine but we really need an apt-get page for the site. Not all apt-get names are obvious.

So a page like

Name: Evolution
Desc: blahblahblah
Acquire: apt-get install xxxxxxx

This way if the xxxxxxx part is not obvious a person doesn't sit there typing apt-get install errors. I remember trying to install a ton of gcc stuff not knowing specifically what I needed. Some thing with kernheaders.

Overall though a nice set of changes. The existence of repositories is a great benefit to BLAG and adds another dimension totally.

I think a tweek forum is not so good because isn't that why the wiki is there? We may well end up with a million things in the forum which is good but then the wiki looks so bare.

Amaya would be so useful on the distro. It is hands down better than anything else in BLAG for web design anyways.

aMule is fine for p2p right now. It serves it's purpose really well.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2005 1:29 pm 
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I'd still have to disagree and say that the majority of BLAG users are probably using GNOME and that its a good idea to keep it on the CD, pretty well unchanged since the way it was in 10k, with maybe a few exceptions to the way jebba made it in the latest 30k.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2005 4:36 pm 
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I wouldn't be too sure about the number of people who use GNOME. Everyone I know uses KDE and I find many of the other desktops more appealing than GNOME anyways. That is just my small circle though. So there is no way to accurately gauge who uses what.

Either way I think what is best for BLAG is to go with Jeff's suggestion of getting the ISO down to less than 650MB. This is more far more important than the desktop environments considering all of them can be apt-get'able without any hassle whatsoever. Getting BLAG working on old boxes which do not support 700MB CD's ought to take priority over most things so we don't isolate those with old hardware.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2005 6:21 pm 
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I totally agree with both Jason and Jeff...650 megs will suffice for the most part. And the backward compatabilty aspect I like too..

Today I'm going to try to do the following

1. Install BLAG10k on VMware.
2. apt-get update && apt-get dist-upgrade it to the latest pkgs.
3. Grab a BLAG30k beta iso (latest of course)and try to upgrade it.
4. check for bugs,broken pkgs,etc.

If all goes well...we could call it a release :) ....maybe...just have to maybe add a few extra pkgs.

EDIT: If I have time, I might do it with 9002 too.... :)

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2005 12:04 am 
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Quite frankly though, I think it would be a good idea NOT to leave out the users without a net connection.

I definitly agree however, that we should get the ISO size down to 650 megs.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2005 1:06 am 
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Current quick thots:
mozilla is probably going to stay. A bit too handy + it has a good composer.

Nautilus I wasn't planning on removing as it would break gnome pretty hard. I was just thinking of recompiling it. At this point I'll probably leave it as-is.

More late.r


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2005 4:44 am 
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On removing Mozilla: how about replace the composer with Nvu/Amaya.

And I didn't mean don't remove nautilus (although I don't want you to remove it) its just I'd like you to keep the samba-client support in there, I use it on a regular basis because I can't find an SMB browser I like besides nautilus's SMB support.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2005 8:48 am 
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I think anyone savvy enough to use Samba is quite capable of acquring it themselves with little hassle.

Amaya is the best composer for writing valid markup.

I think for anyone without a net connection, they probably wouldn't use a lot of things like IRC, FTP, GAIM or an email client. So maybe we could do as discussed before have a 'net packages' RPM? This would include the above which doesn't have to be included on the CD. It would free up some space perhaps that would be better suited to include things for those without a net connection?


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2005 1:05 pm 
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Here's my tuppence worth.... sorry if it's too long.

20k
=====
For me 2k is the best thing since sliced bread. I can install it, install source code, compile a working kernel and compile apps perfectly without borking. All devices and hardware are detected first time, which is nice. Looks good, great with fluxbox, "feels good".

non-free-s/ware
============
I'm quite happy with the 100% free stance/attitude. I guess a simple READMDE or url pointing to a location would be helpfull for those who may not appreciate the sigfificance of GPL, FSF etc, particularly new users. Perhaps a simple list or file like "why we have left these packages out of
BLAG and how you can get them" may be enough to explain this.

SPRMS
======
Are they precompiled binary sources? Don't think I've ever come across them in any of the 20ks. 'apt-get install sourcename.srpm' ? Tried Dimitris' method of upgrading a kernel. Went for 2.6.10 on a 30k laptop. Somehow the realtek ethernet devices are not coming up.

browsers
=======
Fx is great. Why need 2 [equally good?] browsers. I do like evolution but it's so much of a Microsoft outlook clone, with features that I know I'm probably not going to use much. I'm looking at Mutt myself but there's a nice [small] email client called Sylpheed. I've used with Damn Small Linux. Not asking for Evo to go though.

tweaks forum
===========
bugzilla and the wiki? I could go as far as suggestion that laptop users make an entry in http://linux-laptops.org [yet to put up my entry]

selinux
======
I am aware of this as it is mentioned in 'dmesg'. Hadn't got round to finding out what it actually is/did. Um, not being funny but "...a security model developed by the NSA...". Not that I don't like/trust that organization, just that um.....

cruft
====
Personally I'd rather use ssh and scp for sharing files within my tiny n/work than Samba. Also, I use lynx, the text browser as a simple file browser. It doesn't need X and you can remove, rename, view and edit files within yr sytem.

650 megs
========
I have a collection of old boxes, some of which don't boot from cd-rw or cd's >650 mb.

floppy booting
===========
Good idea. We don't all have a regular net connection or access to spare cd trays.

speed up tweaks
=============
I use a virtual terminal as often as possible and lynx. Fluxbox is my default window manager. For now that's all the speed I need. [never really thought of this before].

website
======
I'm more than happy with what's there. This includes the roapmaps :)

wireless
=======
I'll endevour to make an entry in the wikii for kismet, aircrack, ethereal and gnokii.

xp issue and mbr
==============
I spend a bit of time in #fedora @ irc.freneode.net. The dual boot/ mbr issue seems to be resolved. 'weyase' from the blag meets has a partition table as long as my arm :)

peer-to-peer
==========
'nicotine' is a linux based version of 'soulseek'. Written in python. from what I remember java not required. most of the major torrents have been taken down. Every other day there seems to be a news story about this.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2005 2:14 pm 
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john maclean wrote:
I do like evolution but it's so much of a Microsoft outlook clone, with features that I know I'm probably not going to use much. I'm looking at Mutt myself but there's a nice [small] email client called Sylpheed. I've used with Damn Small Linux. Not asking for Evo to go though.


I think Microsoft copied Lotus Notes there in the same way they didn't originate the concept of windows on a desktop. The layout is perfectly fine for Evolution though. Outlook was a fine email client to use but it's unreliability and lack of security worked against it much in the same way Windows lost many of it's users.

john maclean wrote:
Personally I'd rather use ssh and scp for sharing files within my tiny n/work than Samba.


Windows can at least work with Samba. Try to SSH into a Windows box :)

john maclean wrote:
The dual boot/ mbr issue seems to be resolved. 'weyase' from the blag meets has a partition table as long as my arm :)


Does it fix the XP issue out of the box? I will ask Vasco to show me his partition table. I will try to come a long Thursday though I may not be able to do a late one as I am off to Sittingbourne for a bit.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2005 10:38 pm 
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Hey jayeola! Thought i might point this out to you:

http://xchat.org/files/screenshots/xchat_screen_1.png
http://xchat.org/files/screenshots/xchat_screen_3.png

You're in the XChat Screenshot section! Congrats!

Anyways, back on topic...

Quote:
I think for anyone without a net connection, they probably wouldn't use a lot of things like IRC, FTP, GAIM or an email client. So maybe we could do as discussed before have a 'net packages' RPM? This would include the above which doesn't have to be included on the CD. It would free up some space perhaps that would be better suited to include things for those without a net connection?


As much as it is a good idea, we have to consider that some users still use dial-up, unfortunately.

Quite frankly, I think that BLAG needs a slim version and a full version. One for those who want it to fit on a 650MB CD, and those who want alot of the packages. And the DVD is not acceptable, alot of people do not have DVD drives.

_________________
E-mail me at s.clement@localhost (replace localhost with sympatico.ca) or stevo32@localhost (replace localhost with blagblagblag.org).


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