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 Post subject: Is Blag dead?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 12, 2010 5:17 am 
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Joined: Mon Apr 12, 2010 5:06 am
Posts: 8
Is Blag dead? It sure has been awhile since the last release and blag isn't even listed amongst 311 distros on Distrowatch, now that's pretty sad.

http://distrowatch.com/stats.php?section=popularity

What's the future and when?


THANKS


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2010 2:58 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jul 13, 2006 5:01 pm
Posts: 509
Location: Boston, MA, USA
I think dormant would be a better description than "dead." There have been a few initiatives to revive the project since September 2008, but it's been difficult to energize a committed core of contributors with the necessary skills to make it happen. It reinforces just how much time and effort Jebba put into BLAG for nearly five years.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2010 3:42 pm 
:-)

It has been a month since I last posted and just over the past two to three days I have been using the livecd-creator tool to make an iso image that would be a reflection of the next release. A tabula raza so to speak that contains very little fedora branding.

So, first, I want to apologize for not being around for a month when I said it would only be a week. To anyone who has been following the project more as of late, it is my deepest intention that we have a new release this year and "I am sorry", if my lack of participation as of late caused any disappointment amongst you.

Sooner is always better now that Fedora 13 has an Alpha and that updates will still be readily available for the previous release, but later is better than never because we always have supported any release of BLAG and the efforts of every individual is worthwhile.

With that said, I have been documenting the efforts of creating the LiveCD on tearms.dyndns.org on a day by day basis. Not much content is available, but the purpose is to document the process of the components that I am interested in building before it all goes on the wiki.

Simultaneously, while I was working on the LiveCD, I begin using the other 8 Free distros listed on gnu.org to see what makes each of them unique. If you take a look at my recent identi.ca (http://identi.ca/tearms)notices, you can see some of the comments about the distros I have looked at so far. Reply to them is you have some feedback. What I see in the ones that I've viewed and used are the elements which make the Free Software community unique. As you all think about participating and becoming involved with BLAG, I want to stress that each of us has a unique element to contribute.

As I reflect on using gNewSense 2.3 predominantly a year ago as my main distro, I never imagined myself creating iso's, trying to setup a build system and communicating with as many individuals that I have met as I have become more involved in BLAG this year. I wanted to share that with you because, I think that many of us sometimes are hesitant in contributing because we feel that we do not have programming skills or specific skills to bring and I think its important that you bring what you know and build from that. On the flip side, I think sometimes the means to contribute or understand where you can contribute is not well documented. Both areas require that we as individuals break out of our shell and take a step and those that need help advertise the means by which we need help. This is something I need to get better at and during my break last month, I created groups within at http://we.riseup.net/blag, a collaborative tool, where individuals can join.

In March I started setting up commitees on we.riseup.net/blag to reflect areas where we need help or that may be of interest to people. Thus you have

blag+artist
blag+contributors
blag+developers
blag+users
blag+veterans
blag+webdevelopers

I created these groups to reflect areas where I think we need to structure people's interest. And just so you know, you can belong to more than one group. I recommend that everyone join users at the very least, but if you have suggestions for other groups, just let me know. The purpose of this space is not to replace tools like the wiki, forum, lists, but have a space where we can build on ideas in a concrete environment. I define this as blagstorming. In any case, it provides the ability to upload documents, create new documents and other types of content which I think is important.

I want to go back and talk about shells and steps. GNU/Linux is evolving. Back in 1999 when I begin using Redhat 7.2, I remember thinking, "This is going to be the next great thing". I was not at all aware of the Free Software aspect, but as I grew to using it, I understood just how powerful the concept of Free Software would be in changing society. Thanks Richard Stallman. As, I have stated many times, I think what GNU/Linux has accomplished over the past quarter century is more than I imagined. It's adoption on the desktop is growing slowly, but in the mobile market people are using it and just not aware of it. It's important to me that people know what they're using because freedom, people's rights are important. In the digital age, I feel more people people do not take the time to understand or concern themselves with the implications and consequences this has for the future, which I think we all can be an agent of change in the present.

So, where as I used to be a singe distro non-libre user, I will start using each free distro to understand the challenges it meets in defining the freedom that I value. I try to reflect that personally in the devices that I use as well because I think in the next decade is where the challenge is going to lie in questions of freedom and privacy. GNU/Linux seems to be at the core of powering most of today's mobile devices and as the definition for computer evolves, so must we too with the devices out there that will connect us. A good discussion we can leave for the mailing list or live on IRC, as GNU/Linux evolves how we look at it may change to and it is natural that we may have to as well. That's my point about shells.

In terms of steps, I am referring more to infrastructure than anything, specifically to the tools we're using to move us forward. Our infrastructure consists of

main site(http://www.blagblagblag.org)
forum(http://forums.blagblagblag.org)
wiki(http://wiki.blagblagblag.org)
trac(http://trac.blagblagblag.org)
collaboration tool(http://we.riseup.net)
microblogging(http://identi.ca/blaggers)
irc channel(irc://irc.indymedia.org #blag)

We are growing and as we do our infrastructure needs to reflect that. There is no longer a core developer. Each of us are now leaders who can contribute. I like that. It's not total democracy or anarchy, despite the political structure we live in or associate with. It's fantastic, but also trying at times when the information we need is not there or available. Another IRC discussion.

In any case, I wanted to bring up these points and provide a base where we could start based on jayeola's last message. I have been working an livecd/iso. Today, I was able to successfully create a 693MB image which runs nicely. The package list for the iso is: http://pastebin.com/hDxcSCT3
I am especially proud that it has the latest kernel-libre by default. It still needs some work before we can call it an Alpha. On a thread on the forums, Spartacus was the name many people liked for the next release. It sits well with me, what do you think?

Also, myself, weyasey, jayeola and others have been working on building koji, the BLAG build package system and need some help with databases. Any knowledge on databases would be helpful.

You can find me or IRC and if you choose to sign-up for identi.ca, you can just send me a message.

Thanks,

tearms



extraspecialbitter wrote:
I think dormant would be a better description than "dead." There have been a few initiatives to revive the project since September 2008, but it's been difficult to energize a committed core of contributors with the necessary skills to make it happen. It reinforces just how much time and effort Jebba put into BLAG for nearly five years.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 1:45 am 
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Joined: Mon Apr 12, 2010 5:06 am
Posts: 8
Hey tearms, lots of good words there.

Btw I'm Xgates on Freenode, ran into you the other night on the #dragora channel, LOL...

I've been using Linux 10 years so one thing I do know is a good distro when I see one and what a lot of people seem to like in one, so when you get something up and running we can test I look forward to playing with it.

Btw it sure would be nice to see Blag move forward into it's own as a distro and not based off of anything, being independent.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 1:38 pm 
Thanks!

Nice seeing you here. BLAG 90k is nice if you want to try it and our repo for it is active if you need the latest updates for that release. You can use the following thread to update the repos via yum.

http://forums.blagblagblag.org/viewtopic.php?t=5093

If you want newer packages you will have to get the RPM's from the respective project. 90k is a nice stable system if you want to get your work done without much configuration.

So, how did you resolve the CD-ROM issue with dragora? Please let me know.
Please post your recommendations here about suggestions you have for which you think it can move on its own, rather than being based off something else. I would like to here what you have to say. We're on IRC as well on IndyMedia.

Check out this thread here for configuration if you need.

http://forums.blagblagblag.org/viewtopic.php?t=1038

Thanks for bringing your feedback. Check out our development section to and feel free to add your comments there as well.

DasFox wrote:
Hey tearms, lots of good words there.

Btw I'm Xgates on Freenode, ran into you the other night on the #dragora channel, LOL...

I've been using Linux 10 years so one thing I do know is a good distro when I see one and what a lot of people seem to like in one, so when you get something up and running we can test I look forward to playing with it.

Btw it sure would be nice to see Blag move forward into it's own as a distro and not based off of anything, being independent.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2010 6:03 am 
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Joined: Mon Apr 12, 2010 5:06 am
Posts: 8
Well since I have a fairly new laptop I run Linux on I always try to find x86_64 distros, at the moment I've got Trisquel installed, it's been the best of the FSF distros I've used on the laptop, but I really wish Blag had a x86_64 iso.

Matista of Dragora updated 2.0 for better cd/dvd rom detection after I sent him an email making him aware of this problem.

Well obviously packs have to be compiled from the source before they get packed into .rpm, .deb, etc... So the question would be, does Blag make it's own rpms, or use Fedora's or other ones? If blag is already making their own packs, then this should be easy for the team to just start making some tar packs instead, then create a package manager program to install, remove, upgrade, etc., and bingo your moving own your way into your own independent distro.

Beyond package management I don't really know what you have to do different to be considered an independent distro. Would you have to make your own run level system also?

My experience tells me the only differences between distros are the packs/package management and run levels and then the various GUI tools one might make to do things, as an example Ubuntu's new little software app for installing and removing programs.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2010 11:08 am 
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Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2010 5:58 am
Posts: 59
It is good to see a serious attempt to revive Blag.

Blag used to be based on Fedora/Red Hat which offers, in my opinion, not only a stable starting point, but also secures this base for the future. Of course there are elements that don't follow the guidelines of free software, but that shouldn't be a problem... there is always alternative software that can be used instead.

Blag used to be different, following its own path among other distributions. I hope it will stay that way. And because it is free, its users can remain free.


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