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 Forum index » Taking the Puppy out for a walk » Misc
Invisible beta (or, a 'bug' in many versions of puppy)
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amish

Joined: 24 Sep 2006
Posts: 616

PostPosted: Fri 17 Nov 2006, 06:38    Post subject:  Invisible beta (or, a 'bug' in many versions of puppy)  

the following may make barryk think i'm a complete jerk... (in fact, there's always the possibility that i am) but, he should know (as i'm saying it right now) that puppy is in my opinion, the best linux, ever. others may have their own favorites, they may even have allegedly better reasons than i do, but puppy is mine.

it goes without saying that barryk can do whatever he wants to with puppy, he's BDFL, he does a fantastic job with his own distro, and indeed, if he changed nothing there would still be options. still, i thought i'd say what i'm about to, and i'm not the only one that's said it, so i'll try to say it for them too (and let them remain nameless)

so, eh? "invisible beta." (i admit i just made it up.) this is when something goes through a beta stage that is imperceptible in some way, in this case, because it happens so fast you could easily miss it. regardless of how many people are actively beta testing, usually a beta stage lasts long enough for people to hear about it.

not always the case with puppy. in what's becoming a tradition of sorts, puppy 2.12 beta2 is going through a Three-Day beta stage.

i mentioned in the irc channel, that it would be really excellent to focus on just two things, and get them working above reproach if can be: wireless support and disc-at-once writing, or at least "track-at-once" writing that burns iso's reliably across different systems. "across different systems?" this is one thing that a non-invisible beta lets you know more about, although it's good that we have many testers. it's a pity they only get three days to work it out. hopefully a weekend was chosen- (i didn't check on that, but it is now friday.)

another thing that a non-invisible beta allows is time to really fix what bugs you've found. having seen some of barryk's work, i suppose it's actually possible that he can fix all the bugs he finds in such a short period of time. still, it doesn't allow for beta testers to test those bug-fixes before the next release, being "final." at least it's "beta2" and not just "beta..."

but what can be done about this? for one, you could try to persuade the lead developer. geniuses (we probably can't argue that point, and i wouldn't) are often temperamental and stubborn, and this avenue might be pointless to explore. he will ultimately do this the way he wants to, and certainly, what comes out of doing it his way is really incredible. i almost can't imagine using another linux, despite puppy not being the only good one.

another thing that can be done is to simply slow down our upgrading on the user end. this is not to sway anyone, but it's what i do and some others do, for ourselves. i don't upgrade unless i have a few specific reasons to. among my reasons for exploring 2.11 were my interest in puppybasic 2.5, and and that i had a machine that couldn't boot the (somewhat faster, not to be sneezed at) puppy 1.07, which i now dual boot but don't use very often. i was rewarded for upgrading by being able to add another machine to the "works with puppy" list. all my machines work with 2.11, all but one work with 1.07. 1.07 was much, much faster on my pentium with 64mb of ram. i'm told i can make a swap file (which 1.07 did not create or need on my machines.) still, there are older versions worth embracing long term, i believe- certainly for use on the lower-end pentiums.

(and a note to jady: please, please do not discard your wonderful 1.07+dos grub package when you create a more up to date version.)

when a version has been around for a while, we will then have a "virtual beta" stage where something has indeed been tested as much as you prefer. bugs aren't necessarily repaired following this stage, sadly, but i've found even windows98 is a lot more tolerable after you've had about a decade to find half the bugs and compensate for them. it's not an ideal model, but there must be some reason it's becoming more popular. we can hope.

as for another way to compensate, more than any other distro (okay, i just don't know any others that lend themselves to this, but that could be plain lack of experience) puppy lends itself to making a custom "distro" of your own. note the almost countless varieties that have come from puppy. in this sense, puppy is acting as a sort of "diy-kit" or seed for people making their own distros, and they can use it to make their own, at their own pace. "if you want a version that takes a while to be developed, make it yourself..."

that of course brings me to the official "ce" versions, which may not (if the community wishes) come out quite as often as the versions barryk puts out. personally, i will probably continue to just upgrade less often, and look to "ce" when the wand has truly been passed.

those of us that are a bit uneasy with the "3 day beta" model have plenty of options, and there's always the nominal chance that our hero of distro creators will calm down and release at a less hectic pace, even prior to moving on to another project (which no one really wants him to do.) i can relate to the desire to put the latest version up the minute it's compiled, i almost do that with my tiny collection of utilities. of course, i have never named one "final." i tend to call them all "beta" and in fact, "alpha" may even be a better term. like barryk, i'd rather play with the code and the program, than worry about the formalities of "blah, blah, blah." it's all understandable. i simply hope that "beta" will never become the better term for puppy, overall.
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Flash
Official Dog Handler


Joined: 04 May 2005
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Location: Arizona USA

PostPosted: Fri 17 Nov 2006, 11:02    Post subject:  

Everyone has his own idea of the route it ought to take; the important thing is, Puppy is always moving forward. It goes faster if you find a way to contribute, then pitch in. There's always something that needs doing. Smile
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amish

Joined: 24 Sep 2006
Posts: 616

PostPosted: Fri 17 Nov 2006, 12:15    Post subject:  

Flash wrote:
It goes faster if you find a way to contribute, then pitch in. There's always something that needs doing. Smile


i'm trying, but when nothing stays the same long enough to learn about it, the amount of learning required just to lend a hand quadruples, and continues to double from there. hence what i wrote.

it's not, strictly speaking, a complaint or a lament. it's a thought- and there's a small amount of frustration there, sure. i'd like to help, but first puppy has to sit still for just a part of a moment, without having everything change. it's really not even *quite* that bad.

my hope is that it won't continue to get that way, only moreso.
i also tried to offer an idea or two to people that feel the same way about this. that's about it.

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marksouth2000

Joined: 05 Apr 2006
Posts: 620

PostPosted: Fri 17 Nov 2006, 12:43    Post subject:  

I can understand exactly where these feelings come from. In the interests of fairness, however, Barry released 212b2 on Sunday and beta testing is still continuing apace through Friday. So the "three-day" epithet is not really true, and merely a rhetorical device.

Now, a different take on the matter: Puppy is smaller and faster than other distros, the Puppy community is small and fast and well-connected, so we test things quickly. Puppy is not heavy commercial software, if stuff breaks it gets fixed as Puppy goes along. Look how many updated and additional packages MU and Guesttoo have released since 211.

Also, there's no exclusion involved. If you have the time, get a copy of each alpha or beta as it comes and test it, give your feedback on the developer forum, and try to figure out how to unbreak stuff. We don't always all have the time. I'm having a slack week so I've been testing a fair bit, the last time I contributed was to the 200 alphas. Puppy is meant to be fun, so play when you can and don't stress if you can't.

Mark Cool
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amish

Joined: 24 Sep 2006
Posts: 616

PostPosted: Fri 17 Nov 2006, 13:42    Post subject:  

Quote:
So the "three-day" epithet is not really true, and merely a rhetorical device.


not intentionally! but good to know. when i don't know an author i take what i hear literally, when i know someone, i take them into account.

Quote:
Now, a different take on the matter: Puppy is smaller and faster than other distros, the Puppy community is small and fast and well-connected, so we test things quickly. Puppy is not heavy commercial software, if stuff breaks it gets fixed as Puppy goes along. Look how many updated and additional packages MU and Guesttoo have released since 211.


no disagreement there. the whole tempo makes me apprehensive, makes you doubt, but as i tried to make clear, the product is still unparalleled.

Quote:
Also, there's no exclusion involved... Puppy is meant to be fun, so play when you can and don't stress if you can't.


no disagreement there either, but nicer to hear it from someone. lately, nearly all of my spare time is spent studying how puppy works, from the user standpoint. there isn't something else i'd rather be doing, and i'm being as thorough as i can.

also, i'm trying to write some small, optional utilities, and eventually help people (like lobster, and for that matter, myself) get more into programming- especially console, in puppybasic, but not exclusively or at first. right now i'm having loads of trouble with things such as arrow keys in rxvt. the reason i'm interested so much in the console is that in theory, onebone users can use them too. i have already read the tutorials, but all the docs that i know of predate 2.5.

if i don't try *so* hard, i'll probably be happier- but taking it easy isn't a strength of mine. i'm not abandoning what i said, either- it still applies, but your points are (at least) equally valid, imo- and i really didn't intend to express the contrary.

anyway, thanks for understanding where i was coming from.

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Dougal


Joined: 19 Oct 2005
Posts: 2505
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PostPosted: Sat 18 Nov 2006, 09:55    Post subject:  

That has always been a problem with Puppy, but it's inevitable because of what Puppy is: Barry's "baby".
If Barry gets some new idea, he rushes ahead and implements it and it just keeps going that way… puppy keeps ahead of itself.

You can't try and force a "release cycle" on Puppy, since it'll probably drive Barry crazy to have to wait around, fixing bugs, before going on with any new ideas he came up with…

That is also why Puppy is so flexible: you can suggest something to Barry and he'll go and add it and it'll be in the next beta already!

It also means that the emphasis in Puppy is mainly on what Barry finds relevant -- unless someone else goes and bothers to create something (MU's software installers and many other things, GuestToo's Dotpups!)

So Puppy is always "beta" or "unstable" or whatever.

A more "stable" Puppy would be the CE (Community edition), but they don't come out too regularly…

But, then, Debian doesn't either. So maybe you should consider the regular Puppy as equivalent to Debian "testing", or "unstable", while the CE is the "stable"?

The only thing we can do it run along with Barry and try and help. Or work on the CE.

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Gn2


Joined: 16 Oct 2006
Posts: 936
Location: virtual - Veni vidi, nihil est adpulerit

PostPosted: Sat 18 Nov 2006, 11:03    Post subject:  

Everyone has own private views on how any distribution development may be implemented.
Contrary to it being viewed as a "problem" may I sugggest it be stressed as one more of Puppy's greatest strengths.

Ultimately all is in capable hands of the one person most familiar to internal structure.
Whether that be Barry K's or any wonderful variant:

In Puppy's unique case,.. many considerations are simply not applicable (full hard drive installs vs Puppy enhancements)

With feedback from users (the one area where anyone may help)
all moves forward and Tmp glitches soon noted, corrected.

The ability to safely re-master/edit & test allows Puppy to move faster than more conventional distributions

None of which is not already widely known & appreciated.

If Mr Amish has encountered I.E. problems with any optical device: (OR any problem)
Please tolerate me to advise:
Open up own thread in appropriate header ...supply all background & hardware advisories ?

IMHO - It is not needed to specifically draw attention "for use of others" as that is what the correct
Forum Header & search utilities do best.
.
Thank you
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raffy

Joined: 25 May 2005
Posts: 4785
Location: Manila

PostPosted: Sat 18 Nov 2006, 20:56    Post subject: loading off  

"Helping" is a culture that one may observe here or probably in any other development community. In the case of Puppy, help for Barry comes in the form of suggestions or coding of that elusive "tiny, speedy and useful" program that eventually finds its way into the next build of Puppy.

So it is not only BarryK's attitude, but most developers', who I guess understand that once you sit still, you're soon forgotten. It's a way of life.

Surprisingly, despite this "rocketing ahead" attitude, Puppy developers spend time for fun and friendship. To me, there lies the real difference.

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Puppy user since Oct 2004. Want FreeOffice? Get the sfs (English only).
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Flash
Official Dog Handler


Joined: 04 May 2005
Posts: 11128
Location: Arizona USA

PostPosted: Sat 18 Nov 2006, 22:55    Post subject: Re: loading off  

raffy wrote:
... "rocketing ahead" ...

Good one, Raffy. That's Puppy! Laughing

Real artists work fast. Barry is an artist.
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muggins

Joined: 20 Jan 2006
Posts: 6689
Location: lisbon

PostPosted: Mon 20 Nov 2006, 06:38    Post subject:  

i usually have 2 pups on my lappy. one that i regard as stable and which does everything i need, and a testpup, which is usually barry's latest, or someone else's pup. at some stage, if the testpup performs well & has features that i want, it's my next stable.

it was only about 5 months ago that i read a post by a regular, (don't recall who), that they were considering trying a newer pup than their current 0.97 version!
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Pizzasgood


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

PostPosted: Mon 20 Nov 2006, 20:14    Post subject:  

.9.7 wasn't too shabby if I remember correctly. If memory serves me right, odds tended to be more stable back then, but only by coincidence.
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raffy

Joined: 25 May 2005
Posts: 4785
Location: Manila

PostPosted: Tue 21 Nov 2006, 00:59    Post subject: weekend uploading  

Almost forgot this - one fact needs to be appreciated by the readers, which is that Barry has to travel far during weekends just to upload files through a friend's Internet connection.

In this light, Barry makes the most of it and uploads the newest versions of files built during the week.

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amish

Joined: 24 Sep 2006
Posts: 616

PostPosted: Tue 21 Nov 2006, 11:29    Post subject: Re: Invisible beta (or, a 'bug' in many versions of puppy)  

Gn2 wrote:
f Mr Amish has encountered I.E. problems with any optical device: (OR any problem)
Please tolerate me to advise:
Open up own thread in appropriate header ...supply all background & hardware advisories ?

IMHO - It is not needed to specifically draw attention "for use of others" as that is what the correct
Forum Header & search utilities do best.


DUDE, what is your deal?

first off, dougal made some good points that i agree with, and in fact, some of his points (how the ce edition mitigates the thing i see as a possible problem most of all) really overlap mine. i look forward to seeing more about the ce editions.

secondly, i already noted that it's impossible to try to make barry slow down- that's not something i'm suggesting, i think i said it would be pointless to.

but please stop going out of your way to make my post less reasonable than it was. THAT is "unneeded," i was only trying to make a point or two, collect some thoughts, maybe get someone else to make some points too- not annoy anyone about the *example* i used of the cd thing and the wireless support (nor was that the point of the post, as you seem to suggest) - i don't even have wireless, it's something i've heard complaints about.

i don't like having people just start implying that i wrote everything i said in this thread over one thing when the mass of it is clearly about the topic i posted. i didn't post it in the wrong place or under the wrong header- ffs.

you also essentially (in other words of course) told me my bash howto wasn't needed, because there's some similar resource on the net somewhere. thanks! if you do have some personal issue with me that is behind all this, tell me in irc, in pm on the forum, or in this thread, but i don't understand your responses to my posts in general or what you're getting at- i really don't. in how many howto's has someone replied "why reinvent the wheel? *link*" or anything of the sort? you're much more likely to see "this may also be helpful," which doesn't imply that something was pointless to bother with.

Quote:
Open up own thread in appropriate header ...supply all background & hardware advisories ?

IMHO - It is not needed to specifically draw attention "for use of others" as that is what the correct
Forum Header & search utilities do best.


given that this is becoming a trend, maybe i should just run all my posts by you, first, since you seem to be going to extra trouble to marginalize them? we can avoid everything you disapprove of or think is unimportant or irrelevant to you. usually, i post what *i* think is important.

and sometimes, yeah- it proves not to be. so what? until i can tell the future, please let me know what you think of pre-approving all my posts. then YHO can have the proper amount of weight on all i write Neutral

if you're this critical of everyone on this forum, then i retract my comments. i'm still bewildered, however. if anyone else thinks my posts are pointless or disingenuous, please let me know here or by pm, and i will cease to bother you with my unneeded posts.

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Pizzasgood


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

PostPosted: Tue 21 Nov 2006, 22:05    Post subject:  

I've enjoyed them. Keep 'em commin'.
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Gn2


Joined: 16 Oct 2006
Posts: 936
Location: virtual - Veni vidi, nihil est adpulerit

PostPosted: Tue 21 Nov 2006, 23:31    Post subject:  

Amish

Why should it be appropriate in your eyes, I.E. To critisize Puppy development philosophies - yet take offence at others opinions?

The Bash to Dos "How -To" is self revealing :
Do you honestly consider you touched on all relevant commands -
or explained in more concise details relating to anything ?
As you had hoped then attempted:

My view - if any "official documentation" may be supplied -
That is preferrable to reliance on own shaky memory or flawed logic
It is the poster who will be led astray chasing dead-ends otherwise !
.
All forums Confused contain such HOW TO examples - and all should be submitted to moderators for editing
review before being posted as "Official Guidelines" tacitly approved by the distribution.
~ Any mistakes therein - who takes flack over it ?

I hate to refer to any for a new user - only to belatedly note:
The link was fatally flawed or even dangerous
(Yes - the "inadvertantly dangerous" have then been reported)
Often they still remain as time bombs to inflict more damage to unwary !

Not sure now where the "optical problems" impression came from:
Perhaps here:

http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?p=78044&highlight=#78044
Quote:
if you're this critical of everyone on this forum

If you look again - I am ! And first apply all relevancy to myself ...

http://catb.org/esr/faqs/smart-questions.html
Then ask: -
~ Where best to post
~ Will any header be searched for solutions for others
~ Is all content I supply as suggestions only accurate as possible ?

Informality is fine for frivolous topics - NOT Evil or Very Mad if they relate to CLI specifics
= When a user is in dire need of directly supplied solutions or where they may be found !

However - to take refuge in old "Political Correctness Strategies"
Or throw out feelers -
Code:
  i will cease to bother you with my unneeded posts.
Do & react as you want - We can all try live to own values
No more, ........... hopefully never less.

Nothing worth doing should be taken for granted - just as Puppy developers work hard to improve the end results -
So should all who want to participate in any manner.
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