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 Forum index » Taking the Puppy out for a walk » Puppy Power
Puppy 4.2
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technosaurus


Joined: 18 May 2008
Posts: 4134

PostPosted: Sat 20 Dec 2008, 16:16    Post subject:  

@ttuuxxx

I toyed with a similar idea that I called "The Pound" using specialized .desktop files - if you wanna look (Edit: it does use the icon tray so it would need to be adapted as well - using include?)

http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?search_id=102062549&t=35999



The .desktop file specified the icon and url of the .pet
Packages were tracked with packages.txt which was just urls of the .desktop files
update was a wget download of .desktop files listed in packages.txt
(followed by fixmenus, etc...)

I have since decided that it would be more worth my time to put them directly into the web desktop, which also allows me to give mouseover descriptions with title="description..." and package updates are as simple as refreshing your browser window.

For the time being I am only adding "out of the box" pets that do not require dependencies - or I am repackaging them so that they are dependency inclusive. I will eventually get to adding the separate libraries and developer files as well. If this sounds like it is more suitable to sfs packages, its because I AM trying to enable "on the fly" sfs packages as was tried in 2.15 and is/was used in SLAX and DSL. This is probably a "5.0" goal but I am trying to keep from having to duplicate work later and to spread the workload out.

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Last edited by technosaurus on Sat 20 Dec 2008, 16:39; edited 1 time in total
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technosaurus


Joined: 18 May 2008
Posts: 4134

PostPosted: Sat 20 Dec 2008, 16:31    Post subject:  

@ Aitch

If only we could pass a boot parameter to load sfs files...
I have tried this crude hack with 4.1.1 (from memory - using 4.1.2 now):

pup_XXX vmlinuz and initrd in / along with game.sfs, office.sfs, ...

and did this hack
phome=games where /games/zdrv_XXX.sfs is a symlink to game.sfs
phome=office where /office/zdrv_XXX.sfs is a symlink to office.sfs


Alternately (I think to get the MacPup sfs working)

zdrv_XXX vmlinuz and initrd in / along with game.sfs office.sfs ...

and did this hack
phome=games where /games/pup_XXX.sfs is a symlink to game.sfs
phome=office where /office/pup_XXX.sfs is a symlink to office.sfs


If we could pass a file listing a set of sfs files to use, it would be much more configureable - I haven't been able to figure out all of the inner workings yet, but maybe a barebones setup with dynamic sfs loading once X is up and running woulde be better?

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peb

Joined: 24 Oct 2005
Posts: 18

PostPosted: Sat 20 Dec 2008, 20:41    Post subject:  

I have some general ideas for consideration, now that I'm using Puppy again.

1) Increase modularity. This should be expanded in future distributions. All the major applications should be modular packages including the browser, WM, etc. For example, just the load the browser you choose. Why should a new distribution needed for a different default browser? Modularity would also help upgrading. For Puppy to be useful I need an easily upgraded browser -- not for more functionality -- but to make a reasonable attempt to keep up the security fixes. And frankly, I'd end up ditching most of the minor apps as well in a truly modular system. I don't need a paint program, etc. Let me add it if I need it so my menus only reflect what I absolutely want. I know I can remaster everything, or roll my own puplet. But why make it that hard?

2) Make it so that people can avoid using a swap file as an option. That ought to be dead simple to do for someone who is familiar enough with the startup scripts to make the change. For those of us that don't like Puppy poop anywhere on our hard drives that we don't know about, this would be very helpful.

3) Make it easy for people to bypass hardware detection once they've got things set up the way they want it. I've finally fixed my system with some help from someone here, but Puppy should't change things by itself. It's hardware detection isn't that robust.

4) Work for a rock solid supported distribution rather than a whole new approach with the next version. The innovation is good. Maybe that what Puplets are for. The main distribution, though, ought to revised until all the bugs have finally been squashed. There are very few features that I can think of that couldn't be handled by an optional add-on module, rather than a whole new distribution.

Barry has been the principal leader on this work. I sincerely applaud his effort over the years. His effort provided assurance about the quality of the product. I quite understand his fatigue. I'd like for this to be the livecd product of choice, that is stable and supported well enough for people to use as a serious tool. I think it is capable of being that.
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vtpup


Joined: 15 Oct 2008
Posts: 1077
Location: Republic of Vermont

PostPosted: Sat 20 Dec 2008, 21:58    Post subject:  

There are stripped down pupplets that you can build up into custom and modular configurations already.

The main Puppy Linux distribution was intended to provide the most commonly needed programs in a minimal sized system as a live CD, and one that would work well on limited and legacy equipment. The ability to install it and extend it has been improved and broadened over time with many innovative techniques.

Since a full working distribution with apps in a small efficient package was the signature nature of Puppy, it seems to me that changing that nature makes it something other than Puppy. A sripped down modular system certainly is a nice alternative, but I don't think it should become the standard. Rather it should remain the option it already is.

I like the fact that alternative Pupplets can go off in any direction the builder desires, but that the main line of the breed adheres to its original concept.

It seems to me that over time more and more specialized and efficient applications have been developed specifically for Puppy, so that its capabilities have been continuously increased, while maintaining its small size and efficient speed.

The main impetus to developers to come up with applications was the very limit on size Puppy had, and the fact that they were challenged to do more in the same space. This favorable environment for creativity wouldn't have existed if Puppy was merely a modular base on which existing large applications were grafted. A developer's app wouldn't have a chance to be shipped with the Puppy version, so what would the point be of writing it?

Puppy Linux is a unique phenomenon, and encourages more original app writing than almost any other distro.
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technosaurus


Joined: 18 May 2008
Posts: 4134

PostPosted: Sun 21 Dec 2008, 01:24    Post subject:  

@vtpup - using Puppy's layered file system it is easy to do both by having barebones + a buildback sfs ...using my example before, just have a symlink to standard.sfs in the /pupXXX directory

I should have a demo build around the new year thanks to some help from pizzasgood with a bash script on this thread
http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=36886

The boot menus will be derived from Fancy and Retro Pup - highly modified to include only one vmlinuz, init and "zdrv"(actually an sfs of all files shared by all of the puplets - to save space) I plan to try and include as many smaller puplets as possible + extra sfs modules to top off the iso (basically I am targeting smaller puplets that did a lot of work getting additional window managers & UI all set up hopefully with a good range of browsers and core apps - the rest can be pets & sfs modules until if/when I decide to do a DVD)

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vtpup


Joined: 15 Oct 2008
Posts: 1077
Location: Republic of Vermont

PostPosted: Sun 21 Dec 2008, 15:09    Post subject:  

Quote:
@vtpup - using Puppy's layered file system it is easy to do both by having barebones + a buildback sfs ...using my example before, just have a symlink to standard.sfs in the /pupXXX directory


Yes and I really like the ability to build up one's own custom system.

But what I'm talking about is the nature of the standard version. It is essentially a presentation version for those who have never used Puppy Linux before. It should start up right off the CD and have all standard Puppy applications in place ready to click on and demo.

The option once that is played with and absorbed, should be to extend it, or actually remove components. But that must be an option, not the standard.

I think we are on the same page, I think it's great to be able to remove standard apps through a layered version of those, but all I'm saying is that they should not be removed from the main Puppy version, only removable.

The prior poster was suggesting, I believe that the primary distribution be a barebones one. I don't agree with that.

Barebones is a wonderful option. And one I'd like to use myself, after having initially cut my teeth on the standard Puppy.

But there should always be an initial standard fully featured LiveCD version with apps included that is Identifiably the Puppy Linux. Otherwise, it's as inviting to a newcomer as pure old Debian was.

"Okay, sure I can install 20,000 programs once I learn the operating system, but what does it do now? Can I connect? Can I write? Can I download email? Can I play my music and videos? Can I burn a CD?"

If the answer to that is no, you have to install something first, I may never bother to spend the time. Furthermore, If I do bother to try to install something, the liklihood is I will install the full version of what I'm used to, and never see the benefits of native Puppy apps.

I think every person who gets hooked on Puppy initially will want to later expand and contract their system -- truly customize it. But somebody new needs to just start running things off the CD or they will never be interested at all. The fine points come later, after they see how amazingly small yet full featured it can be to start with.
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Aitch


Joined: 04 Apr 2007
Posts: 6825
Location: Chatham, Kent, UK

PostPosted: Sun 21 Dec 2008, 21:38    Post subject:  

Techno

Looks interesting to me! Very Happy

vtpup

Sorry, I wasn't suggesting this as the mainstream PuppyLinux

I agree with you about Puppy being the Power & Go, fastboot, fastrun, frisky Puppy we all know & love Wink Very Happy

The idea, which I think Techno comes close to, is the sort of modularity referred to by peb, but I'm thinking way before X runs,.....

...... in fact I'd like a hardware recognition script that knows my hardware & asks if I changed anything, & when I say 'no', it gives me a wakefromsnooze type ready to run OS in about/less than 5 seconds, with a menu of SFSs [?] to run print/document/mail/phone/game etc as outlined earlier

I mention dos as the command line similarities with linux are key points to understanding what I'm getting at

a PC that asks, 'You want to do what?' at bootup would be brilliant IMHO

If you never used a 286 in dos, and can remember the speed [relative, mind you] that it did things - with all the modern chip improvements, all that's happened is programmers have nobbled all the power & ram for 'windowing' & masking function - do we get the 1000+ times increase in function? ......I think not....

Even to have some of our excellent coders think about the question/answer type interface, instead of,

'Well, here's all I can do, all at once - now select which you want [with the rider that I've wasted loads of time/power doing all the things you won't use right now Embarassed ]'

But like I said, just a different perspective is all, otherwise everyone charges down the well trodden path, if you know what I mean Wink

Good to go up in a balloon every once in a while Laughing

Even if occasionally coming down with a bump...

Aitch Smile
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JasonFruit

Joined: 18 Sep 2008
Posts: 15

PostPosted: Mon 22 Dec 2008, 11:28    Post subject: Toolbar installer  

@Technosaurus - Is installing additional software such an essential function that it belongs on the bar, in its own special menu? I have my concerns about a menu-based installer - inexperienced users need a clear distinction between software that's on their machine and software that would have to be installed - but if you went with it anyway, I'd think it would be better to make it a sub-menu of the main Puppy menu. Neat concept, though.
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vtpup


Joined: 15 Oct 2008
Posts: 1077
Location: Republic of Vermont

PostPosted: Tue 23 Dec 2008, 03:10    Post subject:  

Code:
If you never used a 286 in dos, and can remember the speed [relative, mind you] that it did things


Nope never had a 286. Did have an 8086 in the original IBM-PC, and before that I can remember the speed of a Z-80 at 1.778 mhz in TRSDOS, FORTH, and assembly. And before that a 6809.

I even built a computer from scratch. Programmed my own eproms off a parallel port, and erased them with a sunlamp. Built a printer from a used Selectric terminal. Of course this is all irrelevant. just a fun excuse to reminisce Laughing

A blank terminal screen asking what you want to do is fine if you know what you want to do. But if you don't (and if you are trying out a distro for the first time, you have no idea at all) it is simply either intimidating or irritating.

A demo is a demo. As a person popping a demo into the drive, I expect the distro to show me why it's so special, I don't want to have to answer questions to get it to do something. I want it to answer my question of why should I bother with this distro. What makes you special? What do you have to offer? How much work do I have to do to get you to do the things I commonly want from a computer? How fast are you? How easy to navigate? Do I have to relearn everything I know about a mouse and a menu or clicks just to open a program on this desktop?

Negative or complex answers to these basic questions are turnoffs.

I think a demo should just start doing amazing stuff easily. Then after that if you really want, you could put a big button in the middle of the screen saying "Don't like something? Want something else? Push me!"

Push that button and you can strip off programs or add others -- do your layered thing, or chop it to the bone and start over again.

Now, it's true, an experienced old timer with the distro would have to wait a few seconds after booting to create a barebones skeleton, rather than having it start that way -- seems like waiting a few moments isn't a huge price to pay for getting more converts to his or her favorite Linux flavor. Once he/she'd done that, it could start up any way they want.

But that button, or option, or menu entry or whatever -- dos dialog if you want -- should come after the initial whiz-bang firework shenanigans of whatever makes your LiveCD distro special. As a new user asking what the heck Puppy Linux is, I don't want to see that button without an initial experience and answer. The show.

I'm joking a lot here, of course. The show really is, tight, trim programs, that open and operate fast, are easy to understand, elegantly simple, and don't obsolete your equipment every 18 months. And the ability to drop them, change them, improve them, and make things the way you want them. The uber application --- the change button.
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Aitch


Joined: 04 Apr 2007
Posts: 6825
Location: Chatham, Kent, UK

PostPosted: Tue 23 Dec 2008, 08:47    Post subject:  

vtpup

okie dokie - don't want to start another reminisce thread, we'll have Sage/Lobster/prehistoric/SHS and a few others throw their transistor pc memories in.... Laughing - [yeh, me too....]

just because you've already hotrodded an IBM 600, jealously, I'll agree, Wink Laughing as I think essentially we want the same things - just I wasn't referring to a demo to show off what the OS can do, as I assumed the next stage of the game....

no problem Very Happy

Aitch Smile
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vtpup


Joined: 15 Oct 2008
Posts: 1077
Location: Republic of Vermont

PostPosted: Tue 23 Dec 2008, 13:37    Post subject:  

I was mostly exaggerating for effect -- joking, Aitch, too. Laughing

Of course any new version of a distribution IS the demo version. It's the one newcomers always download. The latest and greatest, they assume. Why would they burn something else to disk?
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technosaurus


Joined: 18 May 2008
Posts: 4134

PostPosted: Tue 23 Dec 2008, 16:44    Post subject:  

@jasonfruit
I initially got the idea from Mint's ability to uninstall programs from the menu. Thought it would be really easy for new users to figure where everything ended up in the menu if they got it from the same place in the start menu. I did try it as a submenu (it was much easier) but had to limit the packages to keep them from going off the screen. I have since abandoned the idea for Puppy's desktop - choosing instead to have it integrated into the web desktop. I just thought the work might be useful to others interested in doing something similar. It could easily be adapted to be a separate menu for a specific set of programs designed for a particular Puplet etc...

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J-Bob


Joined: 09 Feb 2008
Posts: 283
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Tue 23 Dec 2008, 17:18    Post subject:  

I had an idea for Puppy 4.2 to use for icon switching,

I used zigbert's theming idea and built a couple things that could go alongside this which could be used with any theme adding a menu button.

this is my jwm-tray file

Code:
<JWM>
   <Tray  autohide="false" insert="right" x="0" y="-1" border="1" height="28" >


      <!-- Additional TrayButton attribute: label -->
      <TrayButton icon="/usr/local/lib/X11/pixmaps/start-button.png">root:3</TrayButton>
   <!--   <TrayButton popup="Run commandline" icon="gexec.xpm">exec:gexec</TrayButton> -->
      <TrayButton popup="Show Desktop" icon="mini-desktop.xpm">showdesktop</TrayButton>

      <!-- Additional Pager attributes; width, height -->
      <Pager/>

      <!-- Additional TaskList attribute: maxwidth -->
      <TaskList/>

      <Dock/>

      <!-- Additional Swallow attribute: height -->

      <Swallow name="blinky">
blinkydelayed -bg "#939191"
      </Swallow>

      <Swallow name="asapm">
         asapmshell -u 4
      </Swallow>

      <Swallow name="freememapplet" width="34">
         freememapplet
      </Swallow>

      <Swallow name="xload" width="32">
xload -nolabel -fg red -hl white -bg "black"
      </Swallow>

      <Clock>minixcal</Clock>
   </Tray>
</JWM>


i attached an altered icon theme switcher for usage with this.
as well as zigbert's deepthought icon.

NOTE: I removed the package from my machine, but i attached it to an earlier post, so i'll just link to it.

The thread it is on is
http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=34331&start=210
it is currently at the bottom, but that might change.

- J-Bob
start-button.png
 Description   you need to place this in /usr/local/lib/X11/pixmaps/

for themes, just add it into the themes folder
 Filesize   2.01 KB
 Viewed   713 Time(s)

start-button.png


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JasonFruit

Joined: 18 Sep 2008
Posts: 15

PostPosted: Tue 23 Dec 2008, 18:15    Post subject:  

@technosaurus: I checked out the revised version of the web desktop - that's a much smarter implementation of the same idea. Nice!
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PaulBx1

Joined: 16 Jun 2006
Posts: 2308
Location: Wyoming, USA

PostPosted: Tue 23 Dec 2008, 22:53    Post subject:  

Quote:
@vtpup - using Puppy's layered file system it is easy to do both by having barebones + a buildback sfs


Quote:
But what I'm talking about is the nature of the standard version. It is essentially a presentation version for those who have never used Puppy Linux before. It should start up right off the CD and have all standard Puppy applications in place ready to click on and demo.


Er, can't we have our cake and eat it too?

The main impetus behind the desire for more modularity, if I'm not mistaken, is the need for many people to get rid of Seamonkey, because they want another browser. I'm much less concerned about smaller applications.

Well (and perhaps technosaurus was suggesting this), can't we just have a pup_xxx.sfs file that is complete except for Seamonkey, and another sfs file called seamonkey.sfs? Both part of the standard iso, both normally copied down to the hard drive? And with seamonkey.sfs by default in the list of loaded sfs files in the boot manager?

Then, the newbie sees exactly the same thing he sees now. Yet those who want to dump Seamonkey can simply take it out of the bootmanager list, and substitute perhaps an opera.sfs.

Or am I missing something?
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