FreeMiNT Philosophys (was NetSurf GEM Port)

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Re: FreeMiNT Philosophys (was NetSurf GEM Port)

Postby calimero » Sun Feb 10, 2013 10:57 pm

jfl wrote:Different kernel, drivers, AES (at least since XaAES is a kernel module). You can't mix elements of different MiNT versions, if that's why you're asking. Well, maybe you can, but you shouldn't :D

I use MyAES
Drivers - I use 10 years old drivers for NetUSBee; but I assume that you think on XFS drivers for file systems...?
...

Who are developers of MiNT today? And are same people "responsible" :) for XaAES?
Is there any new feature or just bug fixing?
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Re: FreeMiNT Philosophys (was NetSurf GEM Port)

Postby jfl » Mon Feb 11, 2013 3:39 am

calimero wrote:
jfl wrote:Different kernel, drivers, AES (at least since XaAES is a kernel module). You can't mix elements of different MiNT versions, if that's why you're asking. Well, maybe you can, but you shouldn't :D

Drivers - I use 10 years old drivers for NetUSBee; but I assume that you think on XFS drivers for file systems...?

Yes and no. I was speaking about all official drivers delivered with the kernel. Of course, third-party drivers are a different story. You don't have the choice.
calimero wrote:Who are developers of MiNT today? And are same people "responsible" :) for XaAES?

Have a look a the MiNT mailing list to get an idea of who's active: http://mikro.naprvyraz.sk/mint/201301/threads.html And yes, XaAES is the official AES of FreeMiNT. It's actually a kernel module.
calimero wrote:Is there any new feature or just bug fixing?

Both :)
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Re: FreeMiNT Philosophys (was NetSurf GEM Port)

Postby Eero Tamminen » Mon Feb 11, 2013 2:19 pm

joska wrote:Technically it's not a problem to extend the current setup. "All" you have to do is to put the actual "unix" file hierarchy somewhere, and then edit (or replace) c:\mint\sys.cnf to set up the symlinks, create environment variables, run startup-scripts etc.


The main thing is for "somebody" to rebuild everything for ColdFire. *That* is a lot of work. I don't really care whether it's Sparemint, Gentoo or whatever build, as long as suitable set of CF binaries & a native build environment for them is available somewhere and that those builds are somehow reproducible so that other people can help without needing to build things from scratch.

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Re: FreeMiNT Philosophys (was NetSurf GEM Port)

Postby jfl » Mon Feb 11, 2013 2:44 pm

Eero Tamminen wrote:The main thing is for "somebody" to rebuild everything for ColdFire. *That* is a lot of work. I don't really care whether it's Sparemint, Gentoo or whatever build, as long as suitable set of CF binaries & a native build environment for them is available somewhere and that those builds are somehow reproducible so that other people can help without needing to build things from scratch.

My thoughts exactly.
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Re: FreeMiNT Philosophys (was NetSurf GEM Port)

Postby joska » Tue Feb 12, 2013 12:55 pm

Eero Tamminen wrote:The main thing is for "somebody" to rebuild everything for ColdFire. *That* is a lot of work. I don't really care whether it's Sparemint, Gentoo or whatever build, as long as suitable set of CF binaries & a native build environment for them is available somewhere and that those builds are somehow reproducible so that other people can help without needing to build things from scratch.


What happened to the brilliance of gcc? ;) Shouldn't this be just a matter of changing a compiler flag? ;) Honestly, I don't understand why compiling Gentoo for ColdFire should be such a big task. It's compiled with a recent version of gcc and it's all C/C++, it should be a matter of setting the correct flags. If not, something is seriously, seriously wrong.

Anyway, we're talking about two different things. Setting up the system can also be done with 68k-binaries, later on these can be replaced with Coldfire-versions. If you want/need such a setup, have a FireBee and the skills there is no reason to wait for ColdFire binaries.
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Re: FreeMiNT Philosophys (was NetSurf GEM Port)

Postby jfl » Tue Feb 12, 2013 1:40 pm

joska wrote:Honestly, I don't understand why compiling Gentoo for ColdFire should be such a big task.

It's not. But someone with the proper build environment still has to sit in front of his computer and do it.
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Re: FreeMiNT Philosophys (was NetSurf GEM Port)

Postby BlankVector » Tue Feb 12, 2013 2:36 pm

joska wrote:Shouldn't this be just a matter of changing a compiler flag? ;) Honestly, I don't understand why compiling Gentoo for ColdFire should be such a big task.

Because most GNU configure scripts, Makefiles and Gentoo build scripts are so messy that even adding a single compiler option is a huge task :?
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Re: FreeMiNT Philosophys (was NetSurf GEM Port)

Postby m0n0 » Tue Feb 12, 2013 7:33 pm

Because most GNU configure scripts, Makefiles and Gentoo build scripts are so messy that even adding a single compiler option is a huge task


This is not true for configure scripts, also it is not true for many, many makefiles.... only the real bad ones have CFLAGS which can not be overriden by environment variables....

I have never seen an configure script which doesn't recognize:

CFLAGS=-"-mcpu=5475" ./configure --host="m68k-atari-mint"

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Re: FreeMiNT Philosophys (was NetSurf GEM Port)

Postby Eero Tamminen » Tue Feb 12, 2013 10:16 pm

joska wrote:Setting up the system can also be done with 68k-binaries, later on these can be replaced with Coldfire-versions. If you want/need such a setup, have a FireBee and the skills there is no reason to wait for ColdFire binaries.


I've understood that m68k binaries don't work with EmuTOS? (Only with FireTOS and it's m68k emulation)

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Re: FreeMiNT Philosophys (was NetSurf GEM Port)

Postby joska » Wed Feb 13, 2013 10:12 am

Eero Tamminen wrote:I've understood that m68k binaries don't work with EmuTOS? (Only with FireTOS and it's m68k emulation)


Correct. This is why FireTOS still is the only realistic option. There just isn't enough pure ColdFire applications out there to make EmuTOS a usable OS for the FireBee (yet). Of course, this will change eventually. There will be more native apps and I'm pretty sure that there will be a solution for 68k binaries under EmuTOS as well.
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Re: FreeMiNT Philosophys (was NetSurf GEM Port)

Postby mikro » Wed Feb 27, 2013 7:16 pm

I think I might call myself both, an experienced Unix/Linux programmer and user. And perhaps even to Mathias' surprise, I fully support (not only) his decision. I still remember the time when AFROS was released. I couldn't believe my eyes. Networking and no EXT2 partition! W-T-F. How did they do that?!

And you know why? Because exactly as Mathias, I had no clue this can be done. That you can run FreeMiNT + XaAES with zero unix stuff, without the scary init scripts (I still have creeps when I have to to change INIT= from xaloader to 'init' because you must also edit a ttytab file or what? ewww..)

What makes me, as developer, more sad is the fact that I actually can't install the unix stuff even if I wanted to. Because? Because all the RPMs are terribly outdated and Gentoo provides only 68000 libs only (plus it's reported to be super slow to install packages). So it's easier to setup an up-to-date cross compiler environment and enjoy the good old GEM (-only) FreeMiNT based setup on real Atari (or Aranym, for that matter).

Shell has really zero usage for normal users. I use shell mostly for debug outputs. There's no single reason why user would want to run TosWin2 except running a .ttp/.tos application.

So, dear developers, solve the packager problem first, then complain about shell. I'd kill the person who would deliver FireBee to me with preinstalled 10 year old packages. With 10 year old shell!!! :D

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Re: FreeMiNT Philosophys (was NetSurf GEM Port)

Postby m0n0 » Wed Feb 27, 2013 9:06 pm

Shell has really zero usage for normal users. I use shell mostly for debug outputs.


I'm a "normal" user of software tools and I use the shell a lot.
Also on Windows - I run at least 20 shell commands each day at work.

There's no single reason why user would want to run TosWin2 except running a .ttp/.tos application.


But I like to run: less/more, grep, wget, curl, ls, mkdir, ssh, and so on - It's definitly faster when I run them from the shell - because I don't have to do the same thing again and again ;)

without the scary init scripts (I still have creeps when I have to to change INIT= from xaloader to 'init' because you must also edit a ttytab file or what? ewww..)


But this has nothing to do with the shell...

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Re: FreeMiNT Philosophys (was NetSurf GEM Port)

Postby vido » Thu Feb 28, 2013 7:55 am

I am just a user but as I am system administrator I really need shell or my FireBee is not usefull for most of my work.

I agree that preinstalled only GEM part of the MiNT instalation is mandatory but would be great if there would be a second part of the distribution which could be easyly installed with the users who need shell and CLI utilities and aplications.

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Re: FreeMiNT Philosophys (was NetSurf GEM Port)

Postby christos » Thu Feb 28, 2013 11:47 am

Let me weigh in a bit..

I believe you all realise where this is heading right? It's going to: we need a full fledged FreeMiNT distro that will have GEM tools, unix filesystem and hierarchy and the tools people are used to from the linux/unix world. This is a Schroedinger's situation though, it's both a problem and a non problem for end users at the same time.

In my experience there are a few configuration issues when using a full FreeMiNT distro like easymint. For example I found issues with putting gem application on an ext2 filesystem, they can't find their configuration files to load (case sensitive filesystem) or programs having their configuration files at /home/ so you need to go looking inside that filesystem. However this in most cases is transparent to the user. In most cases you just use your normal partitions and perhaps only the /home/ folder. There is no issue with the shell, you don't have to use it and nothing is stopping anyone to write GEM wrappers for the unix tools. I've done that for qextract. I was on an easymint system at the time and my first attempts were aimed at launching the applications that were already present in the system. Something the Pexec() failed to do so I had to run the ttp's.

I don't see a problem with having a unix distro for end users that can't be easily overcome. It can become transparent to the user very easily at the desktop level. Think of this as a suggestion. Imagine 3-4 partitions on a hard disk, one is C: for system boot and GEM applications/games etc, D: is for the /home/ folder and all your files/folders like Documents/images/Downloads etc and the last one is the unix partition with the hierarchy. You can always hide this from the user so that they don't have to see it ever. In my ubuntu setup I only see it when I want to do something. It's not dissimilar to system32 and program files folder in Windows, you almost never have to go there but they do exist and you can see them.

However I do see one big problem. Who's going to do all that? Firstly you need to have a good knowledge of which programs are necessary, which libraries and which files. Then you need to have a good knowledge of C in order to apply patches when needed and they need to be compiled for the 3-4 different processors used in Atari. After that is done a repository is needed where those packages can be uploaded and be easily installed. I am only familiar with the Debian way so I don't know what gentoo or red hat do but it's probably similar. The easiest and fastest way for that would be a command line tool, but I guess a graphical package manager can be written as well.
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Re: FreeMiNT Philosophys (was NetSurf GEM Port)

Postby Mathias » Fri Mar 01, 2013 1:34 am

christos wrote: However I do see one big problem. Who's going to do all that? Firstly you need to have a good knowledge of which programs are necessary, which libraries and which files.
I´d say we should follow the 2 planned ways for the FireBee:

1.) The "command line addon" to Jo Evens FreeMiNT setup. There were always plans to deliver it one day. Now there is some work going on in this direction. It can be for the "lightweight Unix user" or motivated developer.

2.) Support Marc-Anton Kehr with the new EasyMiNT for the full blown stuff. That means all the stuff has to be availaible as rpm packages again, and Maanke could go on.

So with that 3 setups, the GEM FreeMiNT setup, "command line/development addon" and "Full EasyMiNT" all needs should be covered. And for sounding a little bit more nice than the last weeks about this issue: remember that this was always planned, and that I really always tried to get a new EasyMiNT for example. Now there is the chance, and it should be taken! Not that I do not appreciate further activities like ColdMiNT, Gentoo or that stuff, but I belive - like always - we should joint forces and collaborate a little bit more. 8)
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Re: FreeMiNT Philosophys (was NetSurf GEM Port)

Postby BlankVector » Fri Mar 01, 2013 10:19 am

About the UNIX cr*p, it can be divided in 2 different categories.

1) The user applications. This is definitely a good thing, since it allows to run a lot of GNU/Linux command line applications on MiNT. This means that a lot of brand new and up to date software is available for Atari users. This does not suck at all, such software will not slow down anything when the user does not use it. But a basic command line environment (TosWin2, bash) must be provided to allow (without obligation) running that software. Exactly like the Terminal application shipped with MacOS X, it does not hurt, but it is useful for command line users.

2) The startup scripts and servers. They are included in EasyMiNT. Basically, that tries to transform an Atari machine into a full blown Linux, with all the drawbacks and complexity. Slow startup scripts, messy configuration files, etc. IMHO this has no interest, except to show it can be done. For sure end users can be frightened by such setup. However, EasyMiNT was a big step forward to popularize MiNT software and SpareMiNT/RPM packages. On the other side, AFROS and the FireBee's FreeMiNT setup are much more in the Atari spirit.
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Re: FreeMiNT Philosophys (was NetSurf GEM Port)

Postby mikro » Fri Mar 01, 2013 11:23 am

BlankVector wrote:But a basic command line environment (TosWin2, bash) must be provided to allow (without obligation) running that software. Exactly like the Terminal application shipped with MacOS X, it does not hurt, but it is useful for command line users.

This comparison is good. However, both Windows and MacOS X have GUI apps for virtually everything. I think what Mathias wanted to achieve with his "glad" lack of shell is to show users that they REALLY do not need command line. Linux is a perfect example here -- there's no frakking way you can survive in Linux without command line for more than 1 month (if you have to install / maintain it by yourself, that is). In FreeMiNT, however, you can.

I also really like the example with 'cd'. That's exactly the point. Why an Atari user should know what 'cd' is? Windows has its heritage from MSDOS, MacOS X from Unix but Atari? We used to click on icons and open menus, you remember. So once again, shell (etc) might be a nice addon but I don't see a reason why an user (!) should have it installed and rely on its functionality while solving his problems.

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Re: FreeMiNT Philosophys (was NetSurf GEM Port)

Postby Mathias » Fri Mar 01, 2013 11:31 am

Thanks MiKRO, that is exactly my point.
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Re: FreeMiNT Philosophys (was NetSurf GEM Port)

Postby Dal » Fri Mar 01, 2013 11:45 am

Hello?

I already created a mechanism for bulk installing of RPM packages on a FreeMINT system. Wong then took the concept a step further and provided a means of keeping packages up to date:
https://sites.google.com/site/probehous ... update-rpm

We already have the sparemint repository and now a Gentoo repository - this is all a matter of configuration. With a little bit more effort, this 'scary' command line stuff can be hidden behind a GEM GUI where the user selects what packages they want and which repository(ies) they want to get it from. Heck, there are already package managers which could be ported across.

No need to re-invent any wheels and as Christos points out, with a little bit of thought, the system can be designed to support all this without getting in the way of the current user experience.
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Re: FreeMiNT Philosophys (was NetSurf GEM Port)

Postby jfl » Fri Mar 01, 2013 12:39 pm

You've got to admire people who know what a 'user' is. Even more so a 'normal user'.
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Re: FreeMiNT Philosophys (was NetSurf GEM Port)

Postby mikro » Fri Mar 01, 2013 1:16 pm

In my perception, user = my mom. I don't want to explain what 'cd is to my mom. Anyone else = advanced user who can install shell, packages etc. This applies to any OS, technology, device etc. Maybe my point of view is twisted but always when I'm designing / programming something, I'm asking myself: how hard this would be to explain to my mom? Works a treat.

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Re: FreeMiNT Philosophys (was NetSurf GEM Port)

Postby wongck » Fri Mar 01, 2013 1:37 pm

Take the perception of a car.

There are drivers, there are passengers, there are mechanics.
The mechanics knows most of the car inside out.
The driver knows some of the car - petrol, tyre pressure, change tyre, water in the radiator ( or "duh wat's that?").
The passenger knows just to open the door and get in, nothing else about using the car.

So which one are you?
Most likely not a passenger because passenger just looks at the driver and the scenery.
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Re: FreeMiNT Philosophys (was NetSurf GEM Port)

Postby wongck » Fri Mar 01, 2013 1:39 pm

mikro wrote:In my perception, user = my mom. I don't want to explain what 'cd is to my mom. Anyone else = advanced user who can install shell, packages etc. This applies to any OS, technology, device etc. Maybe my point of view is twisted but always when I'm designing / programming something, I'm asking myself: how hard this would be to explain to my mom? Works a treat.


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Re: FreeMiNT Philosophys (was NetSurf GEM Port)

Postby Eero Tamminen » Fri Mar 01, 2013 4:17 pm

mikro wrote:Linux is a perfect example here -- there's no frakking way you can survive in Linux without command line for more than 1 month (if you have to install / maintain it by yourself, that is). In FreeMiNT, however, you can.


Out of curiosity, on which century you've last used end-user oriented Linux distros (like Ubuntu)?

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Re: FreeMiNT Philosophys (was NetSurf GEM Port)

Postby simonsunnyboy » Fri Mar 01, 2013 5:04 pm

Eero Tamminen wrote:
mikro wrote:Linux is a perfect example here -- there's no frakking way you can survive in Linux without command line for more than 1 month (if you have to install / maintain it by yourself, that is). In FreeMiNT, however, you can.


Out of curiosity, on which century you've last used end-user oriented Linux distros (like Ubuntu)?


I have to second this question. I'm working daily with my Ubuntu 10.04 LTS and most of time with the GUI tools. My history of bash mainly lists only cmake and make commands for builiding hatari and occasionally other stuffs. Main tasks as file management from pure user point of view work outstanding with Nautilus for example.

I only use the bash shell for unpacking stuffs that is not provided by package management and most of the time involves compiling it myself.

Under Linux today, there is certainly no requirement to work on the shell all the time from a normal user point of view. Even my gf who has no knowledge with a command line shell would be able to do her every day work under Linux with GUI tools.
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