FreeMiNT Philosophys (was NetSurf GEM Port)

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Re: FreeMiNT Philosophys (was NetSurf GEM Port)

Postby wongck » Tue Feb 05, 2013 12:02 pm

And you can follow this sequence: https://sites.google.com/site/probehous ... m-sequence
(How-to needs updating to 1.18)
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Re: FreeMiNT Philosophys

Postby jfl » Tue Feb 05, 2013 12:15 pm

Eero Tamminen wrote:Unixy MiNT software is available from here:
http://sparemint.org/sparemint/html/packages.html

Unfortunately, this is pretty outdated. For example, bash is at version 2.* while bash in Gentoo is at 4.* (I'm not saying bash 4 provides critical new features either).
Eero Tamminen wrote:They're m68k versions, but with suitable MiNT setup, it would be possible to automate their build for ColdFire.

This, for me, is the priority. Without ColdFire builds, all discussions about providing the GNU environment are somewhat pointless. Alan said he would build Gentoo FreeMiNT for the ColdFire but nothing happened yet.
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Re: FreeMiNT Philosophys

Postby joska » Tue Feb 05, 2013 6:07 pm

Eero Tamminen wrote:For reference, here's documentation on building Linux from scratch:
http://www.linuxfromscratch.org/lfs/

Such documentation is missing for MiNT. (And Linux documentation obviously cannot be applied as-is)


I'm not sure if I understand. Where does this sort of documentation belong? It doesn't belong in the FreeMiNT project, because a "unix setup" isn't a part of that project.
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Re: FreeMiNT Philosophys

Postby joska » Tue Feb 05, 2013 6:14 pm

Eero Tamminen wrote:Especially when FB (AFAIK) doesn't ship even an interactive shell. Adding read-line enabled Bash to Firebee configuration wouldn't take much.


Then why not just do it? ;) If it's so easy to create such a thing, why hasn't anybody released anything?

FWIW I'm using such a thing on my FireBee. So why don't I release it?

- Because it only contains the tool I need and use, and if I release it there will be endless complaints about missing stuff.
- Because I "stole" binaries from various places and have no clue as to where to find the matching sources which are required to respect the GNU licence.
- It's not capable of running gcc at all, and never will be as I prefer to use my PC whenever I feel like torturing my brain with bizarre error-messages.
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Re: FreeMiNT Philosophys

Postby joska » Tue Feb 05, 2013 9:06 pm

BlankVector wrote:Yes, Jo Even made amazing work.


Thank you :)

BlankVector wrote:Configuring a windowed command-line environment for FreeMiNT is complicated.
Even more complicated than a graphics-only setup.


I'm not sure if I agree with this. It depends on *what* you're setting up. If you want to set up something like SpareMiNT/EasyMiNT from scratch, creating and editing all the startup-scripts and config-files then I agree. But you don't have to set up this from scratch, the work has already been done for you. To me it was very easy to unpack Alan's big Gentoo-archive and create some symlinks in mint.cnf. It was definitely a *lot* faster than creating and testing the GEM-only MiNT-setup for the FireBee ;)
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Re: FreeMiNT Philosophys (was NetSurf GEM Port)

Postby m0n0 » Tue Feb 05, 2013 9:21 pm

It was definitely a *lot* faster than creating and testing the GEM-only MiNT-setup for the FireBee


Can you explain how to setup toswin2 to get the best out of it? I can't do it, I don't understand it, it's an complex topic...

terminal types, character sets, the term database of ncurses... really, It's a lot of stuff to understand when you want to do the setup and not just want to take the (irrational) defaults.

Maybe these problems do not appear with conholio, because it uses it's own character set and "linux" as terminal type....

Also, you have to know that you need /etc/passwd before toswin enables the "new shell" menu entry ;)

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Re: FreeMiNT Philosophys (was NetSurf GEM Port)

Postby joska » Tue Feb 05, 2013 9:50 pm

m0n0 wrote:Can you explain how to setup toswin2 to get the best out of it? I can't do it, I don't understand it, it's an complex topic...

terminal types, character sets, the term database of ncurses... really, It's a lot of stuff to understand when you want to do the setup and not just want to take the (irrational) defaults.


The only thing I change is to use TW100 terminal type and ISO character mapping. I don't have any termcap/terminfo locally (well, maybe there is one in the Gentoo archive, I haven't checked) because I don't run any programs that requires this locally. Sometimes I ssh to my linux-box, in that case I do a quick "setenv TERM vt100" and things usually works.

m0n0 wrote:Maybe these problems do not appear with conholio, because it uses it's own character set and "linux" as terminal type....


Maybe, I haven't really tried it on my FireBee. But you are right, there are several annoying things about TosWin2. The non-standard terminal types is one. I even use MiniWin at times as it's much smaller and faster than TosWin2 and emulates VT52 pretty well.

m0n0 wrote:Also, you have to know that you need /etc/passwd before toswin enables the "new shell" menu entry ;)


Which you will know if you read the docs for TosWin2.
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Re: FreeMiNT Philosophys (was NetSurf GEM Port)

Postby m0n0 » Tue Feb 05, 2013 10:22 pm

Which you will know if you read the docs for TosWin2.


I think the only doc which comes with toswin2 is FAQ.txt? Hm, and that one is to huge ;)

Maybe, I haven't really tried it on my FireBee. But you are right, there are several annoying things about TosWin2. The non-standard terminal types is one. I even use MiniWin at times as it's much smaller and faster than TosWin2 and emulates VT52 pretty well.


but vt52 isn't enough for more modern unix applications.... joe, emacs, pine, mutt, centerim, nano etc...

Which you will know if you read the docs for TosWin2.


Which is annoying when I want to have a system which I just can start using ;)

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Re: FreeMiNT Philosophys (was NetSurf GEM Port)

Postby joska » Tue Feb 05, 2013 10:45 pm

m0n0 wrote:I think the only doc which comes with toswin2 is FAQ.txt? Hm, and that one is to huge ;)


I have a toswin2.hyp on my harddrive. I can see toswin2.stg in the CVS, so this is definitely the official docs.

m0n0 wrote:but vt52 isn't enough for more modern unix applications.... joe, emacs, pine, mutt, centerim, nano etc...


Doesn't matter for me, I'm not using any of these applications.
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Re: FreeMiNT Philosophys (was NetSurf GEM Port)

Postby m0n0 » Tue Feb 05, 2013 10:51 pm

Maybe we can agree that it is no so trivial to setup the shell environment like you said....

The only point that I want to make is: it's not "glad" when the shell isn't setup yet ;)

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Re: FreeMiNT Philosophys (was NetSurf GEM Port)

Postby joska » Tue Feb 05, 2013 11:00 pm

m0n0 wrote:Maybe we can agree that it is no so trivial to setup the shell environment like you said....


As I said, I spent way more time on the FireBee FreeMiNT setup (and that excludes the hours spent on writing the GEM configuration tools) than on getting Gentoo up and running. So while it's not trivial, it's not very difficult either. It's not more difficult than setting up a working GEM-environment from the confusing official FreeMiNT releases.
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Re: FreeMiNT Philosophys (was NetSurf GEM Port)

Postby Mathias » Tue Feb 05, 2013 11:00 pm

Of course it´s glad, as it stops shell freaks to force others to totally change their way of thinking graphically (what GEM is all about). But I will explain this tomorrow detaild and in a way that does not only sound like a troll. ;)
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Re: FreeMiNT Philosophys (was NetSurf GEM Port)

Postby m0n0 » Tue Feb 05, 2013 11:21 pm

Of course it´s glad, as it stops shell freaks to force others to totally change their way of thinking graphically (what GEM is all about)


They (the others) wouldn't even notice that there is a shell - so how is that "force" ???

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Re: FreeMiNT Philosophys (was NetSurf GEM Port)

Postby wongck » Wed Feb 06, 2013 1:06 am

m0n0 wrote:Maybe we can agree that it is no so trivial to setup the shell environment like you said....


But the simplest... if you ignore all the error messages is just to rename tcsh/bash to tcsh.tos/bash.tos.
Double click on them.
Of course toswin2 needs to be running so that your tcsh/bash runs in a window.

With these command line set at the lowest vt52, you can already compile gcc stuff.
( ok, so you need to set up gcc environment )
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Re: FreeMiNT Philosophys (was NetSurf GEM Port)

Postby wongck » Wed Feb 06, 2013 1:13 am

joska wrote:So while it's not trivial, it's not very difficult either. It's not more difficult than setting up a working GEM-environment from the confusing official FreeMiNT releases.


I agree that it is not difficult.

The steps to set up a Unix-like environment is just 4 steps in my How-to guide.
Ok, there are some sub-steps in each step - but downloading some files and untar them is not a difficult thing to do.
It's just that untar needs some paramenters that may be not apparent to the normal GUI user.

You get a shell, some unix commands and even a root directory structure.
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Re: FreeMiNT Philosophys (was NetSurf GEM Port)

Postby jfl » Wed Feb 06, 2013 9:40 am

Mathias wrote:Of course it´s glad, as it stops shell freaks to force others to totally change their way of thinking graphically (what GEM is all about). But I will explain this tomorrow detaild and in a way that does not only sound like a troll. ;)

This is bonkers. The presence of a shell forces people to use it? Indeed you better explain yourself because you're starting to piss me off.
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Re: FreeMiNT Philosophys (was NetSurf GEM Port)

Postby wongck » Wed Feb 06, 2013 12:16 pm

jfl wrote:This is bonkers. The presence of a shell forces people to use it? Indeed you better explain yourself because you're starting to piss me off.


LOL.... there is also a shell in my latest MS Win 8hit. But I don't think I use the DOS shell at all. :lol: :lol:
( may be I should... because in DOS is nearer to TOS than Windoze :roll: )...... nah.
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Re: FreeMiNT Philosophys (was NetSurf GEM Port)

Postby Mathias » Wed Feb 06, 2013 1:02 pm

I´ve so much to say about this thread, … and its so hard because english is not my first language. I will split of this first "question". And I hope I can explain it, without too much confusion.

jfl wrote:
Mathias wrote:Of course it´s glad, as it stops shell freaks to force others to totally change their way of thinking graphically (what GEM is all about). But I will explain this tomorrow detaild and in a way that does not only sound like a troll. ;)

This is bonkers. The presence of a shell forces people to use it? Indeed you better explain yourself because you're starting to piss me off.


Well, lets go ahead from your feeling to be "pissed off". That is exactly how I (and I belive many people who do not know Unix, or do not love love a shell) feel ongoing. For example I used my Hades for 10 years with MiNT98 and was never able to understand it, or to reinstall it. First MiNT distribution that made it possible for me at all was EasyMiNT and it still took me 4 days (about 60 hours) to get it installed at my Hades.

Now that Unix or "shell-thinking" is totally different from graphically thinking! I hope you agree. ;)
I had to learn – after 10 years of using it – that MiNT is not Unix (thanks to Jo Even and Vincent), and that this shell and textcommands are not necessary definitely. They are just ONE way of working/thinking/representing abstractions in an UI. Remember: It is totally fine that people who like to use it, can do so! And it is good that peolpe who are used to Unix-style have the possibility to continue at MiNT the same ways. I totally support this (and it was always planned inside the ACP to publish such a addon-solution, but more about this as well in another posting).

BUT: that typing of textcommands is not GEM. And for many people it is not easy at all (of course there are physicists or mathematicans who can deal more easy with typing commands than using Icons in folders), as it introduces a further abstraction layer into usage of the UI of an computer.
Now it appears very often, that Unix users give hints or explain things in ways that are not understandable to "graphical UI users". See for example my questions that I asked at the beginning of the thread: viewtopic.php?p=225359#p225359
I really really do not understand it. I do not have the knowledge to understand what (shell-) people like me to do!
As I know know (!)that the shell is not needed, I tried to follw every hint what you and others may have meant. But to the normal end user it may look like a shell or some unix tools or at least some unix usage is necessary (like I thought 4 years ago). Few hours later it turned out that it is not true at all. In fact it was totally easy and I just had to doubleclick at Netsurf opening the "u" folder first. But nobody told it to me, and I was lost for hours. Nobody answered my questions, and I was left and lost with the feeling "MiNT Unix addons are needed here". I still do knot kow what "You must cd to the netsurf folder" means!

And I belive that many people feel this way, and belive that they have to learn Unix, or at least be able to type commands in a shell, before they can use MiNT.

As we now have for the first time a FreeMiNT setup without a shell, everybody sees, that it works very well. For most users (there are just a handful of people demanding that shell addons to the FireBee FreeMiNT setup, a very small minority) it is perfectly.

So why I am glad that there is no shell, is:

1) The whole world can see now that MiNT usage in GEM ways is possible, and working very well! There is the proove now. If there would have been a shell, people would often feel/think/suspect it is necessary and "in some mystical ways important or responsible for some background task".

2) Pure GEM users who do not like to type commands, can now do so for the first time, and use MiNT just in graphically ways! The awareness that there is no shell at all, brings FreeMiNT to further end users. It empowers people with poor knowledge (like me) to use it, and feel compftable, and know what they can expect. And it is a strong statement of the possibilities of FreeMiNT that were never before used in reality (!), contrary to the "Unix possibilitys" of FreeMiNT that were omnipresent like in KGMD, MiNT98, SpareMiNT, Gentoo and even installed EasyMiNT (see oehansens and joskas discussion about FreeMiNT & Unix as just one example).

3) Shell users can still do so (more on this in a later posting), and see that their way of using a computer is just one possibility. If there is no shell, it cannot be used, but nevertheless aims are reachable, often in simpler ways. So the lacking of a shell, in the standard configuration - again who likes it shall use one, is opening minds in both ways! For the first time we see now, that no textcommands are necessary, even if they are a way of working with MiNT and preferred by some.

The "force" was that it was shown or transported subliminal by technically experianced people "to the rest of us" that "shell usage is mandatory" and always easy. Of course it was not your intention, but it made a ongoing feeling that we are dumb or silly as "we" do not understand what you like us to do. Now, we all know that there is a graphical way too, and that some are talking about their way of computer usage. Perhaps people will in future think about it, and make the lives of "simple users" more easy and not just talk about typing commands?
It would be much more satisfying for some of us, and bring us more together, as both methods are possible at the FireBee.

Perhaps the new discussion, that setting up a shell is not that eays for some of you, helps here. You feel lost with all the stuff, and do not understand it completely and feel not able to set it up. But a few people tell "Its no problem" "Just do it" , "simple 4 steps", but it doesnt immediatly empower anybody to do so, and get it done in 20 minutes. Some feel lost, and would appreciate a preinstalled shell to the FireBee FreeMiNT setup. And that is exactly the feeling others got when someone advice them to type commands somewhere.
I am glad that the standard freemint Setup is as simple as possible, and increases the awearness for this complex of different use possibilities and different usage philosophys. If a shell would have been included it would never have happened!
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Re: FreeMiNT Philosophys (was NetSurf GEM Port)

Postby wongck » Wed Feb 06, 2013 2:10 pm

When I started using MINT 15 or more years ago, there was no Unix-like extension for it and it works great multitasking on the STFM.
Moving now to higher end Atari & compatible, MINT is still working great without an Unix-like extension.

BUT...
Without the Unix-like environment, there will not be easy networking, large disk space and what ever... ( sure you can use STING for networking like what patched TOS does )
For networking. It is using some Unix-like folder structure (soft linked I supposed rather than a real folder) that contains stuff that DHCP/IFCONFIG needs.
These are tools from the Unix world.
Sure there are also some configuration that are done by a GUI but passing as parameters to a command line program probably renamed with .TTP so that it without a shell.

So not knowing Unix, you can still using MINT with the Unix-like environment hidden from you.
The thing is that so much extension has been added to MINT with the Unix-like environment that it makes it great.

Again you can still use all these power extension without knowing Unix... much like what OSX is doing for the Mac.
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Re: FreeMiNT Philosophys (was NetSurf GEM Port)

Postby wongck » Wed Feb 06, 2013 2:14 pm

Mathias wrote:So why I am glad that there is no shell, is:

1) The whole world can see now that MiNT usage in GEM ways is possible, and working very well! There is the proove now. If there would have been a shell, people would often feel/think/suspect it is necessary and "in some mystical ways important or responsible for some background task".


There is a big secret that you do not know... the installer does install a shell. A tiny one, but nevertheless it is a shell.
I may be wrong because I do not own one, may be it does something with the shell and delete it at the last moment.

FB owners please check your files.
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Re: FreeMiNT Philosophys (was NetSurf GEM Port)

Postby Mathias » Wed Feb 06, 2013 2:23 pm

This thread contains many many aspects. I will try to separate them as far as possible. Sorry for such long and complicated postings.

1) The "personal and human" ones:

• jfl
I am still stunned that you impute me to bad menatality! Just because I like somthing (like a GEM only FreeMiNT setup) it doesn´t mean I forced everybody because of me. In fact I believe that the FireBee FreeMiNT setup is the best what could have happened to end-users. It is the best option for non-developers! At many things I am doing I try to think as far as possible about end users. So I would like if you don´t reduce everything regarding this issue to "my bad mentality". In fact I would love if you would revoke (If you feel so) the written "bad mentality" you postulated I have.

• m0n0
I am really really wondering why you feel attacked when I say that the setup has gladly no shell. I never forced you to not use a shell. The setup was always prepared for a "shell addon". You know that we are planning this for nearly 2 years now, and that such a "tools for shell nerds" was always a future plan inside the ACP team. But please respect that if you (and others) are talking about the "Unix-way" for using a computer, it is like a foreign language to me. For example non of the initial hints from you, jfl, vido or Ektus, was understandable for me (and for sure as well not for several other end-users without coding knowledge). As I have written in my previous huge posting, there are good reasons why I am glad that the standard enduser setup is like it is. It is not about excluding you or others, it is about bringing FreeMiNT to no-Unix-Atariusers!

• shoggoth
i am stunned as well. You always had access to all our development ressources. I always invited you to tell you thoughts and go on with us. You did not very often, and not at all about the FreeMiNT setup. And now you pop up publicly and critisise a decision you could have influenced long before internally, in public ways as "totally wrong"? Even without owning a FireBee (thats not a problem, but the entire thing doesn´t affect you right now in reality). Don´t get me wrong, I have nothing against discussions and for sure your opinion is ok, but why didn´t you tell it the last 3 years at the ACP?


2) The ACP decisions about the FreeMiNT setup

I believe that this GEM dedicated FreeMiTN setup is perfect for end users!

• Yes, shoggoth if you feel "It's like pitching the whole thing to non-coders" you are right in some ways. The FireBee is sold to end users, and it is my first aim to make it as nice as possible for end users! There are several points that nevertheless assure that coders and Unix user are NOT excluded:

1. There was an very early internal setup done by Vincent that included shell and the unix stuff, as you know. So developers had a Unix stuff long before we released this setup. The setup is for endusers. Who needed a shell hat the possibility for a long time before already! Therefor I consider your analysis that this FreeMiTN setup should be for developers as totally wrong.

2. It was always planned to release an official addon with the basic shell tools, as you know. Jo Even prepared his setup for such addons, and it could have been done by somebody else.

3. There is SpareMiNT (and Gentoo?) running as well already.

4. Developers have the possibility to install their shell and what they like theirselves. Users do not have the possibility (the knowledge) to adapt their MiNT setup - so keeping it simply with the possibility to add things that more advanced users like to add is perfectly! The other possibility would be to have it more complex, with the possibility to reduce it. Not a good idea in my opinion.

• There is a complete dev environment included with the FireBee FreeMiNT setup (as you know). And several developers said that GCC at the FireBee is no fun (including the GCC for ColdFIre maintainer). So a well developed, small and optimized AHCC for starting immediately with C stuff is the better solution, than a full blown GCC with thousands of files inside a untransparent Unix structure, init scripts etc.. And that was told to me by GCC developers.

The rest was well explained by Jo Even as I think about why the decision was taken. Very important point; feedback went very well about the FireBee setup!


3) The MiNT philosophy

I hope I could explain the feeling GEM users without Unix-knowledge often have towards shell stuff and Unix structures etc. in my previous posting. I hope it was unknown to you how alianated one can feel to get shell commands adviced, and that you have now the possibility to understand better what can be on in users minds. And as said, keeping it simple for endusers is -in my opinion - mandatory for a success. Remember that setup is the first that can beused with simple unpacking. All other distributions needed somehow to be "installed".

What I had to learn the last 2 days is that it is not so easy for some of you to get a shell up and running. I thought, up to this week, that everybody of you could have a shell in 20 minutes, without any problems. Now that I know that there is even for some shell stuff a gap in knowledge for some developers, I can understand you much better!

The solution is that a very experianced developer gets a good howto done, or that we finish a "shell & bacis tools addon" for Jo Evens setup soon. But please keep in Mind, that typing commands is no fun for many many users! So it should stay a "addon".

What I needed to learn as well is, that we are not talking about a full blown Unix setup. I always - especially when you talked about GCC 4 - thought you like to end up at a full blown unixlike MiNT with dozens of initscripts, servers, ... that takes 3 minutes for booting up. Thats a nogo for endusers as I think, and I believe now that you agree. Such stuff should be dedicated to some other distribution. For those who are not able to set it up it should be an good usecase for EasyMiNT.

One further point: even a small Unix setup can be very strange to Atari users. The crazy folder structure, ext2 partitions and the need to shutdown (or the strange tests at bootup). So I still would free the normal enduser from that stuff, and do not anoy or unsettle them with such stuff. But of course there should be a solution for those who like it, like you.

Long story short ;) : my aim is to have solutions for everybody! Not just for one group of users!
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Re: FreeMiNT Philosophys (was NetSurf GEM Port)

Postby Mathias » Wed Feb 06, 2013 2:27 pm

wongck wrote: There is a big secret that you do not know... the installer does install a shell. A tiny one, but nevertheless it is a shell.
I may be wrong because I do not own one, may be it does something with the shell and delete it at the last moment.

FB owners please check your files.
Which installer? There is no installer, ... just unpacking it.
Do you mean that fallback stuff which can be accessed at bootup? I don´t know if it still is here. BTW you can check the setup yourselve: http://atari.nvg.org/firebee-mint/
Perhaps if you have a look you can understand why it is soo great for me! ;)
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Re: FreeMiNT Philosophys (was NetSurf GEM Port)

Postby Mathias » Wed Feb 06, 2013 2:35 pm

wongck wrote: Without the Unix-like environment, there will not be easy networking, large disk space and what ever....

Thats not true! The FireBee setup contains both without any Unix stuff. Thats exactly what I am talking about. Many people postulate it is necessary while it is not!
(except the possibility you consider some .ttps, some config files and a handful folders as "Unix-like environment"?)
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Re: FreeMiNT Philosophys (was NetSurf GEM Port)

Postby wongck » Wed Feb 06, 2013 2:40 pm

Mathias wrote: Which installer? There is no installer, ... just unpacking it.
Do you mean that fallback stuff which can be accessed at bootup? I don´t know if it still is here. BTW you can check the setup yourselve: http://atari.nvg.org/firebee-mint/
Perhaps if you have a look you can understand why it is soo great for me! ;)


:lol: ... like I said, I do not own a FB so I thought there was an installer.
So just unpacking, nice and easy.

No I am not talking about the fall back of MInt when it cannot find Xaaes or whatever... if I count that, then you have 2 shells on your system.

From my limited knowledge of how DHCP for MINT is made, the DHCP will make use of IFCONFIG & ROUTE (these 2 are Unix ports) after it does some data crunching, and these are all done via a shell.

I am be wrong as this is just my understanding of how MINT DHCP works, I do not have a FB to check it out.
If this is true then I am sorry to burst your bubble about having no shell in your system.
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Re: FreeMiNT Philosophys (was NetSurf GEM Port)

Postby wongck » Wed Feb 06, 2013 2:42 pm

Mathias wrote:
wongck wrote: Without the Unix-like environment, there will not be easy networking, large disk space and what ever....

Thats not true! The FireBee setup contains both without any Unix stuff. Thats exactly what I am talking about. Many people postulate it is necessary while it is not!
(except the possibility you consider some .ttps, some config files and a handful folders as "Unix-like environment"?)


Wow... amazing, so the patched TOS can access the 40 GB standard size hard disk ?
Thanks for informing me, I did not know that.

They are stolen from Unix world.
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