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Back on Intrepid

February 01, 2009 — BarryK
Now that I've had a bit of a whinge about Intrepid, and found out why it's so slow, I have decided to return.

I got the Woof-Lenny build working. I found that the libcairo' package has 'libdirectfb' as a dependency. So, I know that can be done, and real easy.

With Woof I'm not really creating a distro, I'm creating a build system. Like T2, which is a build system from source packages, but in the case of Woof it is built from the binary packages from whatever distro you prefer. So, when I state that I'm basing it on Intrepid, or moving to something else, it doesn't mean much. I'm planning to support T2 binary packages soon too.

I'm still in a state of astonishment that I can speed up all my scripts by an enormous amount by setting LANG=C and by using Ash. Well, even by not using UTF-8. Right now I'm running the latest build from Intrepid packages, and I have changed the locales to not use UTF-8, just en_US. My speed-test takes 36 seconds -- up a bit from Puppy4 due to the extra daemons (HAL, B-Dus). When I put 'export LANG=C' inside the speed-test script, I get 23 seconds.

I have changed most of the boot scripts and the pup_event_frontend_d daemon to use Ash and they all have LANG=C. And my oh my what a difference -- the drive icons draw on the screen noticeably faster.

I have always stayed with Ash compatibility for scripts that I write. Anyway, there are only certain scripts where speed is important.


Intrepid - yes please

Speeding Up Scripts
Username: Dougal
"As good as this looks, I'm not keeping my fingers crossed with regards to speed improvements... Your test script opened up more that 20,000 instances of bash, so the slowing down from the utf8 locale is very noticeable, but I doubt any of the init scripts contain even that many lines...

Script speedup
Username: BarryK
"Yes, you're right, in most cases there won't be any noticeable speed improvement by not using UTF8, or by inserting LANG=C or by using Ash. pup_event_frontend_d is one example that is noticeable. The first time that the drive icons get drawn on the desktop, my visual impression is that it is now half the time. Also, as this probes hardware and does quite a lot of other stuff (like calculate free memory) every 2 or 4 seconds it is good to minimise it's use of system resources as much as possible. Another script that I have seen a significant speed improvement is the new chooselocale. At first boot there is a "Please wait..." which was there for 4 - 5 seconds while a locale selection table was being built from information in /usr/share/i18n, and now that delay is shorter. All of the above enhance the user impression of Woof-pup being a very fast distro. It's good that you're modifying to be Ash/Dash compatible. Probably with those boot scripts the speed of the script is less of an issue as we end up having to wait on hardware to respond.

"Multiversal Woof"?
Username: Greatnessguru
"Barry..: "... Woof it is built from the binary packages from whatever distro you prefer." Sounds like a "simple" matter, then, to have a "Multiversal Woof" that boots on various hardware/virtual architectures (Mac G3 PPC, for example), and then uses the relevant binary repositories of a distro, or distros, of choice when doing package management stuff. Right? Thanks, and Great Work, Barry! Eddie Maddox Inwood IA USA

Tags: woof