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Planning for Puppy 5.0

May 28, 2009 — BarryK
I have received several emails and pms requesting me to exert some authority over the future coordination and planning of Puppy, as they see things as falling-apart somewhat.

Yes, there are problems. Quite degenerate discussions have been going on in the forum. Even this very recent thread still has simmering discontent:

Another major problem is that the Woof-built Puppy has major new infrastructure, and I'm the only one who really understands it all for now.

I would like to open the topic for discussion, whether I should step in for awhile, "take the reins" as they say -- or in this case, the leash. Temporarily only.

Lobster suggested awhile back that perhaps I should coordinate the very first Puppy 5.0. After that, a "council" or whatever can work on later versions of the 5.x series. That first 5.0 could be seen as a "template" or "reference build", and others would be welcome to add bells and whistles.

Now, to develop Puppy 5.0, there has to be a focus of effort on building from one of the compatible-distros. I have chosen Ubuntu Jaunty.

There are aguments in favour of Debian, Ubuntu, Arch, Slackware or T2, but a decision had to be made. But of course, people are free to work on Woof-builds based on any of the compatible-distros. I am personally interested in going for a super-cut-down T2 build a bit later on.

I suggest that someone have a coordination roll in my proposed Puppy 5.0 project, vetting PET packages for inclusion in the 'pet_packages-5' directory and SFSs into 'sfs_modules-5' directory on I have offered this position to WhoDo and he has accepted.
...a howto for this will be posted. Packages added to this repository will then be listed in the Puppy Package Manager.

Nathan has commented (in the thread linked-to above) that my retirement is rather strange as I seem to be working on Puppy harder than ever. Yes indeed. I have been beavering away working on Woof and the Puppy Package Manager, but moving back into coordinating 5.0 is not the direction I want to move in. So, take it as temporary only. Very temporary, probably only 5.0, then the invariable 5.0.1 bugfix.

In fact, as I have said years ago, by early 2010 I will get my superannuation (pension) and plan a major change in what I am doing. I will probably keep tinkering with Puppy stuff (and continue to maintain, but may go off on other tangents, like explore Genie coding in depth ...or whatever. By then, preferably well before then, it would be great if a really solid team could be in place for running the Puppy show.

I don't consider myself to be a very good team player, which is one reason why I don't want to step back to full-on coordination longer-term. I also have specific ideas about Puppy and tend to do what I want, not what others keep telling me I should do. For example, I do not think that we should be moving back to including Tcl/Tk and it will definitely not be in my 5.0 release.

Of course, I am open to suggestion. If there is a consensus that my above comments are not appropriate in some way, let me know. If you agree with my comments, let me know also.


Username: kirk
I think the benevolent dictator model for software development is the best, if your goal is small and efficient. It would be best if you build puppy 5. As far a which distro to base on, I'd use the one that works the best, if that's Ubuntu so be it. I think T2 will give the smallest build, but since most of the packages are cutting edge, you need a little luck to get a good group of base packages. Then there's the gcc problem to deal with. If you have all of the latest libraries, most packages from Ubuntu should work too if you can sort out the dependencies. I've been waiting for T2 to upgrade their Mesa package, maybe there's some reason they haven't.

Good News
Username: Lobster
"Thanks Barry for offering to direct 5.xx , thanks Warren (for compiling) I believe 5.xx aka Kennel will now have an even more serious developer appeal I know Warren, myself and others had hoped that 5.xx would have the Barry Kauler individuality that so many of us appreciate. The council will be there to support the 5.xx. If the council does this, then it is a viable model. Will find out as it develops

Username: PaulBx1
"I also support the benevolent dictator model. Perhaps one way to do this, while keeping Barry out of the drudgery, is for Barry simply to nominate an alternate benevolent dictator for each release, based on what the candidates for that job propose for the release, their abilities to work with others, and any other criterion Barry wants to use. If other persons can't work with that BD, then they just need to either take a break from Puppy development for a while, or mend some bridges. I don't see much good coming from development by committee; at least in the overall goals.

Upup full ?
Username: happypuppy
"What's the difference between 'upup-466.iso' and 'upup-466-FULL_DRIVERS.iso' ? Looks like Barry has some problems uploading the 'FULL' iso :)

Username: dogone
"Puppy's interests and those of the community may be best served if you Barry, remain in ultimate control. The community is essentially a committee, with the same strengths and weaknesses. It will be effective in managing day-to-day and release-to-release activities most of the time. But there will be times when, for reasons technical or otherwise, a single, wise, deciding voice is required. This may be such a time. The community needs a bit of help in getting past a rough spot. The community also needs technical guidance in getting Puppy 5 up, out and on the charts. A good metaphor for this role Barry, is that of Puppy's veterinarian. You remain on-call and available when Puppy feels ill or undergoes major surgery (e.g. 5.x). When Puppy feels better, off he romps. You send us a bill and resume your other duties. As to Whodo's "appointment", wonderful! The man is bright, very talented and very dedicated.

Great News
Username: James cI agree with the idea of you keeping
"I agree with the idea of you keeping ultimate control while choosing a coordinator for each release, series or whatever. Great idea of keeping WhoDo on the team as well.

Back to the future?
Username: Sage
"1. The first step to becoming a good team player is to recognise that one is not very good at it! Most don't and aren't. 2. Form a committee - get an elephant. They don't work, not ever. One reason I retired. [i]ipso facto[/i], it's the benevolent dictator model. 3. Listening to what folks say is the first step back to reality. 4. Wandering off topic, pandering to the latest and greatest crazes, trying to be too smart is a classic symptom of academicitis (I was one!). Retirement helps. 5. K.I.S.S. is the only option, [i]ipso facto[/i] any association with *buntus, in particular, but anyone else's' pet project is bad news. Puppy peaked when it was unique (well almost). The message for voluble folks with strange modems, unusual sound cards is "Goodbye" (but Forum individuals may offer succour if so moved, albeit without prejudice to the main event). 6. Keeping HW out of landfill is the noblest of all ambitions. Re-educating dumb Yankees who are determined to make wealthy but undeserving corporations even wealthier is a secondary aim and may prove fruitless. 7. There may be a role for a publicity machine as long as they don't interfere with the prime directive? ....and finally, can we now forget all about the last few months - it was interesting but of no value.

Username: ecomoney1
"Barry, its great news to hear you will be back if only temporarily. Ive read your Mission Statement, and your reasons for creating puppy in the first place. Youve done a great job of staying true to those goals and that mission over the years, and made puppy a better piece of engineering for achieving them. I agree with PaulBx1, it should be your decision who to appoint to guard those principles for each release as you gradually wind down.Its the same as hardware....test it...see if it works...if it doesnt try someone else! Be a player with teams if you dont want to be a team player.

Sage says it all
Username: cthisbear
"Sage has admirably covered it all. Nothing to add...just a smile. Chris

Upup drivers / modules
Username: happypuppy
""If anyone knows what extra 3rd party modules should be included, let me know" To increase compatibility and make Puppy useful for a broad range of hardware,you need: - Latest open-source 'radeon' drivers / DRI modules for ATI R600/R700 cards (the newer,the better). For good accelerated 2D and video playback with modern cards these are essential. - Conexant HSF / HCF dial-up modem drivers for those %$^&#@ modems.

Welcome Back Big Guy :)
Username: ttuuxxx
"HI Barry thats some excellent news, I liked WhoDo as top dog for 4.2 and beyond, But You've always been a great Topdog also, so I think Its going to workout just fine:) That probably means less work for me,lol Unless I keep up with Dpup. Anyway might we see xfce,blackbox,openbox, as a new window manager? are you going to keep the 'refresh menus' script in the menu? are you going to reuse the newer 24x24 icons that replaced most of the older 16x16 icons? if your going to use JWM could we have 24x24 submenu icons, the 16x16 are really small and not easly viewed compared to the 24x24 icons. How do you feel about xchat like in 4.2? I made it so it autologins into the #puppylinux and changed the default font size, the changes can be found in the /root/.xchat2 also GFTP has puppy ibiblio links in the books marks which is really hand for unleashed, one click for the bookmarks and it connects. Also Htop was a nice more detailed replacement for Top that we did. well I figured might as well give you some insight to a few changes that worked well. Nice to have you back ttuuxxx

Username: Sage
"Perusing the above is disheartening. Even now most folks want to use every opportunity to push their (irrelevant?) own preferences to the fore instead of addressing the core issue. Perhaps we are all guilty of this at different times? Perhaps that's why Puppy is in the present mess and presents the unwelcome vista to confused users of a great innovation which has totally lost the plot. We must stop it. Focus and discipline are the watchwords. [But thanks, ctb; your clear sight is always welcome.]

Back to previous status quo
Username: Tronkel
"Can't say that I agree with most of the previous comments about Barry coming back as leader of the 4 series. The goal-posts have been moved during the period of Woof development. Barry, if you take time out of working on Woof by back-tracking to the 4 series, your efforts will be diluted over 2 projects instead of one. IMO, since Woof is the way of the future of Puppy, this is the route that has highest priority. All previous Puppy series will eventually become discontinued anyway. There are only 24 hours in a day. One person cannot undertake everything that needs to be done. Ok there are some inane arguments going on in the forum concerning 4.2.and 4.2.1. This actors in this scenario are well capable of resolving the issues themselves. They are big boys after all. Backtracking is never a good idea and will only have the effect od delaying both projects. Your original decision of dropping 4 series and moving on to Woof has turned out to be the smartest one. Don't change horses in mid-stream at this late stage when Woof is getting near to completion.

Re: Puppy4
Username: BarryK
"Tronkel, I have no intention of getting involved in the 4 series. A team can work on 4.2.2 if they want, it has nothing to do with me.

Username: floborg
"As boring as bugfix updates are, here's hoping that 5.0.1 will be mostly bug-free and serve as a stable, widely-compatible baseline to round out the "Barry Era." On that note, let me suggest one bugfix for auto-unmounting boot devices on first boot with the SFS file copied to RAM: Good Luck.

Username: computerophil
"I would be glad if Barry would return: I like Puppy so much, I like it beeing small nevertheless it does everything you want and it does it fine. I don't like the tendencies seen in the Puplets to make a "small Vista" (the clock and ,...) I would prefer if There would be also scripts to include directly into the iso additional programs as it can be made with slax. I really lack other languages like german and italian. I don't thing Ubuntu is a good choice: They have the very best marketing but I don't thing they are the best distribution.

Username: Botanic
"I also think that Barry should still have control. It doesn't mean he should be as much involved as he has been, but he's the man behind Puppy, and we're all grateful to him for that, and it is a pity if he doesn't lead the project anymore. As far ar Linux is concerned, I can tell that things are best when they develop slowly but in the long term. Linux (and computers in general) ought not to take too much time in our lives. I remember posting, back in 2008, that there were too many new versions of Puppy coming out. To me it only means that the distro isn't mature, because it means there are more people interesting in building the system than in creating packages. What matters for the everyday user is to find the packages they want and install them successfully. Let's face it, the only popular distributions are those who have a good package management and a lot of packages that work. Puppy surely has a lot of packages, but not enough.

Dictatorship is good
Username: lachelp
"The only way a committee can run a project is to agree on a commonality between them, and this is NEVER how, or in what direction the project should run. If there is not one who has control over a project, then there is no control over that project.

Puppy Rulez!
Username: linuxiac38
"In Florida, I have distributed over 100 CDs of Puppy, to Amateur Radio operators, dealers, who are all amazed at the great Puppy! Re-mastered a bit, to include HAM Radio stuff...

Viva la Difference!
Username: kethd
"I am not clear about Woof, but I am very fearful of the loss to the Linux ecosystem if Future Puppy is derived from other distros -- especially Ubuntu. Puppy is what I use when Ubuntu does not work! For example, neither Ubuntu nor any other distro can reliably boot from CD to support 1366/1360x768 LCD TV. Only Puppy! Please make every effort to retain those little differences that make Puppy special and unique.

Tags: retirement