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4xx plans and schedule

June 21, 2009 — BarryK
I'll upload a Woof-build continuing the 4.x series, probably around about mid-week (this week). I'll assign it version number 414 and it is an alpha release.

I propose that this be the base for continuation of the 4.x series. With all the package upgrades, the life of this series is extended for another year or two. As has been commented on a few times in the forum the 4.x series is very hard to beat. Especially with 412 I achieved superb compactness yet a huge collection of applications and support packages. It also has Xorg 7.3, which is a good thing as I am having all sorts of on-going problems with 7.4 -- the latest test of Ubuntu Karmic (as I reported recently in my blog) has awful rendering for Intel video -- then there is a problem with JWM not rendering icons if 24-bit color is chosen, some video cards simply not working, mysterious problems with mouse/keyboard.

So, yes, 4.x is a peak that we need to stay on for as long as possible. I suggest that the next official release be 4.3 (430), and I'll be releasing alphas numbered 414, 415 etc.

A big question is, who will coordinate it? I'm not much into what you guys call "bling", and what I have sometimes referred to as the "bells and whistles". If I release 4.3 then it will be fairly utilitarian, similar to 412. Perhaps the community could then work on a "bling" release to follow it?

Then there's the question of what kernel we use. I lot of effort has gone into support for the kernel, including extra drivers and detection/compatibility work such as for the analog and 3G modems. So perhaps we should continue with that as our "classic" release, and have another ("standard") with the 2.6.30.x kernel.

One thing that is going to be a headache if we have two flavours, one with and another with 2.6.30.x kernel -- the latter uses Squashfs 4.0 which is not backwards compatible. For example, we would need separate 'devx' files! Perhaps I shouldn't go for the 2.6.30.x, choose 2.6.28.x instead?

Pup 412 has CUPS 1.1.23, 421 has a later version. So, what advantage does upgrading CUPS bring? The drivers are separate, in gutenprint and hpijs, so that's not it. So why should I upgrade? Also, have there been new problems in 421 with the upgrade?
Suggestions on this welcome!


Username: lobster
[i]If I release 4.3 then it will be fairly utilitarian, similar to 412[/i] Some of the puplets such as teenpup, macpup and others are becoming mature and are based on which ever series the developer prefers. Promoting these efforts would enable the bling + freedom that makes Puppy utilitarian, pragmatic and fun.

Username: disciple
"Even if there weren't a whole lot of blingy puplets, it is so easy to install that stuff that I think it should definitely be kept out of the standard Puppy. I'd like to see more .sfs addons created instead of puplets though.

Advantages of CUPS 1.3.10
Username: rcrsn
"CUPS 1.3.10 uses dynamic PPD files, so you don't need to generate and store a large collection of static PPD's on your machine. Device detection is better. In CUPS 1.1.23, you get a list of 12 USB ports. In the later versions, CUPS detects the actual printer and just displays it.

Username: ttuuxxx
"Hi Barry As 4 series goes, It was a nice release, I always liked 3 series a bit better, 4 series needs maybe the glibc to be recompiled, Maybe the same version with some patch fixes. 4 series has always had difficulties with Firefox and flash, I've posted that numerous times so I won't go into detail. Some of the devx is outdated and the qt version should be upgrade due to most newer qt apps request a newer version and you get into difficulties compiling. Same with autoconf, needs updating. People having been asking for the latest alsa package also, I guess it does wonders with newer equipment. If you could figure out the extra video drivers in 2.14.1R and include them in 4 series, I think that could solve the seamonkey/firefox/flash10 issues. Also sometimes with your newer package manager on woof and 2.18 deletes the pet packages once its finished installing, this is a feature I've grown to hate, lol could you imagine downloading OpenOffice and installing the pet and then you go back to archive it on your hard drive and its deleted?? It happened to me, well over 200MB download. If people don't want a pet, they can delete it. simple. Anyways looking forward to your excellent work. ttuuxxx

4 series priorities
Username: dogone
"We're remodeling a house here, updating appliances, installing a furnace and some plumbing fixtures. We're not adding a room. The 4 series must be good enough to suffice existing and new Puppy users until the 5 series becomes Puppy's cornerstone. If you plan only part-time work on Puppy beyond 2009 then 4xx must buy whatever time you need. And if we are talking "years", we need to carefully consider the kernel issue. Will pushing 4.x to the x.30 kernel help it to remain viable? Project your personal time-line to determine how long the 4 series must remain viable and remodel accordingly.

Username: joe
"I give many pups and puplets a try and for me 412 is the best and it won't be easy to improve upon.I look forward to 43 SMALL, FAST, and WORKS THANKS joe

Username: ttuuxxx
"Hi as Bling goes, I really would like to see 24x24 icons in the sub-menus in jwm, Like Icewm does,I supplied most of 24x24 icons in 4.2 and It looked so much neater and cleaner in Icewm menus, because they were 24x24 and not 16x16. It added almost no weight at all. But all the dialog programs looked a lot smarter with newer and bit larger icons:) We could easily reuse the 24x24 icons, I compressed each one, like over 100+ icons, in gimp to bring them to the smallest size. Same with the Rox mimes. Barry if you wanted, I could give the icons/mimes a work over, wouldn't take much work because I've been doing it for a few years and have a nice supply of compressed GPL icons. All I would need is a alpha or beta version and a 1-3 days depending how far we would go with it. ttuuxxx

What happened to 4.2?
Username: ICPUG
"I am disappointed that WhoDo's efforts seem to be sidelined. He created an official Puppy with 4.2 yet we now go back to 4.1.x as a base. After all the pain WhoDo went through I do hope he is not reading this to see how quickly his work is ignored. Irrespective of the bling no bling argument what about the other changes 4.2 brought? Are they all ditched? My main interest is the changes to the init file to make frugal installs in subdirectories better but I am sure there are other changes that others want to carry forward - Better support for Wi-fi, Cups, docx format, ... Just what is the configuration of the latest 4.1.x alphas. I'm lost.

Re: 430 plans
Username: BarryK
"ttuuxxx, Yes, you did a lot of good stuff for 421. It would be very interesting if I upload 414 then you take it add add/replace with improvements that you did for 420/1, such as for printing (maybe), abiword, the icons that you have mentioned. But perhaps keep it fairly restrained, just apply what turned out to be the most useful (and bug free) improvements in 420/1. I have been thinking that after I have uploaded 414, and woof tarball, ask someone to coordinate it, with a view to releasing 430, so that I can stay in the background and work on some other things, like Genie and some refinements to the Woof build system.

Re: 421
Username: BarryK
"ICPUG, We are not going back to 412. The current 414 is a major upgrade of packages, see my blog posts. Then, I intended all along that the best of 420/1 would be ported into the planned 430. And, ttuuxxx would be one of the best people to do that, as he contributed many of the packages for 420/1.

Wifi working
Username: Raffy
"There has been reported problem using broadcomm wifi in 4.2 (which was working in 4.1.1). My own experience with RTL8185L: Boxpup4.13 works but 4.2 doesn't.

Re: 430 plans
Username: ttuuxxx
""you take it add add/replace with improvements that you did for 420/1" Yes I could do that, probably like how I'm doing 2.14.1X, Basically just do it on my own and let people test it for Bugs. Then work on the bugs, but since the 420 project is well documented it should be easier and a lot less bugs. ttuuxxx

Re: porting from 421
Username: BarryK
"Ttuuxxx, Yes, you already have the PET packages, just a matter of testing them in 414.

Tags: woof