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Ongoing Puppy 4.x series

March 31, 2010 — BarryK
Some comments were posted about me jumping to 5.0.

Yes, after due consideration, I decided that it is diluting my effort too much to work on another 4.x release.

I decided against 4.3.2 as the number indicates a very small change from 4.3.1 and that's not what it would be. I would really have to bring out a 4.4 or 4.5.

As all my effort over the last 5 months has been at major upgrades, that is, Ubuntu-compatible, Debian-compatible and T2-Quirky, it is best if I continue at that level.

That does not mean that the 4.x series is dead. Some of the 4.x puplets are very good, and why can't they be announced on Distrowatch also? I have been waiting for the Puppy community to surge ahead and develop something, well some individuals have done so. Jemimah's Puppeee for example.

If any of these are at release-standard or beta-release-standard, I would be happy to post an announcement to Ladislav at Distrowatch informing of the release of such-and-such Puppy, latest in the 4.x series, is now released, with release notes here, get it from there.

The main reason we are fallen down on Distrowatch is we don't announce any of our new stuff there. Other distros announce their alpha releases even. DSL used to announce a new version every couple of weeks.

Ladislav will only accept an announcement via me (unless you want to register your puplet as a separate distro). So, inform me. I'll first post about it on this blog, get some confirmation from others that this puplet is great, and you've got adequate hosting available (we can upload it to ibiblio if you wish), then we'll go for it.

Regarding the 2.x series, I'm reluctant to official support it. I think that it will confuse people. I think that if ttuuxxx or anyone else wants to announce it on Distrowatch then they should set it up as a fork. This is of course my very personal opinion on the matter.

You may think that it is already going to be confusing if we announce 3 or 4 puppies at Distrowatch. Well, why not? Ubuntu does it. Each one has to clarify in their announcement just what it's strengths and weaknesses are.

This initiative of mine is not me taking over again. It is giving a kick to raise our presence "out there". My "Wary Puppy" effort is just one more Woof-build, and I probably won't bother with it after getting it to release status, I'll go back to Quirky which is really a separate Woof-built distro -- registered at Distrowatch as a distro in its own right.

...that's assuming that Wary Puppy does get to be officially released... I may yet pull that one out.


ttuuxxxe Imperator
Username: cthisbear
" This initiative of mine is not me taking over again. It is giving a kick to raise our presence "out there"." No criticism of that strategy. And I understand about your stance on Puppy 4 series. But you opened the door via puppy 4.3.2 So why not make ttuuxxx the Imperator for a one shot Puppy 4.3.2. He does the lot. He applies all the fixes. If he wants Firefox...that's what happens. But he provides other browser pets. I think that it would be a good call all around. Chris.

Username: ttuuxxx
"Hi Barry I've been coming across lately a few apps that are being built with zenity, I was wondering why you haven't tossed that into puppy yet, Since its like a gtkdialog addon, the pet package I made for 2.14x was only 35kb. Zenity is defined as "a tool that allows you to display GTK dialog boxes in commandline and shell scripts. " documents are found at [u][/u] one app that did use zenity was this keyboard layout program, but clarf removed the zenity bits [u][/u] another was a small cd burner called vburn, and a real tiny windows fat 16&32 partition formatter for the above just install zenity, and set the permissions on the file and click. ttuuxxx

ttuuxxx and 4.3.2
Username: BarryK
"Yes, of course. If ttuuxxx wants to knock 4.3.2 into shape and release it, then go for it ttuuxxx. However, I think I know ttuuxxx a little bit -- he won't be satisfied with a bug-fix only incremental upgrade from 4.3.1. So, I have no problem at all with ttuuxxx taking over development of 4.4, with technosaurus' blesings of course. The thing is, I'm keen to get stuff out there, announced on Distrowatch. Anyone who is willing to "go for it" and bring it up to late-beta or final-release quality in a short time, is very welcome to do so. My understanding is that 4.4 is already in pretty good shape. I think that technosaurus has his own customised build environment.

Release notes
Username: drongo
"Ladislav also requires distro release notes to have a decent amount of detail. This isn't a problem for "official" Puppies but not everybody documents their work as meticulously as barry. About twice a year you see him posting a reply to some developer who has complained about their release being ignored. He doesn't just want a list of packages and versions, he usually requires some detail about what makes this particular release different from all the other Linuxes out there. (And rightly so.)

Puppy 5
Username: B
éèm"I wise attitude, Barry and a good overview of Puppies future. That was needed. If you could influence, I found the control center feature of 4.4CE a really nice and most needed addition, which in my opinion should be standard in any puppy development.

Puppy Naming and Future
Username: ICPUG
"If Puppy 5 appears then as far as the general Distrowatch public are concerned that will be it for Puppy 4 series. We should recognise that. Puppy 4 will become a niche like ttuuxxx series 2 Puppy. While not diagreeing I am a bit saddened. Since the community has proved it cannot produce a leader you have to be the leader so you decide where Puppy goes. I am just a bit sad that sll the fine work of zigbert (stardust) and technosaurus (4.4) is getting lost - just as all the fine work of WhoDo got lost as soon as 4.3 came out (so very soon afterwards). I cannot comment on Quirky because I have only recently tried it and then briefly but you don't talk of zigbert's work on the control panel and technosaurus's work in accommodating jrb's sfs installer so these are presumably not in Quirky. In my opinion these are really great features taking Puppy forward and they are going to become niche rather than mainstream. If ttuuxxx were to take on 4.3.2 or 4.4 I would like to think he would take these onboard too but he has to overcome his past aversion to anything zigbert dreams up. As to the plans for Puppy 5 I am not sure about the triple wammy. Just cos Ubuntu has lots of versions does not mean Puppy can do it. We don't have the resources of Ubuntu and people complain about the multi Ubuntus as well. Quirky was a testbed for new ideas. I don't think it is right to release it as a formal distro Quirky Puppy. If it is released and if it has the new x-org then one clearly has to consider whether the aim of Puppy to work on old hardware is there anymore. This one is a toughy. How to work on old hardware while making it work on new stuff. You have said that you will probably not develop wary - so what is the point of that then. It becomes an isolated release with a silly frightening name. (to be continued)

Puppy 5
Username: ICPUG
"(continued) My thoughts. First off we need an unambigous mainstream Puppy 5 - named Puppy 5. It is your decision if it is supposed to work on old hardware or not. If not, then I suggest we have a Puppy 5 retro which does and which is continued to be supported. It will then be clear to the Distrowatch Public and the mags what is Puppy. That's it - double wammy at most. However, if you want to announce Puppy 5 - Lucid Edition fair enough. But it is a Puppy derivative (puplet). It has to be clear it is not mainstream Puppy because (a) it isn't and (b) if it was we become another Ubuntu. Puppy is a unique distro. It has led the field in some new ideas. Knoppix has now copied the persistent file which gets unionised into the system. Tinycore and Slitaz have implemented the core distro idea with add-ons by sfs-like files. Puppy started all this even though we don't brag about it (perhaps we should). All this and it still comes in at 100MB whereas other distros need a CD. Don't give up this uniqueness. We are not Ubuntu. We are Puppy and we need to maintain the brand - not dilute it.

xz and .pxt support?
Username: Michalis
"Is there any possibility of adding .xz compressed files and .pxt files in the new puppies? I haven't worked them by myself but according to what I've read at the forum seems to be a good addition. Technosaurus has worked a lot with those files and his feedback is very positive. More infos: [code=]xz utils[/code] [url=]Petget enhanced and many version updates [url=]Updated dir2pet, petspcs scripts It will help also to keep the size of the puppies small.

Sub-builds of New Woof Release
Username: Raffy
"If I get it right, a "Puppy 5" will be a Woof-built Puppy, a demonstration of the feasibility (and beauty) of the concept. At the same time (as already pointed out), readers will want to know in what other respects "Puppy 5" will be different from the mainstream distro. This question can only be answered well if some "coordinator" role is done by checking on the ongoing innovations in puplets, and these innovations are included in the "Puppy 5". (This last point, however, can detract from the Woof method.) So the idea of "Puppy 5" will therefore have to be broken down to: (1) one build testing the idea of Woof, a vanilla build from the mainstream distro; and (2) another with all the Puppy community innovations. IMHO, a Woof-built Puppy will have to feature these two Woof-lets in every release.

Rank at Distrowatch
Username: Raffy
"As to the Distrowatch ranking, I myself became uncomfortable with the unusual behavior of some people in the community when Puppy got into "top ten" status, for example, one member drove oneself as the so-and-so of a top-ten Linux distro, and offers of "me [a newcomer] saving" the project became frequent. In my own personal view, this was becoming unhealthy, and the sooner Puppy leaves the top-ten status, the better. You're right, Barry, "The main reason we are fallen down on Distrowatch is we don't announce any of our new stuff there". Now at least you know that falling off the ranks is not really a bad thing. :)

Username: BarryK
"Raffy, Puppy 4.3.0 and 4.3.1 were built with Woof. ICPUG, I waited patiently for over 5 months for the next 4.x to get to release stage, but it languished. So now I am trying to kick things along. If anyone wants to take up 4.4 and help technosaurus, go for it. The work of technosausus need not get "lost". Any good things that technosaurus has developed, if brought to my attention, I'll checkout putting into Woof and/or Quirky. But, as in the case of WhoDo's 421, I'm just one (overworked) guy and although I try and be aware of all initiatives I miss many, unless they are pointed out to me (and they may have to be pointed out to me more than once).

List them in the Forum
Username: Raffy
"Hope this thread in the forum can help: [url=]List goodies for Puppy 5.

To Barry and everyone (I)
Username: Jota
" So, what makes a successful distro?? The right mix of innovation and stability. And Puppy has been lacking the later a lot. When 2 years ago, Barry commit the future releases of Puppy to the community, so that he will be able to focus more on the development of new ideas, he was right. That leads, among other goodies, to the creation of Woof. But things went not so good. Why? Mostly because the Puppy "community", although generous and enthusiastic, is not organized and focused. For instance, some people just try to impose their ideas, and when they can't, they scream and expose other people failures. Or just go create new pupplets, which in my opinion is not a great thing, cos it tends to disperse the work and attention. And all that leads to a bad ambience among the developers and even Puppy users. WhoDo has done a good job in coordinating Puppy 4.21, but the release was far from perfect. Sometimes some decisions and choices need to be explained crystal clear to the others and I think WhoDo has not had that ability. Things were somehow disrupted and then Barry feel the need to stepped in again and bring out Puppy 4.3. That release was stable and good to use, but, nevertheless, it could have been even better, if Barry had taken the time to look at the good things that were already done in 4.21. For instance, some bugs that were fixed in 4.21 reappeared again in 4.3!! (everyone, even the best ones, sometimes make mistakes!) I think one of the more important things for the future of Puppy, is that Barry start to listen more to all the good developers that are out there, see and test their ideas and solutions, and implement the best ones in the official Puppy. (it seems to me that Barry likes most to develop his own code, all by himself, but he really should use bits of other peoples work, because there are some clever ideas out there that can improve a lot Puppy) --> to be continued... ;-)

To Barry and everyone (II)
Username: Jota
"[i] (...continue from previous post) [/i] So, to not just talk negative, but try help with solutions, I propose: 1) Two official branches, Puppy Linux and Quirky Linux. The first one is stable and with a predicable upgrade path, mostly application upgrades or bug correction. It should continue to be served in two flavors, Normal and Retro! The second one is for experiments, bleeding-edge and innovation. 2) Barry will take care of the second, and a selected core group of people, including own Barry, the former. 3) Everyone that has develop some code or just has a new idea, instead of creating a new pupplet, that few people will ever use, should create and submit a PIP (Puppy Improvement Proposal). 4) All PIP's will be grouped and listed on a site, possibly Barry's site, discussed, and voted by Barry and the core team. If approved they will be tested in Quirky and when stable go to a future Puppy release. 5) Barry will have veto power, but hopefully he will never need to use it! What do you think??

To Barry and everyone (III)
Username: Jota
" One more item that could go into the above list, and could help boost the development of Puppy: 6) a new Puppy OFFICIAL site! This site could (should) include: - a comprehensive intro for newcomers; - a download section (that could just point to iBiblio, or else), not only for the Iso’s but also for ALL the available pets and sfs’s, classified by release; - a documentation area (with how-to’s, tutorial, etc., - unifying all the valuable information that is now scattered at Murga forums and is difficult to find); - a developers area (including a bug tracker, a roadmap and the PIP’s page); - and maybe a forum.

Username: BarryK
"Jota, No, you are wrong. I have defended myself on this so many times. Sigh, I'll do it again. I did my utmost to get all the good ideas out of 421 for 430. And I did get many of them, but not all. I read through all the 420 and 421 forum feedback threads looking for the ideas. There were so many testers of the alphas and betas of 4.3 and whenever someone told me of a feature in 421 I investigated. I recall, there was one feature in 421 that was not in 430, and pizzasgood apologised for not being involved in testing and not telling me, and he provided details that I put into 431. There were some features in 421 that I left out of 431 deliberately because I didn't want them. So, I did not just work in isolation ignoring others work. I work on Puppy many hours per day. I would like to bring in any ideas that technosaurus has developed for 4.4, and have done a bit of reading of the 4.4 threads, but I don't have time to do everything, and I need to be told -- in particular, if ideas can be put together as a patch or PET package for me to consider, that is best. I am so sick and tired of people like yourself spreading disinformation. I am seriously thinking of making this blog read-only, let you people rant on the forum all you want. It is comments like yours that make me think of becoming more isolationist. In fact, that was one factor that lead me to start Quirky, which is my own thing entirely.

Life's a beach-Time for a drive
Username: cthisbear
"BK. Take some time off and enjoy that beach you discovered recently. Nothing wrong with isolation mate. Not missing much...just more and more stupidity. We all love the Pup...that's the problem. All of us want to take it out for a walk sometimes...and not hand back the leash. You built the kennel...he's yours. Don't do a Stephen Conroy on us mate. Filter the blog. Disinformation always gets through anyway. Why fight it? That's all that governments are about today. Happy Easter Big Bazza. Chris.

Username: Gurglin
"Barry, Puppy Community, All this is extremely confusing to me. I speak as a final user and not as a technician, hence I hope I can offer you a different perspective. I understand and share the idea of taking advantage of the work done so far due the necessity of publishing as many distros as possible for a question of visibility, but I miss the market goal(s). I personally came across your amazing project because I had (still have) and old lap-top, which got new life thanks to Puppy. Puppy for me has always been the mini distro “par excellence”, capable of regenerating outdated machines. Your vision led by inherent sustainability principles (opposed to other$, which boosted the market for a fast obsolescence of machines) to me is the core philosophy of Puppy. Now it seems we can see the dawn of a new era, which is good (change is always good), and at least three major parallel paths simultaneously appear in front of our eyes: Puppy 5 (with the concomitant release of three versions!), Puppy 4.4, Puppy 4.3.2, but also Ttuuxxx update of 2.x! My question is: where are they heading to? In other words, what are their DIFFERENT targets? How can we justify and provide so many (all of them valid and updated) versions to final users? In what they differ respect to market (= final users) needs? I tried to think myself. 1) There can be a version for very old machines, maybe a legacy version using an old kernel (even if my laptop is 10 years old and works fine with the latest kernel). 2) Then the market might require something for old but “stronger” machines (5 years old?). 3) One can build something for new NetBooks, and the Puppyeee goes towards this direction But then what? Is Puppy 5 only for new computers? And why three different versions? Are you planning to build a version for servers? Any plan for mobile phones or HTPC? To me it seems that all mentioned versions are forks of what was a central Puppy Project, which maybe is no more there, because all different distros acquire the same dignity. For helping in making thinks clearer to a profane like me and most of the people using Puppy, I think it would be necessary to get rid of numbers for identifying the different versions, because they would lead the various releases to a chronology which is no more there. I would label them differently. Let’s say you call the updated version of 2.x “(Puppy) Dachshund 1”; “Puppy 4.3.2” for the moment could preserve its name (it is just an update of 4.3.1, is it not?) while “Puppy 4.4” could become “Linux German Shepherd” and “Puppy 5” Linux Great Dane… Maybe a very fast version for netbooks can be called Linux Greyhound… I am just making things up, but the central matter is to diversify the different parallel and almost synchronous releases also by name. The name is important, but what is NECESSARY to specify in clear and simple terms is which distro is better for which computer/user. Hope I made myself understood and that my thoughts would help people form the outside (final users like me) interpreting your strategy as an effort for concretizing your amazing ideas around straight and market-oriented “pillars”. Username: 24 Apr 2010, 5:51

Tags: puppy