Partial report on what I have read

This is going to be one of my aggravated posts, that I am sometimes prone to.

I have read part-way through the discussion on post-4.1, and a few things are emerging. Firstly, regarding tuuxx -- I do not want to target anyone, but ttuuxx has repeatedly posted comments that are incredibly superficial. For example:

"The 3 series just worked for myself better than any 4 series, I dislike the new pmount and shoving the floppy as default on my pc, which I haven't used the floppy since I made this pc around 12 months back, an extra click about 50 times a day, or the crappy clipboard downgrade on the 4.0 series that drives package producers like myself nuts. Really to tell you the the truth the only good thing on series 4 over 3 is is the default jwm theme. But I instally replace that anyways with Icewm."

Firstly, the Pmount in 4.1 can readily be configured without tabs, just hit the 'preferences' button. Secondly, the clipboard sync program used in earlier puppies was removed for good reason, but it is a PET package and can easily be installed -- without it, the clipboard works as per all other Linuxes/Unixes and just needs to be understood. If there is a majory wish, then it could be put back as default in 4.2.

All of the above has been explained to ttuuxx before, but he remains stuck with the same mantra. The assessment based on these comments that Puppy3 is better, is so incredibly superficial.

Then there is the issue that Puppy 2 or 3 works on some hardware whereas 4 doesn't. Yeah, well, it works both ways. This is basically a kernel version issue, not a Puppy version issue. There are so many posts that Puppy 4.x works properly for the first time, compared with versions prior to 4.x. Many recent posts about how fast 4.1 is also. 4.1 also has by far the best hardware detection.

Then there is the much-praised Slackware compatibility of 3.x. Well, someone can rebuild 4.1 with the latest Slackware packages if they want. It is a straightforward process, just very time consuming. 3.x is based on Slackware 12 packages, so is getting a bit long in the tooth. If someone wants to rebuild Unleashed 4.1 with the latest Slackware packages, then call it 5.0, why not? Go for it.

ttuuxx has asked can he coordinate the next Puppy3? Why not? I'm not stopping you, go for it.

There is also the comment from ttuuxx that I am maintaining control over everything, while at the same time retiring:

"Last I read Barry wants to keep just about everything puppy related in his name other than releasing newer versions"

Huh? I want to keep the "Puppy Linux" name, so what? To whom should I give it? The domain names puppylinux.org and puppylinux.com are registered by me, which means that I do have some veto power. Again, so what? Isn't this a valid safeguard?

So ttuuxx, I've had a go at you. Take it on the chin. You have also posted heaps of great stuff, and great packages. It's just that I am being bombarded with people asking me to make some kind of comments about what seems to be a lot of dissension on the forum ...well, I am now responding, and stepping on one or two toes in the process. Ttuuxx, it may turn out that you are the best guy to coordinate 4.2.

I have only read partway through the links, and so far I'm not impressed. Some people are asking for guidance, but what is to stop a small group getting together and work on 4.2? Nothing. Lobster is trying to coordinate something, but I am seeing a lot of arguing only from the contributors.

Meanwhile, the developers are continuing to work quietly. Regarding who should coordinate, by that I mean be in charge of using Unleashed to actually build it, and work on the core scripts, there are very few people to choose from. Other people can certainly play managerial and testing roles, but to actually build future Puppies...

Personally I think Dougal is the best choice, but he is working on 2.x. Probably Dougal would not want to take on such a heavy duty anyway. Who else is there that understands what is going on under-the-hood? Kirk? Rerwin is pretty good at coding and is learning about Puppy's boot scripts. MU also, but he has Muppy. Nathan also, but he has Grafpup, and also seems to have gone again. There are some other guys, like tempestuous, zigbert and HairyWill who have the technical ability, but again they would have to get up to speed with the boot scripts etc.

A side comment: many of the guys are "nice guys", approachable, friendly, helpful. Zigbert for example. One reason I favour Dougal is because he has a certain toughness and is less likely to bow to everyone's wishes. That's just my personal assessment.

There is some infrastructure in place for building Puppy, at Sourceforge, and I would like to thank cb88 for that. The thread started by cb88 had some good practical discussion.

4.2 is not going to be revolutionary, just refinements of 4.1. Fix some rough edges, update some packages, new themes. This can be done, just like 2.15CE was done. It just needs someone competent to step forward and do it. For 2.15CE, WhoDo offered to do it and we accepted, and he did a very good job. WhoDo, are you interested in a new project?....

I think the way forward needs to be along the lines of a Community Edition, like 2.15CE, which will get a group working together and build confidence, and will also help to clarify what should happen after 4.2. Other inftrastructure things like subversion control hosting, T2-rebuild or move to Slackware compatibility, and any formal foundation are not so urgent (and can continue to be developed/planned in the background). Also, the coordinator for 4.2 does not need to be a programmer, but should have good technical ability and be competent with using Unleashed -- my preference for someone who is a programmer and understands all of puppy's internals (like Dougal) and who also can take on a managerial role is the ideal though, for the longer term.

Posted on 15 Oct 2008, 11:29 - Category: Retirement - Comments - href="?edit=00416">Edit - Delete

Plans for the future of Puppy

Since I announced that I was taking a back seat, effective from release of 4.1 (well, 4.1.1 actually), there has been a lot of discussion and planning. I have not been following any of this, but now have some time to read through it. First step is to collect all the links, and here is what I found:

Puppy 4.2 - desktop and artwork
zigbert
http://murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=34331

4.2 meeting - here
Lobster
http://murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=34201

Establishing a formal community
tombh
http://murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=34134

Puppy Community
Lobster
http://puppylinux.org/wiki/archives/old-wikka-wikki/categorycommunity/puppy-community

PuppyCommunity
Lobster
http://tmxxine.com/wik/wikka.php?wakka=PuppyCommunity

Puppy's future
Bruce B
http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=32169

Puppy 4.2
Lobster
http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=33454

Barry's retirement from Puppy
tronkel
http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=32078

How should Puppy be developed when Barry steps down?
disciple
http://murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=32192

DEVELOPERS to CONTRIBUTORS (STAKEHOLDERS) :)
ttuuxx http://murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=33484

Puppy Community Register
mysticmarks
http://murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=32183

Puppy Linux community repo is active on sourceforge
cb88
http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=32215

...I am now in the process of reading through all these links.

regarding numbering of versions, my plan was that the numbering would go back to having a dot between each digit:

4.1 is our current release.
4.1.1 is going to be a bugfix release, that I intend to bring out.
4.1.n these are either bugfixes or alphas or betas.
4.2 the next official 'final' release.

As I am targeting 4.1.1 for the near future, and want to move on to my UniPup work, I doubt that I will work on 4.2, so that's for you guys.


Posted on 15 Oct 2008, 8:48 - Category: Retirement - Comments - href="?edit=00415">Edit - Delete

Amended retirement statement

Those who have tested 4.1rc may have noticed that the release notes have an amended "retirement" statement:

I have decided to bow out from my position as leader (also known as "Benevolent Dictator") of the Puppy Linux Project (held since I released v0.1 in mid-2003), and take a back seat. Version 4.1 is my final release as leader. A small group of trusted developers will take over, although the details are still to be worked out -- there are a couple of threads on the forum discussing this.
I won't be going away totally, and plan to focus on a "puplet" (derivative of Puppy) based on my "UniPup" concept and targeting specific hardware, probably one or more of the baby laptops. This will be a more part-time project than the hectic full-time pace that I have maintained over the last couple of years.
It is likely that I will keep working on some aspects of the "core" or "base" Puppy, primarily for my puplet but that will be useful for the mainstream Puppy.
Also, I will retain whatever copyright/trademark rights I currently have and continue with ownership of the puppylinux.com and puppylinux.org domain names. Plus, I will provide input to how and who takes over, hopefully without interfering too much. I see this as providing a kind of safeguard function -- I am mindful of other distros that have languished after the Benevolent Dictator left. Monitor my blog for updates on the transitional phase as I progressively retire.
I think this is a great opportunity, and Puppy will become better and better!


I have modified it in response to feedback sentiments and concerns expressed by many.

Posted on 2 Oct 2008, 7:19 - Category: Retirement - Comments - href="?edit=00387">Edit - Delete

Binary compatibility with a major distro

I'm thinking that after 4.1 and 4.2, it might be wise to move back to binary compatibility with one of the major distros. It is so incredibly time consuming compiling packages. And, you have probably noticed how many times I am recompiling the 2.6.25.x kernel. It is better to leverage off all the hard work that goes into a major distro I think.

After releasing 4.1 and shifting one step closer to retirement, I will be working on my own puplet that targets one or more of the baby laptops. I might reconstruct Unleashed and the 'devx' based on packages from a major distro -- but not necessarily Slackware, perhaps the upcoming Ubuntu 8.10 'Intrepid'. What do you think about choice of distro?

If I do rebuild Unleashed and devx, I'll make it available of course, if the main Puppy developers want to adopt it.

Posted on 28 Aug 2008, 9:02 - Category: Retirement - Comments - href="?edit=00335">Edit - Delete

Retirement, some thoughts

Timeline
Right now I'm going ahead full steam on 4.1, and will see that through to 4.1-final. if it turns out that we need another bug-fix release soon after, then I will definitely keep going to create 4.2. I may even feel motivated to do 4.2 anyway. Basically, I'm thinking of retirement at about the end of this year.

I have been offered work at the Perth Royal Show again this year, from 22nd September to 4th October, so will have much reduced input to the Puppy project in this interval. 4.1-final should be out before then, so there will be a lull anyway.

Not that I'm really going to retire of course -- I'm too darn enthused by Puppy, even after all these years. But, I'll be developing my puplet, at a slower pace and with less community interaction, just tinkering, doing my own thing.

There is one thing that I would like to see, that is the systems-level developer guys getting more direct control in what happens to Puppy. Up until now, everything gets channelled through me and I decided what's in and what's out, and I modify what others have done. There are those who have wanted more control so they forked their own projects, and Nathan's Grafpup and MU's Muppy are good examples -- those guys have a lot of initiative and also the dedication to create and manage their own distro.

But many other developer guys would prefer to remain part of the team. Besides, "Puppy Linux" is the distro that most people are drawn to, it has the name, the reputation, the widespread presence in the web and various publications. So staying and supporting the main Puppy Linux makes sense.

Guys we trust
I started to think of some of the core systems developers who I think should have more direct control of Puppy:
temptestuous
rerwin
kirk
Dougal
WhoDo
HairyWill
Raffy
UPDATE: John Murga

There are lots of other guys who are probably more on the application development side:
ttuuxx
economoney
disciple
plinej
zigbert
MU
pakt
UPDATE: rarsa
...but some of those may also fall into the first category.

Those lists are not complete, just some names I thought of in about 5 minutes. They are guys who have been with us for some time so have proved themselves. We can trust them with the "keys" to Puppy. It's a starting point, more names can be suggested.

Of course there are some, like Raffy, who are probably more in the 'management' category rather than core-developer or application-developer.

Probably an SVN/CVS system, as has already been created for souceforge.org, would be what is needed for these guys to be able to have more direct control of Puppy.

This blog
One little implementation detail. I want to keep my blog going. This is primarily "Barry's blog" and will continue with news about my puplet and other stuff, perhaps some mainline Puppy Linux news too.

The problem with that though, is the URL, puppylinux.com/blog. If I change to another URL, that is going to break a lot of links, which I don't want to do. Perhaps if I give puppylinux.com domain to the puppylinux.org guys, they can put a redirect into puppylinux.com/blog to my new URL? -- can that be done in your Hostgator site?

These are just some thoughts. I have created a "Retirement" category in my blog, so that posts and comments can be viewed separately from the other "Puppy" and "General" categories.

Posted on 28 Aug 2008, 8:39 - Category: Retirement - Comments - href="?edit=00307">Edit - Delete

Retirement pre-announcement

From the Puppy project, that is. I have been thinking about this for sometime, it is just a question of when.

I had previously hinted that I would do so early in 2010, however I will probably bring that forward.

Reasons for retiring earlier

One of them is that I would like to move to developing an application, in particular I am interested in porting my EVE vector editor to Linux, running with one of the native GUI libraries such as GTK.

Also, I would like to do other things. The Puppy Project takes up all my time, I don't even have a part-time job anymore so income is too low. I intend to do some regular part-time work and make more time for other activities that I keep postponing.

Being "Commander in Chief" of the Puppy Project is something that I have never been comfortable with.

Implementation

I will register another domain name for my site, and most likely hand over puppylinux.com for the guys who currently run puppylinux.org to also manage. I say "most likely" because this is undecided.

I will keep playing with a Puppy-derivative, with a different name. This will not be designed to work with a huge range of hardware necessarily, it will just be something that I tinker with sometimes. It will have a different name.

I may even focus on a niche derivative that runs optimised on one of the baby laptops, as some other Puppy-enthusiasts are doing.

I will probably turn over the keys to the ibiblio.org download site. I do not yet know who will get that responsibility.

Timeline

I am not going to suddenly pull out. That is why I am posting this advance notice, so that everyone knows it is is going to happen. Also, it is an opportunity if someone wants to advise me how best to streamline the transition (preferably by forum PM).

I certainly intend to keep going full-steam on version 4.1. It is shaping up well.

I will give a ball-park retirement date probably in a month or two.

Posted on 18 Aug 2008, 8:06 - Category: Retirement - Comments - href="?edit=00269">Edit - Delete

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