Re: Fedora Desktop on XO

2009-01-12 Thread Erik Garrison
Here is an image builder which makes Fedora 10-based desktop images
for the XO.  They use XFCE.  Currently there is at least one
outstanding bug, which is that network manager applet won't start
because of security configuration problems with consolekit.

http://dev.laptop.org/git/users/erik/rpmxo

On Sun, Jan 11, 2009 at 12:55 PM, Christoph Wickert
christoph.wick...@googlemail.com wrote:
 Am Dienstag, den 06.01.2009, 17:31 -0500 schrieb Erik Garrison:
 On Tue, Jan 06, 2009 at 10:54:24PM +0100, Bert Freudenberg wrote:
 
  On 06.01.2009, at 22:34, Benjamin M. Schwartz wrote:
 
   Carlos Nazareno wrote:
  
   Guys, maybe this can help. I whipped up a flash CPU benchmarking tool
  
   Currently, we are assuming that the issue will be RAM consumption, not
   CPU.  I personally have no reason to expect either system to behave
   differently in terms of background CPU overhead or cost of common
   operations.
 
 
  At 25c3 I bumped into a guy from LXDE. It's said to be a lot lighter
  on resources than even XFCE. Unfortunately I did not stay long enough
  to see it run on the XO, but maybe someone else did already?

 Yes. AFAICS it runs nice and very fast, although/because it is not
 feature complete as Gnome or Xfce.

 My impression from playing around with it is that it's significantly
 less polished than Gnome or XFCE.  Polish takes time, users, and
 development... it just seems that LXDE hasn't had enough yet.

 You can just look at the age of the projects:

   GNOME  1999-03-03 (initial release)
   XFCE   1996 (project start date)
   LXDE   2006 (initial release)

 This is only partly true since a lot of the LXDE components are older,
 for example lxpanel, pcmanfm and openbox.

 [dates pulled from Wikipedia]

 As far as I know all these projects have been under development
 continuously since their inception.  Two, GNOME and XFCE, have had
 extremely large user bases.  It does not seem that LXDE has.

 The Xfce user base is not that large as one might think. On the other
 hand LXDE is very popular in Asia, for example in Taiwan. In Brasil
 several vendors offer netbooks with LXDE and Mandriva preinstalled.


 Erik

 Regards,
 Christoph

 (Fedora package maintainer for both Xfce and LXDE)


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Re: Nand blaster with 30 XOs

2009-01-12 Thread Erik Garrison
Please see: http://lists.laptop.org/pipermail/devel/2009-January/022334.html

I hope that is enough to get started.  I don't know if the best place
to continue discussion is in this thread or that.  In any case I will
be happy to help.  The thread already has some good commentaries
analyzing the results, so perhaps we should continue there.

Best,
Erik

On Mon, Jan 12, 2009 at 4:48 PM, Ricardo Carrano carr...@laptop.org wrote:
 Hi Paul,

   Just one XO froze (two times), but this unit seems problematic anyway.
   I am attaching the stats for the other 28.
  
   There is a minor caveat (that is not actually related to the
   nandblaster): Once you finish updating the XO that will be replicated
   it woud be useful to put it in a state such that the XO-name and color
   will be asked again after boot (otherwise you finsh with a lot of xos
   with the same name and color). It is probably a matter of removing a
   file.

 if you've booted the XO, there's more than that that's been
 cloned which might be a problem.  (ssh host key, for example.)
 you should really nandblast images that haven't been booted.
 (erikg:  did you finish your audit of what exactly gets changed?)


 True. I was so anxious to use the method that I didn't pay much
 attention to that.
 But If we don't boot the XO  before the copying we'll lost the
 opportunity to add some stuff.
 If erikg has such a list, and we can revert some things, that would be 
 awesome!

 Cheers!
 Ricardo
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goodbye olpc

2009-01-09 Thread Erik Garrison
Like many who have been involved in software and support, my contract
with OLPC terminates this afternoon.  My tenure as a software engineer
was relatively short, but wonderful.

To all at OLPC: it has been a pleasure working with you.  I have
learned much.  I have had wonderful experiences and met the most
incredible and interesting people.  I will miss spending my days and
evenings with you.

To those in the community and in deployments: I will do anything I can
to help.  In the short term I am available to travel and assist with
any deployment capable of offering me food and lodging.  I hope that I
can continue to assist until such time as a sustainable model for the
deployment of these laptops is clarified.

In the long term, I hope that a group of us can establish a
sustainable consultancy or community organization to assist with the
hard work of substantiating the idealistic image which OLPC has and
hopefully will continue to push onto the world.  I hope that this is a
topic of discussion at the upcoming XOCamp.

Good luck, and best wishes,
Erik
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Re: Fedora Desktop on XO

2009-01-07 Thread Erik Garrison
On Wed, Jan 07, 2009 at 07:47:36AM +0530, Rahul Sundaram wrote:
 Peter Robinson wrote:


 I don't believe that is true at all. I believe XFCE is an install
 option during a full install and there's a fully Fedora blessed XFCE
 spin available from Fedora here http://spins.fedoraproject.org/ . It
 is certainly not the main desktop they support but it is no less
 supported than any other desktop. I think the XFCE SIG (Special
 Interest Group would somewhat disagree
 https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/SIGs/Xfce

 As the maintainer of the the Xfce Live CD as well as a member of the  
 SIG, I can vouch for that. Xfce is a pretty well supported desktop in  
 Fedora in as much as any desktop is. The maintainers take care of bugs  
 quickly, new releases gets pulled in fast etc. We don't have as many  
 people working on it but it is a smaller community upstream as well.

Ok.  This is good to know.  I had heard differently and not pursued more
details.

 One thing, we try not to do, is deviate from upstream and apply many  
 patches like some of the other Xfce based spin-off's do which is a  
 general Fedora policy as well and not something specific to the Xfce 
 team.

My apologies.  I was not well informed.

Erik
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Re: Fedora Desktop on XO

2009-01-07 Thread Erik Garrison
On Wed, Jan 07, 2009 at 07:47:36AM +0530, Rahul Sundaram wrote:

 One thing, we try not to do, is deviate from upstream and apply many  
 patches like some of the other Xfce based spin-off's do which is a  
 general Fedora policy as well and not something specific to the Xfce 
 team.

The patches I described (e.g. desktop icon creation) appear to have
been backported from the development version of XFCE.  Is backporting
patches from the mainline XFCE development against policy?

Erik
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Re: Fedora Desktop on XO

2009-01-06 Thread Erik Garrison
On Tue, Jan 06, 2009 at 01:31:12PM -0500, Chris Ball wrote:
 Hi Peter,
 
 How did you go with this? Did you have any luck? I also realised
 that if you drop gnome-user-share you'll drop all the httpd
 requirements.
 
 Yep, it worked!  I had RPM conflicts in GConf2 (against GConf2-dbus,
 both ship the same .mo files) and evince (against sugar-evince, both
 ship the same evince backend shared libraries).  Also, it turns out
 that evince-dvi is responsible for bringing in texlive, via kpathsea.
 
 Here's the command I'm using now:
 
 -bash-3.2# yum -y install NetworkManager-gnome alacarte at-spi bug-buddy
  control-center eog file-roller gcalctool gdm gdm-user-switch-applet
  gedit gnome-applets gnome-audio gnome-backgrounds gnome-media
  gnome-panel gnome-power-manager gnome-screensaver gnome-session
  gnome-system-monitor gnome-terminal gnome-user-docs gnome-utils
  gok gthumb gucharmap gvfs-archive gvfs-fuse gvfs-gphoto2 gvfs-smb
  libcanberra-gtk2 metacity mousetweaks nautilus orca
  pulseaudio-esound-compat pulseaudio-module-gconf pulseaudio-module-x11
  scim-bridge-gtk xdg-user-dirs-gtk yelp zenity
  
 Total size: 152 M
 
 After that completes, you can put exec gnome-session in ~/.xsession
 and restart X to land in a very normal looking F10 GNOME desktop.
 (I haven't tried to do much with it yet.  Sound works, at least.)
 
 Thanks!
 
 - Chris.

Sweet.

Now, the question I have is why we would chose GNOME over XFCE.  I think
there are significant differences in system resource consumption.

I ask because the impression I had from informal tests was that a system
booting into GNOME was consuming about 3x as much RAM on boot (read via
ps_mem.py).  My impression was that the benefit was not eaten up the
moment the I started running GTK applications; it seemed that under XFCE
I could open a fair number more Firefox tabs without running into lockup
than under GNOME.  I know these aren't great metrics so I'll run some
more rigorous tests after we have two systems side-by-side for
comparison.

Even though XFCE is not a Fedora-supported desktop environment, it is
readily supported in other distributions.  We could easily borrow the
polish that XUbuntu has applied to its distribution and get a system
equally usable as GNOME.

Erik
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Re: Fedora Desktop on XO

2009-01-06 Thread Erik Garrison
On Tue, Jan 06, 2009 at 02:23:24PM -0500, Chris Ball wrote:
 Hi,
 
 Now, the question I have is why we would chose GNOME over XFCE.  I
 think there are significant differences in system resource
 consumption.
 
 We had a long thread about whether to use GNOME or XFCE on devel@ last
 month.  I suggested XFCE, and was persuaded that the disk image size
 of DebXO+GNOME is not significantly different than DebXO+XFCE, 

Yes, the NAND usage is comparable.  You end up using very similar
libraries.  In my tests even fluxbox-based builds required at minimum
2/3 of the NAND space of the GNOME builds.

In my experience the benefit is visible only at runtime.

 ... and that both run fine without swap, suggesting that we might be
 able to pull off GNOME on Fedora.  If we find it unbearable, I'm fine
 with using XFCE instead, but my impression was that GNOME is
 preferred.

I doubt we will find it unbearable.  And I somewhat doubt that even if
we do we will elect to switch after we invest development effort into
it.  So we should be very careful going into this to choose the most
suitable option, before we are locked into one system or the other.

I think it is telling that XFCE is designed expressly for limited
systems such as ours, whereas GNOME has a more general applicability and
is less optimized for our target.  The effort shows.

In terms of features, I have not experienced any significant difference
in my use of the two systems on the XO, except perhaps that the
appearance of GNOME is less configurable by the user in its default
setup.  Some may say this is a good thing as it decreases the potential
problems that can arise, but to me it seems a positive feature to make
the environment more enjoyable by young people.

... But frankly I don't care much about window manager features so long
as a lack of them doesn't get in people's way.  I want applications.  If
running one system means a quarter more available memory available to
user-chosen applications, then we have made a big win.

OK.  Enough rambling... My opinions await qualification by tests.

 (For the record, I'm not against investigating adding some swap for 9.1
 now that we have NAND partitioning available.  We'd have to be more sure
 of our estimate that it won't significantly shorten the lifespan of the
 flash chip, though.  What do people think?)

IMO: The NAND is not sacred.  It is there to be used.  If the chip fails
the repair is as simple as installing an SD card; and as time goes on
they rapidly decrease in price.  That all said, it is not my
understanding that the chip will fail catastrophically.  It will just
wear out, and its storage capacity will decrease.  Like the breaks on a
bike its use necessitates that it be burnt up very slowly.

(don't forget compcache ...)

 Even though XFCE is not a Fedora-supported desktop environment, it
 is readily supported in other distributions.  We could easily
 borrow the polish that XUbuntu has applied to its distribution and
 get a system equally usable as GNOME.
 
 Scott previously made a build stream (faster) that contains both Sugar
 and XFCE and a way to switch between them, so this integration work has
 already been done.

I wasn't specifically talking about integration, but polish.  Ubuntu's
XFCE seems to be in a better state than Fedora's or Debian's as they
have integrated some upstream patches (most notably desktop icon
customization stuff).  They also use the GNOME menu system, which is
very clear and well-organized.  I don't know exactly the state of the
differences but they are significant enough to be notable from the
user's perspective.

Erik
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Re: Customized images

2009-01-06 Thread Erik Garrison
On Tue, Jan 06, 2009 at 03:23:32PM -0500, Michael Stone wrote:
 
 On Mon, Jan 05, 2009 at 02:27:45PM -0500, Carlos Dario Isaza Zamudio wrote:
 I have a fully customized XO and i need to take an image from it to be
 installed on several computers inside the project. The thing is i need it to
 be separated from the activity pack, like the ones you use to update via
 USB.
 
 Hi Carlos,
 
 Thanks for the great questions.
 
 Questions
 1) When i take the image from this one and install it into another, will i
 have two computers wchi are exactly the same?
 
 No. Each XO contains unique manufacturing data, stored in a
 non-volatile memory which is separate from the main (1GB) non-volatile
 memory.
 
 Moreover, when you boot an XO, it runs some software which dirties the
 filesystem. You'd want to clean the filesystem by undoing some of
 these edits before you clone the image onto lots of other machines.

Dirty might be too general a word.  Specifically there are a number of
changes made to system files during the first boot of the machine
which you might not want to copy between machines.  (SSH keys, for
instance, are generated once at first boot on every XO.  Also,
hardware-dependent information from the firmware is cached on the NAND
after first boot.)

We haven't worked on figuring out what pieces of the system are touched,
so, as Michael notes, copying the machines can have unintended side
effects.  It seems that nearly everyone who tries to distribute images
by cloning runs into some oddities.  That said, it also seems that this
method of customization is the most appealing and straightforward.  It
has come up several times recently and I think the time has come to
properly evaluate it.

Erik
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Re: Fedora Desktop on XO

2009-01-06 Thread Erik Garrison
On Tue, Jan 06, 2009 at 10:54:24PM +0100, Bert Freudenberg wrote:
 
 On 06.01.2009, at 22:34, Benjamin M. Schwartz wrote:
 
  Carlos Nazareno wrote:
 
  Guys, maybe this can help. I whipped up a flash CPU benchmarking tool
 
  Currently, we are assuming that the issue will be RAM consumption, not
  CPU.  I personally have no reason to expect either system to behave
  differently in terms of background CPU overhead or cost of common  
  operations.
 
 
 At 25c3 I bumped into a guy from LXDE. It's said to be a lot lighter  
 on resources than even XFCE. Unfortunately I did not stay long enough  
 to see it run on the XO, but maybe someone else did already?

My impression from playing around with it is that it's significantly
less polished than Gnome or XFCE.  Polish takes time, users, and
development... it just seems that LXDE hasn't had enough yet.

You can just look at the age of the projects:

  GNOME  1999-03-03 (initial release)
  XFCE   1996 (project start date)
  LXDE   2006 (initial release)

[dates pulled from Wikipedia]

As far as I know all these projects have been under development
continuously since their inception.  Two, GNOME and XFCE, have had
extremely large user bases.  It does not seem that LXDE has.

Erik
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Re: Customized images

2009-01-06 Thread Erik Garrison
On Tue, Jan 06, 2009 at 04:12:39PM -0500, Carlos Dario Isaza Zamudio wrote:
 I'm sorry there was a misunderstanding on my part.
 
 The idea with the images is for manufacturing the computers. In my state we
 want to make a kind of customized image with some configuration and send for
 manufacturing the computers.
 
 Any ideas?

Do you mean you want to send an image to the factory in China?

Or do you mean you want to install a customized image on laptops
locally?

Erik
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Cleaning cloned images [was: Re: Customized images]

2009-01-06 Thread Erik Garrison
On Tue, Jan 06, 2009 at 04:53:19PM -0500, Michael Stone wrote:
 On Tue, Jan 06, 2009 at 03:52:44PM -0500, Erik Garrison wrote:

 ...

 We haven't worked on figuring out what pieces of the system are touched,
 so, as Michael notes, copying the machines can have unintended side
 effects.  It seems that nearly everyone who tries to distribute images
 by cloning runs into some oddities.  That said, it also seems that this
 method of customization is the most appealing and straightforward.  It
 has come up several times recently and I think the time has come to
 properly evaluate it.

 Perhaps someone here could be tempted into writing a clean-up script
 like we discussed the last time this came up?

 Michael

Ok.  I've made the first steps.  And I've documented them by writing
scripts to do most of the typing in the hopes that other developers
will test.

=== Procedure ===

Attached is a script (mount-jffs2.sh) to mount jffs2 images, which is a
pain as you have to do so via a loopback device and the block2mtd
driver.

Once the image is mounted you have to copy it to another directory, and
then mount the one you wish to compare with and do the same to it.  You
have to do this because it does not seem you can have two jffs2 images
mounted via loopback and the block2mtd driver simultaneously.

Now that the images have been copied to their own roots you can compare
them using recursive diff (diff -r).

Redirect the output to some file and then parse it with the other
attached script, parse-recursive-diff.sh.  This script just sorts things
so they are easier to read than the default output.


=== Results ===

Below is an annotated sample output of a comparison of the stock 8.2-767
image (0.root) and the results of save-nand on a system that was flashed
with the same image, booted once through to Sugar, and then shut down
(a.root).  It was produced using diff -r 0.root/ a.root/ and then
pushing the results through the attached parse-recursive-diff.sh script.

Comments welcome.  Other testers even more welcome.

It does not seem the differences are so problematic to prevent an easily
implemented cleanup script.



device files which probably don't matter


 I omitted these for sanity.



files which exist in both trees and differ


diff -r 0.root/versions/pristine/767/etc/alsa/asound.state 
a.root/versions/pristine/767/etc/alsa/asound.state
diff -r 0.root/versions/run/767/etc/alsa/asound.state 
a.root/versions/run/767/etc/alsa/asound.state


Ok.  First this appears to be just one file, an alsa state file, which
must be written to by alsa during the first runtime.



files which are only in one tree


Home directory stuff:

Only in a.root/home: .devkey.html
Only in a.root/home/olpc: .boot_time
Only in a.root/home/olpc: .dbus
Only in a.root/home/olpc: .fontconfig
Only in a.root/home/olpc: .gnome2
Only in a.root/home/olpc: .i18n
Only in a.root/home/olpc: .library_pages
Only in a.root/home/olpc: .olpc-configured
Only in a.root/home/olpc: .sugar

Security, including ssh keys:

Only in a.root/security: .private
Only in a.root/security/state: etc
Only in a.root/security/state: var


/etc/mtab obviously won't be on an unbooted system:

Only in a.root/versions/run/767/etc: mtab


Written by olpc-configure:

Only in a.root/versions/run/767/etc/sysconfig: i18n
Only in a.root/versions/run/767/etc/sysconfig: keyboard
Only in a.root/versions/run/767/etc/X11: xorg.conf
Only in a.root/versions/run/767: .olpc-configured


First boot configuration of hald (the fdi data cache) and anacron.

Only in a.root/versions/run/767/var/cache/hald: fdi-cache
Only in a.root/versions/run/767/var/spool/anacron: cron.daily
Only in a.root/versions/run/767/var/spool/anacron: cron.monthly
Only in a.root/versions/run/767/var/spool/anacron: cron.weekly


Written by the initramfs:

Only in a.root/versions: running



binary files which differ


I don't know which of these might even matter for the cleaning script.

Binary files 0.root/versions/pristine/767/etc/avahi/etc/localtime and 
a.root/versions/pristine/767/etc/avahi/etc/localtime differ
Binary files 0.root/versions/pristine/767/var/log/wtmp and 
a.root/versions/pristine/767/var/log/wtmp differ
Binary files 0.root/versions/pristine/767/var/run/utmp and 
a.root/versions/pristine/767/var/run/utmp differ
Binary files 0.root/versions/run/767/etc/avahi/etc/localtime and 
a.root/versions/run/767/etc/avahi/etc/localtime differ
Binary files 0.root/versions/run/767/var/log/wtmp and 
a.root/versions/run/767/var/log/wtmp differ
Binary files 0.root/versions/run/767/var/run/utmp and 
a.root/versions/run/767/var/run/utmp differ


=== Notes ===

In conversation Scott suggested that I should

Re: Building Custom Kernel RPMS

2008-12-19 Thread Erik Garrison
On Fri, Dec 19, 2008 at 07:32:35PM +, Deepak Saxena wrote:
 Note that this still requires a Fedora/RHEL system to build
 kernels, or a functioning mock/chroot setup (untested so far).
 I have tested on F10 and FC6 systems. Please let me know if
 you have any problems on other systems.

What dependencies would prevent this build process from working on any
linux system?

Erik
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Re: nandblaster: can't open fs.plc for reading

2008-12-17 Thread Erik Garrison
Hi Emiliano!

On Wed, Dec 17, 2008 at 02:22:37PM -0200, Emiliano Pastorino wrote:
 Hi everyone!
 
 We're doing some tests with firmware q2e24 but we're having trouble when
 trying to serve an unsigned build.
 As it says at http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Multicast_NAND_FLASH_Update , we
 need an fs.plc file, but we don't know
 how to generate it.
 

Judging by the description on the afformentioned page, the fs.plc file
has the format described at http://wiki.laptop.org/go/OFW_NAND_FLASH_Updater

It is basically a script used by OFW during the update process to build
any partitions on the NAND and to validate the eblocks.  The bulk of the
script is a bunch of sha256 digests for each 128KiB piece (erase-block,
or eblock) of the image you're flashing.  You can see such scripts by
unzipping an fs.zip from one of our signed builds and examining the file
data.img.

 Any tips?

Ironically I just built a simple script to generate such files because
it will help us in getting your custom images ready for secure reflash.
Instructions regarding that process will be forthcoming this afternoon.
In the meantime I suspect you can resolve the NANDBlaster issue by using
the script.

You can obtain the script from:

  git-clone git://dev.laptop.org/users/erik/image-digestor

Run it as follows against the image file you are trying to NANDBlast:

  image-digestor.sh image_file_name

After a minute or so it will produce a file called
image_file_name.ofw_update_script.  Rename this file fs.plc, put it on
the USB alongside fs.img, and start the NANDBlaster again by following
the instructions on the Multicast NAND Updater page.

Hopefully that resolves the issue.  Please indicate if you encounter
more problems.

Best,
Erik
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Re: Loosing the Activity window after displaying a OpenFile dialog box

2008-12-17 Thread Erik Garrison
On Wed, Dec 17, 2008 at 12:37:55PM +0530, shivaprasad javali wrote:
 Hi ,
   In the application that I am developing for the XO there is a Open button
 which displays an Open File dialog box and lets you choose which file to
 open in the activity. But when I click on the button and the dialog box is
 displayed, I loose my application window and I come back to the Sugar home
 screen after choosing  a file to open.
 
The thing works perfectly on a normal Fedora machine and it's only when I
 am running on the OLPC that I loose the application window. I can see that
 the Activity is still running if I go to terminal activity and type in ps
 -A, but there is no window for my application.
 
Could anyone think of what the problem might be? Is the window manager
 for sugar different from a normal Fedora distibution. If so how?

Yes.  The window manager used by Sugar is Matchbox, which has only a
limited concept of floating windows (it appears only transient windows
are rendered as floating and the rest get their own full screens).

This is an issue that in theory is not problematic, or only minorly so,
but in the practice of software development can be quite a pain.

Perhaps you should set the WM_TRANSIENT_FOR property on the OpenFile
dialog?  Below is the section from the ICCCM describing this property.

Note that Sugar doesn't have any concept of files from the UI-level so
unless you are opening a view into the journal users will not be able to
find anything interesting.

I hope this is helpful.  Without access to your source I am just
guessing.

Best,
Erik


from http://tronche.com/gui/x/icccm/sec-4.html

4.1.2.6. WM_TRANSIENT_FOR Property
The WM_TRANSIENT_FOR property (of type WINDOW) contains the ID of
another top-level window. The implication is that this window is a
pop-up on behalf of the named window, and window managers may decide not
to decorate transient windows or may treat them differently in other
ways. In particular, window managers should present newly mapped
WM_TRANSIENT_FOR windows without requiring any user interaction, even if
mapping top-level windows normally does require interaction. Dialogue
boxes, for example, are an example of windows that should have
WM_TRANSIENT_FOR set.

It is important not to confuse WM_TRANSIENT_FOR with override-redirect.
WM_TRANSIENT_FOR should be used in those cases where the pointer is not
grabbed while the window is mapped (in other words, if other windows are
allowed to be active while the transient is up). If other windows must
be prevented from processing input (for example, when implementing
pop-up menus), use override-redirect and grab the pointer while the
window is mapped. 

Erik
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Re: nandblaster: can't open fs.plc for reading

2008-12-17 Thread Erik Garrison
Emiliano,

Great to hear that it works for you!  Thanks for the valuable testing.

To avoid future confusion about this filetype I have updated
git://dev.laptop.org/users/erik/image-digestor so that it refers to a
'placement control file' and produces image file basename.plc as
output.  This should make things slightly clearer semantically.

Please git-pull.

Erik

On Wed, Dec 17, 2008 at 04:28:54PM -0200, Emiliano Pastorino wrote:
 It worked. I'll continue with my tests.
 
 Thanks again, Erik!
 
 On Wed, Dec 17, 2008 at 2:50 PM, Emiliano Pastorino 
 epastor...@plan.ceibal.edu.uy wrote:
 
  Thanks, Erik!
  I'll try it right now
 
 
  On Wed, Dec 17, 2008 at 2:46 PM, Erik Garrison e...@laptop.org wrote:
 
  Hi Emiliano!
 
  On Wed, Dec 17, 2008 at 02:22:37PM -0200, Emiliano Pastorino wrote:
   Hi everyone!
  
   We're doing some tests with firmware q2e24 but we're having trouble when
   trying to serve an unsigned build.
   As it says at http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Multicast_NAND_FLASH_Update ,
  we
   need an fs.plc file, but we don't know
   how to generate it.
  
 
  Judging by the description on the afformentioned page, the fs.plc file
  has the format described at
  http://wiki.laptop.org/go/OFW_NAND_FLASH_Updater
 
  It is basically a script used by OFW during the update process to build
  any partitions on the NAND and to validate the eblocks.  The bulk of the
  script is a bunch of sha256 digests for each 128KiB piece (erase-block,
  or eblock) of the image you're flashing.  You can see such scripts by
  unzipping an fs.zip from one of our signed builds and examining the file
  data.img.
 
   Any tips?
 
  Ironically I just built a simple script to generate such files because
  it will help us in getting your custom images ready for secure reflash.
  Instructions regarding that process will be forthcoming this afternoon.
  In the meantime I suspect you can resolve the NANDBlaster issue by using
  the script.
 
  You can obtain the script from:
 
   git-clone git://dev.laptop.org/users/erik/image-digestor
 
  Run it as follows against the image file you are trying to NANDBlast:
 
   image-digestor.sh image_file_name
 
  After a minute or so it will produce a file called
  image_file_name.ofw_update_script.  Rename this file fs.plc, put it on
  the USB alongside fs.img, and start the NANDBlaster again by following
  the instructions on the Multicast NAND Updater page.
 
  Hopefully that resolves the issue.  Please indicate if you encounter
  more problems.
 
  Best,
  Erik
 
 
 
 
  --
  Emiliano Pastorino
  LATU - Plan Ceibal
  Av. Italia 6201 CP: 11500, Montevideo, Uruguay
  Tel: (598 2) 601 3724 int.: 469
 
 
 
 
 -- 
 Emiliano Pastorino
 LATU - Plan Ceibal
 Av. Italia 6201 CP: 11500, Montevideo, Uruguay
 Tel: (598 2) 601 3724 int.: 469
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Re: No surprise on memory

2008-12-16 Thread Erik Garrison
On Tue, Dec 16, 2008 at 12:45:52PM -0200, Martin Langhoff wrote:
 On Tue, Dec 16, 2008 at 12:34 PM, Tomeu Vizoso to...@sugarlabs.org wrote:
  Well, I wasn't trying to give a solution, just suggested a less
  bad way to fail. IMO, just trying to find the perfect solution while
  not doing anything to improve what we have now is the worst of the
  possibilities.
 
 Oh, sure. I just thought that your proposed enhancement combines well
 with the stuff we've been discussing before :-)
 
 One good trick plus another one...

What about using a NAND partition as swap?  Has this ever been done?
Given that partition support is a recent development it seems unlikely.

It could also (theoretically) allow us to do power-fully-off
hibernation, a feature which seems very useful given the power usage
patterns I've heard about from the field (laptop run until *dead*,
suspend not used because of high power draw, hard power off).

Erik
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Re: Slimmed Down Fedora 10 on XO (was Fedora 10 on XO)

2008-12-16 Thread Erik Garrison
On Mon, Dec 15, 2008 at 04:42:48PM -0500, Greg Smith wrote:
 Hi All,
 
 Thanks for all the feedback on my questions about what it would take to
 run a slimmed down Fedora 10 on the XO NAND. 
 https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-olpc-list/2008-December/msg00022.html
 
 To reiterate, the goal is one distribution with two Desktop Environments 
 (Sugar and one standard one).

What of the case where all the functionality of Sugar can be replicated
using a properly-configured standard desktop environment?  (Strawman
this sentence may be, but I think we should be open to this option
moving forward.)

 I think the main work now is to pick the minimal package list that we 
 need and will fit on the XO NAND.

This is *the* work of making builds.

 Can anyone get a slimmed down Fedora 10 with window manager running on 
 an XO?

Yes.  I have a build tool which does so.  See:

http://dev.laptop.org/git?p=users/erik/rpmxo;a=summary

or just:

git clone git://dev.laptop.org/users/erik/rpmxo

The build tool depends on the current development version of rinse, a
rpm bootstrapping utility.  For our testing purposes I have included a
copy of the rinse mercurial repository in that git tree
(http://rinse.repository.steve.org.uk/).

Then install rinse by following the instructions in the
rinse.repository.steve.org.uk directory in the rpmxo repo created by the
above git command.  You will need perl, rpm, and wget (note the
dependencies listed at http://packages.ubuntu.com/intrepid/rinse).
Rinse manages a variety of common issues encountered when build and
re-building images, such as caching rpms, bootstrapping yum, and running
post-install scripts.  It does so in a relatively platform-independent
manner.  The author and I have been working together to update the
system for Fedora 10 and to increase its configurability.  (Please note
that I have submitted changes to the author's repo which may not yet be
reflected in a fresh clone, this is why I have temporarily added the
repository to the rpmxo git tree.)

To run the build script do:

sudo ./initchroot.sh

 ... in the rpmxo git repository directory yielded by the git clone
command above.

By default this will make f10.root.  Then generate an image to flash
onto an unsecured laptop by using:

sudo ./mkjffs2.sh fc10.root fc10.img

This will create the .crc and .img files which are required for OFW to
flash the image onto the laptop.  Putting these on a USB key and typing:

copy-nand u:\fc10.img

 ... at the OFW prompt on an XO will flash the system onto the internal
NAND.  Rebooting should yield a prompt 

This procedure is still in alpha.  Interested parties should test and
immediately inform me of any issues encountered.


 The hard part will come when we need to pick the bare minimum set of 
 functionality. I especially want to know what additional 
 libraries/RPMs/features we need to install beyond what we alrady have in 
   XO 8.2.0.

I have been quite frustrated with the Fedora toolset in this regard.
Getting a bare minimum of functionality is not something which these
tools are typically used to do.  The experience of building a Fedora
system from 'scratch' contrasts starkly with what we find in Debian,
where debootstrapping is a common development pattern which is
well-supported by the community.

It can be done, and I am going to seek as much help from the Fedora
community in doing so as possible.  It just isn't easy and I have felt
like there are a lot of problems in using Fedora in this fashion which
will have to be resolved to make it easy for deployments to use such a
build script.

(I sincerely hope someone flames me here as any attention to this issue
is good attention.)

Erik
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Re: Slimmed Down Fedora 10 on XO

2008-12-16 Thread Erik Garrison
On Tue, Dec 16, 2008 at 12:56:47PM -0500, Chris Ball wrote:
 Hi,
 
 (but seriously: we only need to add to what we have -- we don't
 need to start from scratch, rebuilding and/or subtracting from
 fedora.)
 
 In particular, I think:
 
* take a Joyride build
* yum groupinstall GNOME Desktop Environment
* http://dev.laptop.org/git/users/cscott/sugar-xfce-control should be
  portable to GNOME in a mechanical (s/xfce/gnome/g) fashion.
* follow the rest of the instructions in:
  http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Xfce#Install_Sugar.2FXFCE_Control_Panel
  to launch GNOME if it's been selected in the control panel
* write a GNOME menu item/desktop icon to switch back to Sugar

That seems sufficient to meet the requirement.

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Re: Slimmed Down Fedora 10 on XO (was Fedora 10 on XO)

2008-12-16 Thread Erik Garrison
On Tue, Dec 16, 2008 at 02:44:17PM -0500, Bobby Powers wrote:
 On Tue, Dec 16, 2008 at 12:27 PM, Erik Garrison e...@laptop.org wrote:
 
 
  I have been quite frustrated with the Fedora toolset in this regard.
  Getting a bare minimum of functionality is not something which these
  tools are typically used to do.  The experience of building a Fedora
  system from 'scratch' contrasts starkly with what we find in Debian,
  where debootstrapping is a common development pattern which is
  well-supported by the community.
 
  It can be done, and I am going to seek as much help from the Fedora
  community in doing so as possible.  It just isn't easy and I have felt
  like there are a lot of problems in using Fedora in this fashion which
  will have to be resolved to make it easy for deployments to use such a
  build script.
 
  (I sincerely hope someone flames me here as any attention to this issue
  is good attention.)
 
 
 sure :) why aren't you building off mstone's work on Puritan?  It seems like
 a lot of duplication of effort; unless I'm missing something, the biggest
 difference seems to be that yours may be more debian-like.

For one, Puritan is a multi-file python framework, which, for a build
script which I would like to be as short and clear as possible, may be
overkill.  Shellscript is plenty concise for this work.  I was able to
get everything done that I needed without the script getting unweildy.
I was additionally able to directly pull in some of the bashisms from
the xodist toolset which deal with partitioned image creation,
configuration heredocs, etc. (thank you dilinger and xodist devs).

Additionally, writing my own simple build system was a great way to work
through all the issues involved in setting up a given distribution to
run on the XO.  I came away from this work with a much better
understanding of what issues our software development faces and the
specific issues involved in setting up Fedora on the XO (such as nash
and initramfsen jffs2 mounting woes).

Otherwise, I don't think it really matters, and think that Michael and I
should work together going forward.  If Puritan does exactly what I have
been trying to do and more, then I support working with it and will move
that way.  That said, if there is interest in having the 'simplest'
build system possible, I can continue work on the rpmxo buildscripts.

Hope that explains my perspective.

Erik
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Re: Slimmed Down Fedora 10 on XO (was Fedora 10 on XO)

2008-12-16 Thread Erik Garrison
On Wed, Dec 17, 2008 at 12:32:58AM +0100, Peter Robinson wrote:
  The hard part will come when we need to pick the bare minimum set of
  functionality. I especially want to know what additional
  libraries/RPMs/features we need to install beyond what we alrady have in
XO 8.2.0.
 
  I have been quite frustrated with the Fedora toolset in this regard.
  Getting a bare minimum of functionality is not something which these
  tools are typically used to do.  The experience of building a Fedora
  system from 'scratch' contrasts starkly with what we find in Debian,
  where debootstrapping is a common development pattern which is
  well-supported by the community.
 
  It can be done, and I am going to seek as much help from the Fedora
  community in doing so as possible.  It just isn't easy and I have felt
  like there are a lot of problems in using Fedora in this fashion which
  will have to be resolved to make it easy for deployments to use such a
  build script.
 
  (I sincerely hope someone flames me here as any attention to this issue
  is good attention.)
 
 Fedora has a set of tools now called Appliance-Tools [1] for creating
 this sort of thing. You can use it to specify a minimal build and then
 pull in the extra stuff you want, specify repositories etc. I used it
 to build a joyride VM I could use for slicing and dicing package deps
 and the like the other day in around 15 mins (plus the time it takes
 to construct the actual filesystem etc). I can post the kickstart file
 somewhere if your interested in using it as a base. The image it
 produced has a boot issue that I need to get time to fix (or work out
 why its got root fs issues) but it was a quick demo to see if it
 helped.

I heard about these (appliance tools) from Reuben.  Any documentation
you can post would be highly useful.  There are a lot of ways to achieve
a similar result, and a lot of people appear to have duplicated effort
as a result.  I think this is good, as it gives us some degree of
selection moving forward.  Eventually we need to coalesce effort around
one system if we are going to update OLPC's build infrastructure
successfully.

FWIW: The boot issue might be related to nash's mount command not
working for jffs2.  The quick and dirty way to get around it was to drop
busybox into an initramfs and change the root partition mount line in
the init script to use busybox's mount command instead of nash's.  Found
nash extremely unweildy and am curious why it is used in the initramfs.
The initrd I produced is:
http://dev.laptop.org/~erik/rpmxo/initrd.img-2.6.25-20080925.1.olpc.f10b654367d7065.busybox
(It is built against the stock 8.2-767 kernel using stock Fedora
initramfs-tools, I just unpacked it and dropped busybox and its library
deps in and made the afformentioned hack to init.)

 I think this is what you are after. There are still some issues with
 packages pulling in too many deps and as time permits I'm trying to
 work through most of these issues while not having to fork half the
 distribution which in turn makes it more work for the OLPC guys. Its a
 fine line.

Yes.  This seems to be endemic, but it appears to be generally a problem
for systems which don't get stretched in this direction (I have seen the
same kind of bloat while testing Ubuntu builds).

 I can help you as much as possible, I'm relatively free for the next
 couple of days but will be then travelling over the next couple of
 weeks so will have limited connectivity.

Great!  Any way you'd like to help.  Paring down dependencies is
crucial.  'Minimal' package lists would be also very helpful.  I am
hacking mine together and I'm worried I might miss critical things that
would be obvious to a more experienced Fedora developer.

One package-level curiosity I've had is how to auto-remove packages
which were automatically installed to satisfy the dependencies of a
manually installed package after said packge is removed.

 I have no issue with the flames, but would much prefer to help you out
 than flame back :-D

And I prefer to cooperate as well!

Thanks,
Erik
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Re: Bundling plugins with Browse

2008-12-08 Thread Erik Garrison
On Tue, Dec 09, 2008 at 12:04:23AM +0530, Sayamindu Dasgupta wrote:
 Hi all,
 We are trying to figure out a way to bundle the mozplugger plugin[1]
 in Browse, so that PDF files can be viewed from within Browse itself.
 Does anyone know how this can be done. Apart from the mozplugger
 plugin itself, we need to have the m4 binary to help mozplugger parse
 its config file, as well as the application which _actually_ renders
 the PDF.
 Normally we can modify the OS image, but it would be easier for us to
 include the entire thing in Browse and make a new Browse bundle.
 Any thoughts/ideas/comments ?
 Thanks,
 Sayamindu

Why don't we just use Firefox?  It seems to run quite well on the XO.

Erik
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Re: Bundling plugins with Browse

2008-12-08 Thread Erik Garrison
On Tue, Dec 09, 2008 at 12:06:48AM +, Gary C Martin wrote:
 On 8 Dec 2008, at 19:29, Erik Garrison wrote:

 On Tue, Dec 09, 2008 at 12:04:23AM +0530, Sayamindu Dasgupta wrote:
 Hi all,
 We are trying to figure out a way to bundle the mozplugger plugin[1]
 in Browse, so that PDF files can be viewed from within Browse itself.
 Does anyone know how this can be done. Apart from the mozplugger
 plugin itself, we need to have the m4 binary to help mozplugger parse
 its config file, as well as the application which _actually_ renders
 the PDF.
 Normally we can modify the OS image, but it would be easier for us to
 include the entire thing in Browse and make a new Browse bundle.
 Any thoughts/ideas/comments ?
 Thanks,
 Sayamindu

 Why don't we just use Firefox?  It seems to run quite well on the XO.

 Run quite well, on what planet? It locks up the XOs tested here with  
 regularity, and is now on my 'don't bother testing' list (until there's 
 another attempt). It's a memory pig, it's still got a UI for  
 nerds/geeks, and does not integrate well with the rest of Sugar (no  
 Journal entries/resuming, ghost frame icons).

It's just about the only non-sugar application I use on the XO in my
personal time.  I use it a lot.  I can open a dozen pages in tabs
without slowdown.  I can use Gmail with all its javascript goodies.
Many more tabs than that will induce vm swapping, which causes long
lockups which you describe.

Note that this is on debxo running a lightweight window manager.  I
forgot about the significant memory pressure induced by Sugar.  This of
course changes things.

If our need for these custom applications is fundamentally related to
problems with the framework in which they run, and not the hardware,
then perhaps there is a big win waiting on the other side of a redesign
of that framework.

Erik
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Re: Fedora 10 on XO

2008-12-05 Thread Erik Garrison
On Thu, Dec 04, 2008 at 06:36:53PM -0500, Greg Smith wrote:
 * Will it stop us from being able to hold two SugarOS builds on the NAND
   at the same time after olpc-update, as we do now?
 GS - Possibly depending on space needed. I think we would consider  
 losing that feature if needed. tbd.

I'm curious if anyone knows how commonly used this feature is in
deployments.

Erik
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Re: Fedora 10 on XO

2008-12-04 Thread Erik Garrison
On Thu, Dec 04, 2008 at 06:36:53PM -0500, Greg Smith wrote:
 Hi Erik, Peter and Chris,

 Thanks a lot for the comments and offer of help!

 I updated the requirement to explain that the idea is a slimmed down  
 version of Fedora which fits on our NAND.

 I added a comment about upgrading too.

 Here are some comments on the rest of Chris's questions:

 * So we'd ship two different distributions on the NAND?
 GS - Yes.

 * Would they live on different partitions?
 GS - Prefer a single partition. I added a requirement to say that  
 libraries and files should be hard linked so that any code is used only  
 once by both implementations.

Hard linking is not necessary.  We can just ship two window managers.
Code is shared as it typically would be between both on a Linux system.
To my knowledge C. Scott has done so already.

Erik
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Re: Music Keyboard for TamTam?

2008-11-30 Thread Erik Garrison
On Sun, Nov 30, 2008 at 12:20 AM, Gary C Martin [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
 On 30 Nov 2008, at 01:29, Erik Garrison wrote:

 On Mon, Nov 17, 2008 at 8:23 AM,  [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:

 ignacio wrote:

 On Mon, 2008-11-17 at 04:24 +, Gary C Martin wrote:

 On a more disappointing note I found this ticket G1G1 tamtam suite
 should respond to MIDI keyboard input from 10 months ago. Closed.
 Wont fix :-(

  https://dev.laptop.org/ticket/6031

 All wontfix means is that they're waiting for someone with a stronger
 itch to scratch it ;)

 i really have no idea how such devices are normally presented to
 the systems, but is it possible that the keyboard is consists of
 more than one USB device (i.e., via a built-in hub) and that not
 all the drivers are present on the XO?


 FWIW, The M-audio systems abide by open midi specifications and are
 platform-independent.  I don't know about the driver situation.

 There is a program which can be used to dump midi signals to stdout.
 It might be a good test as it's very simple to configure and its
 results are very clear, unlike the audio programs you'll want to use.

 ... and it's called??? Gah! ;-)

I'm not at an XO or my development machine now, but looked around the
web to try to find some information to help.

See: http://www.4front-tech.com/pguide/midi.html

Does the system have a /dev/midi* when you plug the device in?

Do you see anything interesting in the kernel logs returned with dmesg?

Unfortunately our kernel configs aren't online anywhere i can find...
but I'll check to see if it's enabled.  My guess would be not, but
perhaps I'm mistaken.

 I'm trying to hack my way through coding csound, but I've not had much time
 to play so far. A magic midi data dumping tool would be a nice shortcut to
 test – FWIW, I can see my M-audio correctly listed on the USB as an
 available MIDI input device, but not got any further yet.

Perhaps cat /dev/midi*  if the file(s) exist.

Erik
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Re: Music Keyboard for TamTam?

2008-11-29 Thread Erik Garrison
On Mon, Nov 17, 2008 at 8:23 AM,  [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
 ignacio wrote:
   On Mon, 2008-11-17 at 04:24 +, Gary C Martin wrote:
On a more disappointing note I found this ticket G1G1 tamtam suite
should respond to MIDI keyboard input from 10 months ago. Closed.
Wont fix :-(
   
   https://dev.laptop.org/ticket/6031
  
   All wontfix means is that they're waiting for someone with a stronger
   itch to scratch it ;)

 i really have no idea how such devices are normally presented to
 the systems, but is it possible that the keyboard is consists of
 more than one USB device (i.e., via a built-in hub) and that not
 all the drivers are present on the XO?


FWIW, The M-audio systems abide by open midi specifications and are
platform-independent.  I don't know about the driver situation.

There is a program which can be used to dump midi signals to stdout.
It might be a good test as it's very simple to configure and its
results are very clear, unlike the audio programs you'll want to use.
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Re: Conundrum - XO connected to AP + Mesh?

2008-11-23 Thread Erik Garrison
On Mon, Nov 24, 2008 at 12:07:03AM -0500, John Watlington wrote:
 
 On Nov 23, 2008, at 9:00 PM, Ian Daniher wrote:
 
  Hello all,
  I've been asking on #olpc-devel the last few days, trying to figure  
  out how to connect my XO simultaneously to both a mexh network and  
  to an AP.
  My goal is to have the same XO able to surf the internet and ssh  
  into meshed XOs. Whether or not this XO acts as an MPP, providing  
  other XOs with internet, is irrelevant.  I hope to do this as  
  simply as possible via terminal. I'm guessing there's some magic  
  recipe of ifconfig and iwconfig commands, but no one seems to know  
  what it is.
  My goal is to do this without network manager.
 
 Hmm.   Have you just tried it ?  It works for me.
 
 With release 8.2, the mesh interface is still up and available when  
 connected to an AP.
 Address the laptops on a mesh network on the same channel via their  
 self-assigned
 addresses (169.254.x.x) and you can ping and ssh them from an AP  
 connected XO
 without problems.

I for one would very much like to understand the dependencies of this
setup...

For instance, where are the self-assigned IP addresses coming from?  How
do you get a list of XOs - IPs in the mesh neighborhood from the
command line?  (There was a script floating around the ml to do the
latter but I can't find it now.)

Erik
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zero install: application bundles, security, dependencies

2008-11-23 Thread Erik Garrison
I encourage anyone interested in application bundles to please check out
http://0install.net/.  Please take a minute to watch the video demo on
the homepage; it describes the 0install process quite well.  There seems
to be significant overlap between our work with .xo bundles and security
systems and what the maintainer of zero install wishes to do:

  - Software installation has predictable and directory-localizable
results (bundles, complete).
  - No distinction between running and installing software (complete)
  - Unprivelaged software installation, with dependencies (complete)
  - Bundle signing (complete)
  - OS environment independence (complete)
  - Software distribution decentralization (complete)
  - Safe execution of untrusted software (sandboxing -- future work for
0install, mentioned in the demo video, and something we have put
quite a bit of effort into)

I have used the system and it seems to at very least be a step in the
direction of resolving issues which we have encountered with .xo
bundles.  That said, it is not widely deployend and surely has its bugs.
Perhaps we would do well to try to integrate our work with this project.

Please discuss.  This has come up several times on the devel list
and in irc without resolution.  If we are interested in doing something
so similar perhaps we should try to work with the 0install community in
building a package distribution system which makes sense for our
constrained users.

Erik
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Re: debxo 0.3 release

2008-11-17 Thread Erik Garrison
On Sat, Nov 15, 2008 at 07:14:23PM -0800, Luke Faraone wrote:
 
 
 Andres Salomon-4 wrote:
  
   - A new 'base' desktop has been added.  This is a minimal install,
  with no graphics or X at all.  It's good for rescue situations, or
  where you have a local package mirror and don't want to waste bandwidth
  downloading a graphical desktop image.
  
 
 Something strange when installing/removing packages under the base
 installation:
 http://pastebin.ca/1254906
 
 This warning/error also occured when I was using the olpc-update debian
 installation.

I believe you can resolve these warnings by running the locale-gen
utility.

Erik
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Re: debxo 0.3 release

2008-11-17 Thread Erik Garrison
On Mon, Nov 17, 2008 at 01:42:17PM -0500, [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
 On 2008-11-17, Erik Garrison [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
 
  I believe you can resolve these warnings by running the locale-gen
  utility.
 
 I had already run that, and the discouraging results pasted in the top
 of the pastebin.

The error message and its location in the source [1]:

  /* Map the header and all the administration data structures.  */
  p = mmap64 (NULL, total, PROT_READ | PROT_WRITE, MAP_SHARED, fd, 0);
  if (p == MAP_FAILED)
{
  int errval = errno;
  unlink (fname);
  error (EXIT_FAILURE, errval, _(cannot map archive header));
}

... suggest that the problem is that localegen is trying to do a shared
writeable mmap.  These do not work on jffs2 [2].

I don't know the best way to proceed, but it would appear we need to
raise the issue with upstream.  It will not be fixed in jffs2.

That said, I am running debxo 0.3 base and not seeing the same error
messages.  (I see that the locale is set to POSIX immediately after
installation.)

Erik

[1] http://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/glibc/glibc-2.7.tar.gz
[2] http://www.infradead.org/pipermail/linux-mtd/2003-March/007166.html
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Re: debxo 0.3 release

2008-11-17 Thread Erik Garrison
On Mon, Nov 17, 2008 at 03:43:27PM -0500, Luke Faraone wrote:
 On Mon, Nov 17, 2008 at 15:04, Erik Garrison [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
 
  On Mon, Nov 17, 2008 at 01:42:17PM -0500, [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
   On 2008-11-17, Erik Garrison [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
   
I believe you can resolve these warnings by running the locale-gen
utility.
  
   I had already run that, and the discouraging results pasted in the top
   of the pastebin.
 
  The error message and its location in the source [1]:
 
   /* Map the header and all the administration data structures.  */
   p = mmap64 (NULL, total, PROT_READ | PROT_WRITE, MAP_SHARED, fd, 0);
   if (p == MAP_FAILED)
 {
   int errval = errno;
   unlink (fname);
   error (EXIT_FAILURE, errval, _(cannot map archive header));
 }
 
  ... suggest that the problem is that localegen is trying to do a shared
  writeable mmap.  These do not work on jffs2 [2].
 
  I don't know the best way to proceed, but it would appear we need to
  raise the issue with upstream.  It will not be fixed in jffs2.
 
  That said, I am running debxo 0.3 base and not seeing the same error
  messages.  (I see that the locale is set to POSIX immediately after
  installation.)
 
 
 This is very odd.
 
 I do not experience this problem right after install, but only after
 updating, locale is set to a new version, which may be when this bug is
 introduced.

Immediately after install my glibc version is glibc-2.7-1.  This is
where I have found the above lines of code.

I updated, upgraded, and I still don't get the error.

I did notice this error when building a base image, but it goes away as
soon as the locale package is installed in the chroot.

Erik
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Re: add xcompmgr to the olpc-development stream builds

2008-11-11 Thread Erik Garrison
On Tue, Nov 11, 2008 at 12:47:16AM -0500, Bernie Innocenti wrote:
 Erik Garrison wrote:
  Attached is a patch to pilgrim which adds xcompmgr to the
  olpc-development stream builds.  This is a prerequisite for testing.
  Size delta is negligible: I believe the binary is 26K.
  
  Could we enable this?  Bernie and I are in agreement that we need to
  start testing of composite.
 
 Where is the part to launch xcompgr from olpc-session?  I could commit it
 for you.

I have attached a patch to bin/sugar.in which launches xcompmgr prior to
starting matchbox.  I have not tested this as I don't have a recent
build of Sugar to test on an XO.  In 8.2 it was possible to achieve the
same result by adding a hook to main.py.

Erik
diff --git a/bin/sugar.in b/bin/sugar.in
index c802b77..55de1df 100644
--- a/bin/sugar.in
+++ b/bin/sugar.in
@@ -11,6 +11,8 @@ if ! test -f $GTK2_RC_FILES; then
 exit 1
 fi
 
+xcompmgr 
+
 matchbox-window-manager -use_titlebar no -theme sugar \
 -kbdconfig @prefix@/share/sugar/data/kbdconfig 
 
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add xcompmgr to the olpc-development stream builds

2008-11-10 Thread Erik Garrison
Attached is a patch to pilgrim which adds xcompmgr to the
olpc-development stream builds.  This is a prerequisite for testing.
Size delta is negligible: I believe the binary is 26K.

Could we enable this?  Bernie and I are in agreement that we need to
start testing of composite.

Erik
diff --git a/streams.d/olpc-development.stream b/streams.d/olpc-development.stream
index 452dd94..c9da610 100755
--- a/streams.d/olpc-development.stream
+++ b/streams.d/olpc-development.stream
@@ -166,6 +166,7 @@ less
 diffutils
 PolicyKit-olpc
 python-alsaaudio
+xcompmgr
 
 
 # Large packages that get pulled in as dependencies, but which we can
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Re: debxo 0.3 release

2008-11-03 Thread Erik Garrison
This sounds right.  The OHM packages aren't in any debian repo afaik, so
we'll have to package them.  Then we'd need a debian repository for
these packages.

On Mon, Nov 03, 2008 at 11:53:40AM -0500, Ian Daniher wrote:
 RE Suspend / Resume : talk to CJB(Chris Ball) about OHM. I spoke with him a
 few weeks ago and, if I recall correctly, all one needs to do is use the
 official OLPC Kernel and install the OHM packages.
 
 On Mon, Nov 3, 2008 at 1:20 AM, [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
 
  On Mon, 3 Nov 2008, James Cameron wrote:
 
   On Sun, Nov 02, 2008 at 09:27:52PM -0800, [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
   On Mon, 3 Nov 2008, James Cameron wrote:
   The TODO file in the xodist git repository has a hardware enablement
   section that I added last week, which covers some of the things this
   thread has discussed.
  
   link to xodist please?
  
   xodist is the git repository name for the scripts that generate debxo
   images.
 
  sorry, I missed that (and I even have that repository cloned, shame on me
  :-)
 
   git://lunge.mit.edu/git/xodist (per Andres' mail of 28th Oct)
   or
   http://dev.laptop.org/~quozl/xodist.git/http://dev.laptop.org/%7Equozl/xodist.git/(my
repo, sync'ed)
  
   do you have the direction and rotate game keys working?
  
   I don't know.
 
  they do not in the 0.3 build
 
   brightness control keys (conflicts with function key usage)
   volume control keys (conflicts with function key usage)
  
   these don't need system changes, just deciding which function those keys
   should do, the brightness and volume functions are strictly in software
   (and done via X hooks, as can be shown by the fact that these do not
  work
   in a console, and in fact crash the system if you hit them there)
  
   Seems more logical to handle these keys in the kernel.
 
  I don't think so. since the hardware produces the function keys, if the
  kernel does the functions instead of userspace, you loose the flexibility
  to use these as normal function keys.
 
  the tendancy is to push more of this sort of thing to userspace anyway.
  the volume keys onthe thinkpads recently changed from being handled by the
  hardware to be intercepted by the kernel and treated as normal keys (with
  the default bindings being to control the volume) a few months ago this
  worked in Gnome, but not KDE, with the ubuntu release a few days ago it
  works in both (I don't use sound enough to have tried it outside of X)
 
   turn off backlight on suspend or hibernate
  
   I don't use suspend or hibernate enough to help, but now that we have
  the
   script to control the backlight this should be fairly easy (although you
   really want to turn off the entire screen, not just the backlight, at
   least for hibernate, don't you?)
  
   If you're saying the OLPC XO build also turns off the screen hardware,
   then the next question is how? ... presumably this can be found by
   examining it.
 
  the thought just hit me that we don't always want to turn off the screen
  on suspend, unlike normal systems the XO is designed to be able to run the
  display when the main processor is suspended (although I remember being
  told that this isn't working due to software limitations today)
 
   The latter method is how xodist's initchroot.sh script does some
   features ... like setting up /etc/modules, xorg.conf, and so forth.
  
   I'm actually not happy with how the OLPC currently handles these things,
   they are too X (and sugar) specific. we need to get a layer lower if we
   can.
  
   Good.  But the general purpose solutions in Debian are perhaps too
   general for this situation.  Things like the discover package.
 
  ideally I want to figure out how to get these keys into the kernel, at
  that point any userspace can deal with them.
 
  David Lang
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 Ian Daniher
 --
 OLPC Support Volunteer
 OLPCinci Repair Center Coordinator
 --
 [EMAIL PROTECTED]
 Skype : it.daniher
 irc.freenode.net: Ian_Daniher
 --
 c: 513.290.4942

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Re: Data Storage and User-facing System Requirements [was Re: [sugar] 9.1 Proposal: Files]

2008-10-31 Thread Erik Garrison
On Thu, Oct 30, 2008 at 03:09:16PM -0400, Benjamin M. Schwartz wrote:
 -BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-
 Hash: SHA1
 
 Erik Garrison wrote:
  It seems from my reading of mailing lists, IRC logs, and listening to
  conversations with people that we are trying to resolve all of these
  issues by implementing more code to get around difficulties imposed by
  our current data storage implementation and security model.
  
  My argument is that we can do less work and get an improved result from
  the user's perspective by removing the layers of code (datastore and
  security restrictions) which prevent applications from behaving as they
  normally do on other systems.
 
 Erik:  If you want applications to behave as they do on other systems,
 then why not just use an other system?
 
 I am not being facetious, and I hope I don't seem disrespectful.  If you
 are not interested in Sugar's goal of rearchitecting the computer
 experience to optimize for our students, then don't use Sugar.  It sounds
 to me like your goals would be achieved, for example, by running Andres's
 debxo-LXDE or the Fedora XO spin, perhaps with minor UI customizations.
 

Sugar is far more than its data storage system and a security model.  It
is a community of people trying to build a very usable computing
environment specifically geared toward use in an educational setting.  I
think that this community should continue; I don't want to derail it!  I
want to help it be more effective at its core goals.

If writing our own data storage systems and upstream-incompatible
security models frustrates the fundamental things that Sugar wants to do
(among which I believe lie the requirements which I listed), then we
should reconsider devoting resources to such tasks.  I think there is
ample evidence that this is the case.

 Sugar is not nearly finished, but it is headed for a realm of new
 features, including an entirely new metaphor for stored data.  You seem to
 be proposing that we stop that development process because our current
 betas (Sugar is still in beta) are not up to the quality of mature
 systems.  This upsets me.  Please don't derail this train just because it
 has not yet reached its destination.

I don't think we should be coupling important features of computer use,
such as data storage and retrieval, to systems that are relatively
untested or still under heavy development and design.  By making the
datastore and Journal lynchpins in the system we have caused serious
issues for users.  There are small changes we can make to the system
design which resolve this issue by decoupling data browsing and data
storage.  The obvious system to use is the underlying POSIX filesystem.

That said, I can find no clear reason why the unique work which we want
to do cannot happen on top of such a stable base layer.  Why does the
use of files preclude the Journal and our unique metaphor for stored
data?

Erik
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Re: debxo 0.3 release

2008-10-31 Thread Erik Garrison
On Fri, Oct 31, 2008 at 03:10:08PM -0400, Chris Ball wrote:
 Hi,
 
 Every time I try one of the debxo 0.3 or debxo 0.2 JFFS2 images, I
 get the error message [EMAIL PROTECTED]:75: Error writing to NAND
 FLASH and it fails.
 
 You need to upgrade Open Firmware to q2e20.

You can do so by downloading
http://dev.laptop.org/pub/firmware/q2e20/q2e20.rom to a usb key, booting
into the the OFW prompt, and typing:

flash disk:q2e20.rom

You'll need to have external power connected to complete the reflash.

Erik
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Re: Bios OLPC

2008-10-29 Thread Erik Garrison
Fabricio,

Para acceder al bios (firmware) del sistema es necesario obtener una
clave de desarollador:
http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Activation_and_Developer_Keys (lo explica en
íngles).

Otra pregunta: Que SO quieres bootear desde el pendrive?  

Saludos,
Erik

On Wed, Oct 29, 2008 at 08:23:46AM -0300, Fabricio Omar Passera wrote:
 Como estan?
 Mi nombre es Fabricio Passera. Trabajo en el laboratorio técnico de la
 planta de pc Commodore.
 Recientemente nos llego una laptop OLPC y quisieramos saber como acceder al
 bios y de ser posible una breve explicación para bootear el equipo desde un
 pendrive.
 Desde ya muchisimas gracias por su ayuda.
 
 Un cordial abrazo,´
 
 Fabricio

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Re: Bios OLPC

2008-10-29 Thread Erik Garrison
Fabricio,

Quereramos ayudarte pero es más facil si sabemos más detalles. :)

Que en general es tu objecto?  Tienes habilidad con Linux?  Entiendes
íngles?  (Si podemos escribir en íngles y leer tus respuestos en español
sería más facil por todos participar.)

Un abrazo,
Erik

On Wed, Oct 29, 2008 at 05:16:50PM -0400, Erik Garrison wrote:
 Fabricio,
 
 Para acceder al bios (firmware) del sistema es necesario obtener una
 clave de desarollador:
 http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Activation_and_Developer_Keys (lo explica en
 íngles).
 
 Otra pregunta: Que SO quieres bootear desde el pendrive?  
 
 Saludos,
 Erik
 
 On Wed, Oct 29, 2008 at 08:23:46AM -0300, Fabricio Omar Passera wrote:
  Como estan?
  Mi nombre es Fabricio Passera. Trabajo en el laboratorio técnico de la
  planta de pc Commodore.
  Recientemente nos llego una laptop OLPC y quisieramos saber como acceder al
  bios y de ser posible una breve explicación para bootear el equipo desde un
  pendrive.
  Desde ya muchisimas gracias por su ayuda.
  
  Un cordial abrazo,´
  
  Fabricio
 
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Re: Allowing an activity to be launched multiple times in parallel

2008-10-29 Thread Erik Garrison
I think we should not run the activity if it's already running.  But
there are cases such as when I'm running Browse, in which I have
multiple sessions open.  Or sessions of paint.  It's complicated and
probably should be left up to the user.  Someone might want to run two
of anything.

On Wed, Oct 29, 2008 at 03:31:29PM -0700, Asheesh Laroia wrote:
 I have a general sugar UI question: My activity, License, a simple comic 
 book reader http://wiki.laptop.org/go/License that has a license chooser 
 aspect to it, can be launched multiple times if clicked multiple times 
 from the activity launcher.
 
 To me, that seems silly.  Is it normal for Sugar activities to be able to 
 be launched multiple times like this?
 
 I'm interested in a discussion and hearing what current best practices are 
 seen as.  I haven't had a lot of time to work on the activity, but I want 
 to set a few things straight.  (I'm also generally very interested in help 
 with this activity!)
 
 -- Asheesh.
 
 -- 
 
   [   ]  DOGBERT
   [ 2 ]  RICHARD STALLMAN
   [ 3 ]  BUFFY SUMMERS
   [ 1 ]  MANOJ SRIVASTAVA
   [ 4 ]  NONE of the above
 
   -- Debian Project Leader 1999 ballot
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9.1 Proposal: Files

2008-10-27 Thread Erik Garrison
By reintroducing the concept of files to our systems we can simplify our
work in a number of areas relative to 8.2:

- Compatibility with existing applications:
One of the principal reasons that the tens of thousands of open source
applications that run on Linux aren't usable under Sugar is that we have
a custom API for saving data.  To make them usable we have to exert
developer effort for every ported application.  This does not scale and
is not sustainable as we are completely alone in this effort.
Furthermore, reintroducing files to our APIs will simplify the process
of running Sugarized apps in non-Sugar environments, and provide
consistency to users who use them both within Sugar and outside.

- Data access, user-perceived reliability:
Using files forces users to be intentional about saving data (they must
name their work).  This makes it easier for them to find things they
care about--- provided, of course, that they are taught how to save
files as students are in virtually all computer-based education.

- Resting on upstream stability:
Files are used virtually everywhere else in the computing world, and
most certainly in our upstream distributions.  Using files means we have
the same problems as upstream, and no more.  If there is a filesystem
integrity problem in the Linux kernel filesystem drivers we can more
readily expect the aid of upstream users and developers in resolving the
issue than we could expect such aid in the case of a custom data storage
system.

- Collaboration:
Many collaboration issues could be resolved by exposing file-based
asynchronous collaboration to users.  Files are the core component of
collaboration in every other computing environment in common use.  Using
them as a primary storage system will greatly simplify the process of
sharing between an XO and a non-XO.

- Hackability:
From the beginning of this project there has been a lot of hype about
the hackability of the system (Sugar) relative to other computing
environments.  Python was chosen as a programming language for the
environment because of its legibility and ease of use, and we are still
supporting it for this reason.  However, it is unclear how hacking is
supposed to proceed within Sugar without some exposure to the underlying
filesystem.  Even if it is possible to do via the Terminal, we are not
making it easy for users to start by providing two incompatible views on
data.

- System modularity:
Files are a common abstraction which allows the interaction of any
applications which can do file I/O.  Using user-named files as a
base-layer storage system, and not a database or hash-based file naming
scheme, allows us to decouple the application which saves data from
those that are used to search and index it.


I propose that 9.1 include a very simple (perhaps default) way to save
files to the user's home directory, and that it also include a file
manager skinned or redesigned to work well within Sugar.  The most
reasonable thing may be to simply save files into the user's home
directory if the user explicitly names/saves their work in a given
application.  Sugarized apps which use the Sugar Activity API can be
trained to auto-save files into an auto-save directory of some kind,
from which data is eventually deleted if it is never accessed again by
the user or tagged/named.  Auto-saving seems to be a very important
feature for kids--- but so is intentional saving, as it is a common
feature on every computing environment in common use and consequently
has great educational importance.  To provide coherent access to these
files we can index them and use the Journal or a compatible index
browser for search and data access.

I further propose that we use a webserver with a directory listing to
enable asynchronous, file-based collaboration between any two XOs on the
same network [1].  Doing such would also enable collaboration between XOs
and non-XOs.  If we want to enable a more interactive
collaboration system of this nature we can investigate the use of
WebDAV or an equivalent system.

I also propose that to enact this solution we relax the security
system which is used to sandbox applications running on Sugar.  There
are certainly ways to keep the security system and enable the use of
files, but all of them are by definition more complicated from a
development standpoint than relaxing the security system and simply
letting applications write to user-owned directories.

Erik


[1] http://lists.laptop.org/pipermail/devel/2008-October/020660.html
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Re: 9.1 Proposal: Top five performance problems

2008-10-26 Thread Erik Garrison
On Fri, Oct 24, 2008 at 6:36 PM, Jordan Crouse [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
 On 25/10/08 00:00 +0200, NoiseEHC wrote:
 The Geode X drive copyes every bit of data to the command ring buffer by
 using the CPU so that is sure that those almost no CPU cycles thing is
 at least a bit stretch... :) According to Jordan Crouse it will not be
 better but he was not too concrete so in the end I am not sure what he
 was really talking about, see:
 http://lists.laptop.org/pipermail/devel/2008-May/014797.html

 Indeed - many CPU cycles are used during compositing.  There is a lot of
 math that happens to generate the masks and other collateral to render
 the alpha icon on the screen.  The performance savings in the composite
 code comes from not having to read video memory to get the src pixel
 for the alpha operation(s).  That performance savings is already available
 in the X driver today.

Ah!

So what work needs to be done to realize these performance savings?
Or are you saying that we can already getting them by using composite?
 Or by another method?

Also, here:

 The performance savings in the composite
 code comes from not having to read video memory to get the src pixel
 for the alpha operation(s).

Do you mean not having to generate the video memory to get the src
pixel?  By not asking applications to redraw themselves aren't we
saving CPU cycles?

Erik
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Re: The XO laptop gets a Windows makeover

2008-10-26 Thread Erik Garrison
On Sun, Oct 26, 2008 at 9:50 PM, Carl-Daniel Hailfinger
[EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:

 On 27.10.2008 00:57, [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:

 On Oct 26, 2008, at 4:09 PM, Albert Cahalan wrote:

 Means of file sharing can be setup fairly easily in Sugar if you want
 to move raw files around. Currently file sharing is performed through
 activity sharing.


 Does setup fairly easily mean someone has to write a program
 (activity) to do it? If yes, it's not easy (yet). Will it work with
 arbitrary binary files?

We can do asynchronous file-based collaboration intelligently.

I am currently thinking about a very simple solution which can be
hooked into Sugar to allow users to view each other's files provided
they are both on the same network (mesh, router, wired net, etc.).

The mechanism I am considering will work as follows:
 1) User clicks on another XO icon in the Neighborhood view.
 2) Browse is opened and pointed at a specific port on the IP of the XO.
 3) A web browser on the 'host' XO sends a directory listing of the
user's share/home/journal folder to the 'client'.
 4) The client user can download whatever file they wish to share.
 5) The client then opens the file in a suitable application.

To satisfy privacy concerns, we could provide three configuration
options to users:
 - Share all: share the entire user's home directory tree.
 - Share only: share only files and symlinks explicitly added to a
'share' directory.  These copies or links could be enabled using a
menu option in whatever data browser runs on the system.
 - Share nothing: don't run the webserver.

Such a scheme would simultaneously open the collaborative
possibilities offered by the mesh and cut the gordion knot of
collaboration systems and APIs, allowing any computer with a web
browser to enter the collaborative arena!  This scheme would make it
easy to collaborate asynchronously between Sugar and non-Sugar
environments.

To implement this it would be sufficient to provide a web interface to
the journal.  I believe a modular, file-based solution would be
preferable from a programming and maintenance perspective, but the
opaque nature of the filesystem from the users' perspective stands in
the way.  I am hoping that in 9.1 we provide users the capability to
save files to their home directory by giving their activity instances
names.  (Perhaps we could autosave everything else, but delete it
after some time period of non-use.)  This would make it possible to
provide collaboration by setting the webserver to provide a directory
listing of the user's home instead of writing a specialized interface
to the journal.  This would make it much easier to find and extend
existing upstream systems which do the job well to meet the specific
needs of the XO.

I am also hoping that it will be easy for users to run applications on
files obtained from non-local, non-journal/datastore sources.
Currently doing so is impossible from the Sugar GUI.

A third hope is that our security model can be relaxed to allow the
launching of an application against a file downloaded via a web
browser.  This would eliminate a step (back into the journal or file
browser) to open a file from a remote source.

Erik
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Re: The XO laptop gets a Windows makeover

2008-10-26 Thread Erik Garrison
On Sun, Oct 26, 2008 at 9:50 PM, Carl-Daniel Hailfinger
[EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
 Hi Robert,

 On 27.10.2008 00:57, [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:

 On Oct 26, 2008, at 4:09 PM, Albert Cahalan wrote:
 Means of file sharing can be setup fairly easily in Sugar if you want
 to move raw files around. Currently file sharing is performed through
 activity sharing.


 Does setup fairly easily mean someone has to write a program
 (activity) to do it? If yes, it's not easy (yet). Will it work with
 arbitrary binary files?

We can do asynchronous file-based collaboration intelligently.

I am currently thinking about a very simple solution which can be
hooked into Sugar to allow users to view each other's files provided
they are both on the same network (mesh, router, wired net, etc.).

The mechanism I am considering will work as follows:
  1) User clicks on another XO icon in the Neighborhood view.
  2) Browse is opened and pointed at a specific port on the IP of the XO.
  3) A web browser on the 'host' XO sends a directory listing of the
user's share/home/journal folder to the 'client'.
  4) The client user can download whatever file they wish to share.
  5) The client then opens the file in a suitable application.

To satisfy privacy concerns, we could provide three configuration
options to users:
  - Share all: share the entire user's home directory tree.
  - Share only: share only files and symlinks explicitly added to a
'share' directory.  These copies or links could be enabled using a
menu option in whatever data browser runs on the system.
  - Share nothing: don't run the webserver.

Such a scheme would simultaneously open the collaborative
possibilities offered by the mesh and cut the gordion knot of
collaboration systems and APIs, allowing any computer with a web
browser to enter the collaborative arena!  This scheme would make it
easy to collaborate asynchronously between Sugar and non-Sugar
environments.

To implement this it would be sufficient to provide a web interface to
the journal.  I believe a modular, file-based solution would be
preferable from a programming and maintenance perspective, but the
opaque nature of the filesystem from the users' perspective stands in
the way.  I am hoping that in 9.1 we provide users the capability to
save files to their home directory by giving their activity instances
names.  (Perhaps we could autosave everything else, but delete it
after some time period of non-use.)  This would make it possible to
provide collaboration by setting the webserver to provide a directory
listing of the user's home instead of writing a specialized interface
to the journal.  This would make it much easier to find and extend
existing upstream systems which do the job well to meet the specific
needs of the XO.

I am also hoping that it will be easy for users to run applications on
files obtained from non-local, non-journal/datastore sources.
Currently doing so is impossible from the Sugar GUI.

A third hope is that our security model can be relaxed to allow the
launching of an application against a file downloaded via a web
browser.  This would eliminate a step (back into the journal or file
browser) to open a file from a remote source.

Erik
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Re: Cannot edit Trac tickets

2008-10-24 Thread Erik Garrison
On Fri, Oct 24, 2008 at 05:25:03PM +0200, Bert Freudenberg wrote:
 
 Am 24.10.2008 um 17:06 schrieb Chris Ball:
  I can't reproduce this here, but we did make a change yesterday
  that's probably responsible.
 
 Someone else on IRC reported seeing it, too.

That's me...
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9.1 Proposal: Performance

2008-10-22 Thread Erik Garrison
Proposal,

Implement the following hacks for a big performance boost from the
XO+Sugar user perspective.

Other systemic changes which could be made to improve system
performance from the user's perspective.

Discuss.

Erik



http://lists.laptop.org/pipermail/devel/2008-October/020404.html



In short, I have bundled a set of 'hacks' which generally (and in my
observation, dramatically) improve the user-perceived responsiveness of
the Sugar UI.  The hack bundle is available at
http://dev.laptop.org/~erik/faster-hacks.zip

I write requesting independent evaluation of the costs and benefits of
these modifications.

To test you *must* be running our current official release: 8.2-767.



-== Contents ==-

There are several 'hacks' included in this bundle:

 1) optionally disable frame appearance on activity switching, if the
file /home/olpc/no-frame-on-tabbing exists

 2) optionally disable autosaving on activity switching, if the file
/home/olpc/no-auto-save exists

 3) optionally start the X composite manager (xcompmgr) on sugar startup
to prevent the redraw of activity windows when switching from one
activity to the other (if /home/olpc/use-xcompmgr exists).

 4) compcache, http://code.google.com/p/compcache/, which makes a
compressed block device usable for swap out of a chunk of RAM.  By
compressing unused pages this system may offset memory usage increases
incurred by using composite.


-== Usage ==-

To install and test on an XO, open the Terminal activity and run:

wget http://dev.laptop.org/~erik/faster-hacks.zip
unzip faster-hacks.zip
cd faster-hacks
sudo ./install-faster-hacks

Restart Sugar, then, if you'd like to test with compcache, run:

cd faster-hacks
sudo ./start-compcache

Note also that you can adjust the amount of RAM (in kilobytes) devoted
to compcache by passing an argument to ./start-compcache, e.g.:

sudo ./start-compcache 5

By default it's set at 10Kb (~100Mb).


You can enable hacks 1-3 while running Sugar by executing:

./enable-faster-hacks

and disable with:

./disable-faster-hacks

Effects will be immediately apparent.


The changes in Sugar source files and installed executable (xcompmgr)
can be reverted and removed with:

sudo ./uninstall-faster-hacks

This step is a failsafe and likely unnecessary; ./disable-faster-hacks
should be sufficient to stop the effects and the size of the installed
programs is negligible (30kb in xcompmgr).



-== Discussion ==-

Now continue to play with your XO as normal!  Please report experiences
and impressions.  The 4 hacks are independent in operation and may be
mixed and matched to achieve a variety of possible configurations.

Keep in mind that these hacks present a tradeoff between existing
features and UI responsiveness!

The disabling of the frame removes a feature, but this feature (frame
auto-appearance) may be unnecessary if we can rapidly switch between
activities, as xcompmgr enables us to do.

The disabling of autosaving removes a feature, but it drops the load on
the processor which we incur when navigating between activities, thus
improving switching performance.  

The use of xcompmgr represents a tradeoff between free RAM and system
responsiveness.  RAM is utilized to store offscreen framebuffers for
each window in the X server.  This obviates the need to have programs
redraw themselves when they are switched into, dropping CPU usage during
switching.

But part of the RAM hit we incur by running xcompmgr may be offset by
using compcache to provide a compressed swap partition-in-RAM.

Comments more than welcome!

Erik

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Re: 9.1 Proposal: Deailing with Low Memory/OOM

2008-10-22 Thread Erik Garrison
On Wed, Oct 22, 2008 at 09:44:50AM -0700, Deepak Saxena wrote:
 
 I would like to present a short session and faciliate the follow up 
 discussion on and dealing with the memory constraints on our system
 at an application framework level.
 
 From my understanding, there are two situations we are running into 
 with low memory that need separate solutions:
 
 1) A single running application, Browse for example, chews up lots 
of memory.  The only real solution I can think of to this is to 
make the applications and underlying libraries leaner and smarter. :)

Instead of tweaking everything to run in a tiny box, you could use
compcache and change the shape of the box the apps are stuck in.
 
For the past week I've been running all my XOs with compcache
(http://code.google.com/p/compcache/)--- a kernel module which can be
used to create a ram-backed lzo-compressed swap partition.  I have had
no negative experiences which are overtly related to running compcache
(I run a 100mb compcache).  My impression is that I can run more
activities than before without running into low memory situations.  I am
currently testing this assumption more rigorously using LTP (linux test
project).

Compcache relieves memory pressure enough that I can run xcompmgr
without reducing the number of activities I typically run concurrently
(4-5) on an XO without compressed memory caching.  X composite greatly
improves the UI responsiveness on the XO and makes it much more of a
pleasure to use.

Erik
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Re: latest problems

2008-10-21 Thread Erik Garrison
On Tue, Oct 21, 2008 at 04:53:53AM -0400, elana langer wrote:
 Hey there-
 
 I was at a school yesterday and it seemed like the three major
 problems they faced were:
 
 1) computer freezing constantly

Are the freezes 'hard'?  Does the whole system lock up?  Or can you
still move the mouse, or get to the virtual terminal by pressing
alt+ctrl+neighborhood button?

How many activities are typically running when a freeze occurs?

 2) computers were missing their journal or the journal disappeared

We have heard a lot of reports of this from places which are running old
builds (656 for instance).  Perhaps upgrade is the best solution.

 3) slowness

I've been working on activity switching and window manager performance
in the official 8.2 build (767).
http://lists.laptop.org/pipermail/devel/2008-October/020404.html 
(This email describes a few high-level things we can do to change memory
management on the XO and improve graphical interface responsiveness.)


Again it's going to be hard to backport fixes to 656, and I recommend
investigating upgrade.  All of these issues have seen improvement in the
past six months of development.

One thing which is difficult is understanding which of these issues have
been fixed by our development process since the release of 656, and
which still need resolution.  To improve collaboration between us and
our deployments, it is necessary for the deployments to upgrade their
software.  If our customers are running recent software then they get
the benefit of software which includes fixes for already-identified
issues, and we get the benefit of users who have issues which are
reflective of the current state of our work.  It is a virtuous cycle.

Do the schools have a plan for upgrade?  Are there any significant
hurdles which stand between them and upgrade?


 I have asked for more details for each problem and will get back to you.
 
 At another pilot school, school 4, one of the IT teachers has been
 running Ubutu on the XO and finds it much faster. He has recommended
 it to his teachers.

Do you know what ubuntu install image he's using?

Thanks,

Erik
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Re: simple hacks to improve the performance of the Sugar UI

2008-10-20 Thread Erik Garrison
Per C. Scott's suggestion, I have created trac tickets for each of the
first three items.  A very old ticket exists for the 4th.

On Fri, Oct 17, 2008 at 03:56:05PM -0400, Erik Garrison wrote:
 ...
 
 There are several 'hacks' included in this bundle:
 
  1) optionally disable frame appearance on activity switching, if the
 file /home/olpc/no-frame-on-tabbing exists
 
http://dev.laptop.org/ticket/8852

  2) optionally disable autosaving on activity switching, if the file
 /home/olpc/no-auto-save exists
 
http://dev.laptop.org/ticket/8853

  3) optionally start the X composite manager (xcompmgr) on sugar startup
 to prevent the redraw of activity windows when switching from one
 activity to the other (if /home/olpc/use-xcompmgr exists).

http://dev.laptop.org/ticket/8854

  4) compcache, http://code.google.com/p/compcache/, which makes a
 compressed block device usable for swap out of a chunk of RAM.  By
 compressing unused pages this system may offset memory usage increases
 incurred by using composite.
 
http://dev.laptop.org/ticket/28

an old one!

Erik

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Re: simple hacks to improve the performance of the Sugar UI

2008-10-18 Thread Erik Garrison
On Sat, Oct 18, 2008 at 5:08 AM, Marco Pesenti Gritti
[EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
 On Sat, Oct 18, 2008 at 7:35 AM, Andrés Ambrois [EMAIL PROTECTED]
 wrote:

 Just a couple of notes.



 [PATCH] sugar-homewindow-no-transition.patch

 This removes the usage of TransitionBox from HomeWindow.py. TransitionBox
 is
 used to animate the Xo Guy while moving between zoom levels.
 This patch makes transition from activities to the home box almost
 instantaneous and removes the annoying flickering.

 git master doesn't have an activity - home animation... I need to check if
 that's what Eben actually want though :) I'm also looking into fixing the
 flickering when closing an activity today.


 I have tried your hacks and I must say the frame behaves a lot better with
 compositing enabled. I haven't run any serious memory pressure tests, but
 I
 can have around 8-9 activities open before encountering OOM problems. No
 idea
 what the previous statistics were.

 Compositing will not make a huge difference about OOM. It's 2 mb per
 activity, so it would be something like 1.5 activities less you can run. The
 impact it's in theory going to have is to fill up VRAM and hence making
 graphics performance with a lot of activities open painful.


I suggest testing xcompmgr without compcache (or with small/large RAM
allocations for it).  My impression is that when using xcompmgr, but
not using compcache the upper limit in terms of number of activities
before OOM was 5 or 6.  I'm going to do a code review to better
understand what compositing is doing with the window buffers.  Also if
anyone has advice about how to find where memory is getting stored
(VRAM or RAM) please note.

We need to test memory limits programatically but unfortunately there
is a kernel bug which we're hitting in low memory situations in which
the OOM killer is never invoked, but the system grinds to a halt.
This will make automated testing of this aspect quite painful.  Until
we resolve this we can't just have the system look in the kernel
messages for OOM events to help us test the limits.

Erik
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Re: 9.1 Proposal: Legacy compatibility.

2008-10-17 Thread Erik Garrison
On Fri, Oct 17, 2008 at 03:07:58PM -0400, C. Scott Ananian wrote:
 I'd like to present a few areas where sugar can play nice with
 others, including:
  * replacing the matchbox window manager, to provide better
 multiple-window support for legacy apps (think of the 'gimp', running
 as multiple windows without one full-screen activity area aka
 virtual desktop)
  * making sugar behave well when run in non-full-screen-mode under
 metacity.  This includes refactoring home/friends/mesh view as
 operations on root window, so they make sense in a multiwindow setup.
 (It's been suggested that looking at the xpenguins code is instructive
 for understanding how nautilus,etc arrange their root window.)
  * Switch to standard freedesktop.org startup notification mechanism:
 ticket #5271
  * Implement freedesktop.org notifications mechanism for alerts (low
 battery, low disk space, available software update)
  * Use standard fd.o notification area in frame -- I think this would
 also address cjb's desire to put the 'stop' button for recordmydesktop
 in the frame.
 
 I don't think I will actually have time to work on many of these areas
 in the 9.1 time frame, so I especially encourage interested/motivated
 parties to make concrete proposals on pieces of this work.  (Or
 suggest other areas we should improve.)

Perhaps we could also investigate the use of the xdg utilities for
managing mimetype associations and installing activities?

Erik
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simple hacks to improve the performance of the Sugar UI

2008-10-17 Thread Erik Garrison
XO Users,

In short, I have bundled a set of 'hacks' which generally (and in my
observation, dramatically) improve the user-perceived responsiveness of
the Sugar UI.  The hack bundle is available at
http://dev.laptop.org/~erik/faster-hacks.zip

I write requesting independent evaluation of the costs and benefits of
these modifications.

To test you *must* be running our current official release: 8.2-767.



-== Contents ==-

There are several 'hacks' included in this bundle:

 1) optionally disable frame appearance on activity switching, if the
file /home/olpc/no-frame-on-tabbing exists

 2) optionally disable autosaving on activity switching, if the file
/home/olpc/no-auto-save exists

 3) optionally start the X composite manager (xcompmgr) on sugar startup
to prevent the redraw of activity windows when switching from one
activity to the other (if /home/olpc/use-xcompmgr exists).

 4) compcache, http://code.google.com/p/compcache/, which makes a
compressed block device usable for swap out of a chunk of RAM.  By
compressing unused pages this system may offset memory usage increases
incurred by using composite.


-== Usage ==-

To install and test on an XO, open the Terminal activity and run:

wget http://dev.laptop.org/~erik/faster-hacks.zip
unzip faster-hacks.zip
cd faster-hacks
sudo ./install-faster-hacks

Restart Sugar, then, if you'd like to test with compcache, run:

cd faster-hacks
sudo ./start-compcache

Note also that you can adjust the amount of RAM (in kilobytes) devoted
to compcache by passing an argument to ./start-compcache, e.g.:

sudo ./start-compcache 5

By default it's set at 10Kb (~100Mb).


You can enable hacks 1-3 while running Sugar by executing:

./enable-faster-hacks

and disable with:

./disable-faster-hacks

Effects will be immediately apparent.


The changes in Sugar source files and installed executable (xcompmgr)
can be reverted and removed with:

sudo ./uninstall-faster-hacks

This step is a failsafe and likely unnecessary; ./disable-faster-hacks
should be sufficient to stop the effects and the size of the installed
programs is negligible (30kb in xcompmgr).



-== Discussion ==-

Now continue to play with your XO as normal!  Please report experiences
and impressions.  The 4 hacks are independent in operation and may be
mixed and matched to achieve a variety of possible configurations.

Keep in mind that these hacks present a tradeoff between existing
features and UI responsiveness!

The disabling of the frame removes a feature, but this feature (frame
auto-appearance) may be unnecessary if we can rapidly switch between
activities, as xcompmgr enables us to do.

The disabling of autosaving removes a feature, but it drops the load on
the processor which we incur when navigating between activities, thus
improving switching performance.  

The use of xcompmgr represents a tradeoff between free RAM and system
responsiveness.  RAM is utilized to store offscreen framebuffers for
each window in the X server.  This obviates the need to have programs
redraw themselves when they are switched into, dropping CPU usage during
switching.

But part of the RAM hit we incur by running xcompmgr may be offset by
using compcache to provide a compressed swap partition-in-RAM.

Comments more than welcome!

Erik

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Re: Weekend Report

2008-10-17 Thread Erik Garrison
Erik Garrison spent the week testing various hierarchical file managers
which could potentially be used in Sugar and working on UI performance
issues.  To close the week he published a set of potential modifications
to the OLPC software distribution which dramatically improve user
interface performance [1].

[1] http://lists.laptop.org/pipermail/devel/2008-October/020404.html
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planning session for a technical conference for OLPC customers and community members

2008-10-16 Thread Erik Garrison
Mel Chua, Hernan Pachas and I will meet in #olpc on FreeNode at 1pm EDT
to discuss a technical meeting for countries, community members, and
OLPC customers in general.  Such a meeting would be a forum to integrate
feedback from the field with our work at OLPC.

Hernan suggested the idea in late August but as of yet we have no plans
to implement it:

11:24  hpachas-PE wad, jg , pienso que debemos estar mejor
comunicados, y que cuando OLPC cree conveniente mejorar el sw, debemos
reunirnos para que OLPC reciba el feddback de nosotros 
11:30  hpachas-PE wad, jg : 1 o 2 veces al año, .. la diferencia entre
los workshop que OLPC esta realizando, este workshop seria diferente.
11:30  hpachas-PE wad, jg : ya que seria una reunión técnica
11:31  hpachas-PE wad, jg : y OLPC debe anotar los puntos en los
cuales todos los paises coinciden. y focalizarce en realizar esa
mejora.

Quick and dirty translation:
11:24  hpachas-PE wad, jg , i think that we should be in better
communication, and when OLPC thinks it convenient to improve the
software, we should meet so that OLPC can receive our feedback
11:30  hpachas-PE wad, jg : 1 or 2 times each year, the difference
between the workshops that olpc is implementing, this workshop could be
different 
11:30  hpachas-PE wad, jg : it could be a technical meeting
11:31  hpachas-PE wad, jg : and OLPC should take note of the points on
which all the countries coincide, and focus on improving them.

Please join if you are interested!

Erik
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failures disabling security [was Re: journal is hard + sugar and the digital age]

2008-10-15 Thread Erik Garrison
On Thu, Oct 09, 2008 at 02:30:47PM -0400, Michael Stone wrote:
 
 On Thu, Oct 09, 2008 at 12:55:43PM -0400, Erik Garrison wrote:
 In particular, our security model has the effect of preventing work on
 this issue that isn't supported by all the core developers. 

 Scott seems to be suffering from no impediment from our security model
 so please explain your complaint in more detail or 

   rm /etc/olpc-security
   and get on with life.

I am attempting to disable rainbow security with this command but
finding failures with several activities:
http://dev.laptop.org/ticket/8834

Joe: Perhaps we should add this test to the smoketest to prevent future
regressions.

Erik
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Re: Updated UBIFS 8.2 image

2008-10-14 Thread Erik Garrison
On Mon, Oct 13, 2008 at 01:26:32PM -0700, Deepak Saxena wrote:
 
 Hi,
 
 I have updated the  UBIFS 8.2 image on d.l.o with a
 new kernel that includes various backports from kernel.org.
 One major change that is noticeable is that the free space
 calculation reports 921MiB free instead of 822MiB due to 
 improved df reporting. I've also disabled debug messages 
 and this will improve performance (UBI attach time dropped 
 from 50s to  2s). 
 
 Directions for installation:
 
  * Make sure your XO has security disabled 
 
  * Make sure your XO is running the latest OFW. The best way to do this
is to update it to 8.2.0. 
 
  * Download the following files to a USB stick: 
 
http://dev.laptop.org/~dsaxena/ubi_test/data.img
http://dev.laptop.org/~dsaxena/ubi_test/nand.img
 
  * Boot the laptop with USB stick and escape into the OFW prompt. 
 
  * Run: 
 
ok dev nand   : write-blocks write-pages ;  dend
write-blocks isn't unique # You can ignore this
ok update-nand u:\data.img
 

By including the attached file on the same USB stick you can both run
the workaround and the flash with the following command:

ok fl u:u.fth

Untested here as I only have one laptop at my disposal and I'm working
on other issues at the moment, but should work as I've just copied the
commands you note into a forth source file.

Erik
\ ubi tests
\ nand updater script
\ Deepak Saxena ([EMAIL PROTECTED])
\ Erik Garrison ([EMAIL PROTECTED])

dev nand   : write-blocks write-pages ;  dend
update-nand u:\data.img
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Re: [sugar] 0.84/9.1 planning.

2008-10-14 Thread Erik Garrison
On Tue, Oct 14, 2008 at 06:15:31PM -0400, C. Scott Ananian wrote:
 On Mon, Oct 13, 2008 at 2:46 PM, Ed McNierney [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
  I would also like to stop calling this 9.1 planning.  We need to plan the
  development work we need to get done, regardless of whether that work will
  be able to ship next March.  At a certain point we will have some of this
  work complete and available for qualification in a March delivery, and we'll
  ship that as 9.1.  And we'll keep going to qualify and ship more of it in
  9.2, and more in 10.1 (or is that 0.1??), etc.
 
 I disagree.  Part of the focus of the meeting is to present all the
 ideas for future development, and then drive stakes in the ground for
 what's going to be in 9.1.
 

 ...

 In the past we have divided tasks into next release and future
 release where the future really means never because we don't do
 *any* of the work in the next release timeframe.  That needs to
 stop.  *Everything* we want in a future release must have *some*
 piece we can do now, so that we continue to make progress on our
 long-term goals.
 

I think this is exactly the kind of issue which Ed's suggestion is aimed
at resolving.  By focusing our development on releases instead of
problems, we tend to classify issues into next release and future
release.  It shouldn't matter what release a given issue will fall
into.  But this is not what occurs in practice.  As release time draws
near everyone is encouraged to drop long-term issues so that a release
date can be met.  And consequently the future issues are never
approached.

I agree with Ed in that I feel that focusing on the specific release so
far before we have to pull software together is going to create exactly
the dicotomy between next and future you note.  I would prefer to
have a general software planning meeting and not a 9.1-specific planning
meeting.

Erik
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Re: journal is hard + sugar and the digital age

2008-10-09 Thread Erik Garrison
On Thu, Oct 09, 2008 at 12:13:02PM -0400, Eben Eliason wrote:
 On Thu, Oct 9, 2008 at 10:15 AM, Carlos Nazareno [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
  Hi Tomeu. Some personal feedback:
 
  3) Basically - The journal is really hard for people/ kids to use over
  a longer period of time. Kids and teachers can't find things that they
  did unless it was done within the last 30 minutes.
 Could you please elaborate on the difficulties that people have when
 using the journal?
 
  I've experienced the same problem. Items tend to clutter up in the
  journal over time, it's like viewing your entire web browsing history.
  Its current implementation simply leads to information overload with
  the accumulating number of entries.
 
  IMHO, the philosophy of nothing gets forgotten with the journal is a
  bit flawed because as people we don't even naturally do that. We
  selectively choose which information to remember and mark as important
  and discard the rest because that's just information overload.
 
 You're right on with this comment.  Of course, I don't think nothing
 gets forgotten is really what we're aiming for; in fact, we aim for
 much the opposite.  However, as it's currently implemented, you're
 right!  The Journal is actually supposed to retain everything you've
 done *quite recently* so that you can always go back and find, remix,
 resume, etc.  Experimentation is encouraged.
 
 However, the very principles the Journal was designed around include
 the concept of memory, and particularly the fading thereof.  Over
 time, less used, unstarred, unimportant files will eventually be
 backed up and then removed (probably after confirmation, but perhaps
 you can opt out of the confirmation step) by the system, so that the
 further back in time you look, the less you have left, but the more
 relevant the remaining items are to your history with the laptop.
 
 This is a very important aspect of the Journal that just hasn't had
 time to happen, yet.
 

You acknowledge that the system is not functioning as well as it should
be in its curren state.  Please stop saying we are going to do this
and look for the simplest way to achieve a usable system for our usesr.
I will gladly help in this endeavor, but I am concerned by our security
system and the frequent implications that we are holding to old designs
that my ideas and motivation have no place in this effort.

I don't think we can incorporate the concept of memory and forgetting
into the Journal in a programmatic way.  Forgetting is as much a learned
skill as remembering, and attempting to replicate it in software seems
like a very difficult, if impossible, task.  I feel that we are tilting
at windmills if we believe we can reliably produce something so
incredible in any conceivable timeframe.

I positively advocate a simplification of our expectations about what
the Journal will do.  Just a system which consistently suggests (but
does not enforce) default, intelligent organizations for things in a
traditional filesystem, provides manual and automatic tagging support,
and indexes the text of written documents will be a giant step forward
in terms of reliability and interoperability with the outside world.
With metadata about files stashed in a database, such as time, date,
text (for indexing and search), tags, creating application, etc. we can
do everything the Journal is intended to do, but no sacrifice the
simplicity and reliability of the default filesystem in the process of
developing the Journal to its full capacity.

For this we only need to work on three sets of components:

 1) Journal -- a file browsing application which provides numerous views
onto the corpus of data the user creates and handles; views being
time-ordered, filtered, hierarchical (traditional), tag-based, etc.
Allowing other applications to manage files will let contributors create
or port existing systems to the Sugar environment to fulfill these
functions as well.

 2) Indexer -- a simple filesystem crawler that walks across the set of
directories to which users are expected to save data (e.g. not Activity
directories or hidden directories in /home) and executes plugin scripts
which produce indexable metadata and fulltext for use in later searches
by the user.  The scripts can have a standard IO format, such as used by
tracker, and can be installable by inclusion in Activity bundles.

 3) Watcher -- a filesystem watcher which uses inotify to watch for
changes in the set of directories to which the student writes data.  On
change, invokes the indexer, which then executes the corresponding
metadata / fulltext extraction scripts and adds the file in question to
the index accessible and searchable by the Journal.

I feel that we are moving in this direction, but to really get there so
much has to change in the architecture of Sugar that I am afraid that
this work will be unsupported and renegade in flavor.

I am furthermore frustrated by the tight integration of the Journal into
the window manager.  

Re: Trip Report: GNOME UI Hackfest

2008-10-09 Thread Erik Garrison
On Thu, Oct 09, 2008 at 12:46:56PM -0400, C. Scott Ananian wrote:
 On Thu, Oct 9, 2008 at 9:13 AM, Michael Stone [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
  This is just a brief note summarizing our experience at the
 
http://live.gnome.org/Boston2008/GUIHackfest
 
  In short:
 
  * Scott gave a long talk on his
http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Experiments_with_unordered_paths
and on his crazy journal ideas.
 
  * Michael gave a short talk on
http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Rainbow
 
  * We caught an *awesome* slideshow by David Richards
http://live.gnome.org/Boston2008/GUIHackfest/CityOfLargoPresentation
in which we learned that enterprise users and children are remarkably
similar.
 
  Perhaps cjb and cscott will contribute other more detailed thoughts
  about what we learned?
 
 On key insight from the Largo presentation was that adult users are
 generally unable to use the standard files-and-folders metaphor as
 well.  Once they save a document, they've got *no idea* where it goes
 (inconsistent default folder choices in applications don't help here),
 and one of the most frequent help desk requests is to find my file.
 Also, they often add all sorts of crazy characters in their file
 names, like leading and trailing spaces, and don't understand why
 'foo.doc' and ' foo.doc ' behave different (and are not sorted
 together).
 

Are we sure that we can generalize these observations to younger users?

In an attempt to better understand the issue I found
Barriers of Information Access in Small Screen Device Applications: The
Relevance of User Characteristics for a Transgenerational Design
http://www.springerlink.com/content/b7878w17251720v3/fulltext.pdf

Please see section 2.1 of this paper for a nice review (with citations)
of the factors affecting older users.  Most applicable to this situation
are lack of prior experience, reduction of working memory capacity,
decline in psychomotor and sensory functioning with age, and difficulty
filtering relevant information out of complicated user interfaces.

I am seeking an equivalent review of the user interface issues affecting young 
users.  Can anyone find one?

Erik
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Re: Slowness (was Re: notes from the field - Mongolia)

2008-10-09 Thread Erik Garrison
Hey Elana,

One thing which you can do to improve activity switching performance is
to run xcompmgr (X composite manager).  This prevents the activities
from burning CPU time redrawing themselves every time they are switched
to by persistently caching the video memory used by each window.  The
result is notably improved activity switching performance.  But it does
so at the cost of memory, as each window open consumes about 2MiB more
RAM.

One notable problem with this approach is that doing so requires more
memory and thus, if the user runs a lot (in testing 4 or 5) of
applications the system will become quite slow.  It would be helpful to
know if the activity switching performance boost provided by wholesale
use of X composite is outweighed by the potential out-of-memory
situations.  How many activities are kids typically using?  Would they
prefer a system which had much better window manager navigation
performance at the cost of not being able to run as many activities?

What version of our software (what build) is being used for the tests?
Scott suggests that you are running 649.  I have tested the following
procedure to run xcompmgr on that build:

To install xcompmgr in the Terminal:

su
yum install xcompmgr
# indicate 'y' when asked

To run, again in the terminal:

xcompmgr

You won't be able to close the terminal while running the tests.

You should notice an improvement in switching performance and frame
redraw.  The residual latency in switching appears to be caused by
activity autosaving, but my testing experience with 649 is not sufficent
to pass judgement on this issue.

Erik

On Thu, Oct 09, 2008 at 01:22:21PM -0400, elana langer wrote:
 in addition to boot and activity load time the time it takes to switch
 between applications is also a little frustrating - especially for
 kids who have worked on faster computers.
 
 I am in Mongolia for the next few weeks. There are several schools in
 the city that have computers so if you want any testing done (like the
 reaction to the boot time with 8.2) just let me know. If you send me a
 list of dream field feedback or something I can try to make that all
 happen.
 
 On Thu, Oct 9, 2008 at 4:59 AM, Tomeu Vizoso [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
  Hi Elana,
 
  you have brought a very needed point of view to this list. Let me try
  to start the process of translating your experience to actionable
  items.
 
  On Mon, Oct 6, 2008 at 5:20 PM, elana langer [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
 
  1) Computers are slow - So I was in a Ger in the west part of Mongolia
  and I thought I would show the computer to the family that was hosting
  me. The husband, wife and 8 year old child huddled around the computer
  and pressed the on button. Instead of being delighted by the computer
  they waited, and waited for the computer to load. I asked them in
  broken monoglian to be patient but once the computer loaded they
  wanted to open an application and again more waiting. The 8 year old
  lost interest as did the mom and only the man of the house stuck
  around to try things.
  This is not a unique experience. This is a culture that lives close to
  the land. Action- reaction. No one is used to waiting for an
  computer to load or a bagel to toast for that matter. (of course
  cooking takes time but they can watch as it changes form not just an
  unmoving screen)
 
  In the city the experience is worse. Kids used to PCs quickly grow
  impatient and leave the XO to find other faster computers.
 
  First, I would like to note that you are talking about perceived
  slowness, not the absolute time that takes to do anything. So to solve
  the issues you mentioned, we need to give a sense to the user that
  something is happening and, when possible, how much time it will take
  to finish, in case reducing the time it takes is too expensive
  resource-wise.
 
  Second, you talk about boot time and activity launch time. Is there
  any other action in the laptop that causes problems because of its
  slowness?
 
  And third, both booting and activity launching performance are known
  problems and some improvements already happened in the last stable
  release, 8.2.0. Do you think you could do some experiments with that
  release and see if things have improved and if so, how much?
 
  Thanks,
 
  Tomeu
 
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Re: notes on Journal feedback (was Re: Bundle activity)

2008-10-07 Thread Erik Garrison
On Tue, Oct 07, 2008 at 12:14:13PM +0200, Tomeu Vizoso wrote:
 On Tue, Sep 23, 2008 at 3:47 PM, Erik Garrison [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
  On Fri, Sep 12, 2008 at 09:17:16AM +0200, Tomeu Vizoso wrote:
  On Thu, Sep 11, 2008 at 10:40 PM, Erik Garrison [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
   When I was in Uruguay more teachers asked me about issues with the
   Journal than anything else.  I keep poking on this issue to remind
   people that it's not going away in the field.
 
  Could you please tell us more about the issues reported?
 
  1) Data loss.  Teachers I met mentioned seeing bugs where the students
  Journal was wiped clean, or where things went missing.  Without live
  examples this is pretty hard to diagnose.  Perhaps an effect of running
  on such an old build.
 
 Yes, this improved in 0.82 and is a big goal for 0.84:
 
 http://sugarlabs.org/go/DevelopmentTeam/0.84/Reliability
 http://sugarlabs.org/go/DevelopmentTeam/DatastoreRewrite#Reliability
 

I think that (4) is actually mixed with (1) as well.  The problem is
that the activity API is auto-saving work sessions.  If left unchecked
by the user they'll end up with a Journal full of lots of entries they
didn't intentionally create.  The system doesn't require the
intentionality of its user to save, yet the result of saving and
auto-saving are identical.  It's hard to find the important things among
the pile of unimportant things which result from everyday use of the
interface.  From a user's perspective, or the perspective of their
teacher, this is equivalent to data loss.  

  2) Journal startup failures borking the whole system / Journal never
  completing startup but Sugar starting.  Possibly because of NAND-full.
  If so we have fixed it.  Interestingly, I heard about kids resolving
  this issue manually from the command-line (although their teacher didn't
  know exactly what they did!  I'm guessing they removed their data
  directory.).
 
 Yes, IMO, this is the same issue as 1)
 

Additionally, users could be deleting their Journals from the command
line simply because they can't find anything they need and they don't
care about saving their data.

We have a data manager which doesn't acknowledge files, purportedly for
the benefit of its very young, and technically uninitiated users.  Then,
when it's not working they drop into the command line and delete its
configuration and data caches manually using rm -rf !  (This knowledge
is becoming quite common in at least one of our deployments.  Just
yesterday a kid from Uruguay came into #olpc-ayuda to ask exactly how to
do this.  And this morning a user spontaneously wrote rm
.sugar/default/confis into the channel...)

  3) How do I share files to/from an XO?  I just did this work but now
  where is the resultant file?  Interface with the outside world.
 
 How could we better define the outside world? Do you think we could
 get a list of the main use cases when taking data out of XO systems?
 

Anything that can use a file would be a good description of all the
main use cases.  How do we get lumps of bits from here to there without
acknowledging the utility of the file abstraction?


  4) General usability concerns; questions about why the design was
  chosen.  Difficulty finding things in the produced action history.
 
 How could we get to know which are those concerns? Perhaps we could
 try to get the people who can give this feedback on the olpc-sur
 mailing list, have some discussion there in spanish and then summarize
 in the global lists and wiki? And if you could by a chance remember
 any concrete usability concern, please post it here.
 
 I think we all agree that the journal sucks in a lot of senses. We are
 trying to improve it by implementing the biggest missing pieces and
 patching the biggest wholes, but if it was at all possible to choose
 the priorities based on real feedback from the field, I'm pretty sure
 the result will be much better. Do you think we can get feedback on a
 form we can actually use?

I think we should ask around on olpc-sur!  I also recommend coming to
#olpc-ayuda and talking with the kids who are trying to 'fix' issues
with their Journal via the command line.

Erik
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Re: notes on Journal feedback (was Re: Bundle activity)

2008-10-07 Thread Erik Garrison
On Tue, Oct 07, 2008 at 10:20:48AM -0400, Gary Oberbrunner wrote:
 Tomeu Vizoso wrote:
  On Tue, Sep 23, 2008 at 3:47 PM, Erik Garrison [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
  On Fri, Sep 12, 2008 at 09:17:16AM +0200, Tomeu Vizoso wrote:
  On Thu, Sep 11, 2008 at 10:40 PM, Erik Garrison [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
 ...
  3) How do I share files to/from an XO?  I just did this work but now
  where is the resultant file?  Interface with the outside world.
  
  How could we better define the outside world? Do you think we could
  get a list of the main use cases when taking data out of XO systems?
 
 My $0.02 (aka. wild guess) is that the following three use cases cover
 90+% of all of them:
 
 1. files to and from a FAT-formatted USB stick
 2. files to and from a wifi SMB share
 3. email attachments in and out

4. non-sugar desktop systems and programs on the same physical system

Erik
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Re: [sugar] notes from the field - Mongolia

2008-10-07 Thread Erik Garrison
On Tue, Oct 07, 2008 at 06:05:41PM +0200, Marco Pesenti Gritti wrote:
 On Mon, Oct 6, 2008 at 6:33 PM, Erik Garrison [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
  How are we going to rectify the general slowness of our user interface?
  It may not be enough to work on the performance problem from within the
  existing framework.  How will we know if this is the case?
 
 We will spend more time profiling and understanding the system and
 less in uninformed mailing list discussions.

My point is that the easiest way to improve the user-perceived
performance of the system is probably to kill features.

Profiling is not going to help us see this.  It is merely going to help
us compare one implementation of the framework to another.  I am
suggesting that we may need to think outside the existing box to resolve
the issues described by Elana, and for this I believe that discussion is
quite important.

Erik
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Re: notes on Journal feedback (was Re: Bundle activity)

2008-10-07 Thread Erik Garrison
On Tue, Oct 07, 2008 at 12:59:23PM -0700, John Gilmore wrote:
   (This knowledge
   is becoming quite common in at least one of our deployments.  Just
   yesterday a kid from Uruguay came into #olpc-ayuda to ask exactly how to
   do this.  And this morning a user spontaneously wrote rm
   .sugar/default/confis into the channel...)
 
 This is lovely!  Despite the rigorous insistence that kids be unable
 to see the hierarchical filesystem that underlies all the code and
 data in their laptops, they are figuring it out anyway.
 

Please excuse my poor writing and note that these were two separate
incidents.  The first student had left long before the second arrived.
The second incident seems like someone trying to write in a terminal but
accidentally typing the command into XoIrc.

Erik
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Re: notes from the field - Mongolia

2008-10-06 Thread Erik Garrison
On Mon, Oct 06, 2008 at 11:20:04AM -0400, elana langer wrote:
 Hey Tech Community-
 
 I just wanted to give y'all some feedback from my experience in
 Mongolia. Feel free to contact me with any questions. Please excuse my
 lay language - it's how i roll.
 
 1) Computers are slow - So I was in a Ger in the west part of Mongolia
 and I thought I would show the computer to the family that was hosting
 me. The husband, wife and 8 year old child huddled around the computer
 and pressed the on button. Instead of being delighted by the computer
 they waited, and waited for the computer to load. I asked them in
 broken monoglian to be patient but once the computer loaded they
 wanted to open an application and again more waiting. The 8 year old
 lost interest as did the mom and only the man of the house stuck
 around to try things.
 This is not a unique experience. This is a culture that lives close to
 the land. Action- reaction. No one is used to waiting for an
 computer to load or a bagel to toast for that matter. (of course
 cooking takes time but they can watch as it changes form not just an
 unmoving screen)

 In the city the experience is worse. Kids used to PCs quickly grow
 impatient and leave the XO to find other faster computers.

I think this is very interesting, as I have often heard nearly the
opposite argument--- that because the XO is often a child's first
computer their standards for its responsiveness will be as low as we'd
like them to be.

What we have forgotten is that slow technology is, to the uninitiated,
indistinguishable from broken technology.

How are we going to rectify the general slowness of our user interface?
It may not be enough to work on the performance problem from within the
existing framework.  How will we know if this is the case?

 2) Can't save files - this should probably be the first item on my
 list. It drives teachers and students crazy. They make something in an
 application, take some pictures or write something and then have to go
 through a really tough process to find it and save it on an external
 drive.
 
My impression is that the journal design stems from a belief that we
have an opportunity to completely redesign human-computer interaction in
terms of data storage.  Unfortunately this is simply not the case.
Teachers have experience with existing systems.  If they have any
computing experience (and let us hope they do if they are using
computers in the classroom!), they have worked with a hierarchical data
management system which required them to give fully qualified names to
their work.  In breaking with this paradigm we rob them of this valuable
expertise and frustrate their work with our system.

 3) Basically - The journal is really hard for people/ kids to use over
 a longer period of time. Kids and teachers can't find things that they
 did unless it was done within the last 30 minutes.

This effect, brought about by the user interface of the journal, is
exactly the opposite of its most fundamental design principle: don't
lose user data.

In my mind the fundamental problem is that users aren't required to
fully qualify names for their work.  Doing so seems to lie outside of
one of the core points of Sugar's design (There are no files, folders,
or applications. -- http://sugarlabs.org/go/Main_Page).  Is it
conceivable that we could change this feature of the system in future
releases to clarify data management on Sugar-running XOs?

 4) Mesh problems - my sense is that you are all pretty aware of those issues.

I think we should start looking into software-level mesh protocols using
the libertas thin firmware.  This is not a solution to this problem, but
it will at least move us to a place where we can have collaborative work
on the base layer of our mesh networking stack.

 There are a bunch of bugs that I reported through reuben which include
 the problems with applications once they have been translated into
 cyrillic. These are some of the main foundational issues that folks
 are having. Let me know if you have questions.
 
 elana

Thank you very much for your feedback and hard work!

Erik
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Re: Walter Bender: Re: devkeys, prettyboot, and G1G1

2008-10-02 Thread Erik Garrison
On Thu, Oct 02, 2008 at 12:07:51AM -0400, Bobby Powers wrote:
 On Wed, Oct 1, 2008 at 10:35 PM, Edward Cherlin [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
  I don't mind if the G1G1 donors have the option to participate in
  testing secured laptops, but I utterly reject the notion that we can
  jerk customer/donors around like this without their permission in
  advance. They _will_ complain publicly.
 
 While it is a SMALL hassle, I don't understand how it is jerking
 customers around before they've even bought a machine.  As long as the
 policy (whatever it turns out to be) is clearly stated on the
 wiki/amazon site, by purchasing a laptop they are consenting to this.
 
 With that said, I would probably lean towards preferring unsecured
 machines (with pretty boot enabled, of course).
 

Such small hassles, when repeated across hundreds of thousands of
people, tend to eat up a lot of time.  We should be trying to save users
this time.

I think we have sufficiently utilized G1G1 users to test our security
system.  My general perception is this test demonstrated that a
significant fraction of users want unlocked laptops so that they can do
interesting things.  Even if the average user doesn't care about what an
unlocked laptop allows them to do, what is the harm in shipping
developer keys on all the G1G1 laptops?

We'll save everyone who wants to install non-standard builds the time
required to learn about and obtain developer keys.  We'll save the
support costs required to process and answer all the queries about
developer keys.  And we'll reduce the infrastructural costs of managing
the generation of the keys.

Erik
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Re: [sugar] Feedback on Measure (was Re: Another pass through some basic Activity test results)

2008-09-29 Thread Erik Garrison
On Mon, Sep 29, 2008 at 08:47:36AM -0400, Erik Blankinship wrote:
  Do you need to do that for each window? Why don't you just listen for
  that signal in just the main activity window and stop everything when
  gtk.gdk.VISIBILITY_FULLY_OBSCURED and resume when otherwise?
 
 
 
 Full screen modes in Record completely obscure the main activity window.
 
 We don't just listen for visibility events on the video windows because
 sometimes these are fully obscured (when transcoding, for example).
 
 Therefore we listen on both the main activity window and the video windows,
 and in consultation with the activity's current state (fullscreen, normal,
 transcoding), decide if Record is the current activity.
 
 I've never fully understood the rationale for why the sugar api does not
 alert activities as to when they are active or not, thereby saving all
 activity authors these hassles.

Is there any particular reason why Record does not use a single window?

Erik
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Re: [sugar] Supporting desktop applications, extending the EWMH spec

2008-09-24 Thread Erik Garrison
On Wed, Sep 24, 2008 at 04:16:17PM -0400, Walter Bender wrote:
 We all agree that the datastore needs serious attention, although it
 doesn't directly impact the running of legacy activities. Rainbow is
 an issue. And moving data back and forth between Sugar and legacy apps
 is an issue. But I'll argue the WM is a relatively minor issue in
 these respects.

What legacy applications and activities are you referring to?

Erik
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Re: [sugar] Supporting desktop applications, extending the EWMH spec

2008-09-23 Thread Erik Garrison
Well.  It's off-topic.

I guess it came to mind because the Journal and datastore are a point of
incompatibility between Sugar and the rest of the Linux desktop world.

Erik

On Tue, Sep 23, 2008 at 08:16:25AM -0400, Walter Bender wrote:
 Could you please elaborate on what the behavior of the Journal has to
 do with this thread?
 
 -walter
 
 On Mon, Sep 22, 2008 at 2:52 PM, Erik Garrison [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
  On Sun, Sep 21, 2008 at 05:01:41PM -0400, Michael Stone wrote:
  My impression, based on historical conversations with the parties
  involved is that there are a bunch of hackers who feel that we did
  ourselves a disservice by dropping _so much_ backwards compatibility,
  specifically with Unix filesystems and desktops, in exchange for
  cool ideas. The feeling is that had we traded compatibility for features
  less aggressively then there would be many more hackers available to
  help write the features since there would be many more hackers who felt
  it was possible to live within Sugar.
 
  This is just an impression, however.
 
  For what it's worth, it is also my impression.  I have heard similarly
  from virtually all technically-oriented parties involved.  I have heard
  echos of this from less technical users (e.g. teachers who are confused
  by the behavior of the journal).
 
  Erik
 
 
 
 
 -- 
 Walter Bender
 Sugar Labs
 http://www.sugarlabs.org
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Re: [sugar] Supporting desktop applications, extending the EWMH spec

2008-09-23 Thread Erik Garrison
Well.  It's off-topic.

I guess it came to mind because the Journal and datastore are a point of
incompatibility between Sugar and the rest of the Linux desktop world.

Erik

On Tue, Sep 23, 2008 at 08:16:25AM -0400, Walter Bender wrote:
 Could you please elaborate on what the behavior of the Journal has to
 do with this thread?
 
 -walter
 
 On Mon, Sep 22, 2008 at 2:52 PM, Erik Garrison [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
  On Sun, Sep 21, 2008 at 05:01:41PM -0400, Michael Stone wrote:
  My impression, based on historical conversations with the parties
  involved is that there are a bunch of hackers who feel that we did
  ourselves a disservice by dropping _so much_ backwards compatibility,
  specifically with Unix filesystems and desktops, in exchange for
  cool ideas. The feeling is that had we traded compatibility for features
  less aggressively then there would be many more hackers available to
  help write the features since there would be many more hackers who felt
  it was possible to live within Sugar.
 
  This is just an impression, however.
 
  For what it's worth, it is also my impression.  I have heard similarly
  from virtually all technically-oriented parties involved.  I have heard
  echos of this from less technical users (e.g. teachers who are confused
  by the behavior of the journal).
 
  Erik
 
 
 
 
 -- 
 Walter Bender
 Sugar Labs
 http://www.sugarlabs.org
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Re: [sugar] frame gets in the way when alt-tabbing

2008-09-23 Thread Erik Garrison
On Mon, Sep 22, 2008 at 03:28:33PM -0400, Eben Eliason wrote:
 On Mon, Sep 22, 2008 at 3:14 PM, Erik Garrison [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
  ...
 
  So perhaps the best thing to do is to add a configuration option to
  allow the user to enable or disable this behavior?
 
  Would it be better if the frame was quickly displayed instead of sliding
  into view?  Maybe generally we need a configuration option to turn on
  and off fancy animations to improve system responsiveness?
 
 Perhaps in the short term a boolean (exposed or not...I'd lean toward
 not) would suit.  The big isue is lack of composition support.  The
 Frame currently slides in about 1/2 as fast as I'd like it to, and
 choppily at that.  With composition we could get smooth motion and
 also speed it up significantly. (The only reason it's so slow now, I
 believe, is because without composition we can't draw frames fast
 enough to convey the motion unless we increase the length of the
 reveal.)

Both Joyride and 8.2 streams have composition enabled by default.

You can test composition by running xcompmgr -d :0.0 in the terminal.

Erik
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notes on Journal feedback (was Re: Bundle activity)

2008-09-23 Thread Erik Garrison
On Fri, Sep 12, 2008 at 09:17:16AM +0200, Tomeu Vizoso wrote:
 On Thu, Sep 11, 2008 at 10:40 PM, Erik Garrison [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
  When I was in Uruguay more teachers asked me about issues with the
  Journal than anything else.  I keep poking on this issue to remind
  people that it's not going away in the field.
 
 Could you please tell us more about the issues reported?

1) Data loss.  Teachers I met mentioned seeing bugs where the students
Journal was wiped clean, or where things went missing.  Without live
examples this is pretty hard to diagnose.  Perhaps an effect of running
on such an old build.

2) Journal startup failures borking the whole system / Journal never
completing startup but Sugar starting.  Possibly because of NAND-full.
If so we have fixed it.  Interestingly, I heard about kids resolving
this issue manually from the command-line (although their teacher didn't
know exactly what they did!  I'm guessing they removed their data
directory.).

3) How do I share files to/from an XO?  I just did this work but now
where is the resultant file?  Interface with the outside world.

4) General usability concerns; questions about why the design was
chosen.  Difficulty finding things in the produced action history.

I will try to think of more on my ride to work.

Erik
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Re: [sugar] frame gets in the way when alt-tabbing

2008-09-23 Thread Erik Garrison
On Tue, Sep 23, 2008 at 03:21:04PM +0100, Gary C Martin wrote:
 On 23 Sep 2008, at 15:08, Bert Freudenberg wrote:
 
 
  Am 23.09.2008 um 06:21 schrieb Erik Garrison:
 
  Both Joyride and 8.2 streams have composition enabled by default.
 
  You can test composition by running xcompmgr -d :0.0 in the
  terminal.
 
 
  It is available, but the window manager does not use it, afaik.
 
  - Bert -
 
 Not that I could find the xcompmgr command anyway, but if you run  
 matchbox-window-manager -? it lists its compile time options, and  
 there is a definite composite support  no line in there.

Oops!  First you have to yum install xcompmgr

Erik
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Re: [sugar] Tagged Journal Proposal

2008-09-23 Thread Erik Garrison
On Tue, Sep 23, 2008 at 02:05:55PM -0400, C. Scott Ananian wrote:
 A hand-drawn proposal for what a Journal supporting directory
 traversal as well as tag space exploration is in the attached PDF.
 Discussion welcome!
 

I am unable to view this PDF.  It appears blank on this end.  Would you
provide a PNG?

Erik
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Re: [sugar] Supporting desktop applications, extending the EWMH spec

2008-09-22 Thread Erik Garrison
On Sun, Sep 21, 2008 at 05:01:41PM -0400, Michael Stone wrote:
 My impression, based on historical conversations with the parties
 involved is that there are a bunch of hackers who feel that we did
 ourselves a disservice by dropping _so much_ backwards compatibility,
 specifically with Unix filesystems and desktops, in exchange for
 cool ideas. The feeling is that had we traded compatibility for features
 less aggressively then there would be many more hackers available to
 help write the features since there would be many more hackers who felt
 it was possible to live within Sugar.
 
 This is just an impression, however.
 
For what it's worth, it is also my impression.  I have heard similarly
from virtually all technically-oriented parties involved.  I have heard
echos of this from less technical users (e.g. teachers who are confused
by the behavior of the journal).

Erik
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Re: Bundle activity

2008-09-11 Thread Erik Garrison
Matt,

Would this activity be modified easily to take files from within the
Journal and move them back into the user's /home/, either compressed or
uncompressed?  Call it the File activity.

Erik

On Wed, Sep 10, 2008 at 12:49:03AM -0400, Matt Der wrote:
 Hello all,
 
 I am one of the students who will be working on the Bundle activity
 suggested by Eben Eliason.  I understand that the activity should be
 designed to manage a variety of archive formats (zip, tar, gz, etc.), and it
 should support both the extraction of files from an archive into the Journal
 as well as linking a set of entries from the Journal into a bundle.  Also, I
 see a few additional details are provided in its wiki [
 http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Bundle_(activity)].
 
 Is this an active project right now?  If not, our team would like to start
 working on it soon, but first we are looking for feedback on functionality,
 how it should integrate with the Journal, UI particulars, etc.
 
 If this project is not currently active, we are eager to hear any helpful
 input you might have.
 
 Thanks,
 Matt

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Re: Bundle activity

2008-09-11 Thread Erik Garrison
Bundles are files.  In this case they are compressed files.  I'm just
pointing out that if we're going to work with files of this kind we
should think about working with files of the non-compressed kind.

The overlap between the Bundle tool and a tool to allow the same
operations on uncompressed files is pretty large.  Note that bundle
management is usually dealt with in other desktop environments through
the file browser.

Erik

On Thu, Sep 11, 2008 at 03:57:12PM -0400, Eben Eliason wrote:
 That's not within the scope of this activity, no.  This activity is
 strictly about viewing and creating bundles.
 
 - Eben
 
 
 On Thu, Sep 11, 2008 at 3:01 PM, Erik Garrison [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
  Matt,
 
  Would this activity be modified easily to take files from within the
  Journal and move them back into the user's /home/, either compressed or
  uncompressed?  Call it the File activity.
 
  Erik
 
  On Wed, Sep 10, 2008 at 12:49:03AM -0400, Matt Der wrote:
  Hello all,
 
  I am one of the students who will be working on the Bundle activity
  suggested by Eben Eliason.  I understand that the activity should be
  designed to manage a variety of archive formats (zip, tar, gz, etc.), and 
  it
  should support both the extraction of files from an archive into the 
  Journal
  as well as linking a set of entries from the Journal into a bundle.  Also, 
  I
  see a few additional details are provided in its wiki [
  http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Bundle_(activity)].
 
  Is this an active project right now?  If not, our team would like to start
  working on it soon, but first we are looking for feedback on functionality,
  how it should integrate with the Journal, UI particulars, etc.
 
  If this project is not currently active, we are eager to hear any helpful
  input you might have.
 
  Thanks,
  Matt
 
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Re: Bundle activity

2008-09-11 Thread Erik Garrison
Firstly, insofar as the hierarchical filesystem is a worldwide standard
for human-computer interface, it is something which is useful to teach
students.  So it seems like a very useful activity.

Secondly, from a utility perspective... Have you ever tried to move a
file out of the Journal and onto a USB flash drive?  Then change the
name...  Or maybe put such a file into a specific directory on the flash
drive?

If we don't want the journal to behave this way then perhaps the best
place to put the functionality is in another activity.  Bundle seems to
have sensible overlap with this problem space.

When I was in Uruguay more teachers asked me about issues with the
Journal than anything else.  I keep poking on this issue to remind
people that it's not going away in the field.

Erik

On Thu, Sep 11, 2008 at 10:17:39PM +0200, Bert Freudenberg wrote:
 IIUC the activity would not deal with files but with journal entries.  
 So you can copy several journal entries into a zipped entry, and you  
 can unzip entries from a zipped one. This has nothing to do with files  
 in the home directory (besides, a regular activity cannot write to  
 home, and read only some of it).
 
 - Bert -
 
 Am 11.09.2008 um 22:12 schrieb Erik Garrison:
 
  Bundles are files.  In this case they are compressed files.  I'm  
  just
  pointing out that if we're going to work with files of this kind we
  should think about working with files of the non-compressed kind.
 
  The overlap between the Bundle tool and a tool to allow the same
  operations on uncompressed files is pretty large.  Note that bundle
  management is usually dealt with in other desktop environments through
  the file browser.
 
  Erik
 
  On Thu, Sep 11, 2008 at 03:57:12PM -0400, Eben Eliason wrote:
  That's not within the scope of this activity, no.  This activity is
  strictly about viewing and creating bundles.
 
  - Eben
 
 
  On Thu, Sep 11, 2008 at 3:01 PM, Erik Garrison [EMAIL PROTECTED]  
  wrote:
  Matt,
 
  Would this activity be modified easily to take files from within the
  Journal and move them back into the user's /home/, either  
  compressed or
  uncompressed?  Call it the File activity.
 
  Erik
 
  On Wed, Sep 10, 2008 at 12:49:03AM -0400, Matt Der wrote:
  Hello all,
 
  I am one of the students who will be working on the Bundle activity
  suggested by Eben Eliason.  I understand that the activity should  
  be
  designed to manage a variety of archive formats (zip, tar, gz,  
  etc.), and it
  should support both the extraction of files from an archive into  
  the Journal
  as well as linking a set of entries from the Journal into a  
  bundle.  Also, I
  see a few additional details are provided in its wiki [
  http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Bundle_(activity)].
 
  Is this an active project right now?  If not, our team would like  
  to start
  working on it soon, but first we are looking for feedback on  
  functionality,
  how it should integrate with the Journal, UI particulars, etc.
 
  If this project is not currently active, we are eager to hear any  
  helpful
  input you might have.
 
  Thanks,
  Matt
 
 
 
 
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Re: Scratch localization.

2008-09-11 Thread Erik Garrison
John,

In Peru the team is using the Scratch.ini file to set the language to
spanish.  There is a long delay between Scratch startup and the setting
of the language, in which Scratch is in english.  Does the LocalePlugin
rectify this?

What work needs to be done to update XO Scratch to Scratch 1.3?

Erik

On Thu, Sep 11, 2008 at 05:37:48PM -0400, John Maloney wrote:
 Hi, Erik.

 Apologies for the delay in responding. I was on vacation, then finishing 
 the Scratch 1.3 release.

 Scratch remembers the last language set by the user in the Scratch.ini  
 file. If that file is read-only, it fails gracefully.

 In older versions of Scratch (such as the current XO version), if no  
 language was specified in the Scratch.ini file, Scratch would start up  
 in English. However, it now uses the Squeak LocalePlugin to set the  
 default language. So if the computer's locale is set to Spanish, Scratch 
 should start up in Spanish. This feature has not yet been tested on 
 Linux, but it does work on Mac OS and Windows.

 Many thanks to the Squeak folks for creating the LocalePlugin!

 So I think things may work fine as they are, once we've updated XO  
 Scratch to the 1.3 release. (I'm working on that now, with help from  
 Scott if he is willing).

 Scratch does not need to write persistent data to any other files.

 (It does need to write user projects somewhere, but Scott has solved  
 that problem for now.)

   -- John


 On Aug 27, 2008, at 1:00 PM, Erik Garrison wrote:
 On Wed, Aug 27, 2008 at 06:54:18PM +0200, Bert Freudenberg wrote:

 Am 27.08.2008 um 18:38 schrieb C. Scott Ananian:

 Scratch appears to require manual editing of the Scratch.ini file in
 order to come up in a language other than English.  Is there any  
 way I
 can pass a command-line option in bin/scratch-activity to set the
 Language preference based on the value of $LANG?  I'd prefer that we
 not have to ship a different Scratch bundle per-country.

 The Right Way to do it would be using the LocalePlugin, as Etoys  
 does.

 If you need to patch up the bundle you could use the symlink trick
 again, the actual Scratch.ini would live in data/. Thus the language
 (and other settings possibly) that the user choses would persist.  
 When
 running for the first time, the startup script could generate an
 initial Scratch.ini for the right language.

 What other persistent data beyond Scratch.ini does Scratch like to
 modify?

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Re: [PROPOSAL] Change PILGRIM_LOCALES_* to better reflect the current situation

2008-09-10 Thread Erik Garrison
On Thu, Sep 11, 2008 at 01:38:15AM +0530, Sayamindu Dasgupta wrote:
 On Thu, Sep 11, 2008 at 12:39 AM, C. Scott Ananian [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
  On Wed, Sep 10, 2008 at 2:27 PM, Sayamindu Dasgupta [EMAIL PROTECTED] 
  wrote:
  On Thu, Aug 28, 2008 at 7:04 PM, Daniel Drake [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
  On Thu, 2008-08-28 at 15:04 +0530, Sayamindu Dasgupta wrote:
  b) To reflect the current and near future deployments (including G1G1
  2008) and the level of translations that we have in Pootle, the
  variables get changed to
  en:es:ar:pl:pt_BR:pt:it:fr:ht:el:mn:mr_IN:th:am_ET:km_KH:ne_NP:ur_PK:rw:ja:de:tr:te:ps:fa_AF:si
 
 
  Can we quantify the space tradeoffs here?  If localization is taking a
  significant amount of space, it might eventually be reasonable to
  install translations *only* for the sugar-related packages, and not
  for bash, sed, etc.  But if they are relatively small, you're right,
  why not include them all?
   --scott
 
 
 Currently, the size increase will be 6 MB (from 18 MB (seen in
 8.2-759) to 24 MB (seen in joyride 2415)).  It may be a good idea to
 strip the translations for sed, bash, etc, but is there any
 straightforward method to do that ?
 Thanks,
 Sayamindu

I don't think that there is any specific reason to chop localizations
from ext3 (qemu-oriented) images.  If anything it's caused headaches for
groups needing a localized qemu image.  I'm not really sure of what
benefits there are as such images are not to be installed on XOs.

Are we in agreement on this?

Erik
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[RFC] obtaining and using field samples of XO system images

2008-09-05 Thread Erik Garrison
Devel,

-= Some background =-

Today on [EMAIL PROTECTED] and [EMAIL PROTECTED] There has been a discussion
of the security rammifications of an automatic save-nand usb key script:
http://lists.laptop.org/pipermail/security/2008-September/000488.html

The immediate use for this script was acquiring system images from the
repair center here at LATU in Montevideo for use in tests of upgrade
procedures.  We need to know if certain failure modes arise commonly on
the deployed systems, but presently there are no field samples to test.
Because there was not immediate support for signing the script I am
using the developer-key approach to copy the images.

In the process of this discussion I suggested that a system-copier USB
script would be a valuable point-of-entry tool for data analysis of our
deployed systems.  Currently such a system does not exist, and we
consequently lack valuable information about the usage of our systems
(XO and Sugar).


-= Question =-

How are we planning on obtaining simple information such as which
activities are most used/downloaded, which ones generate the most data,
common software failures, bug manifestation rate etc.?


-= Proposal =-

The diagnostic process could be as simple from the country's perspective
as: 

  1) dropping a USB key containing the system-copier script into the
 machine in question booting, and waiting for shutdown, 

  2) then inserting the system-copier key (now containing an image of the
 target system) into an XO running an XS build with a diagnostic
 script attached, 

  3) which produces a report and automatically sends it to a server on
 our end for further analysis.

Alternatively a future firmware could provide a menu to all users which
included a nand-save script, but this would not be useful until deployed
systems were upgraded to run it.

We could request that, in order to better our software development
efforts, that a repair center executes this diagnostic process randomly
on machines which come in from the field with problems that are
most-likely hardware-related.


-= Comments =-

Such a system would have been extremely useful during the recent NAND
Full crisis.  During this event hundreds of laptops had to be sent back
to the Uruguay's repair center because their NAND Flash filled with junk
data created by http://dev.laptop.org/ticket/5637.  Obtaining
information about the problem an the state of the machines proved to be
a bottleneck in the resolution process.


Thoughts?


Best,
Erik
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Re: [Server-devel] new package: xs-activation

2008-09-04 Thread Erik Garrison
On Thu, Sep 04, 2008 at 08:56:21AM -0400, Greg Smith wrote:
 Hi Martin and Erik,

 Thanks for the replies.

 - On work flow for this, I think there is a little more detail needed.  
 e.g. you need a wireless AP setup, right? Anything else? Any special  
 name or ESSID needed on AP? You may be able to explain the stuff around  
 the XO by linking to the relevant XS setup documentation.


I'm unclear.  I am envisioning a wireless AP with some preset ESSID.
Currently, after trying to get a lease from a USB device or an SD
device, the activate.py script (in the initramfs) tries to associate
with a schoolserver on mesh channels 1, 6, and 11.

http://dev.laptop.org/git?p=users/cscott/olpcrd-rootskel;a=blob;f=src-olpc/activate.py;h=fe563df6d71d8e162a2714578aa7c81a13f53e2b;hb=HEAD#l27

After connection it sends its serial number over a raw socket to the
server on 172.18.0.1 port 191.  It expects to get back a lease file
in which it can find its own lease.  Then processing of the activation
lease contiues as normal.  We now have the server-side code to do this. 

The code could be changed to point to a specific infra AP ESSID.  The
fact this stuff has to be signed makes it difficult to configure this;
at best we could provide a list of supported APs.

 - On Can you put this feature on the roadmap: I see that it has Trac  
 #1504 but I don't see this very useful Readme (or Specification) that  
 Douglas wrote linked anywhere.
 Can we include that somewhere off the roadmap?

 The nice thing is that this will become the documentation so Douglas is  
 way ahead of the curve already :-)

 - On users, can someone run this design by the technical leads in Peru  
 and Ethiopia and get their input and sign off?


For warehouse update and activation I am sure the Peru leads are good
with this and will move to it immediately when it works.  They don't
currently have school servers so the activation and update are going to
happen wirelessly in the warehouse.  Currently this is taking a lot of
manual effort and I'm sure the change will be welcome.

 We sometimes have a hard time coordinating communication with the users  
 so let's exchange one round of e-mail to be clear on who gathers this  
 input before we all hit them with slightly different e-mails at the same  
 time.

 FYI on Peru, I put everything I heard from them (albeit second hand)  
 here: http://wiki.laptop.org/go/9.1.0#Peru

 They expressed strong interest in lease management (AKA how long an XO  
 is activated for how it gets deactivated and reactivated when needed  
 etc). Can we include any details about how this feature interacts with  
 that? It may be that this works exactly the same as activating from USB  
 stick so n/a for lease management changes but my impression is that Peru  
 will want to know.

 Thanks,

 Greg S


 Erik Garrison wrote:
 On Thu, Sep 04, 2008 at 11:18:31AM +1200, Martin Langhoff wrote:
 A couple of notes related to it.

 On Thu, Sep 4, 2008 at 12:07 AM, Greg Smith
 Can you put this feature on the roadmap:
 http://wiki.laptop.org/go/XS_Roadmap
 It's already there - we're using Trac's status overview searches,
 have a look :-)


 What happens is that - paraphrasing your email...

 someone prepping XOs before distribution to the field opens
 XO and turns it on. That is all they have to do.
 Who is the lead customer for this feature?
 Peru, Ethiopia. They've been asking for it, we discussed this in the
 last 2 phone meetings :-)


 It would be be immediately practical in a warehouse setting, where
 managing a key with a bunch of activation leases is a pain.

 Now to get wireless installation/upgrade ready for use in the
 warehouses... all we need is a signed 'nandcast' boot image.

 Erik

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Re: New joyride build 2382

2008-09-03 Thread Erik Garrison
On Wed, Sep 03, 2008 at 01:00:39PM -0400, Build Announcer v2 wrote:
 http://xs-dev.laptop.org/~cscott/olpc/streams/joyride/build2382
 
 Changes in build 2382 from build: 2381
 
 Size delta: 0.00M
 
 -etoys 3.0.2121-1
 +etoys 3.0.2126-1

Forgive the confusion, but are activities again supposed to be included
in the joyride stream?

Erik
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Re: New joyride build 2382

2008-09-03 Thread Erik Garrison
On Wed, Sep 03, 2008 at 01:19:22PM -0400, C. Scott Ananian wrote:
 On Wed, Sep 3, 2008 at 1:06 PM, Erik Garrison [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
  On Wed, Sep 03, 2008 at 01:00:39PM -0400, Build Announcer v2 wrote:
  http://xs-dev.laptop.org/~cscott/olpc/streams/joyride/build2382
 
  Changes in build 2382 from build: 2381
 
  Size delta: 0.00M
 
  -etoys 3.0.2121-1
  +etoys 3.0.2126-1
 
  Forgive the confusion, but are activities again supposed to be included
  in the joyride stream?
 
 The smalltalk VM (which is what this package is, hacked w/
 etoys-specific hooks) is included in the base system, since smalltalk
 is (along with python and javascript) one of the core XO languages.

Perhaps we should rename the package (smalltalk-etoys) to reflect this?
Not strictly necessary.

Erik
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Attention! Activity authors: spanish title translations

2008-09-03 Thread Erik Garrison
Activity authors,

The following activities (which can be downloaded from
http://dev.laptop.org/~erik/activities/Activities_Modif_703-7/) were
modified by myself, Wad, and the Peru support team in the process of
producing the most recent Peru build
(http://dev.laptop.org/~erik/peru/signed-per703-7/).

[   ] Analyze-6.xo25-Aug-2008 12:27   23K  
[   ] Chat-35b.xo 21-Aug-2008 11:54   92K  
[   ] ClockActivity-4.xo  25-Aug-2008 09:34  8.1K  
[   ] Connect-22.xo   25-Aug-2008 12:32  108K  
[   ] Geography-8.xo  25-Aug-2008 09:37  2.7M  
[   ] Implode-3.xo25-Aug-2008 12:35   28K  
[   ] JigsawPuzzle-4.xo   25-Aug-2008 12:40  235K  
[   ] Log-7.xo25-Aug-2008 12:42   12K  
[   ] Maze-6.xo   25-Aug-2008 12:47   68K  
[   ] Memorize-27.xo  25-Aug-2008 09:38  741K  
[   ] Moon-4.xo   25-Aug-2008 09:38   79K  
[   ] Read-45.xo  21-Aug-2008 11:54  101K  
[   ] Speak-8.xo  25-Aug-2008 09:38   32K  
[   ] StarChart-4.xo  25-Aug-2008 12:52   46K  
[   ] StopWatchActivity-2.xo  25-Aug-2008 17:20   12K  
[   ] TamTamEdit-48.xo25-Aug-2008 12:53  7.4M  
[   ] TextosCicloIV-V-14.xol  21-Aug-2008 11:55  2.8M  
[   ] Watch  Listen-10.xo21-Aug-2008 11:55  6.3M  
[   ] Words-3.xo  25-Aug-2008 09:38  210K  
[   ] chess_computer-8.xo 25-Aug-2008 09:39  1.6M  
[   ] manual-2.xol21-Aug-2008 11:58   12M  
[   ] poesia-a-5.xol  21-Aug-2008 11:58  6.3M  
[   ] scalesboard-8.xo27-Aug-2008 11:20  1.7M  
[   ] tangram-8.xo25-Aug-2008 12:55  1.6M  

In all cases locale/es/activity.linfo files were added to translate the
activity name that appears in the home view.  In all cases the
activity/activity.info version number was bumped, and in cases where the
activity bundle filename didn't match convention, that number was added
to the activity bundle name.

Erik
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Attention! Activity authors: spanish title translations

2008-09-03 Thread Erik Garrison
Activity authors,  (on devel AND sugar)

The following activities (which can be downloaded from
http://dev.laptop.org/~erik/activities/Activities_Modif_703-7/) were
modified by myself, Wad, and the Peru support team in the process of
producing the most recent Peru build
(http://dev.laptop.org/~erik/peru/signed-per703-7/).

[   ] Analyze-6.xo25-Aug-2008 12:27   23K  
[   ] Chat-35b.xo 21-Aug-2008 11:54   92K  
[   ] ClockActivity-4.xo  25-Aug-2008 09:34  8.1K  
[   ] Connect-22.xo   25-Aug-2008 12:32  108K  
[   ] Geography-8.xo  25-Aug-2008 09:37  2.7M  
[   ] Implode-3.xo25-Aug-2008 12:35   28K  
[   ] JigsawPuzzle-4.xo   25-Aug-2008 12:40  235K  
[   ] Log-7.xo25-Aug-2008 12:42   12K  
[   ] Maze-6.xo   25-Aug-2008 12:47   68K  
[   ] Memorize-27.xo  25-Aug-2008 09:38  741K  
[   ] Moon-4.xo   25-Aug-2008 09:38   79K  
[   ] Read-45.xo  21-Aug-2008 11:54  101K  
[   ] Speak-8.xo  25-Aug-2008 09:38   32K  
[   ] StarChart-4.xo  25-Aug-2008 12:52   46K  
[   ] StopWatchActivity-2.xo  25-Aug-2008 17:20   12K  
[   ] TamTamEdit-48.xo25-Aug-2008 12:53  7.4M  
[   ] TextosCicloIV-V-14.xol  21-Aug-2008 11:55  2.8M  
[   ] Watch  Listen-10.xo21-Aug-2008 11:55  6.3M  
[   ] Words-3.xo  25-Aug-2008 09:38  210K  
[   ] chess_computer-8.xo 25-Aug-2008 09:39  1.6M  
[   ] manual-2.xol21-Aug-2008 11:58   12M  
[   ] poesia-a-5.xol  21-Aug-2008 11:58  6.3M  
[   ] scalesboard-8.xo27-Aug-2008 11:20  1.7M  
[   ] tangram-8.xo25-Aug-2008 12:55  1.6M  

In all cases locale/es/activity.linfo files were added to translate the
activity name that appears in the home view.  In all cases the
activity/activity.info version number was bumped, and in cases where the
activity bundle filename didn't match convention, that number was added
to the activity bundle name.

Erik
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Re: [Server-devel] new package: xs-activation

2008-09-03 Thread Erik Garrison
On Thu, Sep 04, 2008 at 11:18:31AM +1200, Martin Langhoff wrote:
 A couple of notes related to it.
 
 On Thu, Sep 4, 2008 at 12:07 AM, Greg Smith
  Can you put this feature on the roadmap:
  http://wiki.laptop.org/go/XS_Roadmap
 
 It's already there - we're using Trac's status overview searches,
 have a look :-)
 
 
 What happens is that - paraphrasing your email...
 
  someone prepping XOs before distribution to the field opens
  XO and turns it on. That is all they have to do.
 
  Who is the lead customer for this feature?
 
 Peru, Ethiopia. They've been asking for it, we discussed this in the
 last 2 phone meetings :-)
 

It would be be immediately practical in a warehouse setting, where
managing a key with a bunch of activation leases is a pain.

Now to get wireless installation/upgrade ready for use in the
warehouses... all we need is a signed 'nandcast' boot image.

Erik
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Re: qemu: generating ext3 images including activities

2008-08-28 Thread Erik Garrison
I need to change the language to Spanish.  This is for use in an
educational video.

The ext3 images don't have .mo files for Sugar and other system utils.
So unless the livecd already has those, I'm going to continue with this
route.

Erik


On Thu, Aug 28, 2008 at 11:22:55AM +0200, [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
 Hi Eric,
 
   just a suggestion. Have you already tried to use the existing XO-LiveCD?
  http://wiki.laptop.org/go/LiveCD
   You can run the ISO with qemu, you  can use VirtualBox 
   (probably much faster), or just boot it on your hardware.
   Maybe you save time, because many activities are already preinstalled
   and it is very easy to add more (the Peru customization key activities).
 
   
 Wolfgang
 
 I am generating this image because the existing ones are out of date
 with respect to the current Peru deployment's software, and they have
 requested if it would be possible to create a new image.  It would be
 sufficient to use an existing ext3 image [1] but I wanted to drop the
 customization key activities which Peru has into the image.
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Re: Default permissions of /home/olpc/Activities/foo

2008-08-28 Thread Erik Garrison
On first boot olpc-configure sets the permissions of all directories in
/home/olpc (excepting isolation directories) to chmod 755.

On Thu, Aug 28, 2008 at 11:56:44PM +0530, Sayamindu Dasgupta wrote:
 Hello,
 What is the default permission of any file/directory under
 /home/olpc/Activities ? I am specifically interested in the
 permissions of the i18n and l10n related directories, since the
 language packs will be playing around with a lot of theses files and
 folders.
 Thanks,
 Sayamindu
 
 
 -- 
 Sayamindu Dasgupta
 [http://sayamindu.randomink.org/ramblings]
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Re: Ext3 images from recent 8.2 builds do not boot in qemu.

2008-08-27 Thread Erik Garrison
I am working with the construction of a Qemu ext3 image.  On Qemu boot I
get the following error:

Checking filesystems
fsck.ext3:  Unable to resolve 'LABEL=OLPCRoot'[FAILED]

I am rebuilding the image to make it larger because I was unable to
resize it directly so that it could fit all the activities used here in
Peru.  I am preparing the image for their use in educational videos
about the XO.

Perhaps the person who can resolve Ton's issue also has insight into
this conundrum?


On Wed, Aug 27, 2008 at 11:58:59AM -0400, Ton van Overbeek wrote:
 Tried a few ext3 images from the 8.2 build stream, but they do not boot 
 in qemu.
 Looking at the build logs (e.g. 
 http://pilgrim.laptop.org/~pilgrim/olpc/streams/8.2/build757/devel_ext3/build.log)
 there is one suspicious line near the end:
 
  - Copying grub boot loader files
 cp: cannot stat 
 `/home/pilgrim/public_html/xo-1/streams/8.2/build757-20080827_0055/devel_ext3/install_root/usr/share/grub/i386-redhat/stage1':
  
 No such file or directory
 
 Without grub - No boot.
 Can somebody please fix pilgrim to make serious 8.2 testing easier?
 
 Ton van Overbeek
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Re: Scratch localization.

2008-08-27 Thread Erik Garrison
On Wed, Aug 27, 2008 at 06:54:18PM +0200, Bert Freudenberg wrote:
 
 Am 27.08.2008 um 18:38 schrieb C. Scott Ananian:
 
  Scratch appears to require manual editing of the Scratch.ini file in
  order to come up in a language other than English.  Is there any way I
  can pass a command-line option in bin/scratch-activity to set the
  Language preference based on the value of $LANG?  I'd prefer that we
  not have to ship a different Scratch bundle per-country.
 
 The Right Way to do it would be using the LocalePlugin, as Etoys does.
 
 If you need to patch up the bundle you could use the symlink trick  
 again, the actual Scratch.ini would live in data/. Thus the language  
 (and other settings possibly) that the user choses would persist. When  
 running for the first time, the startup script could generate an  
 initial Scratch.ini for the right language.

What other persistent data beyond Scratch.ini does Scratch like to
modify?
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Re: Ext3 images from recent 8.2 builds do not boot in qemu.

2008-08-27 Thread Erik Garrison
Yeah.  Apologies for pegging this thread.

e2label to the right name was the solution.

On Wed, Aug 27, 2008 at 01:03:05PM -0400, Chris Ball wrote:
 Hi,
 
 I am working with the construction of a Qemu ext3 image.  On Qemu
 boot I get the following error:
 
 Checking filesystems fsck.ext3: Unable to resolve 'LABEL=OLPCRoot'
 
 `tune2fs -L OLPCRoot` on the device should set the label correctly, if
 you can do that.
 
 - Chris.
 -- 
 Chris Ball   [EMAIL PROTECTED]
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Re: increased transient traffic in #olpc-ayuda

2008-08-26 Thread Erik Garrison
On Tue, Aug 26, 2008 at 05:14:23PM -0400, Seth Woodworth wrote:
 During g1g1 the support-gang (even before it was formalized) answered
 questions in #olpc-help and many important questions get answered there on a
 regular basis.
 
 If there were a few support-ganger's available we would have a great
 resource for providing documentation and structuring things for the actual
 kids we're supposed to be supporting.

Yeah!

 Personally I am going to use it as a great resource to help me learn written
 spanish.  Hopefully the kids just don't teach me 'My hovercraft is full of
 eels'.

Usually they write nonsense.  Or just hello.  But lately I've been
noting more 'real' questions, or attempts at questions, and that is what
led me to write the list.

 /me adds #olpc-ayuda to his freenode script

:)

Erik
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qemu: generating ext3 images including activities

2008-08-26 Thread Erik Garrison
I am trying to generate an image usable in Qemu for use by the Peru team
in the production of a series of videos about the XO.

I am generating this image because the existing ones are out of date
with respect to the current Peru deployment's software, and they have
requested if it would be possible to create a new image.  It would be
sufficient to use an existing ext3 image [1] but I wanted to drop the
customization key activities which Peru has into the image.

Just mounting and doing this was not sufficient, as the image file
lacked free space for all the needed activities, so I had to first build
a new, larger sparse image file, which I did using this script (hacked
out of pilgrim) [2].

Then I mounted the sparse and existent image files via loopback devices
and copied the directory tree over, and then unzipped the activity
bundles I wanted into the new image file.

Currently I am stuck because I do not know how to write grub to an image
file.  Here is what happens when I try to write the bootloader [3] on a
loopback (produced via losetup /dev/loop0 os.img).

Any ideas?  Someone out there constructed the qemu-bootable ext3 image
in the past.  Would you please step forward and advise?

Best,
Erik


[1] 
http://download.laptop.org/xo-1/os/official/708/ext3/xo-1-olpc-stream-update.1-build-708-20080604_1540-devel_ext3.img.bz2
[2] http://dev.laptop.org/~erik/code/make_ext3_image_file
[3] http://pastebin.com/f7dc65ff9
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Re: Scratch fails to write to Scratch.activity/Projects

2008-08-26 Thread Erik Garrison
On Tue, Aug 26, 2008 at 08:40:34PM -0400, John Maloney wrote:
 Hi, Scott.
 
 What's wrong with just making the directory Scratch.activity/Projects  
 writable by the world? Seems to me that it could not hurt other  
 applications. Scratch does not run any binary files from that folder,  
 so it should be pretty safe. At worse, some malicious software could  
 write a bogus project file that Scratch would refuse to open.

I personally find this an acceptable solution.  However, in the present
moment we have our hands tied, as the olpc-configure script which runs
on first boot now chmod 755's all directories in /home/olpc.  This is
problematic when activity bundles are installed prior to the first boot,
as they are when we use a 'customization' usb key, as all directories
will lose the permissions set by the bundle creators.

Customization key description:
[http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Customization_key] Peru has moved to using
this method to install activities.  This is good for local system
customization, but it has caused this issue to rear its head.

 The Scratch activity used to install that way but I suppose something  
 about the installation process has changed.

Specifically:
http://dev.laptop.org/git?p=projects/olpc-utils;a=blob;f=olpc-configure;h=0d6ef55ed49635672d63ae79831bff2a2eea4143;hb=db05cda6b8f36fe833bfa8a201d2b5467afbbd94#l138

This code is run once on first-boot.

 Is there a Wiki page that explains how to use the bug database?

Somewhat.  http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Trac

 Feel free to re-package the current Scratch activity installer to  
 include your patch, if you think that makes sense.

I have taken the Scratch-6.xo which C. Scott initially provided and got
it to work on the XO as-is.  This involved dropping the wrapper code
mentioned in the ticket [http://dev.laptop.org/ticket/8166] and placing
it into Scratch.activity/bin/scratch-activity and symlinking the
Projects directory to /tmp/scratch.  A patch to the scratch-activity
script is attached to the ticket.  An activity bundle (with a lang=es
line in its Scratch.ini) is available at
[http://dev.laptop.org/~erik/activities/Scratch-6.es.xo].

Erik


 On Aug 26, 2008, at 6:36 PM, C. Scott Ananian wrote:
  In http://dev.laptop.org/ticket/8166 there's a problem reported: Peru
  can't save their work in Scratch, because Scratch tries to write to
  Scratch.activity/Projects, and this is not writable.  Luckily, there
  is an easy workaround: the directory $SUGAR_ACTIVITY_ROOT/data is
  persistent storage which is writable by the activity, and properly
  protected.  On the trac page I've also provided a patch which wraps
  Scratch so that it writes to the proper place.
 
  Tomeu also volunteered on IRC earlier today to help you implement
  proper Journal support for Scratch.
 
  Finally: there are a number of bugs filed against scratch in our bug
  tracker, but it doesn't appear to have a proper component and owner
  created for it in the tracker.  We'd like to fix that: do you have a
  username on the dev.laptop.org trac instance that we could make the
  default owner of bugs filed against 'scratch-activity' so that you are
  promptly notified if/when people have problems?
 
  Thanks for porting scratch, the kids in Peru seem to really like  
  it. ;-)
  --scott
 
  -- 
  ( http://cscott.net/ )
 
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Re: qemu: generating ext3 images including activities

2008-08-26 Thread Erik Garrison
On Tue, Aug 26, 2008 at 09:40:09PM -0500, Daniel Drake wrote:
 On Tue, Aug 26, 2008 at 9:01 PM, Erik Garrison [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
  Currently I am stuck because I do not know how to write grub to an image
  file.  Here is what happens when I try to write the bootloader [3] on a
  loopback (produced via losetup /dev/loop0 os.img).
 
  Any ideas?  Someone out there constructed the qemu-bootable ext3 image
  in the past.  Would you please step forward and advise?
 
 Pretty sure I did this before without the image mounted. Unmount the
 loop device and destroy the loop mapping, then in grub do:
 
 device (hd0) disk.img
 root (hd0,0)
 setup (hd0)

Yeah!  Simple.

Now I at least get grub, but I'm dropped into its shell without the
menu.  Any ideas?

Erik

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using wiki pageviews per country of origin to motivate translations

2008-08-25 Thread Erik Garrison
It has recently come to my attention that the majority of the traffic on
the wiki is coming from Uruguay XO users (students it seems).

Could we track, or are we already tracking, pageviews per page by
country of origin on wiki.laptop.org?  It would be an extremely useful
metric in deciding which pages should be translated into which
languages.  

Erik

(a list of requested spanish translations:
http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Category:Deseada)
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increased transient traffic in #olpc-ayuda

2008-08-25 Thread Erik Garrison
In recent weeks there has been a marked increase of guests in
#olpc-ayuda.  Here is a typical session:

20:57 -!- NombreCambiado-1c42
[EMAIL PROTECTED] 
  has joined #olpc-ayuda
20:58  NombreCambiado-1c42 hola soy _ . nopuedo ver videos
21:06 -!- NombreCambiado-1c42
[EMAIL PROTECTED] 
  has quit [Remote closed the connection]

I suppose that what is happening is that default settings in XoChat is
directing this traffic to #olpc-ayuda, and more of it is coming as more
students in Uruguay are figuring out how to download activities.

Unfortunately there are just not enough people in #olpc-ayuda to catch
such cases.  I have never been able to, and am considering implementing
a helpbot there to explain ways to seek help--- or at least encourage
kids to wait for it there if they actually want it.  The rules of IRC
are not clear to them.

I don't know what kind of help could be provided, but if you are
interested in helping a real-live XO user, lurking in #olpc-ayuda might
be your best shot.

Erik
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localization of translation efforts in perú

2008-08-22 Thread Erik Garrison
Sayamindu,

Here at the Ministry of Education in Lima there is a person on staff
whose sole work is translation.  I want to explain to them how they can
go about producing translations for the activity set which is in the
customization key which Ciro and I are building here.  What is the most
sensible advice I can give them.

Obviously we can create and/or modify the po/*.po files in each activity
bundle manually, but perhaps there is a more sensible method of going
about this work?  I would just create projects for each activity on our
Pootle server, but I don't believe I have permissions to do so, and
would prefer that the staff here learns how to manage this issue on
their own.

The most pressing issue here is that a lot of the activities they have
chosen are named in English in the home view!  What is the most
efficient way to rectify this issue?  Is it best to drop po*/ files into
the activity directories?  I would like to find a quick solution as they
are currently at the point of installing the activity pack on a lot of
machines.

Best,
Erik
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customization key + system modifications

2008-08-21 Thread Erik Garrison
I feel that I saw something on [EMAIL PROTECTED] previously on this topic, but
was unable to find it via a search of the list archives.  Asking around
#olpc-devel suggests that there is no such method.

Currently there is no method to set items settable via sugar-control
panel using the customization key, or to run a script of some kind at
customization-key unpacking time?  It might be very useful if not yet
exists.

There are security issues which could be considered quite grave.  But if
we can get around them we could achieve a big win for deployments
wishing to manage various software changes on a deployment-by-deployment
basis.

Erik
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Re: customization key + system modifications

2008-08-21 Thread Erik Garrison
On Thu, Aug 21, 2008 at 12:40:33PM -0400, Chris Ball wrote:
 Hi Erik,
 
 Currently there is no method to set items settable via
 sugar-control panel using the customization key, or to run a script
 of some kind at customization-key unpacking time?  It might be very
 useful if not yet exists.
 
 There are security issues which could be considered quite grave.
 But if we can get around them we could achieve a big win for
 deployments wishing to manage various software changes on a
 deployment-by-deployment basis.
 
 There are some things (timezone, I think?) that are set in s-c-p and
 require more access to the filesystem that we want to give, but the
 majority of the s-c-p settings happen in the profile, which lives in
 /home/olpc.  We can/should create a customization point for the profile;
 I'd like this too, so that a deployment can decide whether to have power
 management on or off by default via customization.
 
 Please file a bug.  Thanks,

I have: http://dev.laptop.org/ticket/8091

Thanks,
Erik
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