AltME: Syllable

Messages

Kaj
We've done that for two years now, but that was on our in-house Syllable Workstation, Syllable Server with GoboLinux transplanted on top of it. Now I'm running on pure Syllable Server, with X built from source
That cleans up a lot of problems with the GoboLinux integration, so it is becoming production ready
On the other hand, I've just spent the equivalent of a full work week just to get the legacy fonts in X that R2/View needs
Arnold
Depends on how much time it took you to do it.
Kaj
The equivalent of a full work week
That means three days for me

Kaj
I've got the Enlightenment stack running on X now, up to the widget set
That was a lot easier than View. It's currently a very minimal X configuration
Kaj
I've got GTK 2 built from source running on X now, but GTK 3 bombs out

Kaj
Now I've got Qt running on X. That didn't work in the GoboLinux mix
I already had Qt running before in embedded mode on the Linux framebuffer

Kaj
I've set up a new wiki for Syllable, running on Fossil:

Kaj
For those who have been clamouring for a Syllable installation video in the past, we finally made one, on our SylCon summer conference yesterday:

AdrianS
Kaj, do you happen to have a VMware image for version 0.6.7? I only saw 0.6.6 posted.
btw, is the Enlightenment engine part of the latest binaries now?
Kaj
No, we haven't had time to make emulator images for 0.6.7 yet. The Enlightenment port isn't published in binary yet, but you could compile it with the Syllable build system

AdrianS
Are there some known graphics problems running under VMware? I had the browser showing Google and wikipedia for a while, but then it wouldn't update itself anymore. I also couldn't quit the browser. I have the hardware compatibility set to 6 as per instructions.
AdrianS
now I can't shutdown - need to pull the plug on the VM
AdrianS
this is with 0.6.7, btw - installed it under Workstation 9.0
Kaj
VMware always worked best in the past, but since emulators do very low level things, one can never be sure how a new version behaves
We haven't had your precise report about VMware, but it's quite possible that those symptoms are just general Syllable behaviour. The browser uses the WebKit engine, but it's an older version and the integration is incomplete. Many of the more complex web sites can hang the browser, and in those cases, Syllable can't close the browser and hangs on it when shutting down
Pressing Control-Alt-Delete shuts down Syllable cleanly but forces applications to close, so when you have hung applications, that's the way to shut down. It's described in the Welcome document on the desktop. Does that work?
DocKimbel
AdrianS: if you have a working 0.6.7 image for VMware, it would be nice if you could share it with us by sending it to Kaj (so we can download it from Syllable servers).
Kaj
Be aware that we're not fond of serving anything. We've always made a lot of effort to keep our downloads as small and clean as possible. We welcome contributions, but we also like them to contribute their own hosting. Otherwise, it takes more of our time than it saves
Case in point, one of our contributors recently made a developer edition of Syllable 0.6.7. It's much bigger than the standard distribution, but he's hosting it himself, so that's fine with us
Actually, I've had VirtualBox images of Desktop 0.6.7 and Server 0.4 for several months, but the extra work of publishing them has prevented me from doing that so far (you can blame Red for that ;-)
Would the VB images be usable for you?
DocKimbel
A VB image would be fine too.
Kaj
I'll schedule it for the next days, then. Maybe as an incrowd download first; writing articles and updating the website is a large part of the work
AdrianS
I can provide the VMware image if it's useful - I've got 25 gigs with box.net that could be put to some use. So, are you ok to just have the VB image or would having both be better?
AdrianS
Kaj, I'm curious what the plans are wrt Syllable (either desktop or server) and Raspberry PI. I see that more and more OSs are able to run on it now - just read about webOS, for example.
AdrianS
just saw you answered Nicolas on the same question, back in April
AdrianS
I got the browser to be unresponsive again and tried to kill the process using the System Information Processes tab, but that didn't work and the info applicaton became unresponsive as well. At that point the mouse didnt work either and when I tried to send the OS a ctrl-alt-del, that didn't do anything.
Kaj
Yes, that's the other way to do it, but you probably killed a system process instead. Look for the first thread that says "Webster" (the web browser) and end that thread. It will take all the other Webster child threads with it
By the way, when you installed Syllable, did you use the menu option for installing on VMware?
Hosting a VMware image would be great, but we have to make sure that it's correct

AdrianS
I'm pretty sure it was the "Webster" thread that I tried to kill
AdrianS
I did choose that option when installing, but I can re-create the VM to try to fix a little hassle with the startup menu. What happens now is that on the default first option, 'Start Syllable', you get an error saying that the selected disk does not exist. Choosing the second option, 'Start Syllable (automatic boot drive search), finds the OS and boots. I'm not sure what went wron there - I tried to install grub to the MBR - basically, I pretty much accepted the defaults or suggestions when installing. I'll go through it again just to make sure that I didn't mess something up, though, since it doesn't take very long.
DocKimbel
I will give a quick try at installing 0.6.7 on VMware.
AdrianS
during VM setup, I chose "Other" and 32 bit for the OS choices - not sure if that was what I should have chosen
DocKimbel
I did the same, but installation stops rapidly when detecting hardware: fails to initialize ATA PCI controllers
It fails with the same error whatever VM target I choose.
I'll wait for a proper VM image I guess.
Kaj
If it's anything like the recent VirtualBox, you probably have to change the hardware emulation from a SATA disk controller to an ATA one
Adrian, your selection in VMware should work. A generic Linux option should also have a good chance of working
AdrianS
well, it did seem to work, except for the boot menu thing
also, is there a way for the desktop size to be remembered?
I'm just re-doing the VM now to try and correct that
Kaj
Not finding the boot partition may also be caused by a SATA controller. On real hardware, some SATA systems shift drive numbers. There's a compensation attempt in the Syllable installation troubleshooting options, but that doesn't include the options for VMware
You mean the screen resolution? That is stored when you change it in the Preferences
AdrianS
it doesn't seem to be made permanent, though
Kaj
Was that when you forced the VM to stop?
AdrianS
no, I think it wasn't retained even when I shut down cleanly
but I'll try again once I'm finished re-installing
Kaj
That has never happened before. It should mean some corruption in the emulation somewhere
AdrianS
if it was a SATA issue with the boot, would that not make it impossible to find it with the auto find option?
because it does find it, like that
Kaj
Maybe, but the auto-find option is there for when the static configuration doesn't work. So you're lucky that the next option does work :-)
And it points to the partition number being shifted
AdrianS
did the install again, and have the same boot issue - will try it yet again and see if I can fix it by editing menu.lst - do you think that should work?
Kaj
Yes, look in the System Manager or df in the terminal what partition number you have, then adapt the menu.lst
The fundamental way to fix it would be to change the VMware emulation to ATA/IDE
AdrianS
I believe it is using ata/ide
not SATA
df shows /dev/disk/ata/hdd/0
menu.lst has root=/dev/disk/ata/hdd/0
isn't that OK
Kaj
Did you mount the image in an odd position in VMware? A normal boot drive is hda
In ATA terms, hdd is the slave drive on the second controller
What does the GrUB root() command in menu.lst say?
AdrianS
(hd3,0)
Kaj
At least that's consistent. I don't know why that boot menu option would not work
Can't you mount the image as primary master in VMware?
AdrianS
I don't think I had the choice
Kaj
You mount it somewhere when you create it, don't you?
Back later
AdrianS
Kaj
Was watching Arnold's riots
AdrianS
I've re-installed yet again and gotten it to work by selecting the first controller - for some reason the installation defaults to putting the HD on controller 1 as the second device - the CD being the first on the same controller
I guess the logic in grub should be able to find it even on the second controller, no? In any case, it works now with the first menu option
riots?
btw, confirmed that the screen resolution isn't persisted
even with a clean shutdown
Kaj
Odd
More about the riots in Chit Chat
Do the virtual desktops work for switching resolution, as described in the Welcome?
AdrianS
yes
Kaj
GrUB should be adble to start from anywhere as long as it's consistent. Dunno why it didn't here, but in general, emulators are weird
AdrianS
easy to switch using alt key, so no big problem - it would be nice if there was a 1920x1200 one though, so that going full screen would use all space
Kaj
Sorry, have to leave again for supper
AdrianS
k - I'll make an image and post a link here
Kaj
Great
AdrianS
for the screen resolutions - could 1920x1080 be added as well? - that's my laptop rez - the other is my external monitor. The existing choices seem to reflect older 4:3 displays only
Kaj
Few of the drivers support widescreen resolutions, but you can try
For new features, newer versions of the drivers need to be ported to Syllable, but people stopped doing that years ago
On VMware, that would go through the VMware video driver, so that would have to be changed
AdrianS
I exported the VM as an OVF - it should be importable in any hypervisor that supports this. Is that OK for you?
I believe that VB and Microsofts's stuff should be able to load it
Kaj
I don't know that format. I suppose VMware can also just load it?
AdrianS
sure
that's a standard for VMs - OVF and OVA
Kaj
Does it retain the VMware settings? The problem with loading images from other emulators is that you don't get the emulation settings, so it can break when for example it defaults to SATA instead of ATA
AdrianS
I re-loaded it and it seemed fine
Kaj
Let's try it. We'll see what Doc says :-)
I don't see MS supporting it on Wikipedia, but it is supposed to work across VMware and VirtualBox
AdrianS
Kaj
It's unclear how to convert OVF to QEmu. Does the OVF contain a VMware VMDK disk image file?
AdrianS
yes
and an iso along with anothe couple of files - .mf, .ovf
btw, are you interested in having 50 GB on box.net? I see they're asking me to invite friends to get this amount for free
Kaj
An ISO and a VMDK? That sounds wrong. Is the installation CD still in that ISO?
If the CD was mounted as primary master, that would also explain why the installation partition couldn't be there
AdrianS
ah, you're right - forgot to unmount
Kaj
That would double the size. Not good for a download :-)
AdrianS
no, the second time around, I put the cd on the second controller
Kaj
The VMDK is good, though. Although it's a VMware format, QEmu can use that. That's why we always had VMware images in the past
AdrianS
but vmw workstation wouldn't let me put the hd as first dev on first controller with the cd as the second device
Kaj
OVF seems to standardise all the settings that usually didn't transfer, so that's good
Kaj
We're hosting on Amazon S3 and several other places. I appreciate the Box.net offer, but it would just complicate our infrastructure further. A lot of our time over the years has gone to managing that, so I am firm on simplifying things
AdrianS
np - wasn't trying to push it for any personal benefit - just thought you might be interested in any free, significantly sized offline storage. Most of the other free ones are only around 5 GB
although I think MS also has 25 GB or so with SkyBox
Kaj
I understand, my only issue is with our management effort
AdrianS
can anyone see if this link to the VM works? It's hosted on SkyDrive
Kaj
It wants cookies and it says it will then use my Live ID, which I don't have
AdrianS
I'm not sure if the link allows you to download the file, or only to view it on SkyDrive
haven't used SkyDrive so I don't know my way around sharing stuff
Kaj
Weren't you going to put it on Box.net?
AdrianS
they have a 100 MB file limit - dumb
at least for the free account
Kaj
Yeah, I saw that. Wouldn't be of much use to us then, either
Putting it on a Windows site where you need to log in would offend a large part of our audience
AdrianS
sure, I'm hoping you don't need to - did you try and it asked for creds?
there's different kinds of sharing - so I'm just trying them out
Kaj
I'd have to give it cookies first to find out for sure. Don't want to do that, either
This is the kind of trouble we get when taking extra infrastructure onboard
AdrianS
let me see if I can find some place like depositfiles - though the free downloads usually involve a countdown timer
dropbox is good for just giving a link with no hassle, but I only have 7 gb there and most is used up
Kaj
That all sucks. This is why we're using S3. All under our control
AdrianS
they don't have the 100 mb limit like box does, though
Andreas
how large is the image?
AdrianS
about 140 MB
I tried it on anothe computer and it seems you do need to sign in - I thnk I left this checkbox checked to allow editing the file, though - maybe that's why
Kaj
Is that uncompressed?
AdrianS
no, compressed
well, the vmdk is just a little bigger - about 148 MB
Kaj
What sort of compression?
AdrianS
7zip
like your other archives, no?
Kaj
Yes. However, the standard CD is 93 MB. The VM shouldn't be much bigger
Did you install multiple times over the same image?
AdrianS
no
Kaj
Hm, there's a serious inefficiency in there somewhere
AdrianS
this was a fresh VM - nothing else installed
Kaj
Odd. This is another reason that the creation of our distributions is quite critical. Our existing VMware image is 55 MB, although that's for Syllable 0.6.6, which was smaller
AdrianS
when you create the disk, there's an option to pre-allocate it - I chose that (the size had was a 1 GB disk). Not sure if that would make a difference as to how small it would compress
DocKimbel
Skydrive needs a Live ID to download a publicly shared file? That's hilarious. I should buy Dropbox shares (if I had the money). :-)
AdrianS
I can try again with a disk that is not pre-allocated
Kaj
Could be, if it doesn't zero-fill it
AdrianS
no, I think I just shared it with the option to edit
Kaj
Qtask also needs cookies to get into a public file listing
Andreas
(If only Dropbox had public shares ... :)
AdrianS
creating the VM again without pre-allocating the disk to see if it'll compress more
Kaj
Thanks
AdrianS
with 0.6.6, did you choose the top compression with 7zip?
I just did it at whatever is the default
also, not sure if versions after 9.20 compress any better - do they?
Kaj
Yes, was going to say that, highest compression. It takes longer
I don't know about newer versions, but I do everything with 9.04 on Syllable
AdrianS
same size with the disk not pre-allocated
here's the depositfiles link:
Kaj, it looks like bloat is just the natural course :-)
was the prior image for an even older version of Workstation than 6?
Kaj
Waited a minute, watched ads, says download will take 61 minutes, answered captcha, got popup ads, chose downloading, get same popup ad over and over, no download
VMware version: don't remember. I never made them myself
AdrianS
jeez, it's sad that things have gotten so bad - the thing is that with adblock plus I never see popups so I forget how bad it can be
Kaj
I was just wondering how I can get a popup. Firefox is supposed to block them, but they put them under the download button
AdrianS
you should try the regular download - the other one requires more BS
Kaj
Regular?
AdrianS
you should use adblock plus
Kaj
I never have popups
AdrianS
are there two meters on the page you get?
Kaj
Yes, I'm using regular. For Gold I need to pay
AdrianS
the regular (free) download is the one on the right
Kaj
Yes, that's the one I described
AdrianS
and you still get all that crap?
Kaj
Yes, otherwise you have to pay. Makes sense, but this is not working
AdrianS
what I see when I click there is a countdown timer
Kaj
Yes, and then all the other stuff
I'd rather just upload the VirtualBox image I have
Andreas
how large is your virtualbox image?
AdrianS
if you want, np - I can try google drive, though
145 MB
Kaj
Let me check
I'd like to have your image, but this is not working
AdrianS
sorry, thought you were asking me
give me a place to upload to and I'll stick it there - you can then figure out what you want to do
I got no popups after the countdown - there was a captcha and then a button to download
Kaj
That button only produces the popup for me. Anyway, this is not something I can put our users through
Andreas
i think i have a qemu/kvm image from back when syllable desktop 0.6.7 was released. if that's of any use, i can dig it up.
Kaj
I currently have my VB Bzip2'ed at 112 MB, so it should be very close to the 93 MB installation CD when I 7-Zip it
Thanks, but a QEmu image is less problematic for me to produce, because we have it in Syllable
I did the VB because it's in Ubuntu and VB works much better now than past versions. However, VMware seems to have disappeared from Ubuntu, so it's hard to make the images we used to have
I'll see if VB can export to OVF, and then hope VMware can use the VB disk format
Andreas
ok. just had a quick look, the qemu-generated .vmdk i have is 441MB uncompressed, and 79MB after 7z -mx=9.
Kaj
That's better than expected. Maybe indeed a new 7-Zip version
Andreas
That's with 7-Zip 9.20.
Kaj
Do you think the VMDK could be dropped into the configuration file for our old image?
Andreas
No idea, sorry. I was just wondering why I created the image as a .vmdk, but well -- at least that seems to compress quite well.
Kaj
Thanks for checking
Adrian, I could try that with your OVF: use the configuration and replace the VMDK using QEmu. Could you upload it somewhere simple without the VMDK in it?
AdrianS
I can email it
Andreas, what size HD did you have for the VM you had?
Kaj
OK, the email in my account here should work
Andreas
Adrian: 1GB
Kaj
The VB image is 10 GB; that shouldn't be the problem
AdrianS
hard to see why there's such a difference then
sent the ovf conf file
Kaj
Just the file, or the archive without the VMDK?
AdrianS
just the file
there are only three files one of them the checksums
not sure that's needed
let me send that as well
Kaj
Thanks!
Did VMware make the archive, or did you pack the files manually?
AdrianS
packed manually - the archive form is OVA, but workstation only produces the files
Kaj
OK
AdrianS
here's a link on google drive - supposedly anyone with the link can access with no login
Kaj
That just works, and in under two minutes :-)
Is it meant for public downloads?
AdrianS
sure, if you share it that way
same as all the others +/- some little things - you have 5 GB too if you have GMail, no?
Kaj
So you can host it there?
AdrianS
yeah, lots of people have links to google docs files
I mean out in the public
Kaj
I have Google Drive?
Yeah, but this is a big file, and it's going to be downloaded many times
AdrianS
yeah, google drive is part of  google docs - they've sort of unified everything
Kaj
I don't use Google Docs
AdrianS
I wouldn't worry - never saw them specify limits on Docs fies
that was free too for individual use
you have google docs too, if you had gmail
well, you might need to register, actually - but there's no cost
Kaj
The hosting is not the point, though. I can host files, but if it's an official Syllable release, I should have done all the quality control and it should be in all the usual places, such as SourceForge. If it's a contribution, the hosting should also be contributed to make that clear, and I can just link to it
I'll publish your link one of these days. Can I use your name to credit you?
AdrianS
up to you - if you need it to idemnify yourself, go ahead - personally, I don't need to see a credit with the link
I'm curious - how much traffic do you get from the image downloads?
Kaj
Not for indemnification, just for credit. It's a volunteer project, after all
Syllable versions have been downloaded several ten thousand times per version. If a version is current for a long time, the VM image could be downloaded twenty thousand times, for example

AdrianS
so the user base is significant?
Kaj
Depends if you consider that significant :-)
AdrianS
sure, if it's that many individual downloads per version, that's quite a good number
judging by the forum traffic I would've guessed less
Kaj
It's likely that people actually use or at least try the VM and live CD. The installer is downloaded about equally often as the live CD, and there it's doubtful that many of them lead to used installations
So it's a bit of a mystery. The forum indeed doesn't reflect it, but there also other reasons for that. It's been hard to register there for years, because we've had to block most common mail domains due to spam
It's also likely that Syllable is used most in places where people wouldn't easily come forward on an English forum
AdrianS
I guess that means most users are self sufficient
Kaj
Could be. We think Syllable is still too hard to use, but maybe it isn't :-)
AdrianS
majority from Europe?
Kaj
No, US, Russia, India, than many European countries. Of course, that way they're not added up, unlike the big continents
We see people taking two days to download at snail speed via BitTorrent. I imagine they're in Siberia or something. That's why the downloads need to be as small as possible
AdrianS
I wonder how most people come to it - if you search for compact/small Linux distributions, does it come up in the results? I would think most people looking to get something lightweight would look at linux, not some completely different OS
so you should make sure it's visible in those searches
Kaj
From many places, I think. We have a decade of publications all over the web
We get hits from many of the same search phrases as Linux, since most of the same software is in Syllable, and we have an extra Linux system
GrahamC
I wonder if it can be hosted on glacier .. then it would only take a few days to download :)

DocKimbel
Got my Syllable 0.6.7 image running in VMware, thanks to AdrianS for making the image available!

Kaj

Bo
Awesome, Kaj!
Wish I had more time.  I'd love to play with Syllable.
Kaj
Thanks
R3 has been included in Syllable Desktop for a year and a half. Syllable Server ships with R2 and a collection of REBOL frameworks

Kaj
I added Fork's preliminary R3 port of Red to the build system, with an overlay for Syllable Desktop so it can be experimented with there:

GrahamC
Ever thought of setting up an AWS ami ?  With Cheyenne and QM configured ?
Kaj
Yes, I wanted to do that even before EC2 opened up, to get a business model going. But regardless of their promises, after all these years they still don't support their payment system outside the US
GrahamC
All you need is a US bank account
but that is difficult to obtain if you're not a citizen
Kaj
And that will get you all the trouble of running a US company
GrahamC
However, you can still upload an AMI ... don't need to be paid for that
Kaj
Sure, but I'd have to create it, and I don't have an incentive

PeterWood
Does Syllable run under VirtualBox? If so is it able to access Virtual Box Shared storage?
Kaj
It runs under VB, but file sharing probably requires VB extensions, and those are not ported to Syllable
However, you can use networking file systems such as FTP and Windows networking. Those are a bit primitive under Syllable, but clients are available
PeterWood
Yes file sharing does require the Virtual Box extensions.  I use Virtual Box file sharing to run the Red tests under OS X, Windows and Ubuntu. It works well for me.
A few minutes after posting my question, I remembered that REBOL 2 doesn't run on Syllable so I couldn't easily extend my testing to Syllable.
Kaj
Adrian provided a VB image, above:
Kaj
You could run the interpreter tests. That runs on Syllable, as red-core:
PeterWood
I'l try the VB image later. I would think that it would be better to cross-compile the tests for Syllable that way that we do for ARM.
Kaj
Yes, that would be even better. It's the same way I construct those downloads

Kees

Endo
Hi Kaj, no development for Syllable anymore?

Kaj
Not much, but some people occasionally do something on top of it

Last message posted 67 weeks ago.