ALFS Progress (was: Re: bash: ./configure: No such file or directory)

Jesse Tie Ten Quee highos at
Fri Jan 19 05:23:44 PST 2001


On Fri, Dec 29, 2000 at 02:19:37PM -0500, Barry wrote:
> better late than never... sorry, I was going through a 500 e-mail
> archive that was sitting on a PC I haven't gotten to use for a week or
> so...things have been VERY hectic at work...I'm writing this on my lunch
> break.  Hopefully, this hecticness should be over by the middle of next
> week...then I can get back to some more LFS based development...

It's a big loop, now i'm catching up again ;)

> I'm willing to learn anything else and XML is not out of the question
> for this...but it will take some time....

The XML part of the project is actually quite simple and is being
documented as we speak (or so, that's what i've been told ;)

> 1) Accessibility is necessity.  Once the project reaches a certain
> point, then it should be released to the public.  And this release must
> be consistant.  If it's not, people simply won't bother.  I know that
> there have been many pitfalls in building the ALFS, but to say that the
> ALFS profile and any information concerning the ALFS project has been
> easily accessible over the past 6 monthes would be an overstatement of
> the facts.  Now, it would be very easy for people simply to drop
> questions to the mailing list, and anyone (including myself) who has not
> done so is so guilty.  But I believe that this is more an indicator of
> the maturity of the project more than it's overall scope.  There is no
> web site, beyond a page with 4 or so lines of text and 4 links.  3 of
> these links point to directories with nothing in them and the 4th is a
> link to the profile which, as good as it is, is likely not useful to
> everyone involved or does not fit their purposes entirely.  Again, this
> has more to do with the fact that there really isn't much work being
> done on ALFS right now besides what the three of you are doing.  This
> will change in time... I hope to outline how it may be accelerated in
> the next few suggestions/observations...

I was glad to see Gerard (and Bryan right? he muttered to me someone
about doing his part) that the website is now up,

The perl backend is now in CVS..

> 2) Direction is a goal.  If the project has no goal other than to
> automate what most people are already doing in their spare time in a
> manual fashion because they want to do it manually, then the project
> will likely not attract the number of interested parties that you wish
> would come forward, and those who are interested will not feel compelled
> to work on the project.  The problem, though, is not that the project
> has no goals.  I feel that the goals that the project has are venerable,
> to say the least.  And many of the usage intentions that people have
> surrounding ALFS are even loftier than the initial scope of the
> project.  Ideas such as building the perfect LSB compliant system,
> etc... Which are necessary for the advancement of Linux - can be founded
> on the work that is going on here now.  But developers need a reason to
> do something.  White papers, newsletters, a mission statement...  All of
> these can be tools which can enliven the public and give energy to a
> movement.  These are the provokers which made Linux and the Open Source
> community powerful in the eyes of the world.  The code is the important,
> tangible resource... but to be successful we must also be statesmen.  To
> have a boat is one thing, to go places in it is another, but to expect
> people to get onto the boat, you have to have a widely publicized,
> pre-determined destination... 

Gerard/Bryan started on this..

Alot of it has been lack of knowledge, such as having that crappy
website i put up ages ago and no one ever updating it.. (allthough
that's been fixed and is being worked on)

> 3) Divide and conquer.  The ALFS should be split into coherent parts. 
> This will be necessary for it to develop beyond the point that it is
> currently.  These parts would, most likely, be more than simply a back
> and front end.  In writing my initial shell script for installing LFS
> automatically on christmas day, I seperated the LFS into 3 stages.  I
> may even seperate it into a fourth.  But for an automated project, I
> would suggest a modular approach which would keep bug testing,
> development, and further advancement of the project easily managable.  I
> would split this up along both a stage axis and an axis for front and
> back ends... Let me take a look at this to see how I feel that it could
> best be done... I'll write to the list when I feel that I've come up
> with a good solution and when I can elaborate more on this...

This is semi layout out, lots of room to add to it (especially on
the things i want todo but never get around to ;)

    o docs (lead: Jason Gurtz)
        o syntax
    o backend
        o perl (lead: Bryan Dumm/Neven Has)
    o frontend
        o Qt Embedded (myself, Remenic)
    o IPC
    o Website

Don't quote me or anything, i've been out of the loop for too long and
don't even know what anyone that is helping out has plans todo, so...

The Qt Embedded frontend and bootable subprojects (bootdisk and cdrom)
are the ones i'm mainly interested in (well apart from the hole, but
it's where i can help out the most)

> 4) Once the project is divided into coherent parts, the project will be
> easier to manage and add to.  Rather than trying to manage people making
> additions to a larger product, a smaller modular design will allow for
> quicker development on the various pieces.  Keep IPC simple and
> standard, that way modules can be modified and replaced without having
> to make too many changes to the other modules.  How we do this will
> depend largely on how we divide the project.  This will also be
> necessary because of the nature of the work.  As we all know, this work
> is voluntary, and that means that we have to structure the program in
> such a way as to enable quick fixes and an accelerated development
> cycle...

That is pretty well what was originally planned...

> 5) Don't give up.  I've seen too many promising projects get dumped over
> the past 6 years.  I don't intend on seeing this one fall.  You guys are
> doing a great job.  We just need to pick up some of the pieces and start
> building, that's all :)... It will happen, it simply takes time.  And
> Jesse, damnit, you've got leader oozing from you from what I've seen. 
> Stop beating yourself up over this :)

Thx for the vote of convidence ;) and yeah... my New Years resolution
is to finish everything i've started..

> OK... phew... hehh... :) 


> I hope I haven't pissed anyone wasn't what I meant if I did...
> So, I guess this means you guys can count me in.  I'll back up my own
> points of view here with some content... hopefully over the weekend. 
> There's going to be a major snowstorm here in CT starting tommorrow.  I
> can think of no better time to start ... :)  

You said more vaild things then anyone else, i don't see how someone
could be pissed off at ya =)

Boy i remenber when i first read this, i had alot to say to your reply,
but i didn't have the time/access todo it when i was in Ottawa.. i wish
i had taken the time regardlesss back in Ottawa, i don't really have
anything valid to say anymore..bah

Jesse Tie Ten Quee - highos at highos dot com

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