Community XO software builds

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Community XO software builds

Samuel Greenfeld-2
I saw some discussion last week about the community XO software builds.

This seems to be something which gets many people excited.

However according to my web server, there have not been very many downloads of them.

If I may ask:
  • Who actually is using/testing these images?
  • Why?
  • Is there a reason you are not looking into using an official (OLPC or deployment) build?
  • Have you engaged OLPC or another party to work on changes?
  • What direction do you believe the builds should go?

Building XO builds by repacking existing work is relatively trivial.

But the low-level kernel, driver, and OS work necessary to support XOs with newer operating systems (as well as newer XO batteries) is something I cannot do, and where we really need help.

Without guidance from OLPC or others, I could build thousands of XO-# laptop images.  But unless it looks like a significant number of deployments/children actually would benefit, there really is no point.

---
SJG


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Re: [Sugar-devel] Community XO software builds

Sebastian Silva-2
Hi Samuel,

I think your volunteer work is important.

It is not clear to me exactly what the focus is of your images, nor where the repositories with the ini files for the builder, or the download link for the ready images.
This is probably the reason you have so few downloads logged.

Perhaps we should put all of this in a Wiki page?

I am interested, but haven't been able to test because when I asked last time for the SD card images you told me you would build them but never let me know when/where I could get them.

I understand it may be frustrating to work without feedback but it's simply the way it works at this point, unless you are in the field.

Also, keep in mind that deployments are interested in updating OS images once every one or two years.

Thanks, in the name of the children, for the work you do.
I'll try to respond your questions inline below.

Regards,
Sebastian


On 05/05/15 23:54, Samuel Greenfeld wrote:
I saw some discussion last week about the community XO software builds.

This seems to be something which gets many people excited.

However according to my web server, there have not been very many downloads of them.

If I may ask:
  • Who actually is using/testing these images?
Not me, yet.
  • Why?
I maintained in the past official images for Peru.
  • Is there a reason you are not looking into using an official (OLPC or deployment) build?
Yes we like to roll our own to include native languages, features (e.g. Sugar Network), etc.
  • Have you engaged OLPC or another party to work on changes?
I try to work upstream.
  • What direction do you believe the builds should go?
The best possible experience for end users. Basically, on XO, means performance tuning.

Building XO builds by repacking existing work is relatively trivial.

But the low-level kernel, driver, and OS work necessary to support XOs with newer operating systems (as well as newer XO batteries) is something I cannot do, and where we really need help.

Without guidance from OLPC or others, I could build thousands of XO-# laptop images.  But unless it looks like a significant number of deployments/children actually would benefit, there really is no point.

---
SJG



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Re: Community XO software builds

tkkang
In reply to this post by Samuel Greenfeld-2
> Who actually is using/testing these images? Why?

I am as I try to to see if I could still get some life out of XO with whatever development that is going forward with upgrades.  

> Is there a reason you are not looking into using an official (OLPC or deployment) build?

Use that also but community driven images may be a good way to test things for feedback before things get official.

> - Have you engaged OLPC or another party to work on changes?

I try to and the best things is I get some help along the way for a little DIY with my limited technical skills.

> - What direction do you believe the builds should go?

1. To make the XO multi-media ready :-)  or provide scripts that we can just run to for enabling multi-media experience with the XO. Hate to see spinning "wheels without images :-(

2. Have builds that target specific age groups with the right activities loaded or displayed.

>Building XO builds by repacking existing work is relatively trivial.
>But the low-level kernel, driver, and OS work necessary to support XOs >with newer operating systems (as well as newer XO batteries) is something >I cannot do, and where we really need help.

Yes and I hope OLPC is still providing the necessary financial support for things to happen.
>
>Without guidance from OLPC or others, I could build thousands of XO-#
>laptop images.  But unless it looks like a significant number of
>deployments/children actually would benefit, there really is no point.

Build and they may come.  

Thanks.






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Re: [Sugar-devel] Community XO software builds

Gonzalo Odiard
In reply to this post by Samuel Greenfeld-2
Hi Sam,
  • Who actually is using/testing these images?
I downloaded it (XO-1 and XO-4 versions). 
  • Why?
To test if all is working in a new Fedora, and to try find a solution 
for the Browse problems in the XO-1. Sadly wifi connectivity 
is not working ok in the F20 images.
 
  • Is there a reason you are not looking into using an official (OLPC or deployment) build?
For distribution, today is more stable the F18 version. But we need move
then we need solve the problems we find in newer versions. 
  • Have you engaged OLPC or another party to work on changes?
Yes. 
  • What direction do you believe the builds should go?
I think we should try make a build using CentOS. I don't know 
if have all the packages we need, but the rate of change in Fedora
was difficult to follow when OLPC had a team dedicated and now
is almost impossible. The true is we didn't finished to solve 
the problems we found in F20, and Fedora is working in F22.

Building XO builds by repacking existing work is relatively trivial.

But the low-level kernel, driver, and OS work necessary to support XOs with newer operating systems (as well as newer XO batteries) is something I cannot do, and where we really need help.

+1

Without guidance from OLPC or others, I could build thousands of XO-# laptop images.  But unless it looks like a significant number of deployments/children actually would benefit, there really is no point.

I think the benefit is provide a environment where we can test, fill bugs, etc.
But if there are no people with the knowledge and the time to work
in the low level stuff, will be difficult.

Gonzalo 


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Re: Community XO software builds

Adam Holt-2
In reply to this post by Samuel Greenfeld-2
On Wed, May 6, 2015 at 12:54 AM, Samuel Greenfeld <[hidden email]> wrote:
I saw some discussion last week about the community XO software builds.

This seems to be something which gets many people excited.

However according to my web server, there have not been very many downloads of them.

If I may ask:
  • Who actually is using/testing these images?

I have asked quite a number of deployments to try http://www.greenfeld.org/xo/community/builds/ but they are very resistant to try until others have documented first.  Breaking this Vicious Cycle won't happen overnight, but a Virtuous Cycle is possible, if we build tight/participatory documentation around key builds-

  • Why?

They all seem to want a better browser and better codec support to view various+sundry videos, within Sugar ideally, but if that's not possible then within Gnome.  One group per week asks me for the above, above all else (often more than one deployment/group per week).
 
  • Is there a reason you are not looking into using an official (OLPC or deployment) build?

James Cameron and Nathan Riddle have made tremendous progress with SD cards improving XO-1 builds, but this is not financially viable in most all impoverished countries where we work.

  • Have you engaged OLPC or another party to work on changes?

In the past: http://wiki.laptop.org/go/HaitiOS is a derivative of OLPC Release 12.1.0 widely deployed starting in early 2014 thanks to the volunteer work of James Cameron, George Hunt and many others.

While it's not financially or logistically viable to rebase every year, OLPC or Community OS 15.x.x in the coming year (if such an OS arises with better codec support, better browser support, sufficiently stable Sugar and/or sufficient speed) will affect MANY thousands of people, inside Haiti and far outside Haiti.  (On XO-1s especially; the 3 other more modern XO laptops always crop up too).

  • What direction do you believe the builds should go?

Reliability.  Impoverished countries are very accustomed to dealing with broken leftovers + electronic waste shipped to them by rich countries, so don't ask for perfection, but do ask for "basic sanitation..."

If it's truly achievable, Gonzalo is right to push for CentOS durability rather the Fedora treadmill which creates many quite unintended casualties.  The world has become a more dangerous place that 2007 when XO mass production began: we are now almost a decade later with intermittent 2G/3G nearly ubiquitous across the 3rd World (no matter how pricy+tenuous, I no longer run into communities that can say with a straight face they are "completely offline").  Sneakernet is to be encouraged, but the consequence is that schools' inability to easily patch F18-based XO's against http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shellshock_%28software_bug%29 and the drumroll of similar security holes, is emerging as an existential threat to their XO learning environments.

But if CentOS is not realistically achievable, F22 might be more appropriate, given it's final freeze is supposed to be less than 1 week away?

Building XO builds by repacking existing work is relatively trivial.

But the low-level kernel, driver, and OS work necessary to support XOs with newer operating systems (as well as newer XO batteries) is something I cannot do, and where we really need help.

Without guidance from OLPC or others, I could build thousands of XO-# laptop images.  But unless it looks like a significant number of deployments/children actually would benefit, there really is no point.

---
SJG


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Re: [Sugar-devel] Community XO software builds

James Cameron-2
In reply to this post by Gonzalo Odiard
On Wed, May 06, 2015 at 09:19:45AM -0300, Gonzalo Odiard wrote:
> I think we should try make a build using CentOS. I don't know if
> have all the packages we need, but the rate of change in Fedora was
> difficult to follow when OLPC had a team dedicated and now is almost
> impossible. The true is we didn't finished to solve the problems we
> found in F20, and Fedora is working in F22.

I do not think we should switch from Fedora to CentOS, because;

1.  our installed base express interest in Fedora or Ubuntu,

2.  there are missing desktop packages, which means we are taking on
maintenance of those packages on CentOS,

3.  we would delay necessary work until the next release of CentOS, or
if the work is too large we may never upgrade.

Let me explain that last point.

There is a continuous flow of changes into Fedora.  These changes
eventually flow into Red Hat Enterprise Linux, and thus into CentOS.

The most cost effective way to handle this flow was for developers to
test changes on our builds, every week.  This gaves us awareness of
the change and kept us involved to resist changes that cause damage.
We were there once.  It required a low but continuous engineering
effort.

The next most cost effective way is to do this work only when a new
release of Fedora occurs.  This results in lots of head scratching and
bug fixing, and new builds, until the bugs are mostly gone.  We are
here now.  It requires bursts of engineering effort.

The least cost effective way is to hold off doing that work for three
years until the next CentOS release.  This would be a lot more work in
a much shorter burst.

Delaying effort until a future time hasn't worked, and I don't think
it will.  Meanwhile, I'm trying as hard as I can with what I'm doing.

--
James Cameron
http://quozl.linux.org.au/
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Re: [Sugar-devel] Community XO software builds

James Cameron-2
In reply to this post by Adam Holt-2
On Wed, May 06, 2015 at 10:49:47AM -0400, Adam Holt wrote:
> They all seem to want a better browser and better codec support to
> view various+sundry videos, within Sugar ideally, but if that's not
> possible then within Gnome.  One group per week asks me for the
> above, above all else (often more than one deployment/group per
> week).

Why isn't this reaching me and the people who would do something about
it?  Please count these requests, deidentify and aggregate them, and
report them monthly on devel@ or sugar-devel@

> But if CentOS is not realistically achievable, F22 might be more
> appropriate, given it's final freeze is supposed to be less than 1
> week away?

The size of this task (F22) has not yet been estimated, but based on
Samuel's write up, my guess is between 10 and 50 engineer hours.

There may be other problems lurking.

The Fedora 20 port just on XO-4 has consumed way more than this.

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Re: [Sugar-devel] Community XO software builds

Samuel Greenfeld-2
I will try to answer some questions.  But my last two points will only raise new ones.

  1. There are a few purposes for the community build.  The first is that for a while, all the OLPC builds announced seemed to be private ones available upon request.  It therefore was necessary to see if builds were still possible without the private extensions, and how well they worked.

    A second is that I actually build against a local mirror.  This mirror was created back when it was uncertain if OLPC would keep the MIT servers, and expanded when said servers started running into problems.  (These issues have since been resolved.)

    OLPC has and may still have an automatic backup; but I recall others having to stop it from accidentally pulling corrupted data in the past.

    Although it only has a subset of the public OLPC content available anonymously, building against my mirror makes sure that it still works and that it is periodically made up to date.


  2. I have uploaded the .ini files I use to http://www.greenfeld.org/xo/community/builds/14.1.0/olpc-os-builder/ .  But there is nothing in them that you could not derive from the olpc-14.1.0*.ini files already in olpc-os-builder.

    The .zd SD card image for XO-1 build 2 is next to it's .img file.

    I added a pause at the end of kspost.75.install_bundles.inc so I can tweak the XO-1 image and remove some of the larger activities.  But this is temporary for debugging only.


  3. Since I am based in the US, I cannot generate images with the multimedia items due to patents.  At best I could give you instructions similar to how OLPC already does.

    I vaguely recall all XO-4's might be licensed for many multimedia codecs but it would be up to OLPC to make those images more widely available.


  4. Personally I would argue that a CentOS or another long-term build may be the best approach for XOs.  Sugar is in EPEL 6, and likely could be added to EPEL 7.

    It should surprise no one at this point that the list of personnel on OLPC's web site is years out of date.  There may be more people working on XSCE at the moment than XO laptop software.

    Given the lack of personnel and resources I believe it would be best to do one final build for XO-1 through XO-4 based on a LTS distribution supported to at least 2020, and then only minor security/fixes after that.


  5. OLPC already is looking beyond the XO, and beyond Fedora.  If you look at dev.laptop.org closely, you might notice a bunch of tickets targeted for "su-15.1" as well as a new olpc-ubuntu-sugar-builder git tree meant for standard PCs.

    This appears to be an Sugar 0.104/Ubuntu 14.04 LTS build with anti-theft provided by a secure-boot-based EFI bootloader, not Open Firmware.

    While I am not thrilled that this has been done without the historical community's involvement, it likely matches the need of the XO Infinity or another client who currently pays the bills.

    It might be possible for this new builder to be eventually taught to handle XOs.

    But if OLPC is looking beyond the XO-4, perhaps it's time that Sugar do so as well.

    More information can be found at http://dev.laptop.org/ticket/12881




On Wed, May 6, 2015 at 7:18 PM, James Cameron <[hidden email]> wrote:
On Wed, May 06, 2015 at 10:49:47AM -0400, Adam Holt wrote:
> They all seem to want a better browser and better codec support to
> view various+sundry videos, within Sugar ideally, but if that's not
> possible then within Gnome.  One group per week asks me for the
> above, above all else (often more than one deployment/group per
> week).

Why isn't this reaching me and the people who would do something about
it?  Please count these requests, deidentify and aggregate them, and
report them monthly on devel@ or sugar-devel@

> But if CentOS is not realistically achievable, F22 might be more
> appropriate, given it's final freeze is supposed to be less than 1
> week away?

The size of this task (F22) has not yet been estimated, but based on
Samuel's write up, my guess is between 10 and 50 engineer hours.

There may be other problems lurking.

The Fedora 20 port just on XO-4 has consumed way more than this.

--
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http://quozl.linux.org.au/
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Re: [Sugar-devel] Community XO software builds

James Cameron-2
On Wed, May 06, 2015 at 09:29:46PM -0400, Samuel Greenfeld wrote:
> It might be possible for this new builder to be eventually taught to
> handle XOs.

There was no significant interest in my previous builder uxo, which
already knows how to handle XOs.  The recent posts on devel@ of people
trying something similar without looking at uxo is further evidence of
that.

So for the moment, there seems to be no need for my new builder to
handle XO-1, XO-1.5, XO-1.75 or XO-4 laptops.  The Fedora based
builder is working fine for those laptops.

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Re: [Sugar-devel] Community XO software builds

Samuel Greenfeld-2
The obvious counterargument would be that a deployment might want to deploy your XO-Next (whatever it is) alongside existing XO laptops, allowing all of them to have the same configuration.

There's plenty of blame to go around in terms of re-inventing the wheel and lack of communication.

There simply (and correct me if I'm wrong) are not the resources inside of OLPC, outside, or combined at this time to maintain and update two separate builds & build systems.

It amazes me how far we bend over backwards to avoid saying "end of life" and "end of support".


I have seen a fair amount of interest, both publicly and privately, for newer XO laptop builds.  But I don't think the requesters realize how much work it takes to make one.

And I do not forsee anyone stepping up to get the XO-1.75 and XO-4 kernel & drivers into a state they can be upstreamed or upgraded for newer Fedoras unless a deployment really wants this instead of newer equipment.

Newer operating systems tend to require more disk space and RAM than the predecessors.  We have seen this even within Fedora's lineage.


Since OLPC already appears to be going the Ubuntu LTS route, I would argue it would be easiest to take everything that way, porting utilities as required, and make that the final image & build system for XOs.

I only have a limited number of hours per week I can look into OLPC things, but I'm tempted to take a look.






On Wed, May 6, 2015 at 10:50 PM, James Cameron <[hidden email]> wrote:
On Wed, May 06, 2015 at 09:29:46PM -0400, Samuel Greenfeld wrote:
> It might be possible for this new builder to be eventually taught to
> handle XOs.

There was no significant interest in my previous builder uxo, which
already knows how to handle XOs.  The recent posts on devel@ of people
trying something similar without looking at uxo is further evidence of
that.

So for the moment, there seems to be no need for my new builder to
handle XO-1, XO-1.5, XO-1.75 or XO-4 laptops.  The Fedora based
builder is working fine for those laptops.

--
James Cameron
http://quozl.linux.org.au/


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Re: [Sugar-devel] Community XO software builds

James Cameron-2
On Wed, May 06, 2015 at 11:21:35PM -0400, Samuel Greenfeld wrote:
> The obvious counterargument would be that a deployment might want to
> deploy your XO-Next (whatever it is) alongside existing XO laptops,
> allowing all of them to have the same configuration.

I don't think that's likely.  And if it is required, the same set of
Sugar activities or the same user level desktop will suffice.  The
software layers are well isolated; there's no reason to have the same
things all the way down to the kernel.

> Since OLPC already appears to be going the Ubuntu LTS route, I would
> argue it would be easiest to take everything that way, porting
> utilities as required, and make that the final image & build system
> for XOs.

We'll see.

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Re: [Sugar-devel] Community XO software builds

Sebastian Silva-2
In reply to this post by James Cameron-2

On 06/05/15 18:10, James Cameron wrote:
> 1.  our installed base express interest in Fedora or Ubuntu,

I wonder how accurate this is?

Many times "upstream", or suppliers, tend to lump entire deployments
into one person or group.
Did you mean administrators, technicians, teachers, or users?

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Re: [Sugar-devel] Community XO software builds

James Cameron-2
On Thu, May 07, 2015 at 12:56:32AM -0500, Sebastian Silva wrote:
>
> On 06/05/15 18:10, James Cameron wrote:
> > 1.  our installed base express interest in Fedora or Ubuntu,
>
> I wonder how accurate this is?

No idea.

> Many times "upstream", or suppliers, tend to lump entire deployments
> into one person or group.
> Did you mean administrators, technicians, teachers, or users?

Yes.

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Re: [Sugar-devel] Community XO software builds

Peter Robinson
In reply to this post by James Cameron-2
On Thu, May 7, 2015 at 12:10 AM, James Cameron <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Wed, May 06, 2015 at 09:19:45AM -0300, Gonzalo Odiard wrote:
>> I think we should try make a build using CentOS. I don't know if
>> have all the packages we need, but the rate of change in Fedora was
>> difficult to follow when OLPC had a team dedicated and now is almost
>> impossible. The true is we didn't finished to solve the problems we
>> found in F20, and Fedora is working in F22.
>
> I do not think we should switch from Fedora to CentOS, because;
>
> 1.  our installed base express interest in Fedora or Ubuntu,

Daniel Drake, myself and others put in a lot of effort back in the
F-14/15 days to get everything upstream into Fedora. I continue to
maintain that and produce a Sugar on a Stick release with every Fedora
release.

In the last release Daniel and I was involved in the delta between
Fedora and the OLPC release was very minimal. Basically kernel,
firmware, and some minor changes to a couple of Sugar packages for XO
HW and patches that weren't yet upstream.

> 2.  there are missing desktop packages, which means we are taking on
> maintenance of those packages on CentOS,

Having tried and failed to do this back when EL6 was new I believe
this is a dead end. It turned out to be _WAY_ more effort than
actually keeping Fedora up to date. The upstream RHEL releases are
every 6 months but if you need a fix for a package in the core 2500
odd packages and it's not easy you might be waiting a lot longer for a
fix.

In Fedora if you know the right people (like me) you can get a fix
into update-testing in a day. Also there's a much much wider QA group
across the packages we use and care about.

I can go on and on about the details required for this but basically I
suspect eyes have glazed over already.

> 3.  we would delay necessary work until the next release of CentOS, or
> if the work is too large we may never upgrade.

I suspect it would be never.

> Let me explain that last point.
>
> There is a continuous flow of changes into Fedora.  These changes
> eventually flow into Red Hat Enterprise Linux, and thus into CentOS.
>
> The most cost effective way to handle this flow was for developers to
> test changes on our builds, every week.  This gaves us awareness of
> the change and kept us involved to resist changes that cause damage.
> We were there once.  It required a low but continuous engineering
> effort.

It use to take around an hour to cut a release from Fedora/Sugar
repos. Quite often the delta from a patch for a fix being created and
a new OS was in the hours timeframe. It's the usual story of a little
bit of effort regularly stops it from being a major issue.

Kernel and olpc-os-builder aside I think you could probably produce a
working image of Fedora 22 now. I think all the userspace bits are
likely there and working due to my SoaS work.

It's actually the thing that annoys me most about the sugar community.
IMO we have a great working Sugar release that works pretty much
everywhere plus is a great proven base for XO releases yet so many
core developers have told me "if only you'd focus on Ubuntu we'd use
it" yet Ubuntu for _YEARS_ have shown that they couldn't given a shit
and even actively remove core bits needed (remember the Browse on
Mozilla years anyone??) to make it even harder.

> The next most cost effective way is to do this work only when a new
> release of Fedora occurs.  This results in lots of head scratching and
> bug fixing, and new builds, until the bugs are mostly gone.  We are
> here now.  It requires bursts of engineering effort.

Actually it needs work _BEFORE_ a new release happens, any work now
IMO should be focused on Fedora 23. That way you have everything in
place in time for Fedora 23 GA in October and you get the longest
value out of the release.

> The least cost effective way is to hold off doing that work for three
> years until the next CentOS release.  This would be a lot more work in
> a much shorter burst.

And you'll likely end up in a very disparate stability across devices.
Both ARMv7 and i686 is community supported in CentOS which means you
get likely dubious quality of work and I suspect due to toolchain
config choices for i686 it won't even run on the XO-1. Has anyone
actually tried booting CentOS-7 on a XO1? From what I've seen of the
ARMv7 efforts I see it as half arsed at best.

People ask me if I can help with CentOS. The answer is no. I have no
personal interest in CentOS. I have enough to do with personal
projects on Fedora.

> Delaying effort until a future time hasn't worked, and I don't think
> it will.  Meanwhile, I'm trying as hard as I can with what I'm doing.

And I've been trying as hard with Fedora as possible. The core Sugar
stack is in pretty good shape. There's some work needed on some
Activies but most of the work it to update them to the latest upstream
bits.

Peter

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https://alt.fedoraproject.org/pub/alt/stage/22_TC2/Live/i386/Fedora-Live-SoaS-i686-22-TC2.iso
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Re: [Sugar-devel] Community XO software builds

Peter Robinson
In reply to this post by Samuel Greenfeld-2
On Thu, May 7, 2015 at 4:21 AM, Samuel Greenfeld <[hidden email]> wrote:
> The obvious counterargument would be that a deployment might want to deploy
> your XO-Next (whatever it is) alongside existing XO laptops, allowing all of
> them to have the same configuration.

From my memory of olpc-os-builder it was very modular and wouldn't be
hard to add dozens of different devices support to it.

> There's plenty of blame to go around in terms of re-inventing the wheel and
> lack of communication.

Yep!

> There simply (and correct me if I'm wrong) are not the resources inside of
> OLPC, outside, or combined at this time to maintain and update two separate
> builds & build systems.
>
> It amazes me how far we bend over backwards to avoid saying "end of life"
> and "end of support".
>
>
> I have seen a fair amount of interest, both publicly and privately, for
> newer XO laptop builds.  But I don't think the requesters realize how much
> work it takes to make one.

The big one here is kernel kernel kernel.

> And I do not forsee anyone stepping up to get the XO-1.75 and XO-4 kernel &
> drivers into a state they can be upstreamed or upgraded for newer Fedoras
> unless a deployment really wants this instead of newer equipment.

Or even the 1.5, I believe most of the XO-1 support is upsteream.

> Newer operating systems tend to require more disk space and RAM than the
> predecessors.  We have seen this even within Fedora's lineage.

Yes, and no. I mean 1Gb of the original XO-1 is tight, but SoaS still
happily fits in 4Gb with a bunch of space to spare. Looking at my
current SoaS VM the used space is around 1.9Gb. Amusingly the various
cloud/container enterprise initiatives actively help us here because
for once they care about dependency bloat too :-)

The two things that add bloat to the current SoaS image are:
* Browse needs to be converted to the new WebKitGtk APIs so we don't
ship two copies of WebKitGtk.
* Conversion of remaining gstreamer 0.10 to 1.0 to allow us not to ship that.

Ultimately I think you could with a little development effort get it
down to 1.5Gb used space which would make a 2Gb filesystem quite
usable.

> Since OLPC already appears to be going the Ubuntu LTS route, I would argue
> it would be easiest to take everything that way, porting utilities as
> required, and make that the final image & build system for XOs.

Personally I have no interest in that. I wish you luck.

> I only have a limited number of hours per week I can look into OLPC things,
> but I'm tempted to take a look.
>
>
>
>
>
>
> On Wed, May 6, 2015 at 10:50 PM, James Cameron <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>> On Wed, May 06, 2015 at 09:29:46PM -0400, Samuel Greenfeld wrote:
>> > It might be possible for this new builder to be eventually taught to
>> > handle XOs.
>>
>> There was no significant interest in my previous builder uxo, which
>> already knows how to handle XOs.  The recent posts on devel@ of people
>> trying something similar without looking at uxo is further evidence of
>> that.
>>
>> So for the moment, there seems to be no need for my new builder to
>> handle XO-1, XO-1.5, XO-1.75 or XO-4 laptops.  The Fedora based
>> builder is working fine for those laptops.
>>
>> --
>> James Cameron
>> http://quozl.linux.org.au/
>
>
>
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Re: [Sugar-devel] Community XO software builds

Martin Dengler
In reply to this post by Peter Robinson
On Thu, May 07, 2015 at 10:16:42AM +0100, Peter Robinson wrote:

> On Thu, May 7, 2015 at 12:10 AM, James Cameron <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > 2.  there are missing desktop packages, which means we are taking on
> > maintenance of those packages on CentOS,
>
> Having tried and failed to do this back when EL6 was new I believe
> this is a dead end. It turned out to be _WAY_ more effort than
> actually keeping Fedora up to date. The upstream RHEL releases are
> every 6 months but if you need a fix for a package in the core 2500
> odd packages and it's not easy you might be waiting a lot longer for a
> fix.
>
> In Fedora if you know the right people (like me) you can get a fix
> into update-testing in a day. Also there's a much much wider QA group
> across the packages we use and care about.
I'm sure core people get it, but I think it's hard to over-emphasize to
everyone else that there are two places where you get the most bang for your
buck: 1) you stay with the latest (Fedora); or 2) you *never* change anything,
ever.  Everything in-between seems like it might be a better tradeoff, but
really all that's happening is you're giving your paid devops staff time to
work around their holidays and internally-driven priorities.

Have no paid devops staff or worldwide priority list?  You need to be on Fedora
or *never* ever change.

SugarLabs being in that place, with people like you to take forward Sugar
packages on the popular, RHEL-upstream (in practice) Fedora, there is no good
reason to accept a slower security fix process and a much more time-expensive
release process.

> And I've been trying as hard with Fedora as possible. The core Sugar
> stack is in pretty good shape. There's some work needed on some
> Activies but most of the work it to update them to the latest upstream
> bits.

This rings true to me too.

> Peter

Martin

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Re: [Sugar-devel] Community XO software builds

Martin Dengler
In reply to this post by Samuel Greenfeld-2
On Wed, May 06, 2015 at 11:21:35PM -0400, Samuel Greenfeld wrote:
> OLPC already appears to be going the Ubuntu LTS route

When/where can I read more about what OLPC is doing with Ubuntu LTS?  Apologies
for the lazyweb request.

Martin

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Re: [Sugar-devel] Community XO software builds

Gonzalo Odiard
In reply to this post by Peter Robinson
Hi Peter,

On Thu, May 7, 2015 at 6:16 AM, Peter Robinson <[hidden email]> wrote:
On Thu, May 7, 2015 at 12:10 AM, James Cameron <[hidden email]> wrote:
> On Wed, May 06, 2015 at 09:19:45AM -0300, Gonzalo Odiard wrote:
>> I think we should try make a build using CentOS. I don't know if
>> have all the packages we need, but the rate of change in Fedora was
>> difficult to follow when OLPC had a team dedicated and now is almost
>> impossible. The true is we didn't finished to solve the problems we
>> found in F20, and Fedora is working in F22.
>

Let make my comment clear. My proposal was not a criticize Fedora
or the Fedora community. Fedora has been very supportive and responsive. 
 
> I do not think we should switch from Fedora to CentOS, because;
>
> 1.  our installed base express interest in Fedora or Ubuntu,

Daniel Drake, myself and others put in a lot of effort back in the
F-14/15 days to get everything upstream into Fedora. I continue to
maintain that and produce a Sugar on a Stick release with every Fedora
release.

In the last release Daniel and I was involved in the delta between
Fedora and the OLPC release was very minimal. Basically kernel,
firmware, and some minor changes to a couple of Sugar packages for XO
HW and patches that weren't yet upstream.

> 2.  there are missing desktop packages, which means we are taking on
> maintenance of those packages on CentOS,

Having tried and failed to do this back when EL6 was new I believe
this is a dead end. It turned out to be _WAY_ more effort than
actually keeping Fedora up to date. The upstream RHEL releases are
every 6 months but if you need a fix for a package in the core 2500
odd packages and it's not easy you might be waiting a lot longer for a
fix.


Ok. I didn't know that.

When I talked with deployments and they ask for Ubuntu,
and I ask why, what they really want is Long Time Support.
No deployment change their image more than once a year.
In fact, change a image is a logistic challenge for most of
the big/middle size deployments. 

Then, I was thinking in CentOS as a LTS version of Fedora.
 
In Fedora if you know the right people (like me) you can get a fix
into update-testing in a day. Also there's a much much wider QA group
across the packages we use and care about.

I can go on and on about the details required for this but basically I
suspect eyes have glazed over already.


This is true, and I know that.
But also is true, that keep the pace of changes in Fedora is not easy.
In fact, is not Fedora fault, mostly is Gtk ([1], [2], [3]) or libraries (the last was vte [4],
but I can find more).



> 3.  we would delay necessary work until the next release of CentOS, or
> if the work is too large we may never upgrade.

I suspect it would be never.

Ok. But Let me explain my reasons.

Right now, the only "stable" images are based on F18.
We don't have images in a good shape for the deployments for F20,
we missed F21 (where Gtk theme change in a subtle way again,
and toggle toolbar buttons don't change the background color),
and we should start to work in F22. With the hands we have today,
I am sure we will not solve all the problems we already have before F23 is released.

That is my concern. If we would had one dsd involved,
the conversation would be completely different,
But as Samuel said in a previous mail in this thread "I have seen a fair amount of interest, 
both publicly and privately, for newer XO laptop builds.  But I don't think the requesters 
realize how much work it takes to make one."

 

> Let me explain that last point.
>
> There is a continuous flow of changes into Fedora.  These changes
> eventually flow into Red Hat Enterprise Linux, and thus into CentOS.
>
> The most cost effective way to handle this flow was for developers to
> test changes on our builds, every week.  This gaves us awareness of
> the change and kept us involved to resist changes that cause damage.
> We were there once.  It required a low but continuous engineering
> effort.

It use to take around an hour to cut a release from Fedora/Sugar
repos. Quite often the delta from a patch for a fix being created and
a new OS was in the hours timeframe. It's the usual story of a little
bit of effort regularly stops it from being a major issue.

Kernel and olpc-os-builder aside I think you could probably produce a
working image of Fedora 22 now. I think all the userspace bits are
likely there and working due to my SoaS work.


I am sure we could produce a _almost_working_ image for Fedora 22.
The problem is make a _working_ image. Just to point a example,
Community image (at least on xo-1) have problems to connect to a
secured access point. Solve all this little problems takes time and resources.

And do not have idea what will happen when Fedora 23 jump to wayland.
Will work in these old devices and kernels?
Gnome does not work without acceleration right now.
 
It's actually the thing that annoys me most about the sugar community.
IMO we have a great working Sugar release that works pretty much
everywhere plus is a great proven base for XO releases yet so many
core developers have told me "if only you'd focus on Ubuntu we'd use
it" yet Ubuntu for _YEARS_ have shown that they couldn't given a shit
and even actively remove core bits needed (remember the Browse on
Mozilla years anyone??) to make it even harder. 

I agree. I don't think change to Ubuntu will solve nothing magically.
In fact we will have more problems.
 
> The next most cost effective way is to do this work only when a new
> release of Fedora occurs.  This results in lots of head scratching and
> bug fixing, and new builds, until the bugs are mostly gone.  We are
> here now.  It requires bursts of engineering effort.

Actually it needs work _BEFORE_ a new release happens, any work now
IMO should be focused on Fedora 23. That way you have everything in
place in time for Fedora 23 GA in October and you get the longest
value out of the release.


I agree. 
 
> The least cost effective way is to hold off doing that work for three
> years until the next CentOS release.  This would be a lot more work in
> a much shorter burst.

And you'll likely end up in a very disparate stability across devices.
Both ARMv7 and i686 is community supported in CentOS which means you
get likely dubious quality of work and I suspect due to toolchain
config choices for i686 it won't even run on the XO-1. Has anyone
actually tried booting CentOS-7 on a XO1? From what I've seen of the
ARMv7 efforts I see it as half arsed at best.


I was no aware of that.
 
People ask me if I can help with CentOS. The answer is no. I have no
personal interest in CentOS. I have enough to do with personal
projects on Fedora.


I expected CentOS was complementary to Fedora, not a rival.
 
> Delaying effort until a future time hasn't worked, and I don't think
> it will.  Meanwhile, I'm trying as hard as I can with what I'm doing.

And I've been trying as hard with Fedora as possible. The core Sugar
stack is in pretty good shape. There's some work needed on some
Activies but most of the work it to update them to the latest upstream
bits.


We know that, and we thank you. Please don't take this discussions
about how to go forward as a attack.

Gonzalo



 
Peter

https://alt.fedoraproject.org/pub/alt/stage/22_TC2/Images/armhfp/Fedora-SoaS-armhfp-22-TC2-sda.raw.xz
https://alt.fedoraproject.org/pub/alt/stage/22_TC2/Live/i386/Fedora-Live-SoaS-i686-22-TC2.iso
https://alt.fedoraproject.org/pub/alt/stage/22_TC2/Live/x86_64/Fedora-Live-SoaS-x86_64-22-TC2.iso



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SugarLabs - Software for children learning 

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Re: [Sugar-devel] Community XO software builds

Peter Robinson
> Ok. I didn't know that.
>
> When I talked with deployments and they ask for Ubuntu,
> and I ask why, what they really want is Long Time Support.
> No deployment change their image more than once a year.
> In fact, change a image is a logistic challenge for most of
> the big/middle size deployments.

Yes, but in the Ubuntu case it's a one way street, there's never been
any love from Ubuntu. You could get it from Canonical if someone put
up a large amount of cash. They don't support gnome in the core so
even then I suspect you'll have similar issues.

> Then, I was thinking in CentOS as a LTS version of Fedora.

Nope, never has been never will be. It's a _DOWNSTREAM_ of RHEL, and
in v7 RHEL only supports 64 bit architectures. The i686 support is
community driven as is the ARMv7 support. No guarantee either will
ever be in sync.

Has anyone actually booted the latest Ubuntu LTS on any/all the XOs?

>> In Fedora if you know the right people (like me) you can get a fix
>> into update-testing in a day. Also there's a much much wider QA group
>> across the packages we use and care about.
>>
>> I can go on and on about the details required for this but basically I
>> suspect eyes have glazed over already.
>>
>
> This is true, and I know that.
> But also is true, that keep the pace of changes in Fedora is not easy.
> In fact, is not Fedora fault, mostly is Gtk ([1], [2], [3]) or libraries
> (the last was vte [4],
> but I can find more).

Yes, I'm aware of that. There's a number of other bits I'm aware of.
Be aware it's not all rosy in the LTS world either.

>> > 3.  we would delay necessary work until the next release of CentOS, or
>> > if the work is too large we may never upgrade.
>>
>> I suspect it would be never.
>
>
> Ok. But Let me explain my reasons.
>
> Right now, the only "stable" images are based on F18.
> We don't have images in a good shape for the deployments for F20,
> we missed F21 (where Gtk theme change in a subtle way again,
> and toggle toolbar buttons don't change the background color),
> and we should start to work in F22. With the hands we have today,
> I am sure we will not solve all the problems we already have before F23 is
> released.

Yes, but then there will be a bunch of issues with the CentOS 7
release, or even the Ubuntu 14.04 LTS release which would require a
bunch of work ongoing and a MASSIVE effort to begin with to get it to
the point you can even start to look at stabilising. It too and will
be ongoing and you get to the end of it and you've got a bunch of
awesome support for an ancient release and by then you're basically
screwed.

Ultimately no one will put up that time either. Someone needs to pay
some how whether it be in development or money.

The fact is we are in this situation because OLPC the organisation has
zero interest in the project now and the organisations around the
globe want everything provided to them on a plate with everything the
want provided for free with the click of a finger.

The fact if they all provided a little bit of development resources to
the upstream project there wouldn't be this problem. Many hands and
all that...

> That is my concern. If we would had one dsd involved,
> the conversation would be completely different,
> But as Samuel said in a previous mail in this thread "I have seen a fair
> amount of interest,
> both publicly and privately, for newer XO laptop builds.  But I don't think
> the requesters
> realize how much work it takes to make one."

Exactly! Nor do they want to pay for the effort.

There's is a HUGE amount of initial work to get everything moved to a
LTS platform. CentOS would be easier in that in a lot of cases it
would be recompiling packages. But there would also need to be kernel
and other work which ever route you go.

It would be months of work to get a distro working.... then you need
to QA etc. Who is going to do the work, who is going to pay. No one
will come out publicly and say it but they all want a polished LTS
release without having to contribute any resources themselves. "Please
may I have a rainbow pooing unicorn"

In Fedora there is work but it's small work packages on going. I'll
send a different email outlining the work I think there is there.

>> > Let me explain that last point.
>> >
>> > There is a continuous flow of changes into Fedora.  These changes
>> > eventually flow into Red Hat Enterprise Linux, and thus into CentOS.
>> >
>> > The most cost effective way to handle this flow was for developers to
>> > test changes on our builds, every week.  This gaves us awareness of
>> > the change and kept us involved to resist changes that cause damage.
>> > We were there once.  It required a low but continuous engineering
>> > effort.
>>
>> It use to take around an hour to cut a release from Fedora/Sugar
>> repos. Quite often the delta from a patch for a fix being created and
>> a new OS was in the hours timeframe. It's the usual story of a little
>> bit of effort regularly stops it from being a major issue.
>>
>> Kernel and olpc-os-builder aside I think you could probably produce a
>> working image of Fedora 22 now. I think all the userspace bits are
>> likely there and working due to my SoaS work.
>>
>
> I am sure we could produce a _almost_working_ image for Fedora 22.
> The problem is make a _working_ image. Just to point a example,
> Community image (at least on xo-1) have problems to connect to a
> secured access point. Solve all this little problems takes time and
> resources.

You'll have all the same issues on Ubuntu LTS or CentOS too. Anyone
tried installing XFCE or similar style Ubuntu LTS or CentOS to see how
the HW works. This would be a good start.... but then you need to move
all the UX over too.

> And do not have idea what will happen when Fedora 23 jump to wayland.
> Will work in these old devices and kernels?
> Gnome does not work without acceleration right now.

Well there XFCE or others. Xorg isn't going away soon. Have you tried
if sugar works on Wayland?

>> It's actually the thing that annoys me most about the sugar community.
>> IMO we have a great working Sugar release that works pretty much
>> everywhere plus is a great proven base for XO releases yet so many
>> core developers have told me "if only you'd focus on Ubuntu we'd use
>> it" yet Ubuntu for _YEARS_ have shown that they couldn't given a shit
>> and even actively remove core bits needed (remember the Browse on
>> Mozilla years anyone??) to make it even harder.
>
>
> I agree. I don't think change to Ubuntu will solve nothing magically.
> In fact we will have more problems.
>
>>
>> > The next most cost effective way is to do this work only when a new
>> > release of Fedora occurs.  This results in lots of head scratching and
>> > bug fixing, and new builds, until the bugs are mostly gone.  We are
>> > here now.  It requires bursts of engineering effort.
>>
>> Actually it needs work _BEFORE_ a new release happens, any work now
>> IMO should be focused on Fedora 23. That way you have everything in
>> place in time for Fedora 23 GA in October and you get the longest
>> value out of the release.
>>
>
> I agree.
>
>>
>> > The least cost effective way is to hold off doing that work for three
>> > years until the next CentOS release.  This would be a lot more work in
>> > a much shorter burst.
>>
>> And you'll likely end up in a very disparate stability across devices.
>> Both ARMv7 and i686 is community supported in CentOS which means you
>> get likely dubious quality of work and I suspect due to toolchain
>> config choices for i686 it won't even run on the XO-1. Has anyone
>> actually tried booting CentOS-7 on a XO1? From what I've seen of the
>> ARMv7 efforts I see it as half arsed at best.
>>
>
> I was no aware of that.
>
>>
>> People ask me if I can help with CentOS. The answer is no. I have no
>> personal interest in CentOS. I have enough to do with personal
>> projects on Fedora.
>>
>
> I expected CentOS was complementary to Fedora, not a rival.

It's not a rival. It's a downstream of a downstream. Fedora -> RHEL ->
CentOS. It's aimed at Enterprise workloads and things like point of
sale and the cloud. It's not really aimed at the same thing. EL7 looks
good now because it's shiny. Remember it's based on Fedora 19, it's
already getting old! Just like Ubuntu 14.04 LTS. They both came out
about a year ago.... they're both based on tech older than that.

>> > Delaying effort until a future time hasn't worked, and I don't think
>> > it will.  Meanwhile, I'm trying as hard as I can with what I'm doing.
>>
>> And I've been trying as hard with Fedora as possible. The core Sugar
>> stack is in pretty good shape. There's some work needed on some
>> Activies but most of the work it to update them to the latest upstream
>> bits.
>>
>
> We know that, and we thank you. Please don't take this discussions
> about how to go forward as a attack.

I'm not taking it as such. I'm just putting the facts on the table.

Peter
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Re: [Sugar-devel] Community XO software builds

Gonzalo Odiard
In reply to this post by Martin Dengler
No official announcements yet.

Samuel was looking at the bug database, 
because he knows where to look :)

Gonzalo

On Thu, May 7, 2015 at 7:45 AM, Martin Dengler <[hidden email]> wrote:
On Wed, May 06, 2015 at 11:21:35PM -0400, Samuel Greenfeld wrote:
> OLPC already appears to be going the Ubuntu LTS route

When/where can I read more about what OLPC is doing with Ubuntu LTS?  Apologies
for the lazyweb request.

Martin

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