FoxyRoxy - Current News - DevRel_03 (current)

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Re: FoxyRoxy - Current News - DevRel_03 (current)

Postby saintless » Tue Dec 25, 2012 5:04 pm

Merry Christmas from Bulgaria, people :)
Have a wonderful time with your families!

Cheers, Toni
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Re: FoxyRoxy - Current News - DevRel_03 (current)

Postby KazzaMozz » Thu Dec 27, 2012 11:48 am

Hi all from sunny downunder Australia
Hope you all had a very Merry and Wonderful Christmas full of cheer and lots of fun.

Cheers
Kazza
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Re: FoxyRoxy - Current News - DevRel_03 (current)

Postby jbv » Thu Dec 27, 2012 8:55 pm

'twas a nice Christmas, although rather strange. It rained all day. As you would be aware, here in Australia Christmas is slap bang in the middle of Summer and it is not unusual for Christmas Day to be over 30 degrees C, and if I'm not mistaken on a few occasions it has even hit 40 degrees C during my lifetime. I commented on this to a family friend who was able to join us for Christmas and she agreed that it just felt a little strange. The next day, I saw something in one of the papers about it being the coldest and wettest Christmas in 70 years.

Still trying to get through all of the left-overs. I think I'll be eating left-overs until 2013 :lol: Once again, a typical Australian Christmas ;)

Oh, I've worked out that my kids really do hate me.

Some time ago, I bought a dual-SIM Android "smart-phone", and I really only use it as a phone. I've never bothered with the Email, Web Browsing etc, as I can live my life without being permanently wired to the world, and from the quick look I had at that stuff, it looked to me that while it sort-of-kind-a worked, it was basically broken. In the past, I've always had dumb phones that "just worked". I've also had proper manufacturer car kits that did things like voice dial, radio mute etc, and these "just worked". However, I haven't had this with the Android phone, and just stopped using the phone in the car, or put it on speaker and stuck the phone under the sun-visor (the poor mans hands-free car kit <g>)

About two months ago, NSW changed all of the laws regarding phones in cars. If the phone is not in a "holder", you can now get a $400 fine for just touching it. The police are having a field day with this and are booking and fining people all over the place. There was a story in one of our main daily newspapers of a lady who was booked for handing her child a packet of tic-tacs as the policeman claimed it was a mobile phone! Oh, you also cop 3 demerit points in addition to the fine. So, this means that if you get caught 3 times within 3 years, you loose your license for a year!

As the droid phone has bluetooth, I looked into getting a new sound-system for the car, as they all have bluetooth now. Well, they do, but there is a basic problem with Android, in that you can't voice-dial without pressing a button and if you don't have the phone in a holder that will cost you $400 The stupid thing about this is that one of those silly $20 stick-on things you put on the windscreen and blocks your vision with, or comes flying off under heavy breaking on a hot day, well they constitute a "legal holder" ... go figure. Anyway, I decided that since Android wouldn't voice-dial or answer without pressing a button, I wouldn't bother and now just put the phone in the glovebox the moment I get in. One day, I'll make a proper holder that can fit to the existing mount I have for the older-style Nokia that I no longer use, till then, I can live without a phone in the car.

Except that for Christmas, the kids gave me a Jabra Freeway Bluetooth hands free kit, that clips to the visor.
... Hmmm ... <fx:thinking to self> ... It has a button to activate voice-commands, so it might work. I can run a power lead up the A pillar so that it would always get power, but it doesn't have radio mute. With all the noises my car makes, I have the sound-system turned up a little higher than most people, and as I have the phone ringers turned down, I need the mute to know the phone is ringing. Hang-on, it does have an FM re-broadcast. If I load all of my music onto the phone, then perhaps I can stream it from the phone to the BT device which can then send it to my sound-system. That might work. Well, one thing led to another and I "almost" have it working. I've spent a few days messing with Android, but for now I've had enough. Yesterday, I decided that my kids really do hate me :lol:

I've spent enough time messing with Android and crap that doesn't work.
... Today, I'm getting back into FoxyRoxyLinux, as I know it works :)

Cheers, Brenton
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Re: FoxyRoxy - Current News - DevRel_03 (current)

Postby jbv » Sun Dec 30, 2012 1:30 am

I need some "feedback" and comments.

I've sort-of dug myself into a hole. It's not a nasty hole, but let me explain.

I now have FoxyRoxyLinux auto-magically mounting pretty much any block device (Hard Disk - either Flash or real, USB or SATA).

It can handle MBR or GPT partitions and fully supports all of the Linux Filesystems, in addition to FAT, FAT32, exFAT, NTFS, HFS and HFSplus

You can also create/delete/format any of these filesystems using Gparted. There are a few limitations, like you can't create a volume label on btrfs, HFS or HFSplus filesystems, but it basically works and I've tested the exFAT and HFS stuff on Macs, so we're good there.

In addition to the above, I have also worked out a way to manipulate the dpkg database in a way that it is always 100% up to date. Previously, we only had the primary dpkg database files and any add-on either replaced or ignored the dpkg database. This had potential to create problems with things getting out of sync. Basically, what I've done is as follows. I've created a new script that you can run when making your add-on and this script creates dpkg database extension files with the same prefix as your add-on.

To clarify using 05-FoxyFirestarter as an example.
This add-on will now have the following files:
/var/lib/dpkg/05-available.new
/var/lib/dpkg/05-status.new

When the add-on is loaded, these files are automatically appended to:
/var/lib/dpkg/available
/var/lib/dpkg/status

This means that the dpkg database is dynamically updated at system start-up and is now 100% correct.
I have also revised the 95-makeXX script so that if you "merge" an add-on into your live FoxyRoxyLinux, the dpkg database patches are applied to your live dpkg database so it is 100% correct when the add-on is not loaded (basically, everything is merged properly).

This is really helpful with an add-on that you might only load occasionally, like the 90-Build add-on. This lets you (me) keep the build environment 100% clean and correct too, and it also makes it easier when adding new stuff to the build add-on.

Anyway, now, that hole I was telling you about .... While I've gone to a lot of trouble to get all of this working properly and testing it, I've messed up a bit with the new fancy disk stuff I mentioned above. While I have a clean extension, to get it all to work, I downloaded a lot of source modules and complied them. This was also something that was started before my machine issues smacked me in the back if the head. Therefore, while I have a clean and solid add-on, I've lost track of what packages are in this. Therefore, this add-on may not update the dpkg database properly. Some things will be properly reflected, but some may not. I know I could spend 4 weeks learning how to create a .deb or 6 weeks manually creating the appropriate files, but between you and me, I'd rather spend my time on other stuff.

So, the question is ... Do we take what we've got and just be aware that the dpkg database may be a bit messed up with somethings like gparted, some other disk tools, and perhaps some filesystem drivers, or what ? Most things should be right, but to be 100% certain, will require a heap of work for what in my mind is very little gain. If someone wants to open the sqf on day and manually create a proper xx-available.new and xx-status.new, that would be great, but I'd rather move on.

Comments, and suggestions please ....

Cheers, Brenton
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Re: FoxyRoxy - Current News - DevRel_03 (current)

Postby jbv » Sun Dec 30, 2012 1:39 am

If anyone has the ability to help properly test this, please shoot me a PM - thanks, Brenton
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Re: FoxyRoxy - Current News - DevRel_03 (current)

Postby jbv » Sun Dec 30, 2012 9:34 am

Santa has paid a belated visit.

Santa Fox 4.jpg
Santa Fox 4.jpg (27.59 KiB) Viewed 7045 times

He has left everyone some presents in the <FoxyRoxyLinux - Addons> section.

I would still like some feedback/comments regarding the little hole I have dug myself into.
Oh, this is what our Supported FileSystem Capabilities looks like now 8-)
FileSystemSupport.png
FileSystemSupport.png (67.76 KiB) Viewed 7045 times

As mentioned previously, this is on standard MBR type partitions and also on GPT type partitions, which means we can have a single volume > 2Tb (roll on the 3Tb and 4Tb drives). As an added bonus, with our new version of Gparted, simply selecting MiB alignment (the default) auto-magically aligns the filesytem for optimal performance.

While waiting for any suggestions/comments, and before making any rash decisions, I will spend the next few days finalising the disk-pooling and snap-shot RAID stuff.

Cheers, Brenton
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Re: FoxyRoxy - Current News - DevRel_03 (current)

Postby saintless » Sun Dec 30, 2012 1:35 pm

Hi, Brenton,

I don't think I understand exactly what you need as feedback for this problem.
Is it a new add-on which we have to download and check out?
I use only ext2, ext3, SWAP and Fat32 file systems and I have no idea how to use the rest of them. I use sometimes NTFS only for testing reasons. If there is a way to get proper test and information from me write me a PM what exactly do you need and I will try to do it. Keep in mind my bigger hard drive is 80 Gb.
Cheers, Toni
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Re: FoxyRoxy - Current News - DevRel_03 (current)

Postby jbv » Sun Dec 30, 2012 9:45 pm

Hi Toni,

I guess I was/am asking for your understanding with regard to the dkpg thing, especially as I have been working so hard to maintain a 100% clean dpkg database. If I just move forward and put the new FileSystem support in FRL as it is now, the only real issue will be if someone tries to apt-get something related to either exFAT, HFS, HFS+, Gparted, Parted or some of the similar stuff that is in the new FileSystem support. What may happen is that dpkg might think it has an older version than what is really installed, or it might not know that something is installed. This could result in a person installing a version that is in fact older, or less capable than what will be in FoxyRoxyLinux.

To get all of the new FileSystem stuff to work properly and harmoniously, some packages were installed using apt-get and some were compiled from source. Some ended up being a mix of stuff that was retrieved using apt and then had individual modules updated from the latest compiled source.

I don't think it is anything to really be paranoid about. However, it is something that might need to be remembered or known of before people just go nuts and try to install a later version of a filesystem driver or related tool. While it is not likely to be something that someone will do, they might, and hence my question to you all.

I am very confidant that what we have is the best, and most complete support for pretty much any filesystem we are likely to run into, and it all "just works". However, getting here was a bit of a hack (in the old-school sense of the term).

Basically, are you okay for me to push ahead with this as it is now?

As for some help in testing and verification, what I would like/prefer is for someone who has some hot-swap drive or a few USB sticks that they are prepared to partition and format with different filesystem, and can preferably test of different machines. Ideally, this testing should be done in both directions. In other words, partition and format on FRL, then put files on and take to another machine that is not running FRL and see if the other machine/system can see/read it. Then put a file on the stick/drive and take it back to the FRL machine and see if FRL is still happy with the drive and can read the new file properly.

Ideally, they should then put the stick/drive back in the other machine. On the other machine, they should then nuke the entire partition, create a new partition, format with appropriate filesystem, put files on and then take the stick/drive to their FRL machine. When the drive/stick is put into the FRL machine, it should auto-mount and everything should just work. The FRL machine should see/read all files properly and they should be able to put a file on the stick/drive from the FRL machine and then take it back to the original machine which would see/read the file that was put on it by FRL.

I know it sounds a little long winded, but this is the sort of testing I have been doing with pretty much everything, which is why I am somewhat confidant that FoxyRoxyLinux is solid. With all of this new filesystem stuff, I have done my best to test hard-drives and USB sticks using filesystems supported by WinXP, Win7. As two of my children have Macs, I have been able to do a little testing on HFS/HFS+ and exFAT, but only with USB sticks, although this testing has not been as extensive as I would like. While I'm pretty sure that it is all golden, having someone else mess around with it will just help confirm that all is good.

As the filesystem stuff is such a critical core component, I would like as much testing done as possible.

My main reason for going sort-of nuts in this area, is that while I've been rebuilding my Windows machines, I have been running into all sorts of quirks and gotchas with them (both WinXP and Win7). As my goal is to have a NAS that you can just drop any drive into, or plug in any stick, I want it to just work Similarly, you should be able to create a drive/stick in any format so you can move something to another machine easily. As I have said, I think we are there, but I wouldn't mind a sanity-check if possible.

Oh, I should also mention that all of this additional capability costs us about 10Mb in disk-space, but it costs us 0 bytes of RAM and 0% additional processor overhead. Yes, you read that correctly. That was 0 ... as in zero, nada, nufin, zip, zilch 8-)

Cheers, Brenton
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Re: FoxyRoxy - Current News - DevRel_03 (current)

Postby saintless » Sun Dec 30, 2012 11:39 pm

Hi, Brenton,

jbv wrote:Basically, are you okay for me to push ahead with this as it is now?


I'm ok with this, but I think just in case we need to keep the old version as a backup if something goes wrong in the future.

jbv wrote:Oh, I should also mention that all of this additional capability costs us about 10Mb in disk-space, but it costs us 0 bytes of RAM and 0% additional processor overhead. Yes, you read that correctly. That was 0 ... as in zero, nada, nufin, zip, zilch 8-)


Very good news for me :) Congratulations and big thank you :D
Cheers, Toni
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Re: FoxyRoxy - Current News - DevRel_03 (current)

Postby jbv » Mon Dec 31, 2012 12:08 pm

:lol: The only real option for a "back-up" will be to not use/install the add-on, if and when I post it :lol:

I've been giving this a bit of though today ... between you and me, I can't see anyone trying to play with any of this stuff anyway. If they want to or do, then they should be able to cope. If they can't, then they should just "trust me" and leave that stuff alone ... I mean after-all, we didn't get where we are because "I got lucky" ;)
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