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IRC chat meeting on Tuesday, August 16, 2005
Session Start: Tue Aug 16 19:22:09 2005
Session Ident: #freegeek-distro

Dramatis personae

  • <fgoly> : ryan in oly. left before the meeting started.
  • <tymp> : rob.. baxter, in olympia washington, fgoly.org. has been having much fun w/ distro dev, as time allows
  • <vagrantc> : vagrant, in neuvo mexico, closest to fg pdx. worked extensively on the freekbox2, and built the freekbox3 installation CD (and some of the software used to make it). has 10-20 hours a week to divide between various free software projects.
  • <dave_menninger> : in columbus
  • <gate99> : Greg Sidelinger, from FreeGeek Columbus. The primary force behind coding changes to freekbox there.
  • <romdos> : Dave from fg-pdx, was build co-coordinator, now production coordinator. did much work on fb3, then ran out of time. main problem these days is the huge daily administrative time constriants for fg-pdx; has such little time to spend on the distro.
  • <meho> : matteo in pdx
  • <karinu> : ? in pdx. Actually just dropped in to see what was going on; doing a project that relates to distro. Worked with KDE a fair bit, but new to the Freekbox distro

Process notes

  • [7:28pm] vagrantc wishes agenda were a bot to keep track of the agenda
  • [7:30pm] <vagrantc> i think we should have an agenda before discussing items on the agenda.
  • [7:47pm] <meho> log = scribe = goodidea

Agenda: how is fb3 ; development integration (forking issue); profiles ; profile types ; name change ; cvs/svn

/topic how is fb3?

[7:43pm] <vagrantc> so... how is freekbox3? i would like to hear perspectives from the various freegeek offspring, and possible freegeek-pdx education and tech support, if available

[7:44pm] <dave_menninger> i like the fb3

[7:45pm] <meho> pdx education, the fb3 is diffrent than the fb2 and it is taking documentation some time to update

[7:50pm] <romdos> it got to a place where it does what we need it too, but there is much room for improvement

[7:52pm] <vagrantc> but i see my role as a guide that nudges things in the right direction :)

[7:56pm] <gate99> as for our dev efforts I might have 50 or so hours into freebox but most of that is learning my way around gnome and how to use gconf


[7:54pm] <gate99> we have only installed on test boxes
[7:55pm] <romdos> well, [pdx has done] I think over 1000 installs [of freekbox3]

[7:56pm] <meho> how are we all installing?

  • pdx is using lessdisks-cloner
  • [7:57pm] <tymp> i was using apt / freekbox_install, now the cd
  • [7:58pm] <vagrantc> dave_menninger: so you did a base debian install... installed the freekbox3-takeover package, and ran freekbox3_install ?

User interface

[8:02pm] <vagrantc> we've gotten a lot of feedback on the install process... but the big question i have is to the User Interface ... is it good enough?

  • [7:44pm] <gate99> I always felt it did not provide a very unified look and feel. I think the user interface needs some tuning
  • [8:03pm] <dave_menninger> i'll admit i didnt use the machine for along period of time, but the UI seemed fine by me
  • [8:03pm] <tymp> ... i changed a lot of the ui. well, certain things - anti-aliasing, window decoration, icon positions
  • [8:04pm] <gate99> Think the menu needs cleaned up a lot. KDE normally has a pretty cluttered menu.
  • [8:04pm] <vagrantc> this reminds me of all the stuff we did with debian-np about defining user personae and user-oriented design...
  • [8:04pm] <meho> the adopters here love it (comparing it to the fb2)
  • [8:05pm] <vagrantc> one of the design goals of freekbox3 was to alter as little as possible from debian... as a maintenance-saver.
  • [8:06pm] <dave_menninger> i personally dont have a problem with the default KDE stuff
  • [8:11pm] <Karinu> Well, keep in mind that people aren't likely to look any deeper than the menu; anything that isn't there might as well not be installed as far as most are probably concerned...
  • [8:13pm] <vagrantc> desktop is simple interface, menu is slightly more complex, and there was an often un-used ability to switch between a complex and simple menu.

/topic forking issue

[8:15pm] <dave_menninger> so, i guess the reason i'm here is simply to say that if we're gonna make design choices about the menu and entertain the possibility of forking then we should try and be as clear as we can be about why we're creating more work for ourselves and varying from the default

general cheering and hoopla.

[8:16pm] <dave_menninger> it's not out of the question that KDE has it's deficiencies
[8:16pm] <dave_menninger> but i'd say that for each change we introdue, let's have an explicit reason for it

[8:17pm] <gate99> I just spent some time moving all the logic into takeover.py and it now allows use to specify a package list and decide what entries from configs/ we want to actually use

[8:17pm] <tymp> the more thoroughly we can be able to discuss each change, the better

[8:21pm] <vagrantc> i feel like the customization technologies used in freekbox3/freebox are ugly hacks that will lead us to some terrible headaches.
[8:22pm] <vagrantc> basically, we've already forked too much from debian itself.

[8:22pm] <romdos> distro group long ago decided to move towards debian-np (http://debian-np.alioth.debian.org/)
[8:23pm] <vagrantc> debian-np is basically talking about grabbing freekbox3 and calling it debian-np desktop :)

[8:24pm] <vagrantc> dave_menninger: well, i developed simple-cdd as a result of debian-np/freegeek coordination

[8:25pm] <dave_menninger> so could we build a set of various distro customizations on debain-np in such a way as to accomodate things like cleaning up kde's menu?

[8:40pm] <romdos> so what don't we want to do?

  • <gate99> go to work tomorrow
  • <vagrantc> continue to maintain ugly unmaintainable hacks? :)

/topic cvs/svn?

[8:43pm] <meho> columbus has svn, pdx has cvs, What is the best path?
<tymp> it is said that pdx is moving to svn. is there a timeline on that at all?
<romdos> so is its server room... [translation: don't hold your breath]

cvs infrastructure at fgpdx

svn is used in Columbus. General agreement that svn is more forward looking, but "<vagrantc> there is significant infrastructure tied to cvs that we would have to replicate..."

  • publicly browseable web
  • anonymous downloads of repository
  • ssh-key based commits for all developers
  • buildbot functionality
  • commit mailinglist
  • svn-cvs only shell
  • irc bot commit notifications

<vagrantc> without all of those things, i wouldn't want to switch.
<tymp> ! is None of that just candy?? <vagrantc> the commit notification methods are important... it allows me to keep an eye on development and encourages more people verifying good ideas. <vagrantc> yes, i don't want to browse source code with a web browser.

[8:47pm] [8:47pm] <Karinu> I know svn has some web service through an Apache module, but I haven't actually set it up yet myself

using fgcmh svn for fb distro

General support for the idea of using the svn in columbus for distro.
[9:06pm] <tymp> we'd like everything in one place, no?
[9:06pm] <romdos> yes

[8:52pm] <gate99> svn co https://www.skippy.net/SVN/fgcmh/freebox/freebox
[8:54pm] <vagrantc> gate99: is it basically freekbox3 cvs forked at a certain point?
[8:54pm] <gate99> yes, about 2 months ago
[8:55pm] <gate99> I did some re-integration today

gate99 is willing to re-create it with an archive built with cvs2svn so we can have freekbox3 history, but he has to check with scott because it's on his server.


  • <vagrantc> are there backups? can we get backups synced to freegeek?
  • <vagrantc> i really want ssh key access. [+romdos, +meho]
  • <vagrantc> i don't like the idea of my password being stored in a plain-text file with insecure permissions like svn does with https:// archives; would be happy with an svn-only shell.

Other important notes

on sleep

[7:26pm] <fgoly> Hurrah for sleep!

on forking

[7:35pm] <vagrantc> romdos: the forking issue is definitely an important one that could affect everything else

on "fg-cmh"

[7:54pm] <dave_menninger> it's our airport code

<dave_menninger> like pdx

on freekbox instructions and bootloaders

[8:00pm] <dave_menninger> in any case, i only brought it up because i followed instructions i found on our webite
[8:00pm] <gate99> sarge installer even supports lilo?
[8:00pm] <dave_menninger> and they didnt mention whether lilo or grub was appropriate
[8:00pm] <vagrantc> not by default anymore.
[8:01pm] <tymp> it should mention grub then, eh?

on kde menu

[8:07pm] <gate99> I'm not sure how kde handles its menu. anyone know if they follow the opendesktop.org spec
[8:08pm] <tymp> kde menu... is mainly one file, isn't it? little research topic

on privacy

[8:27pm] * vagrantc likes a little privacy
[8:28pm] <tymp> i've begun to get a picture... but
[8:28pm] <tymp> lol
[8:28pm] <tymp> privacy is so 20th century

on knoppix

[8:37pm] <tymp> um, what is the feeling toward knoppix?
[8:38pm] <tymp> or, better question, how much is knoppix branched from debian?
[8:38pm] <vagrantc> knoppix is unmaintainable, ugly hacks, and little of it will ever possibly be merged into debian.
[8:38pm] <tymp> i see. too bad.
[8:38pm] <vagrantc> morphix is much more viable, and more actively works towards merging into debian.

on taking over

[8:43pm] <vagrantc> (debconf6 will be in mexico this year... freegeek distro folk should go en masse)



  • vagrantc will re-post to the distro list some of the user-oriented-design stuff learned from debian-edu
  • gate99 will talk to scott about svn changes

[9:07pm] [9:07pm] * vagrantc wants packages that will easily work with simple-cdd
[9:07pm] <tymp> what's the critera for that?
[9:07pm] <tymp> (too bad scott is not here)
[9:08pm] [9:08pm] <gate99> ya, think I need to read up on simple-cdd next week
[9:08pm] [9:08pm] <vagrantc> so... currently we have the freekbox3 packagesplit into several different parts.
[9:08pm] <tymp> vagrantc : simple-cdd is not too hard to wrap your head around, right?
[9:09pm] [9:09pm] <vagrantc> tymp: that's the goal :)
[9:09pm] <tymp> oh, right, "simple" :)
[9:09pm] [9:09pm] <vagrantc> we can split the packages into even more parts if the standard freekbox3 doesn't work for everybody.
[9:09pm] <tymp> so the packages now are not easy for simple-cdd work
[9:09pm] <tymp> ?
[9:09pm] <tymp> or the other way around
[9:10pm] [9:10pm] <vagrantc> the current 0.1.2 packages are ok, but cvs is better.
[9:10pm] [9:10pm] * vagrantc nudges romdos
[9:10pm] [9:10pm] * vagrantc dreams of 0.1.3
[9:10pm] <tymp> columbus : this question i had, why gnome?
[9:10pm] [9:10pm] <romdos> heh
[9:10pm] <tymp> 0.1.3 simple-cdd?
[9:10pm] [9:10pm] <vagrantc> freekbox3
[9:11pm] <tymp> it's 0.1.3?
[9:11pm] [9:11pm] <gate99> just feel default gnome provides a more simplied/unified desktop to the non geek
[9:11pm] [9:11pm] * vagrantc should make a new release of simple-cdd, soon.
[9:11pm] [9:11pm] <gate99> I type this from kde of course
[9:11pm] [9:11pm] <romdos> freekbox3 is very hard to change in big ways at fg-pdx because the whole education department has to fall in line behind it
[9:12pm] <tymp> gate99 : would you try my adaptations to freekbox?
[9:12pm] [9:12pm] <romdos> isn't it time for beer
[9:12pm] [9:12pm] * meho nods
[9:12pm] [9:12pm] <vagrantc> romdos: we can keep freekbox3 the way it is, but split into more packages... like freekbox3-kde, freekbox3-kde-doc, etc...
[9:12pm] [9:12pm] <romdos> (that was rifras)
[9:12pm] <tymp> so me need a documentation system that works betta
[9:12pm] [9:12pm] * vagrantc misses beer:30
[9:12pm] <tymp> why?
[9:12pm] [9:12pm] <gate99> tymp: sure where can I get them from
[9:12pm] <tymp> * so does tymp
[9:13pm] [9:13pm] * romdos get swarmed by coders wanting beer
[9:13pm] <tymp> oof
[9:13pm] <tymp> eh, simplest is to email you
[9:13pm] <tymp> you're greg, posting to distro, right? so..  tomorrow or the next day..
[9:13pm] [9:13pm] <gate99> yup thats me
[9:13pm] <tymp> there is no such thing as beer
[9:13pm] <tymp> k
[9:14pm] [9:14pm] <vagrantc> i can try and take the package lists from tymp, and the freebox, and make additional profiles on a simple-cdd debian-installer CD image.
[9:14pm] [9:14pm] <vagrantc> hopefully it will all fit in 650MB
[9:14pm] [9:14pm] <meho> tymp: do you mind condencing this into minutes sence you log by defalt
[9:14pm] <tymp> i made pretty significant skel changes..
[9:15pm] <tymp> no prob
[9:15pm] [9:15pm] <romdos> wow, thanks vagrantc
[9:15pm] <tymp> oh... wait! condense?  
[9:15pm] <tymp> i can .. may take a bit
[9:15pm] [9:15pm] <meho> summerise
[9:15pm] <tymp> yeah... which means, re-read..
[9:16pm] [9:16pm] <vagrantc> post the whole log first, and let someone else summarize.
[9:16pm] <tymp> i will put them on the web right now...
[9:16pm] [9:16pm] <vagrantc> maybe post to a wiki or something?
[9:16pm] <tymp> whoever gets there first
[9:16pm] <tymp> yeah, that makes sense
[9:16pm] <tymp> i'll post a link to distro@
[9:16pm] [9:16pm] <meho> tymp: thanks
[9:17pm] <tymp> yip
[9:17pm] [9:17pm] <romdos> yes, thanks tymp
[9:17pm] <tymp> it's just copy/pasting, though
[9:17pm] <tymp> is there any distro pages on your wiki?
[9:17pm] [9:17pm] <vagrantc> wiki.freegeek.org has a few...
[9:17pm] <tymp> .. can i make you a new wiki icon?
[9:17pm] <tymp> these things bug me
[9:18pm] <tymp> i will not post the minutes unless i can make you a new wiki icon
[9:18pm] <tymp> just kidding
[9:18pm] <tymp> okay, well how was this?  pretty good i think
[9:18pm] <tymp> we should do again?
[9:18pm] <tymp> tomorrow? 
[9:18pm] [9:18pm] <romdos> I like that things are moving... where they will move... ;)
[9:18pm] [9:18pm] <vagrantc> heh.
[9:19pm] <tymp> :P
[9:19pm] [9:19pm] <romdos> council tomorrow at fg-pdx
[9:19pm] [9:19pm] <vagrantc> what abou tuesday evenings?
[9:19pm] <tymp> do we have commitments here, besided gate99's
[9:19pm] <tymp> tuesday, or maybe every other..
[9:19pm] [9:19pm] <romdos> Distro Night! tuesday evenings.
[9:19pm] [9:19pm] <vagrantc> i committed to trying to build a new CD
[9:19pm] <tymp> ok
[9:20pm] <tymp> i'll send gate99 my hooha
[9:20pm] <tymp> meho, will you bring snacks next time?
[9:20pm] [9:20pm] <vagrantc> i also think we should have a freegeek meeting at debian's conference in mexico next may :)
[9:20pm] [9:20pm] <romdos> hooray to that!!
[9:20pm] <tymp> that is far ... mexico ... also may, though
[9:20pm] <tymp> hmm
[9:21pm] [9:21pm] <vagrantc> would be really cool if we could figure out some sort of sponsorship for it, too.
[9:21pm] [9:21pm] <romdos> yo qeuro a hablar espanol mas
[9:21pm] [9:21pm] <vagrantc> plug freegeek-ers more into debian project...
[9:21pm] [9:21pm] <vagrantc> si
[9:21pm] <tymp> yeah!!
[9:21pm] <tymp> (vagrant, romdos, i don't know what you said)
[9:21pm] [9:21pm] <romdos> no recuerdo mucho
[9:22pm] <tymp> er, yeah, vagrant.  romdos, what?
[9:22pm] [9:22pm] <romdos> we said We Love Distro!!!
[9:22pm] [9:22pm] <romdos> ;)
[9:22pm] <tymp> gate99 : where are most of your 
[9:22pm] <tymp> lol
[9:23pm] [9:23pm] <vagrantc> ich brauche mehr spanisch sprechen.
[9:23pm] <tymp> distro = recuerdo?
[9:23pm] [9:23pm] <gate99> columbus, oh
[9:23pm] <tymp> ugh
[9:23pm] [9:23pm] <gate99> so mexico is a bit of a drive
[9:23pm] [9:23pm] <romdos> recuerdo= recall, remember
[9:23pm] <tymp> gate99 : where are most of your changes to fb?
[9:24pm] <tymp> distro = ?
[9:24pm] [9:24pm] <gate99> configs/*
[9:24pm] [9:24pm] <gate99> package list
[9:24pm] [9:24pm] <gate99> and takeover.py
[9:24pm] [9:24pm] <vagrantc> gate99: mexico is a bit of a drive, but it will bring much talent from europe, asia and south america much closer to us.
[9:25pm] <tymp> gate99 : did you remove much of fb3?
[9:25pm] [9:25pm] <vagrantc> gate99: we shoul perhaps consider a freegeek distro conference, though :)
[9:25pm] <tymp> .. in vegas
[9:25pm] [9:25pm] <vagrantc> no.
[9:25pm] [9:25pm] <gate99> not really, I tried to move it all backin the last two days
[9:25pm] <tymp> no
[9:25pm] <tymp> so if i run kde..  i'll see
[9:26pm] [9:26pm] * romdos has to go
[9:26pm] <tymp> in.. what's right between?
[9:26pm] <tymp> thanks a lot romdos
[9:26pm] [9:26pm] <romdos> next week? more?
[9:26pm] <tymp> for hangin out
[9:26pm] <tymp> ya!
[9:26pm] [9:26pm] <romdos> thanks everyone!
[9:26pm] [9:26pm] <gate99> ya, I need to get running too
[9:26pm] [9:26pm] <vagrantc> we should try and isolate the differences between freebox, freekbox3, and tymp's tweaks... and figure out what is the same, what is different... and make them into separate, selectable tweaks.
[9:26pm] [9:26pm] * meho bikes ot the bar
[9:26pm] <tymp> bye meho
[9:26pm] <tymp> bye gate99
[9:27pm] [9:27pm] * vagrantc ponders a centrally located freegeek meeting
[9:27pm] <tymp> vagrantc : sounds good. 
[9:27pm] [9:27pm] <gate99> vagratc, thats what I was working on. think I have it working but did not really get a fresh test in tonight, I just did a blint commit
[9:27pm] [9:27pm] <vagrantc> it would be really ideal if we could install all three somehow...
[9:28pm] [9:28pm] Quits: romdos (n=romsos@209-162-205-24.dq1mn.easystreet.com) ("Leaving")
[9:28pm] <tymp> well, for a time, i suppose.  mine are intended to be very un-invasive
[9:28pm] [9:28pm] <vagrantc> i can easily incorporate package selections into simple-cdd profiles.
[9:28pm] <tymp> (as least as un-invasive as fb3)
[9:28pm] [9:28pm] <vagrantc> tymp: ideally we can merge your changes directly into freekbox3, you think?
[9:29pm] [9:29pm] <vagrantc> changing to gnome is too different for freegeek-pdx education group, i think.
[9:29pm] <tymp> i do not expect it would be too hard.  but it should be taste-tested first
[9:29pm] <tymp> yeah.
[9:29pm] [9:29pm] <gate99> night all
[9:29pm] <tymp> ciao
[9:29pm] [9:29pm] gate99 (n=gate@cpe-24-160-177-47.columbus.res.rr.com) is now known as gate-zzzzzzzzzz
[9:29pm] [9:29pm] <vagrantc> gate99: live well.