[geeks] Sun is developing a new LINUX desktop!!
Jonathan C Patschke
jp at celestrion.net
Mon Nov 11 17:45:06 CST 2002
On Monday, November 11, 2002, at 03:27 PM, Mike Meredith wrote:
> But there's still going to be plenty of stuff that isn't so easily
> compiled. And when it's as simple as assuming that libz is around,
> there doesn't seem any harm in adding to Solaris.
Some of the libraries already are. For example, libz is included in
Solaris 9. I think that mucking about with libc or the position of any
critical administration or configuration file, just to comply with LSB
is a Bad Thing, though.
>> But then, I've been spending my spare time over the last eight
>> months porting nearly 300 software packages to IRIX, so I might be a
>> bit biased towards developers getting their act together.
> Is this work available anywhere ? I'm slowly rebuilding stuff on my
> Octane, and I'm not allergic to cheating :)
It's in a state of flux. I had a FUBARed compiler environment the
first time I went through and did the ports, so I'm combing through it
again, also making everything 64-bit clean. I don't have any sort of
automated system yet like the BSD or fink folks have, but I'm working
on that. What I do have is a fairly large text file containing
explicit instructions on how to build everything, what depends on what,
and what patches you need to make to certain files to get things to
build happily. So, it's far from being ready for prime time, but if
you can deal with having an editor window open next to your shell
window for cutting-and-pasting, it works.
Oh, it also assumes you're using MIPSpro instead of GCC. I don't have
GCC installed on my workstation. I'll go back over the whole thing and
mess with GCC once the MIPSpro ports are done, since the GCC ports will
be a lot less work (a lot of the bugs I'm fixing are just gross typing
errors and variable initialization errors that GCC will gleefully
compile). I just object to compiling the lion's share of the code I
use everyday with a compiler that lets so much crap through.
If you're really interested, I'll see if I can get anonymous CVS access
to work like I want, and I'll post the relevant information here.
> Obviously they should avoid making changes that would break Solaris
> applications and even stuff that makes Solaris less Solaris-like, but
> many if not most of the changes don't appear to be anywhere near that
> fundamental. As an example, would it really cause that much pain if
> /sbin/shutdown was a symlink to /etc/shutdown ?
That's not the point. Either you're compliant with $standard or you're
not. LSB, as much as it is a steaming pile of fetid dingos' kidneys,
is a standard. Personally, I think it's a bad one, but to claim to
adhere to it and not really adhere to it is a really bad idea. It's
also a major pie in the face for a company like Sun that has preached
"Open Standards" since its inception. To adhere to the LSB and break
existing applications is an even worse idea because it alienates people
who have invested real money and mindshare in the Solaris platform.
The best possible scenario for everyone is for Solaris to agree to
disagree with the greatly-fragmented Linux community, include whatever
3rd party libraries are feasible to satisfy the dependencies of most of
the relevant software out there, and NOT modify any of the existing
Solaris libraries or file locations. If the developers feel that their
software, written with Linux/x86 in mind, will greatly benefit the
world by running on SunOS/SPARC, the door is there for them to
painlessly walk through. The ball is in -their- court, and no
dedicated Solaris users get bent out of shape.
One exception, though; GNOME should be an -optional- install. I don't
want to be forced to install that bloated beast like I'm forced to
install Perl, Java, and so many others. It's almost getting to the
point that Solaris is an unacceptable platform for simple services
(DNS, mail gateway, etc.) unless you really over-budget for disc space
to house all the extra crap that gets bundled with the OS. It's not
horrible yet, but if it gets to the point that GNOME and OpenWindows
are implicitly intertwined, bloating the minimal X-capable install
by 200MB or so, that's out of hand.
 Something I had installed made autoconf really unhappy and it
wasn't properly detecting things in header files. As a result,
there're a lot of extra patches in the list.
 Well, maybe not painlessly, if you've still got x86 inline
assembler code in your routines "for speed".
 No, I don't run X on my simple servers. But I did have the X
client-side libraries installed on quite a few servers at my last job,
since more than a couple Java configuration tools required it.
Jonathan C. Patschke
Celestrion Information Systems
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