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Messages - rstuart

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Developers / Re: Appliance vs Package vs Distro
« on: December 12, 2007, 01:14:58 am »
Agreed Nari. Thats why i have also been focusing efforts on Debian Etch. I hope to have something approaching functional by the end of Jan 2008.

Developers / Re: Appliance vs Package vs Distro
« on: December 11, 2007, 02:01:10 am »
This is my point. I would like one day to be able to have my nice new ubuntu/debian/centos/whatever server install with networking and a firewall all setup then be able to install the linuxmce package and all its dependicies. It shouldn't touch my network settings, my firewall settings or anything. What it should do is install the DCERouter, things like MythTV, Asterix etc and the wrappers for each, the GUI stuff and thats it.

These bash scripts for firewalls and networks are all appliance specific. I acknowledge there is a need for an appliance, but as someone said earlier, thats just a case of some sensible defaults. At the moment, the simple setup come of linuxmce comes with the burden of a highly customised and tightly controlled host OS. This means our release cycles are tied to those of the host OS and it requires a lot of mucking around to actually use the box for much more then linuxmce.

I suggest we follow the mythtv model. Have it as a package, move all the stuff specific to an appliance into a different space and give the project some independence. Once thats accomplished, refactor the appliance specific code and get it working nicely with a specific distrobution (like ubuntu. MCEBuntu could be born similar to MythBuntu). This way, all functional components are in a separate project to the appliance specific stuff. Each will attract their own developers but more importantly, having linuxmce as a package that anyone can install on an existing server distro and use without too much hassle (yes, this means NOT hijacking their firewall and network settings) will server to attract a lot more developers to the functional side of linuxmce. This will, i believe, lead to a bigger and better linuxmce.

Developers / Re: Appliance vs Package vs Distro
« on: December 07, 2007, 05:41:08 am »
I'm also referring to firewall rules, network interfaces etc. All these things are in a database and have associated bash scripts that run at boot time to get the underlying OS into a nice state. If things are going to be in packages and completely distro independent, they can't remain. Things like this need to be separated out into an appliance wrapper for linuxmce. This is one of my main gripes ATM.

Developers / Re: Appliance vs Package vs Distro
« on: December 05, 2007, 03:24:11 am »
I think the total solution calls for a mixture of 'appliances' and 'packages'.

There is a bunch of functionaility on the machines (CORE and MDs) that is better suited to an appliance solution. This would be the core OS, firewalls, networking etc - then there is the software components that have some dependency on these bits but that dependency is well defined and is minimised where possible. This would be the linuxMCE services. This would be packaged software that turns any compatible appliance into either a linuxMCE CORE(Master) or linuxMCE Media Director(Slave).

If people want to configure the 'appliance part' themselves or install on existing hardware and OS combinations then they just install the software. As long is the minimum requirements are met then all should be fine.
Also, if people want to use the linuxMCE 'appliances' they should be able to just install that with a minimum of fuss as well. There might be different choices for OS and/or distributions that they are based on, but essentially it is an appliance - so it shouldn't matter.

This is exactly what i am talking about, LinuxMCE packages without the networking, OS etc. and then the appliance as a related project. And i think in the process of getting a package form a lot of code will get cleaned up. Being in package form is what lead to all these different MythTV distro's that you see around. Some people saw the potential in MythTV and tried to make it more appliance like for users. If someone didn't like how its done, the re did it themselves. Eventually, the best solution will win.

This is what OSS is all about. I'm not saying that the LinucMCE appliance is poor and needs re-doing or a fork. What I am saying is all good projects are in package form. This isn't a coincidence. After all, I'm really just repeating what is on the history page ( I thought getting it into package form was already agreed upon?

Developers / Re: Appliance vs Package vs Distro
« on: December 02, 2007, 10:48:47 am »
The threat of breaking apart the appliance aspect of the system is that an overall consistent vision may very well be lost in the process as the entire system is cannibalised, and if that happens, I _am_ going back to Pluto.

Does pluto not already fill the application space? The point i am trying to make is, if we get it into package form, we can make the appliance aspect work a lot better. Why? Becuase we can do it our selves. We don't have to rely on all of the pluto scripts and ugly hacks. Its been said once, and i'll say it again, the code base is a MESS. From what i understand the pluto people readily admit this. Taking something that is a mess and making it brillant is difficult. Especially when its not your mess to start with.

What we have here is a reference implementation. We know what works, what doesn't and hence we are in a position to make it better. I'm not saying start from scratch. What i am saying is don't be afraid to chop and change. When you get it in package form, as a standard add-in to KDE across many distros, then you are in a position to make a fantastic appliance. But people aren't going to be interested in doing this with a mess of a code base and a community thats reluctant to change it.

My point of view is, eventually, someone somewhere will take linuxmce in its current form and turn it into a distro unspecific package. From what i have read on the history page, this sounds like what linuxmce was born for. If not, unfortunately it will take another project fork. After all, what was the point in forking form pluto if the goal was to make just another appliance?

Create the package, the appliance will follow and and so will developers.

Developers / Re: Appliance vs Package vs Distro
« on: November 30, 2007, 01:06:17 am »
Does LinuxMCE still need to fill the appliance space? Does pluto not already fill this void?

I'm a fan of working hard after the 710 release to get LinuxMCE in a package form. I think the admin site needs to be completely re-written (it should be an optional plugin for the package version), we need to get rid of the mysql database (at least the parts that have to do with system config) and get rib of all os specific stuff like the boot scripts. The package version should care about firewalls, remote access, ssh keys or any of that stuff. Users should be based on the OS users and the list goes on.

Then if people feel there is still a need for an appliance version, we can pick an OS, and do much like we do now. Except, the website would be installed by default, we would care about firewalls, ssh etc. In fact it would be very similar to now, but the appliance stuff should be very low maintenance. The majority of work would lie in the package.

Is this the feeling amongst the community or have i taken it further then what people were expecting?

Developers / Re: Appliance vs Package vs Distro
« on: November 29, 2007, 06:16:16 am »
Thanks for that, hadn't come across that page yet but it spells it all out just they way i hoped it would. So it looks like Paul has the same idea for LinuxMCE as i do, which is great. But as you say, most of the work seems to be around the media at the moment. Is anyone actively working to get it into a package (standard add-on) form? The announcement that KDE is getting on board is obviously a good one but just wondering if any progress had been made and if there was anything that needed doing?

Developers / Appliance vs Package vs Distro
« on: November 29, 2007, 05:01:33 am »
I came across LinuxMCE a few months ago now after reading an article about a ex-microsoft employee thinking about jumping ship because of DRM. I have been using it ever since and have been quite satisfied with it. Recently, i decided i wanted my core to also be a server for my house, handling mail, hosting websites, running java web applications, handling PPPoE and all the rest of it.

I found the distro used by LinuxMCE to be very tightly controlled and specific. Installing new software meant changing the sources list, getting pppoe working meant channing a database, all users created by LinuxMCE had their shell point to /dev/null etc. In short, it was very appliance like.

So what i am here to ask is this. Is the vision of LinuxMCE to literally be an appliance or was this something inherited from pluto? Is there any interest in the future to turn LinuxMCE into an OS Distro of its own (MCEbuntu anyone?) or perhaps even just creating a LinuxMCE package that can be installed from ubuntu server edition. I think it would be great if i could install ubuntu server and then the LinucMCE package and have it all work. For now i'm left with changing everything LinuxMCE has put in place to get it to operate like a server.

Am i the only one with these desires?

Developers / Re: All Developers, please read.
« on: November 26, 2007, 07:10:29 am »
Can anyone give an update on whats been happening as a result of this thread? Obviously Daniel has been appointed as community liaison but has there been much progress in the dev and documentation?

I have the skills and willingness to contribute to the project, but like so many before me I find it hard to get started with this project. I think the need to have improved developer documentation for this project is an important one. With better documentation more developers will know where to start and things will start happening at a rate of knots.

An important document to get written would be a system architecture document, that describes the whole system, not just the DCERouter (I'm referring specifically here to the boot scripts and other distro specific details like the sources list pointing to the hard disk) all the way through to the messaging protocol used by the DCERouter. While it is undoubtedly a big task, i think its i probably essential to get started.

Has someone been appointed as head of documentation and have efforts already started to make this happen? I notice plenty of people have posted on the contacts page saying they are offering documentation. We seem to have the people power, we just need the organisation.

Feature requests & roadmap / Built in Support of PPPoE
« on: November 22, 2007, 07:20:23 am »
It would be nice to include built in support for PPPoE in the next version of LinuxMCE. To get it working on my machine, i had to disable the built in firewall and execute the following to get internet sharing to work:

iptables -t nat -A POSTROUTING -j MASQUERADE

Hindsight tells me i could of avoided a lot of pain by just modifying the device in the database like the wiki says, but it shouldn't be this hard to set up something so simple.

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