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From: pmacdona@sanjuan (Peter MacDonald)
Subject: .96b, shoelace, sharlibs, etc
Date: 25 Jun 92 07:08:01 GMT

Given the hi volume of traffic, I am compressing topics:

I have .96b up, and note that the serial code works fine with X once 
again.  The addition of big and dos fs in .97 is wonderful (despite 
the fact that I completely hosed DOS from my 225M HD months ago).
I also note that the mysterious "unexpected HD interrupt" msg has
disappeared.   Amazing since I have had this problem since Minix!

- The store option in the new setterm doesn't work any more.
- Is the X11R5 scalable fonts extension implemented?  I would like to
  minimize the number of Megabytes used by fonts.  zorst?
- It would be nice if gcc and shared libs were frozen for a while at 2.2 
  to allow users to sync to a common compiler.
- Perhaps another 4M should be sliced off the process for IV shared libs. 
  That would leave only 56M for user space, but I suspect with X and/or
  inet sockets (when/if they arrive) 64 process limit is a bigger problem.
- I did the port of shoelace to Linux, but since (I freely admit) that
  port was a very fast kludge, I didn't really expect to follow the
  big FS.  If someone else wants to do it, the patches were supplied.


Now the big one!  
Although the collection of software for Linux on the archives is impressive
and growing, it is also confusing.  The MCC releases are an improvement (good
stuff Owen) but it is a little much for one person to maintain, and tends to
be somewhat behind in gcc releases.  

The ideal (I speculate) would be to have a group of 5-15 people cooperate in
producing a distribution.  One person might take file-utils, another shellutils,
etc.  The goal would be to produce a distribution of the binaries (compiled
entirely as the current shared libs version) which was up to date and reasonably
complete.    The individuals might only need to cooperate only to the extent
of uploading updates to a common archive, which could be mirrored.

The following properties might be desirable:
- Tarred archives.Z of <= 1.1 meg could be produced by each supporter.
- These archives could be numbered or sequenced for identification.
- A master index (on the root disk) could indicate the contents of each
  so that just the desired/minimum components might be downloaded.
- An install program might be provided, but mostly, just tar -x... from /
  would be needed.
- No source (except for the system) would be provided.  Or perhaps
  source could be offered as a second series of disks.
- An additional series of contrib disks could supply less common items
  like uucp, or ka9q.

Obviously the target would be to eliminate the daunting task of 
assembling a working Linux system.  But also:
- Allow easy/complete distribution, say to BBS's.
- Consolidate the user base to eliminate bug reports stemming from
  a misconfigured system.
- Better utilize the efforts of Linux supporters.


Peter
pmacdona@tadpole.bcsc.gov.bc.ca

From: pmacdona@sanjuan (Peter MacDonald)
Subject: gcc freeze, dos fs
Date: Sat, 27 Jun 92 06:37:05 GMT

After using the dos-under-unix on DELL and ISC, I have come to
appreciate the virtual drive capability feature.  Will it be 
possible some time to allow the DOS FS to be able to use a 
Linux file as a DOS file system?  Not having to mess with
partitions for DOS might be nice.

Hlu is quite correct in asserting that we are free to use whatever
version of shared libs we want.  Unfortunately, the problem is that
the Linux community is quite large, diverse, segmented, and 
uncoordinated.  So even if we try to make it a "policy" to post
only images compiled with gcc 2.2, many will not do so.  Thus 
we will continue to see many users having problems because of
missing/wrong shared libs.

It would be better if he made it non-optional, by not releasing
any new shared libs for a few months.   But only Hlu can decide
if such a freeze is appropriate or even possible.  I think many
of us are coming to the conclusion that it must be either fewer
shared lib releases, a modified shared lib (jump tables), or
releasing of .a's.   Jump tables don't really handle changes in
data well, and .a's are a bit of a hassle, ...

I am setting up my internet box to allow anonymous ftp, and am looking 
for some volunteers to help put together a distribution based upon gcc 2.2.
The first order will be collect a list of s/w that should be included.
This will need to be assigned to individuals.  Then, a decision on
how it should be broken up into bite size chunks etc.
A list of optional s/w could be put together later, as time permits. 

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