Configuration Tool

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Would you like to have a general control center?

Yes, would be really great
77
81%
Maybe not so bad
10
11%
No, what for?... I love my f****** config files
8
8%
 
Total votes : 95

Re: Configuration Tool

Postby sjieke » Wed Jul 30, 2008 9:01

I have little to no experience on software development for Linux. My experience is mainly based on Windows. I'm fluent in C# and Java. For C/C++ I have a little bit experience (mostly reading code, not much written myself). I did use python in the past to write some Superkaramba scripts, but nothing fancy. GTK or QT I never used before...

I think this project is a great opertunity to learn new skills (python, GTK,...) and as we are with 3 people interrested to start I think we should be able to pull this of. If we want to start this I think the steps to be taken are the following:
  • Determine the goals. What do we want to accomplish, what are our ambitions.
  • Explore the possible starting points (Starting from scratch, forking Yast,...)
  • Specify a basic roadmap.

My vision on the above points:
Goals
  • No dependency towards any DE
  • A modular framework.
    • Each configuration tool should be a module (examples: keyboard module, Users&Groups module).
    • All modules should be tied together in the framework.
    • Modules should be indpendent of eachother.
    • Modules can be written in either language (python, basic shell script, C/C++, ...)
  • Support for multiple User Interfaces (GTK, QT, ...), maybe following design templates needed by the framework.
  • Modules to start with: Keyboard, Users&Groups, ... (@Stupot: Samba is indeed to ambitious at this point, I used it just as an example)
  • (...)

Starting points
  • Starting from scratch: The benefits are that we will have all flexibility that we want, better knowledge of how stuff works. The drawbacks are time (it will take more time) and possible duplicated work (work already done in another project).
  • Forking Yast: The benefits are that we will have something good that works from the beginnen. The drawbacks are the time needed to port it to sabayon/gentoo, the time needed to fully understand the inner workings and does it allow us to accomplish all our goals (needs to be looked into).
  • (...)

Roadmap (example if we start from scratch)
  • Determine the language to use for the framework.
  • A high level design of the framework (UML schema's) and how to tie in the modules.
  • First implementation of the framework.
  • Adding some basic modules. Using existing configuration scripts as xlnagla suggested.
  • ...
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Re: Configuration Tool

Postby LordBernhard » Wed Jul 30, 2008 10:54

Thank's for your summary.. it's really good :-)

I've taken a look at the svn repo of yast.. seems pretty nice structured:
http://svn.opensuse.org/svn/yast/trunk/

Also I began looking at the Yast Devel Docu:
http://forgeftp.novell.com/yast/doc/SL11.0/

It seems to be really well documented.. so if we are going to start this I'll vote for a yast port..

the yast devs also seem to actively support ports of yast (there sometimes occur patches on the yast-devel mailing list for rhel 5.0 and they give them suggestions on how to improve it)

I think I'll try asking on the yast-devel mailing list if they think this task is manageable and if we could rely on their help.

Also I found some nice documents about Yast on other distributions:
http://en.opensuse.org/YaST/Research/Ya ... tributions
So we know they want it to be portable which means it's built portable ^^

You may also want to take a look here: http://en.opensuse.org/YaST/Research
I think this shows really good that yast devel is really (read: incredible) active :-)
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Re: Configuration Tool

Postby Thev00d00 » Wed Jul 30, 2008 10:56

has anyone tried just grabbing a svn snapshot of YAST and compiling it?

Personally I would vote against using YAST
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Re: Configuration Tool

Postby LordBernhard » Wed Jul 30, 2008 11:08

v00d00 wrote:has anyone tried just grabbing a svn snapshot of YAST and compiling it?

Personally I would vote against using YAST


sadly not yet.. didn't have the time yet.. I'm at work :-(

If I'm lucky I'll be able to try it in about 8 hours

edit: why would you vote against it? *wanting to know the reasons*

personally I think it would be much more work needed for writing a completely new controlcenter. It wouldn't be tested and we'll have to think about a really good structure (which is imo not an easy task to build up)
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Re: Configuration Tool

Postby Thev00d00 » Wed Jul 30, 2008 12:36

1. Its SLOOOOOOOOOOW, really slow
2. It doesnt respect custom configs at all
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Re: Configuration Tool

Postby LordBernhard » Wed Jul 30, 2008 12:41

v00d00 wrote:1. Its SLOOOOOOOOOOW, really slow
2. It doesnt respect custom configs at all


Which version of openSUSE was the last you tested? with 11.0 I have to really disagree... it's really fast.. at least imho....

and custom configs.. hm.. don't know ... we'd have to try (e.g. in a virtualbox environment), at least editing the /boot/menu.lst by hand works flawlessly (and editing it with yast afterwards)

EDIT:
btw: if you've also refered to the packagemanagement with yast:
1.) that has been fixed with 11.0.. it's now even faster than apt, and fur sure faster than emerge/equo
2.) that doesn't matter for sabayon because we've got the entropy stack on which we could adapt it.
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Re: Configuration Tool

Postby Fitzcarraldo » Wed Jul 30, 2008 12:43

If it's of any help, below are the eight top-level menu options for the GUI configuration tool in PCLinuxOS (it's called "Administration Center"). Very good configuration tool. Notice its icon is on the KDE main Panel. (The square icon next to it on the KDE main Panel is for the usual KDE Control Center.)

Image
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Image
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Re: Configuration Tool

Postby LordBernhard » Wed Jul 30, 2008 12:59

yeah.. that one is also really good imo.. it's more enduser oriented than yast but I think that's the direction in which sabayon goes (if I'm not totally mistaken).

With the mandriva control center (on which pclinuxos's control center is based) I made my first good experiences with WLAN under linux (for the first time it worked out of the box)

Though I have absolutely no idea how this one is structured (codebase), if it's portable and so on...
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Re: Configuration Tool

Postby sjieke » Wed Jul 30, 2008 14:16

I took a quick look to the links you have posted about yast. Summarizing the goals again I draw following conclusions concerning Yast (correct me if I'm wrong somewhere, because I just took a realy quick look)
  • No dependency towards any DE -> FAIL? (not sure, but I think I saw some KDE and GNOME related stuff...)
  • A modular framework.
    • Each configuration tool should be a module (examples: keyboard module, Users&Groups module). ->PASS
    • All modules should be tied together in the framework. -> PASS
    • Modules should be indpendent of eachother. -> PASS? (not sure, giving it the benefit of the doubt)
    • Modules can be written in either language (python, basic shell script, C/C++, ...) -> FAIL (they use there own language)
  • Support for multiple User Interfaces (GTK, QT, ...) -> PASS

LordBernhard wrote:personally I think it would be much more work needed for writing a completely new controlcenter. It wouldn't be tested and we'll have to think about a really good structure (which is imo not an easy task to build up)

I can only partially agree with you (for now). A system from scratch will indeed not be tested, but if porting yast is less work and easier to maintain than creating a new structure I'm not sure. First of all we need to know if we get it to compile on a relatively easy way (considering the usage of there own language). Then we need to check for each module if it is compatible with sabayon/gentoo. We will also need time to understand the inner workings. And last but not least, we will probable need a way to keep our codebase in sync with the yast codebase.

As you probably concluded by now, my vote (for now) goes to starting from scratch. As porting something will have it's issues as stated above. Another reason is that we will have complete control and ... the challenge to design a good framework :twisted:

I know my arguments in favor of 'starting from scratch' aren't that good, but they are arguments :roll:
Of course I'm keeping the porting route still open as a valuable option...

For the PCLinuxOS control center (or the mandriva control center) I couldn't find any code to look into...
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Re: Configuration Tool

Postby LordBernhard » Wed Jul 30, 2008 14:54

sjieke wrote:I took a quick look to the links you have posted about yast. Summarizing the goals again I draw following conclusions concerning Yast (correct me if I'm wrong somewhere, because I just took a realy quick look)
  • No dependency towards any DE -> FAIL? (not sure, but I think I saw some KDE and GNOME related stuff...)
  • A modular framework.
    • Each configuration tool should be a module (examples: keyboard module, Users&Groups module). ->PASS
    • All modules should be tied together in the framework. -> PASS
    • Modules should be indpendent of eachother. -> PASS? (not sure, giving it the benefit of the doubt)
    • Modules can be written in either language (python, basic shell script, C/C++, ...) -> FAIL (they use there own language)
  • Support for multiple User Interfaces (GTK, QT, ...) -> PASS

ok.. I agree on these points.. about the DE independence.. haven't seen anything like that yet.. but I'll look further.. and even if it's there in some module.. it's likely that we'll need to rewrite many modules.. personally I'm mostly interested in yasts basic structure.
About the own language: yeah you are right.. but with this language we reach the goal that we can write one code and it'll work in every interface (ncurses, gtk, qt) (if I've understood it correct)
Some example code: http://en.opensuse.org/YaST/Tutorials/QuickModule

sjieke wrote:
LordBernhard wrote:personally I think it would be much more work needed for writing a completely new controlcenter. It wouldn't be tested and we'll have to think about a really good structure (which is imo not an easy task to build up)

I can only partially agree with you (for now). A system from scratch will indeed not be tested, but if porting yast is less work and easier to maintain than creating a new structure I'm not sure. First of all we need to know if we get it to compile on a relatively easy way (considering the usage of there own language). Then we need to check for each module if it is compatible with sabayon/gentoo. We will also need time to understand the inner workings. And last but not least, we will probable need a way to keep our codebase in sync with the yast codebase.

As you probably concluded by now, my vote (for now) goes to starting from scratch. As porting something will have it's issues as stated above. Another reason is that we will have complete control and ... the challenge to design a good framework :twisted:

I know my arguments in favor of 'starting from scratch' aren't that good, but they are arguments :roll:
Of course I'm keeping the porting route still open as a valuable option...


good :-) my opinion hasn't changed either yet.. I'm so much for porting yast for the following personal reasons:
1.) I like yast ^^
2.) it's from a technical point of view good designed (as far as I've heard)
3.) I'll likely don't have enough time to write a complete new control center (school starts again soon and then I'll have to concentrate more on exams :-( ... it's nearing the end :D )

sjieke wrote:For the PCLinuxOS control center (or the mandriva control center) I couldn't find any code to look into...

didn't find any source either.. wonder where mandriva/pclinuxos have got there distro src repos..
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