Gnewsense and Blag

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CentaurX00
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Joined: 06/17/2015

Aside from my beloved Trisquel. I'd like to contribute to the Blag and Gnewsense projects. The problem is that there's not an active community (as far as I know)... Yeah, I know, I can contact them by the IRC channel, but it is not as engaging. I'm not a programmer, but I've helped with translations with the TOR project and the Mate Project.

Any suggestion?

Oh, and also what do you think about both distros, and I'd like to know about how outdated they are, and how many programs do they have less...
Also, which one is more updated, Gnewsense or Blag? (Which I think Gnewsense would be)
Have you heard of Gnewsense 4? It'll be based on Debian 7... or do you think it is still too outdated.

By the time I'm writing this, I'm using Gnewsense...

onpon4
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Joined: 05/30/2012

BLAG 140k is based on Fedora 14, which reached end-of-life four years ago. BLAG has been in this state of development hell for years. Frankly, I think the FSF should put its foot down, take BLAG off the distro list, and tell the BLAG developers that until they can PROVE that BLAG is still actively developed by making a new release already, the link will not be restored. And a policy should be put in place so that this doesn't happen again with another distro; some requirement of recent non-preview software updates. dyne:bolic is another distro that I'm not convinced is actually being maintained; its last release was four years ago, easily old enough to render all of the tools on it obsolete.

gNewSense, on the other hand, had a recent release, though it's true that it's based on the old Debian 6. Debian 6 still has support in the way of security fixes for a couple of years, so it's nothing like the situation of BLAG.

HuangLao
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Joined: 01/19/2014

Wow onpon, that is harsh.

Blag is still under active development. 20k is out and they are working on 21k. There is a new team and a new maintainer. Forums are up, however, most of their development and communication is via mailing lists. links for info. below:

http://forums.blagblagblag.org/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=5608

Blag users list: http://blagblagblag.org/pipermail/blag-users_blagblagblag.org/

Blag devel: http://blagblagblag.org/pipermail/blag-devel_blagblagblag.org/

http://forums.blagblagblag.org/viewtopic.php?t=5619

They are even working on a unified Libre Forum for Blag, Parabola, gNewSense and others. Trisquels forum is quite active so they did not see a reason to have this Forum join the new one.

So I would say that is still actively developed!

CentaurX00
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Joined: 06/17/2015

You know, I like the idea of the Libre Forum.

By the way, very useful information. Thank you! :)

onpon4
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Joined: 05/30/2012

Where to begin?

Firstly, the blag-users mailing list is so inactive it's like a ghost town, and the blag-devel mailing list isn't all that active either, with only 8 messages this month.

Secondly, all of the emails I see in blag-devel are people sending feedback! You know, reporting problems and making suggestions. This is not an indication of development!

Thirdly, and this is the most important bit, when someone looking to try out BLAG goes to the BLAG website, they do not see the 200k alpha release, which as I pointed out is based on an upstream that's about to reach end-of-life anyway. They see the 140k release which is based on an upstream that reached end-of-life 4 years ago.

I was well aware of the 200k alpha release; I learned about it when it was announced last year. But an alpha release, by definition, is unfinished, and the BLAG developers are clearly not proud enough of it to put it on the downloads page.

Let me offer a hypothetical scenario to show just how bad BLAG's current state is: suppose that Trisquel 4 was still, right now, only available as a pre-release, and Trisquel 2 was shown whenever you went to the download page. In fact, this is still better than BLAG's real current state. The entire Trisquel project hasn't even been around for long enough to provide a suitably analogous release for BLAG 140k. (This is of course complicated by the fact that Trisquel is LTS while Fedora, and therefore BLAG, is STS. BLAG's software isn't actually that old, but the point is its support is. Note that Trisquel 4 only recently reached end-of-life.)

I don't think any of what I said is "harsh", and I stand by it. BLAG is in endless development hell, has been in this state for years, and under absolutely no circumstances should be recommended to anybody for real use in its current state.

HuangLao
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Joined: 01/19/2014

Those are not the only lines of communication for the devel team. LOL. Alot of the development communication is via those channels plus, email, iirc, conference calls etc...

Also, you may find it interesting that Fedora is planning on having LTS versions as well, which means Blag, would also be LTS.

One of the things they are dealing with is removing some of the questionable software/programs that RedHat/Fedora includes..ie: SELinux and others.

Considering it is a new team and the nature of the beast (Fedora short release cycle), I do not think you can compare it to Trisquel yet... Just like you cannot compare Parabola to Trisquel, completely different. If Fedora and they go LTS then perhaps it can compare.

Libre distros. in particular need to support one another, not find reasons to trash each other. Blag will find a niche just like Trisquel has, will be most interesting if they go LTS.

onpon4
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Joined: 05/30/2012

> Those are not the only lines of communication for the devel team. LOL. Alot of the development communication is via those channels plus, email, iirc, conference calls etc...

I don't know if you're a BLAG developer speaking from experience, or just some random guy making assumptions about the project. But it makes no difference. Far as I can tell, BLAG is developed behind closed doors; at the very least, I can't find any sort of link to a repository on the BLAG website or forum. Not a problem, but the BLAG project is going to have to accept, then, that when the last thing they put out was an alpha release a year ago based on a version of Fedora that's losing support, and their download page still points to a very old release based on a version of Fedora that lost support four years ago, it looks like the project is inactive, or at least not being taken seriously.

> Also, you may find it interesting that Fedora is planning on having LTS versions as well, which means Blag, would also be LTS.

Great, so we might eventually have a version of BLAG based on a version Fedora that at least gets security patches for a while. But considering this is speculation about the future, I don't think it's relevant to the question of whether the FSF should be linking to BLAG now.

> Considering it is a new team and the nature of the beast (Fedora short release cycle), I do not think you can compare it to Trisquel yet...

Correct. Trisquel, unlike BLAG, currently has a proper release which gets security fixes for a few more years, and has a track record of providing new releases in a timely manner. BLAG only has security fixes for the next week, in an alpha release.

> Libre distros. in particular need to support one another, not find reasons to trash each other.

Don't try to shoot me down with that emotional crap. I never "trashed" BLAG. I just said that it's in development hell, not fit for any real use, and shouldn't be recommended by the FSF or anyone else in its current state.

> Blag will find a niche just like Trisquel has, will be most interesting if they go LTS.

More speculation about the future. Such speculation is completely meaningless. Currently, BLAG is in a state of development hell. Maybe it will end, maybe it won't. But in the meantime, neither the FSF nor anybody else should recommend BLAG to anyone.

Calinou
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Joined: 03/08/2014

We're at Fedora 22 already, and have been for more than 2 months now.

Henry Jensen
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Joined: 04/09/2011

On Wed, 17 Jun 2015 18:49:09 +0200 (CEST) name at domain wrote:

> gNewSense, on the other hand, had a recent release, though it's true that
> it's based on the old Debian 6. Debian 6 still has support in the way of
> security fixes for a couple of years,

No, not a couple of years. LTS support of Debian 6 ends in February
2016, that's in 7 months from now.[0]

As for BLAG: I think because of the rapid release cycle of the upstream
distro (Fedora) they'll never have a chance to catch up. Maybe they should base
BLAG on CentOS instead, which has a life cycle of 10 years.

Regards,

Henry

[0] https://wiki.debian.org/LTS

CentaurX00
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Joined: 06/17/2015

I liked the idea that Blag was based on Fedora. I think the FSF keeps Blag on the distro list is because there are people with very old hardware would be using those old distros. Nonetheless, you've got a point. There should be AT LEAST a separation where they put: "These are the distros maintained more closely", and one that helps programmers focus "These are the distros that should be maintained"

Check this out regarding the new version of Gnewsense: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GNewSense Go to the part in which there is listed the Gnewsense versions. Since Gnewsense 4 will be based on Debian 7, we'll have availability for better packages like those of Libre Office or Icecat. Since I'm using Gnewsense 3.1 I had to compile Icecat 14 on my own. For some reason, I couldn't compile Icecat 17, so by getting it from Debian 7, Gnewsense will not have too many issues like this.

onpon4
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Joined: 05/30/2012

IceCat 17? The current version is 31.6.

CentaurX00
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Joined: 06/17/2015

Yeah, but couldn't find a tutorial on how to compile that one... I had issues with Icecat 17, so I kept the IceCat 14... Does it work the same?

SuperTramp83

I am a translator!

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Joined: 10/31/2014

Compile?? Icecat? What for? You need the latest tar, extract it, open the folder and run the executable.

CentaurX00
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Joined: 06/17/2015
CentaurX00
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Joined: 06/17/2015

You see, this is what happened when I tried to install the .deb from http://packages.trisquel.info/toutatis-updates/amd64/icecat/download

And I attached an image so you can see that I couldn't install it. By the way, I'm in Gnewsense, just to point it out.

Dependency is not satisfiable.png
onpon4
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Joined: 05/30/2012

By the way, having old hardware generally isn't a good reason to use a system that doesn't get updates, and that's not why BLAG is still on the list. In fact, the FSF briefly removed BLAG from the list, but then added it back on shortly after the 200k alpha was released, because they decided this was an indication of activity, IIRC.

strypey
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Joined: 05/14/2015

The reason BLAG is on the FSF list is because it is a 100% free code disto, which calls itself GNU+Linux (or GNU/Linux), and doesn't use non-free javascript on its home page. Honestly, those are the criteria. BLAG "spartacus" was so broken when I tried to use it that it inspired me to create this:
http://www.coactivate.org/projects/disintermedia/blog/2012/10/22/brick-seeks-free-software-foundation-endorsement/

It was not long after I wrote this that I installed Trisquel 6.0, which has worked well for me ever since. Will do a fresh install of 7.0 soon, on a larger partition. Apparently the FSF do support gNewSense, which I haven't tried since 2.3 "deltah", and Utoto, which I haven't tried at all.

tdlnx

I am a member!

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Joined: 04/09/2014

Oh man that was funny.

Brick has to be the most secure OS of all time.

alonsogonzalez
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Joined: 10/29/2014

BLAG 200k is still available for download here: ftp://blag.fsf.org/ All I did to find out about it was take this download link: ftp://blag.fsf.org/140000/en/iso/Blag-140k-i686.iso And shorten it.

It's just that it's still not a very recent version, however it's more recent than BLAG 140k.

CentaurX00
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Joined: 06/17/2015

When was it last modified? Isn't it the same as this one? http://www.blagblagblag.org/download/index.html

onetechbuddy
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Joined: 05/26/2014

Try the FSF link.

onpon4
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Joined: 05/30/2012

That's an alpha release, based on a Fedora release that goes unsupported next week. There haven't been any further updates to BLAG since then. I'm not impressed.

See, this is just a continuation of the development hell BLAG is in. At this point, BLAG 200k clearly has to be scrapped, so at best someone will build a BLAG 220k alpha when Fedora 23 comes out. And then it won't get any more updates, Fedora 22 will reach end-of-life, and the process repeats. This is not a healthy distro maintenance effort.

What needs to be done is someone has to make a dedication to take the current version of Fedora, or better yet, the next version of Fedora, and get a release out based on it in the span of at most a few months (or if the next Fedora release is the base, a couple months after that Fedora version's release). Then they have to continue doing this for all future Fedora releases. It seems that there just isn't anyone on the BLAG team who is willing and able to do this.

HuangLao
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Joined: 01/19/2014

Again read the above post. Perhaps do a little research before posting.

onetechbuddy
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Joined: 05/26/2014

Blag is active and I tried their 20K alpha release a few months back. It was good.

Anybody tried Dragora?

Magic Banana

I am a member!

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Joined: 07/24/2010

Blag is active and I tried their 20K alpha release a few months back.

Blag 20k is based on Fedora 20... whose support is over.

JadedCtrl
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Joined: 08/11/2014
onetechbuddy
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Joined: 05/26/2014

No it is not. Dragora 3 is coming out... http://git.savannah.gnu.org/cgit/dragora.git/

Found a readme file that conatined...
"Featuring the C library "musl" (http://www.musl-libc.org),
the 3.x release series of Dragora offers a new scheme in the
world of GNU/Linux distributions: an init system with service
supervision; a simplified structure of directories compatible
with the Standard FHS (http://www.pathname.com/fhs); the new
source builder and package manager called "toque"; portable
packages (statically linked); lightweight alternative software..
and much more!"