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> What's The Point?, OZ vs Opie vs GPE
Sy Ali
post Jun 16 2006, 04:30 PM
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http://openzaurus.org/wordpress/about/

OpenZaurus has two GUIs:

* Opie, which, though it started as a fork of the Qtopia codebase, has quite surpassed it in nearly every way, and includes numerous additional applications, such as the user manager, drawpad, et cetera.
* GPE, a X/GTK based environment which aims to give you full featured graphic environment like you are used to on a ‘normal’ computer.


I don't understand. Both Opie and GPE provide a complete environment.

Why does OZ exist?
What is OZ providing that's different from GPE/Opie?
Why does it still rely on the efforts of GPE/Opie instead of surpassing/supplanting them?
Why doesn't the team abandon OZ and support one or both of GPE/Opie directly?


Not trying to be inflammatory.. I'm just confused over why OZ exists at all and why it's chained to other projects in the way that it is.
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Meanie
post Jun 16 2006, 06:01 PM
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QUOTE(Sy Ali @ Jun 17 2006, 10:30 AM)
http://openzaurus.org/wordpress/about/

OpenZaurus has two GUIs:

*  Opie, which, though it started as a fork of the Qtopia codebase, has quite surpassed it in nearly every way, and includes numerous additional applications, such as the user manager, drawpad, et cetera.
* GPE, a X/GTK based environment which aims to give you full featured graphic environment like you are used to on a ‘normal’ computer.


I don't understand.  Both Opie and GPE provide a complete environment.

Why does OZ exist?
What is OZ providing that's different from GPE/Opie?
Why does it still rely on the efforts of GPE/Opie instead of surpassing/supplanting them?
Why doesn't the team abandon OZ and support one or both of GPE/Opie directly?


Not trying to be inflammatory.. I'm just confused over why OZ exists at all and why it's chained to other projects in the way that it is.
*


OpenZaurus has two GUIs

that's the answer.

OPIE and GPE are GUIs for OZ
if you come from a windows environment then this might be a total new concept for you, but in the unix/linux/bsd world, the system can function without a GUI and generally there can be a few different GUIs to choose from depending on preference unlike windows where there is only one GUI which is windows exploder. windows, even xp can run in command line only mode as well (not the crappy DOS prompt), but not many people know that.
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Snappy
post Jun 16 2006, 09:56 PM
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While I almost flipped off my chair when I read the post, I realised that the very same question was in my mind when I started off on my Collie 1~2 yrs back and I'm sure is in many newbie's mind. So its a good question to be answered.

As mentioned Meanie, OZ is the kernel OS while OPIE and GPE are the GUI shell for OZ. So ...

*NIX
----------------------------------
| Apps |
----------------------------------
| OPIE | GPE |
----------------------------------
| OZ |
| (include drivers) |
----------------------------------
| Hardware |
----------------------------------

Windows world
----------------------------------
| Apps |
----------------------------------
| Windows OS |
| GUI / System libraries |
| (include drivers) |
----------------------------------
| Hardware |
----------------------------------

Granted, Windows XP itself also have its own separation of system (MSVCRT) & gui (GDI) layer and drivers (WDM) layer, including DirectX (HAL/HEL layers) which provide a slightly more direct access to the hardware (hence from what I know, the "DirectXcess" name) ... the main difference is that the Windows shell (GDI) is the *only* shell available for each version of Windows. Users cannot choose to load other shells from 3rd parties and Microsoft itself do not offer other shells for GUI.

The downside is that it is deemed as a closed and monolithic approach to OS architecture whereas Linux is deemed more modular and open. I do however remember that in the early Win3.1 and Win95 days, Microsoft was often critized for having just slapped a GUI shell onto MS-DOS and try to sell that as a GUI OS, and yet when Win98 and subsequent versions integrate the two closer, MS is faulted for being monolithic.

Of course MS is also not an Angel and not entirely faultless. It could have made it available for 3rd parties to write complete GUI shells with its own messaging system and libraries akin linux with its different shells but still have a single X11-like GDI layer, but it chose to have just one shell.

On the upside, having a consistent GDI library and GUI shell also made it consistent for both developers and users. The corporate world and most average users do not really care if its the same shell or not, they just care that they do not have to keep learning new things to get something done. Windows, like it or not, served that ... and in some sense, overdid themselves. To a large extent, they made it so consistent that its become a drab to use Windows.

All that aside, its undeniable that Windows did make development and usage easier ... not necessarily superior technically, but just easier. My same Windows app from 1997 on Windows95 can run flawlessly on WindowsXP today and I believe will continue to do so even on Windows Vista ... whereas the same app on OZ/OPIE will not necessarily run on OZ/GPE ... much less pdaXrom. Likewise Qtopia apps on other roms. Granted compat lib makes the apps more cross-compatible, but sometimes just sometimes ... you need to repackage or recompile the apps.

Oh, and about unix without gui, there are builds of headless windows (Embedded NT) for certain industrial applications like manufacturing placement machines, control firmware etc. Granted, the Windows we are all accustomed to has a monolithic structure, from MS standpoint, this is what the end user need/want, so its sold as thus.
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Miami_Bob
post Jun 17 2006, 06:08 AM
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If I am not mistaken, under WindHozed (at least the 9x & ME flavors) "Explorer" is the usual running "GUI shell", "user interface" or, IMHO, better - Windows Manager. Similar to the functions served by Opie - GPE - Qtopia - BlackBox - etc.
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Sy Ali
post Jun 17 2006, 09:49 AM
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Hmm, perhaps I did not ask the right question.

I'm a full-time Linux user, so I understand a lot of what's going on. I am, however, completely new to the Zaurus experience (less than a week!) so a lot of the terminology and distributions are totally alien to me.

So while GPE and Opie both have a windowing environment, they do not have the necessary core files or flash installer etc which the Zaurus requires.

I think I'm beginning to understand.. neither GPE nor Opie are packaged into a complete Zaurus experience. Is this OZ's goal?
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Borealid
post Jun 17 2006, 11:24 AM
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QUOTE(Sy Ali @ Jun 17 2006, 01:49 PM)
Hmm, perhaps I did not ask the right question.

I'm a full-time Linux user, so I understand a lot of what's going on.  I am, however, completely new to the Zaurus experience (less than a week!) so a lot of the terminology and distributions are totally alien to me.

So while GPE and Opie both have a windowing environment, they do not have the necessary core files or flash installer etc which the Zaurus requires.

I think I'm beginning to understand.. neither GPE nor Opie are packaged into a complete Zaurus experience.  Is this OZ's goal?
*


OZ or PdaXRom are the Linux distros - think Debian v. Gentoo v. Slackware, etc.

GPE and Opie are the desktop environments - like KDE v. Gnome v. XFCE.
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Sy Ali
post Jun 17 2006, 11:37 AM
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I see. And there appear to be some hybrid environments which attempt to provide toolkits which allow more applications to run.

Notibly Qt toolkits and X toolkits. This makes things wierd. =)
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Hrw
post Jun 18 2006, 09:56 AM
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Both GPE and OPIE projects long time ago decided to not release binary packages as this is something which distributions do. This way both teams can concentrate on making improvements instead of working on packaging.
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