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OESF Forums > Distros, Development, and Model Specific Forums > Distro Support and Discussion > Angstrom & OpenZaurus
spam_all_you_want
Two years ago I bought a SL-5500 Zaurus. I installed OpenZaurus on it because it had a newer kernel and more features than the default Sharp ROM, and more importantly the Sharp ROM was abandonware, while OpenZaurus was still under active development. However, OpenZaurus was very buggy, so I switched back to the Sharp ROM.

A couple of months ago I thought, well, they've been developing it for 2 years, they must have fixed those bugs by now, so I tried again. Again, it had a much newer kernel, and a great list of new features. But it wouldn't even install. I looked at the comments on the website. Half of them said "it doesnt install for me either" and the other half said "it crashes whenever I hit a certain a key".

So, when is OpenZaurus going to stop adding new kernels and featurs and make an operating system that actually works?
JohnX
QUOTE(spam_all_you_want @ Aug 15 2005, 11:09 AM)
So, when is OpenZaurus going to stop adding new kernels and featurs and make an operating system that actually works?
*


As soon as you stop complaining and fix the bugs...
lpotter
Any community based project is worked on by volunteers. Open zaurus (distribution) is currently worked only by a small handfull of people that do this in their spare time.

Same goes for Opie.
samxiao
go use Dell Axim
Zaurus is not for you
wink.gif
bam
isnt there a pdaxrom out for the 5500? Try that. Oh and dont complain unless your going to volunteer and help. IMHO
spam_all_you_want
QUOTE(JohnX @ Aug 15 2005, 10:44 AM)
QUOTE(spam_all_you_want @ Aug 15 2005, 11:09 AM)
So, when is OpenZaurus going to stop adding new kernels and featurs and make an operating system that actually works?
*


As soon as you stop complaining and fix the bugs...
*



My point was not that there are bugs - all programs have bugs - but that the number of bugs has increased over the past two years. This is the opposite to every other free software program I have used. What would be the point of me fixing some bugs in the current release if the next release just adds a whole bunch more?

Some projects avoid this problem by having stable and unstable branches. The gung-ho developers add features to the unstable branch, while the old hands fix the bugs and make stable releases for the public. Now, maybe OpenZaurus doesn't have enough developers to maintain two branches, but in that case there should be one branch - stable - and a new feature shouldnt be allowed into it if it causes major system instability.

I mean, two years work and this project is less usable than it was before. If you use a metric like lines of code or new features added then maybe there has been much progress, but if you use a metric like usability or number of non-dev users then there has been *negative* progress.
samxiao
QUOTE(spam_all_you_want @ Aug 15 2005, 03:33 PM)
QUOTE(JohnX @ Aug 15 2005, 10:44 AM)
QUOTE(spam_all_you_want @ Aug 15 2005, 11:09 AM)
So, when is OpenZaurus going to stop adding new kernels and featurs and make an operating system that actually works?
*


As soon as you stop complaining and fix the bugs...
*



My point was not that there are bugs - all programs have bugs - but that the number of bugs has increased over the past two years. This is the opposite to every other free software program I have used. What would be the point of me fixing some bugs in the current release if the next release just adds a whole bunch more?

Some projects avoid this problem by having stable and unstable branches. The gung-ho developers add features to the unstable branch, while the old hands fix the bugs and make stable releases for the public. Now, maybe OpenZaurus doesn't have enough developers to maintain two branches, but in that case there should be one branch - stable - and a new feature shouldnt be allowed into it if it causes major system instability.

I mean, two years work and this project is less usable than it was before. If you use a metric like lines of code or new features added then maybe there has been much progress, but if you use a metric like usability or number of non-dev users then there has been *negative* progress.
*




so according to you
they should discontinue the OpenZaurus project
okay... then so what?
you don't need to use it
no one force you to use it

if you don't like it
leave it, ignore it
spam_all_you_want
QUOTE(bam @ Aug 15 2005, 12:25 PM)
Oh and dont complain unless your going to volunteer and help.
*


So, basically, only programmers should be using OpenZaurus?
chrget
QUOTE(spam_all_you_want @ Aug 15 2005, 08:09 PM)
So, when is OpenZaurus going to stop adding new kernels and featurs and make an operating system that actually works?
*
Probably never, even if the developer base expands.

The current developers don't care all that much about bugs and stability -- they mainly want to have fun, since OZ is a hobby for them. Nobody is paying them for what they are doing, so it most definitely is their right to do that.

Seems that with that attitude, they more or less draw, at best, people with the same mindset towards the project, thus more or less just aggravating the problem.

If you indeed do want to help out, you are more or less forced to subscribe to their entire design philosophy using the OE build environment. This approach of course is annoying enough for people not to join in.

Oh well. I'll leave it at that. I'll be stoned to death now by the OZ fanatics anyway, since I dared to state that the emperor is indeed naked. rolleyes.gif

Best regards,
Chris.
ken
QUOTE(spam_all_you_want @ Aug 15 2005, 08:09 PM)
So, when is OpenZaurus going to stop adding new kernels and featurs and make an operating system that actually works?

Might take a while, as oz is a moving target. If it's stability and oz that you want to use, you probably should stay one version behind. If you don't mind dealing with the various issues, then the current version is for you.

Most of this depends upon what you want in the os for your Z. If it's a mostly bug free os you want, then you probably want to use the Sharp ROM or one of the offshoots that are based upon the Sharp ROM, like tkcrom etc.

There are also a few oz based versions that try to provide a little more emphasis on stability rather than feature set.

The bottom line is you need to think about the philosophy that each os is trying to achieve -- in oz's case, more of an emphasis of feature set at this point (at least that's my take on it).

You should also keep in mind that it's a lot of work trying to build an os from the bottom up.
lpotter
QUOTE(chrget @ Aug 16 2005, 06:49 AM)
If you indeed do want to help out, you are more or less forced to subscribe to their entire design philosophy using the OE build environment. This approach of course is annoying enough for people not to join in.
Best regards,
Chris.
*



the old buildroot is still out there, it needs to be updated at sourceforge.
I use it for qtopia 2.1 roms, and maintain a relatively updated packages.
Brian Hursey
If only a normal user knew how much work and dedication creating a project like OZ takes they could truly admire it for what it is instead of complaining about little bugs. This distribution is targeted towards geeks mostley if your not a geek and complain about little bugs that we expect don't use it.

Like people have already said if you want stability stick with the sharp roms or an stable fork of them.
jomo
QUOTE(Brian Hursey @ Aug 16 2005, 03:53 AM)
If only a normal user knew how much work and dedication creating a project like OZ takes they could truly admire it for what it is instead of complaining about little bugs. This distribution is targeted towards geeks mostley if your not a geek and complain about little bugs that we expect don't use it.

Like people have already said if you want stability stick with the sharp roms or an stable fork of them.
*


Oh, believe me, I know, and I always indicate my appreciation when I ask a question on these boards. Having spent more than a few hours repairing/restoring other folks' computers and generally being Mr. Fix-It on my own time, I understand the Oz/Opie folks' situation. I also make clothing and leather goods and occasionally turn a wrench or do carpentry. It's a hobby for me, but I do give my time to other people for help with their decks and their porches and their cars and their kids' halloween costumes. All I can say to Spam is: "Consider the cost you paid for Oz." Nothing but a relatively small amount of bandwith (for the download). They, on the other hand, spent HOURS (weeks and years for the veterans) working on Oz for free. Oz/Opie is one of the better PDA user interfaces I've seen, and, while there are things I wish it did better, there are things I wished my $500 Palm did better, and Palm/PalmSource rakes in millions a year to do their thing. So I'd like to take this moment in a rather sordid and un-necessary thread to thank MickeyL, Brian Hurley (if you ARE one of the Oz guys), and all the Oz people for all the stuff they do. I'd also like to thank LPotter for building Qtopia ROMs and Maslovsky, Stupkid, and Iamasmith for their work on Cacko.
lardman
QUOTE
Might take a while, as oz is a moving target. If it's stability and oz that you want to use, you probably should stay one version behind. If you don't mind dealing with the various issues, then the current version is for you.


Exactly. This is the reason why there appear to be more issues with 3.3.5 than there were when you last tried it.

3.2 was stable imo, as was 3.3.6pre1, I've not got round to trying 3.3.5 on my 5500, but it's certainly rock-solid on my c750.

I think there were two major issues with the 3.3.5 release for the 5500 - the arrow key suspend thing, and the on/off button not suspending correctly - my understanding is that both of these have been fixed and that you should install 3.3.5, then upgrade the kernel modules (and only the kernel modules, otherwise you'll run out of space) then flash the updated kernel.

I've not done this yet (as I said I don't really use my collie anymore), but I will (as long as I remember to find it) do so tomorrow as I'd be interested to work out why some people have had problems while for others it has been easy.

QUOTE
Like people have already said if you want stability stick with the sharp roms or an stable fork of them.


Or even better learn how to code and fix the issues you think that 'users' will find the most annoying. I imagine that I ignore most of the issues that a new user finds annoying simply because I've had better/more interesting (for me) things to look at and these problems simply become part of the background. The other thing is that these usability issues may often be simple to fix, and therefore may well be a good way to get started programming and contributing.


Si
Brian Hursey
QUOTE(jomo @ Aug 16 2005, 11:40 AM)
QUOTE(Brian Hursey @ Aug 16 2005, 03:53 AM)
If only a normal user knew how much work and dedication creating a project like OZ takes they could truly admire it for what it is instead of complaining about little bugs. This distribution is targeted towards geeks mostley if your not a geek and complain about little bugs that we expect don't use it.

Like people have already said if you want stability stick with the sharp roms or an stable fork of them.
*


Oh, believe me, I know, and I always indicate my appreciation when I ask a question on these boards. Having spent more than a few hours repairing/restoring other folks' computers and generally being Mr. Fix-It on my own time, I understand the Oz/Opie folks' situation. I also make clothing and leather goods and occasionally turn a wrench or do carpentry. It's a hobby for me, but I do give my time to other people for help with their decks and their porches and their cars and their kids' halloween costumes. All I can say to Spam is: "Consider the cost you paid for Oz." Nothing but a relatively small amount of bandwith (for the download). They, on the other hand, spent HOURS (weeks and years for the veterans) working on Oz for free. Oz/Opie is one of the better PDA user interfaces I've seen, and, while there are things I wish it did better, there are things I wished my $500 Palm did better, and Palm/PalmSource rakes in millions a year to do their thing. So I'd like to take this moment in a rather sordid and un-necessary thread to thank MickeyL, Brian Hurley (if you ARE one of the Oz guys), and all the Oz people for all the stuff they do. I'd also like to thank LPotter for building Qtopia ROMs and Maslovsky, Stupkid, and Iamasmith for their work on Cacko.
*




I am not a developer on this project, but i am a developer and I work on suns open source project "Project Looking Glass". I wish I had time to contribute to this project but a man only has so much time.. smile.gif
bluedevils
that *is* a cool project
dhns
QUOTE(Brian Hursey @ Aug 16 2005, 04:53 AM)
If only a normal user knew how much work and dedication creating a project like OZ takes they could truly admire it for what it is instead of complaining about little bugs. This distribution is targeted towards geeks mostley if your not a geek and complain about little bugs that we expect don't use it.

Like people have already said if you want stability stick with the sharp roms or an stable fork of them.
*

Isn't that a little arrogant? Asking others to admire your work and dedication, just because you have worked so hard to add thousands of features? Why is e.g. Windows hated for and MacOS X admired?

I know what I am talking about - I have myself a project for the Zaurus. And I got admiration only for bug-free versions with just some key functions (all the buggy ones disabled), and not for the pure number of great features. And I also know how difficult it is to focus on that last bug, that takes 4 weeks to find - while you could have added 50 new cool features...

I myself have been invited several times to use OZ as the basis for my projects or participate, because it has a much more modern kernel and development environment. But I decided not to do so.

In my opinion, the OZ team should decide if they want to stay a small group of enthusiasts, who just want to have their fun - but having difficulties finding new developers. Or to produce something that others also can use in daily life. As somebody else already said, the entry barrier is too high. You already need to be an experienced developer to start fixing the little bugs. And as an experienced developer you probably already have your own project(s).

Just my 2 cents.
-- hns
lardman
QUOTE
In my opinion, the OZ team should decide if they want to stay a small group of enthusiasts, who just want to have their fun - but having difficulties finding new developers. Or to produce something that others also can use in daily life.


Do you think that making something which others will use in their daily lives will draw more developers to the project? I'm not sure. I think that being bleeding edge is probably a better way, and in any case it's all about doing something which is fun/interesting/challenging (it is done in everyone's spare time after all).

If there were someone who found it fun and exciting to polish things up a bit, that would be great, fingers crossed hey,


Si
speculatrix
QUOTE(dhns @ Aug 19 2005, 01:36 PM)
In my opinion, the OZ team should decide if they want to stay a small group of enthusiasts, who just want to have their fun - but having difficulties finding new developers. Or to produce something that others also can use in daily life. As somebody else already said, the entry


I have held off commenting on this thread, but I think dhns "hit the nail on the head".

I use cacko, I have tried both lite and full, and it's good, very good. Anton has managed to combine the best of the Sharp world compatibility with as many modern components that will run on the relatively antique kernel and qtopia. It'd be great if Trolltech could hire Anton to ak the Trolltech ROM, make it full backwards compatible with existing apps, and make it run on top of the base OZ build (kernel, gcc3 etc).

I am a linux enthusiast, I nearly always have the latest kernel running, and am frequently found tweaking my systems... even when it's uphill, like fiddling with Wine rather than submitting to the Borg (I must admit to using vmware too at the last resort).. however, I do value stability over bleeding-edge updates. That said, I have not touched openzaurus, because from all I have read, it seems to value bleeding-edge features over stability too far; if I had two zauruses, I would probably run OZ on one as a play-thing, but I have one Z which has to be both tool and toy, and thus Cacko wins.
nilch
I know, since day one there has been this debate with the OpenZaurus ROM, and its development style (bleeding-edge over stability).

While I am all for them having fun (heck even I do - I am so bored with my regular office work, that I will be glad to do something (like Python programming) and have fun, even if it does not add any value to my work environment at all) and enjoy the bleeding-edge, but from the users standpoint (and I am a user first when it comes to the Zaurus), stability and useablility is king.

I need to use my zaurus first for what I bought it for, and can't afford to keep changing kernels and Qtopia versions to check out the latest and best, in the process sacrifising a stably running Zaurus. And I guess most users will do likewise.

So now instead of critique-ing the development styles of Openzaurus or Cacko maintainers or TT etc, its upto those groups to realise which audience they want to play to. If its themselves and like-minded bleeding-edge 'jump-off-the-edge' type enthusiasts, then there is nothing wrong with that. Its only that if at the same time they (I mean OZ here of course) want to attarct USERS, then that would be counter-logical to their objectives and style.

So in this case it seems having fun and attacting users do not go hand-in-hand well.
Too bad. Again, as a developer myself (and not a user), I feel I would have more fun developing for a Stable ROM which many users use, staying on top of the bleeding-edge curve as far as possible. I would love making apps which are stable and run and have nice features too. and hence I stick to the Cacko ROM.

So at the end of the day, its just a choice for the development group, and who am I to critique their styles.

And to Lardman, YES, I think that making something which others will use in their daily lives will draw more developers to the project. But then if its all about fun/interesting/challenging developemtn first, then thats a different issue altogether.
omro
QUOTE(lardman @ Aug 19 2005, 05:16 AM)
Do you think that making something which others will use in their daily lives will draw more developers to the project? I'm not sure. I think that being bleeding edge is probably a better way, and in any case it's all about doing something which is fun/interesting/challenging (it is done in everyone's spare time after all).


Perhaps it should be looked at in this way:

What would people prefer to develop applications/features for?

A stable ROM that is a fixed target, used by a large number of people?
An unstable ROM that is a moving target that people barely use?

The fact that OZ is unstable puts people off from trying it. It is it's own bad publicity. If it were stable, more people would use it and probably be tempted to try developing for it.

I understand it's a hobby project. I don't wish to say anything against the developers who can do what most cannot. But maybe you should try allocating your OZ development time using the 80/20 rule.

Spend 80% of your time playing the a bleeding edge branch of OZ
Spend 20% of your time tidying up a frozen branch of OZ

I recently donated money to pdaXrom, why? It's a brilliant ROM and does almost exactly what I need. I'm grateful for that and have shown it through a donation, as have many recently to keep the pdaXrom project going. I'd never donate money to OZ, not because I don't appreciate the work that's gone into it, but because it's of no use to me what so ever.

I bet you, when you have more users daily only using OZ, when people can actually see the benefits of using OZ over any other ROM, people will appreciate what you're all doing a lot more and you might find those people more willing to donate money in gratitude for a stable ROM that improves their lives. More donations means more Zs for you to play with. ;-)

A happy user is a loyal user and a grateful one. Just a thought.
lpotter
I'd like to clarify something here.
There are two distinct groups working when you say, "openzaurus'. There are the Opie guys, (which include me), and there are the distribution guys. Distinquishing the two sometimes can be difficult, especially when it comes to bugs. So when you find a bug, you must ask yourself, is this a bug in the distribution? or a bug in Opie?
Sometimes it's Opie, but sometime's it's the distribution.
tombraider
QUOTE(lpotter @ Aug 21 2005, 08:38 AM)
I'd like to clarify something here.
There are two distinct groups working when you say, "openzaurus'. There are the Opie guys, (which include me), and there are the distribution guys. Distinquishing the two sometimes can be difficult, especially when it comes to bugs. So when you find a bug, you must ask yourself, is this a bug in the distribution? or a bug in Opie?
Sometimes it's Opie, but sometime's it's the distribution.
*


Could you clarify what you mean by that? I'm an end user and don't quite understand the difference between bugs in Opie and bugs in the "distribution".

I did notice that the Hentges ROM seemed to have a fix for the cancel/suspend problem in OZ before the "regular" version of OZ had it. Is that what you mean?
unsure.gif
Snappy
I guess coming in late in the game has *one* benefit ... 3.5.3 has so far been stable enough for me to use on a daily basis, this despite spending many hours and days getting modules to install etc.

However, I'm with having a stable usable rom anytime. Otherwise, it would be a rom developed by developers and used *only* by developers. ohmy.gif

So far, I think its not to that extreme ... yet. Or maybe its because I am a developer myself? wink.gif ... ...
offroadgeek
QUOTE(spam_all_you_want @ Aug 15 2005, 12:39 PM)
QUOTE(bam @ Aug 15 2005, 12:25 PM)
Oh and dont complain unless your going to volunteer and help.
*


So, basically, only programmers should be using OpenZaurus?
*


No, people who enjoy OpenZaurus over other ROMs should use it. I haven't used OZ my 5500 in some years now, but that's because I haven't used my 5500 at all since I got my 760 some years ago, so I can't comment on the stability for that version. I'm currently using the hentges ROM on my 1000 and I love it. It is plenty stable for me. Keep in mind that the 1000 was released not that long ago. Yes, there are a few quirks and it's not perfect... but I'm looking forward to helping improve the ROM, simply by my testing and feedback.

I am not a developer... I can barely edit the interfaces file without f'ing something up or looking up proper examples on the web. laugh.gif

For a part time hobbie project, I think OZ/OE has made huge progress over time, and I hope this project continues indefinitely!
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