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Old 10-21-2008, 03:10 PM   #1
jharker
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The iLiad OS Project

With the highly anticipated upcoming release of the remaining iLiad source code, I've created the iLiad OS project at the MobileRead Dev Hub.

I thought those of us in the developer community could use this as a sort of clearinghouse for code changes and improvements. I had three primary goals in mind:
  1. Prevent splintering of the iLiad code base (as happened with the iPDF viewer).
  2. Preserve and integrate community-generated features and patches.
  3. Provide a single comprehensive resource for iLiad software upgrades.
Perhaps most important, I wanted a place where we could do some planning and organization for future improvements and releases, as well as handle bug reports and feature requests. We could even set out some timelines... kind of like a real OS project!

Now, I don't want to step on anyone's toes, so I want to emphasize that this is intended to be a clearinghouse, much like other linux OS projects (Ubuntu, etc.). For example, we might make an unofficial v2.20 OS release that includes an integrated FBReader as well as the community iPDF improvements. In this example, Adam B.'s FBReader would be considered an upstream source in much the same was as OpenOffice.org is an upstream source for Ubuntu. On the other hand, since iPDF currently doesn't have its own project, it would be maintained as part of iLiad OS for now.

As with other open-source projects, I envision having a few volunteer project administrators, who will be in charge of reviewing community patches and integrating them into the main code base. I plan to start off as an administrator and as the first project coordinator, at least to get the ball rolling.

If you have any patches for already-released source code, especially for the iPDF viewer, please feel free to open a suggestion ticket with your patch attached. If you want to suggest new features for iPDF or any other aspect of the iLiad OS, go ahead and make tickets for those too. Bear in mind that we're just starting up, so it'll take a while before we start implementing new features.

This is my first time trying something like this, so if you have any suggestions, comments, or critiques I'd LOVE to hear them. If anyone is interested in taking an administrative role (Adam B., I'm looking at YOU!), please let me know.

Thanks!
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Old 10-21-2008, 03:32 PM   #2
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Yes, and please let's focus on an uniform development environment. Especially for people (like me) that are not (yet) used to repositories etc.
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Old 10-21-2008, 04:53 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jharker View Post
This is my first time trying something like this, so if you have any suggestions, comments, or critiques I'd LOVE to hear them. If anyone is interested in taking an administrative role (Adam B., I'm looking at YOU!), please let me know.


I was planning a project exactly like this. It's very simple to create custom firmware images for the iLiad. Integrating FBReader into the base software wouldn't be difficult at all.

I accept an Administrative role in this project, and look forward to developing the iLiad into everything it can be.
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Old 10-21-2008, 05:26 PM   #4
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Excellent! I added permissions for you.
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Old 10-22-2008, 03:42 AM   #5
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I've been thinking along similar lines.

A package manager should be included in the iLiad software (like apt/aptitude in Debian), to make it easier to install new software and updates from this single repository.
Maybe we could port the GPE Package Manager (a graphical front-end for ipkg, http://gpe.handhelds.org/projects/gpe-package.shtml).
I'm willing to look into it, but currently I have a lot of projects that I want to spend time on.
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Old 10-22-2008, 06:01 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martijn View Post
I've been thinking along similar lines.

A package manager should be included in the iLiad software (like apt/aptitude in Debian), to make it easier to install new software and updates from this single repository.
Maybe we could port the GPE Package Manager (a graphical front-end for ipkg, http://gpe.handhelds.org/projects/gpe-package.shtml).
I'm willing to look into it, but currently I have a lot of projects that I want to spend time on.

The iLiad already includes ipk. There are a few installers that are built as ipkg packages.
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Old 10-22-2008, 06:17 AM   #7
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Sorry, what I meant was that a user-friendly, graphical front-end for ipkg might be a good idea.

Currently, for every new program you want to install, you have to download it, unzip it, place it on you iLiad and run the installer. Furthermore, you have to keep checking the website to see if there are updates.

I think it would be nice to have a program for the iLiad that allows you to select a bunch of packages, after which it process to downloading and installing them for you. That would make it easier for people to install new software.
The program can also check for newer versions of installed packages, keeping the installed software up-to-date, and it would allow for dependency checking so we can easily share ported libraries between applications.

Basically, I would like an application that is to ipkg what aptitude is to apt.
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Old 10-22-2008, 06:22 AM   #8
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I had an idea of running an IDS server on OpenIliad. Users would browse software, choose which one's they'd like added to their iLiad, and press the IDS button to connect and automatically download what they want.

I think that if we were to build a graphical front end to search and view packages, it should use the iLiad's own graphical interface.
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Old 10-22-2008, 08:51 AM   #9
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You're right, the IDS would be the perfect way to deliver new software and updates to the iLiad. ( I kinda forgot about that option )

A GUI might still be useful if one needs to manage the installed software when no internet access is available, but I guess that is an uncommon case.
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Old 10-22-2008, 05:50 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam B. View Post
I think that if we were to build a graphical front end to search and view packages, it should use the iLiad's own graphical interface.
Among my (too many) orphaned projects, there was a contentlister-based ipgk front-end. The screenshots are a mock-up of what I had in mind (indeed I've got already some code for it). If you think it's a good idea, I would be pleased to actually "blueprint", develop and maintain it.

/Michele/
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Old 10-23-2008, 03:06 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michele L.M. View Post
Among my (too many) orphaned projects, there was a contentlister-based ipgk front-end. The screenshots are a mock-up of what I had in mind (indeed I've got already some code for it). If you think it's a good idea, I would be pleased to actually "blueprint", develop and maintain it.
Personally, I think that would be great! I think it would add a level of easy customizability to the iLiad. I can envision that doing an iDS Connect would update whatever packages were currently installed. This way, users don't HAVE to know anything about the ipkg system, and they would still get updates. But if they wanted more features, there would be an easy straightforward way for them to find and install them.

I would say, go for it! The mockups look pretty good to me!

One thing to bear in mind, I think that we'll be exploring some major revisions to the ContentLister soon, to allow (for example) showing more than 6 items per page. I don't know how you intend to implement ipkg's GUI, but can it be written to inherit whatever changes get made to the ContentLister?

Last edited by jharker; 10-23-2008 at 03:10 PM.
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Old 11-03-2008, 01:23 AM   #12
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For those who are interested, I've put the iRex source codes in the project's svn server. iRex source for iLiad-specific programs and libraries is located in the 'trunk' folder. I have also posted many (but not all) of the upstream source for external components (busybox, X, gtk, etc.), and these are located in the 'upstream' folder.

Feel free to check out a copy of the trunk code. If you're interested in submitting new features, etc., it should be easiest and most convenient to represent it as a patch vs. the latest trunk version.
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Old 11-05-2008, 11:56 AM   #13
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I just visited iLiad OS project website, and I found that most tickets are concernced about UI, especially about Content Lister. I would like to suggest update lib from current iLiad SDK, and re-consider which lib is must-have or optional. For example, the glib in iLiad is very constrained in iconv functionality, adding more encoding might facilitate apps to be more internationalized. Besides, the minimo lib providing html display is very large in size (around 20 mb), since fbreader is quite popular, the minimo lib should be considered as optional, not required.
For optional libs, install to memory card or to /mnt/free might be reasonable.

Last edited by ericshliao; 11-05-2008 at 01:03 PM.
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Old 11-05-2008, 02:43 PM   #14
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I think this is a very good idea. I also thought that minimo might be overkill given its limited html ability. I think that people rarely if ever use the iLiad for web surfing, so I don't know if minimo is really needed.

I also agree that many of the iLiad's libraries are staggeringly out of date. We should definitely have some tickets for upgrading the upstream libraries. Keep in mind that this might introduce compatibility issues in the core iLiad programs, so it will have to be undertaken very carefully.
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Old 11-05-2008, 03:49 PM   #15
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It's very simple to create custom firmware images for the iLiad.
I am quite interested in building a private firmware image. Because it's tiresome to setup and install after reflash.
Would you give some info on how to do it?
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