Xkb Configuration Manager fixed

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The Advanced Xorg Keyboard Configuration Manager is an old script, written by Puppy Forum member Dougal, around 2009 I think.

Since then, Puppy Forum member rodin internationalised it, and I made some small modifications. The last release was version 1.2, about 2013:

The problem is, it is designed for the keyboard information to be in /etc/X11/xorg.conf, however, these days we are moving to configuration files in folder /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d

Quirky 8.1.4+ has the keyboard settings in file /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/10-evdev-puppy.conf.

I have modified Xkb Configuration Manager to work with the old xorg.conf and the new 10-evdev-puppy.conf. I decided not to "burn my bridges", just in case I every want to go back to the old way of doing things.

I decided that Xkb Configuration Manager should be built-in to woofQ, not a separate PET.

If anyone wants to see the new code, it is in /usr/local/apps/XkbConfigurationManager, and can be seen in the next release of Quirky.

Keep on finding bugs

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Bugs keep getting unearthed, even in code that has been working OK for years.

Desktop icons
First though, a mention of icon sets. Yesterday I installed the Oranchelo and Sarai icon set PETs. After selecting them, I discovered that there were no icons in the JWM menu.
This is because the developer renamed SVG icons with .png extensions.
I have sent a PM to the developer, with advise how to fix this. He will have to fix and re-upload those PETs.

Package installing
/usr/local/petget is where all the scripts are for the PPM (Package Manager).
Yesterday, I installed a PET that has /lib and /lib64 folders in it, where /lib64 is a symlink to /lib
Yikes, in my SlaQ Quirky, which has /lib64 NOT a symlink, it got wiped out and a symlink /lib64 to /lib created.

This is obviously dangerous behaviour! Yet the code has been there for years. In my woofQ, until yesterday anyway, and yep, still in woof-CE:

...look at line 343 onwards, that is where the naughty code is. I don't know what my thinking was at the time. Anyway, i have deleted the entire if - else -fi, from lines 344 to 367.

The woof-CE and woofQ 'petget' scripts have changed a lot since forking from Woof2, my woofQ scripts are going in their own direction. However, they both have that section of offending code.

SlaQ Linux x86_64 progress

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I posted about a new project, SlaQ Linux:

Well, I have scratched the itch. Wanted to do a build in woofQ based on Slackware packages. The problem is, a new build like this, lots of bugs get discovered, and it goes on, day after day, finding and fixing things.

One bug I have not fixed: Notecase personal information manager 0.9.8, the last open source version, cannot load images from the gtk theme. Looks like the source will have to be patched. Curious, as no other app has this problem. Also, Notecase works fine in Quirky Xerus64.

A small list of things still to fix.

What I am trying to do is create a distribution that is only about 200MB download. This was one reason why I chose Slackware, thought that there will be less dependencies.

Will I release it? Maybe. If it looks pretty solid in the next couple of days, I can upload it, for anyone who is interested.

The Minimum Profit editor

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Hmmm, I have just discovered that MP (Minimum Profit) console text editor, does not work properly in recent builds of Quirky. I discovered that the menu does not work in my latest project, SlaQ (Quirky built from Slackware 14.2 packages). Just now tested in Quirky x86_64 8.0, which was released March or April 2016, same problem.

MP is a great little text editor that you can run in a terminal window, or full-screen without X. It is a lot "better" than the simple editors such as 'nano', arguably better than the more sophisticated ones such as 'vim' due to it's ease of use.
It's main attractive features are the nice drop-down menus, and colour syntax highlighting.

I use an old version of MP, 3.2.13. This is written in C and uses ncurses. There was a 3.3.x series, but I found it to be very broken. The MP website still has the source for 3.2.13 and the last 3.3.x, and I checked, compiled 3.3.x, still broken.

I should clarify something. MP also has an optional GTK interface, however, I personally found it to be awful, and I only use the console version.

The author of MP developed an embedded scripting language, and even rewrote part of MP in that language. This became the 5.x series, and it looks a lot more complicated. Also, for me, it doesn't work. Today I compiled the latest, did the normal "make install" and tried to execute "mp-5" but it complained could not find a core script and failed to start.

Anyway, I am really only interested in the original C console version, as it is feature-packed and very small. A single executable, about 120KB.

I looked back in my Quirky versions, to find when MP did actually work properly. Yep, works in April 7.2.1 x86, strange, the menu is partly broken in April 7.2 x86_64 (left and right arrow keys do not work in the menu).

I suspect the problem is something to do with ncurses. Anyway, I compiled MP statically in April 7.2.1 x86. This static MP works in later Quirkies. It is only a 32-bit application, but will run in x86_64 distros as it is static, does not require any libraries.

The price paid for this is size. The uncompressed binary executable has grown from about 120KB to 820KB. This is linked with glibc -- I did try to do it in Buildroot, with uClibc, but got errors and didn't feel inclined to chase them down -- maybe some other time.

...maybe technosaurus can tackle that one! He is our Puppy Forum developer who is a wiz at doing things like that. Especially compiling things static and small.

I will make my static MP into a PET and use in future builds of Quirky. It will work in all x86 (32-bit) and x86_64 quirkies, including the new SlaQ. Will upload the PET soon.

Here is the MP website:

The old sources are here:

...there is also version 3.1.11. I think that this is for 8-bit ASCII ncurses, whereas 3.2.x supports ncursesw (wide character).

Building SlaQ in woofQ

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WoofQ, like the Woof* builders for Puppy Linux, is the build system for Quirky.

With woofQ, I have mostly built Quirky from Ubuntu binary DEBs. However, I am now doing a x86_64 build based on Slackware 14.2 packages.

It feels good to be working with binary packages that haven't been "messed around", intact, whole, just as their developer's intended them. In contrast to the meddling done by Debian and Ubuntu distribution designers, not just to packages, but the entire filesystem.

WoofQ has needed some fixes though:

The script '0setup' converts the Slackware package database to Puppy-format. I fixed this, and greatly improved the conversion speed.

The script '2createpackages' will execute a post-install script found in a Slackware package. This needed some fixing. In particular, use of overlayfs instead of aufs.

Right now, ready to run '2createpackages' to build all the packages to be used in Quirky. But, life is interrupting, have to do other things, will get back onto it this evening.

I have tentatively named this Slackware-based Quirky "SlaQ". Yeah, I could have named it "SlaQware", but decided that is going to far.

There is likely to be a build for the Pi too.

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