[etoys-dev] Re: [squeak-dev] Re: Brand new Ubuntu experience with etoys

Jerome Peace peace_the_dreamer at yahoo.com
Wed May 12 22:41:20 EDT 2010

Hi Bert,
  Thanks again for your help.

The lastest version of the error message is a good improvement over the first too. Good.

I did some more delving into the Ubuntu Software Center. 
Etoys and Dr. Geo. show up in the educational category.

There are also five squeak entries in the development category.
A repeat of the vm entry, the 3.9 images and changes, the V3 sources, the V39 sources and one for the squeak-plugin-image (a 3.8 based image)

The last entry only offers the image and changes file not the connecting link.

My current efforts are changing from reporting my experience to solving the problem I want solved. Namely getting the plugin to work so I can launch showcase stuff into my browser.

I have downloaded Etoys-2-Go. 

A filecheck shows that it contains the npetoys.so module. A further check shows thats the only one in the entire file system. So the etoys that Ubuntu installs is definitely lacking that module.

So what would be a good way to hook Etoys-2-go into a browser, Firefox in particular at the moment?

I am also curious if it might be useful to copy the module in Etoys-2-go into the (now reinstall) Etoys that Ubuntu provides? Assuming the first question can be answered of course.

Yours in curiosity and service, --Jerome Peace 

--- On Mon, 5/10/10, Bert Freudenberg <bert at freudenbergs.de> wrote:

> On 09.05.2010, at 16:02, Jerome Peace
> wrote:

ubuntu bug trackers at:
> https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/etoys
> https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/squeak-vm
> The thing is that this really needs to be fixed by someone
> doing the Ubuntu packages. This is how the Linux ecosystem
> works - Squeakland is just the upstream software provider.
> >>  Etoys 4 was just
> >> accepted into Debian however. It should trickle
> down in time
> >> to Ubuntu.

Cool. How do we find out if it gets into 10.04.1 release due in August?
> > 

> As you can see above, there is a ticket open. Etoys doesn't
> need to "register itself". Ubuntu's Etoys maintainer (if
> there is one) would have to get the version updated. 

> But
> again, *I* don't even know much about Ubuntu update policy.
> I don't have to.


Okay. Now my curiosity wants to know what you do have to know? I've apparently mistaken your interest and helpfulness to me with what I thought were duties and tasks you had toward general distribution. I'm not disappointed in finding I'm wrong. I would like to know what you consider your role in distributing squeak? What particularly do you consider directly downstream from yourself?

> >> I'm not sure if the plugin works in there however
> >> - I think José mentioned it isn't even compiled
> anymore in
> >> the CMake-based Linux VM.

This is apparently true. No plugin module in what was downloaded.

> > Is it possible to provide the plugin as a separate
> download package?
> > Urhm. That's actually two or more questions.
> > 
> > Is it possible for them to provide a separate plugin
> download if they want to?
> Yes. Doesn't make much sense, but it's possible.

Hmmm. The ability to launch from the showcase means a squeak plugin in firefox is desirable. Its not there now and I'm exploring the best way to fix that. 
> > Is it possible for squeakland to craft a separate
> plugin package that works in the context of what is already
> there?
> Many things are possible. Doesn't make them reasonable.

I am just asking about the possibility. The valuable thing is the knowledge of what can be done and the knowledge of how to do it.

Okay. What am I really asking for?

I'm not looking for the job of getting Ubuntu to fix the plugin in 10.04 the best I could do would get triaged and put on  a wishlist until such time as upstream handed them what they needed.

What I do think should possible at this point is finding a way to hook up the plugin to Firefox. In other words find a work around to the current gap.

> > Is Squeakland willing to do so? Or under what
> circumstances is Squeakland willing to do so?
> Your abstract talk about "Squeakland" is bothering me. 

AFAIK Squeakland is an entity that runs conferences, organizes the use and distribution of etoys among teachers and students and has a general interest in the well being of the product. Presumably it can receive or help in the receiving of grants and other financial and non-finacial resources to be directed toward etoys development. It is responsible for guarding the freedom of the etoys by watching over the licencing of contributions to etoys. 

> Who
> do you think is Squeakland? It's the people volunteering
> their time. There aren't many of them. There is no-one
> hiding behind the scenes secretly doing development work. If
> you follow the bug tracker and read the mailing list you
> know who we are.
> So what you are really asking is, am I going to build an
> Ubuntu package? I don't think so. 
> > Who at Canonical or in the Ubuntu community would be
> interested is seeing this happen. That is beyond the present
> company corresponding here?
> I don't know. One idea is to read who commented on the
> Etoys bug reports in the past. Those people obviously do
> care.
> But the only real way is to get involved in that community.
> In Edubuntu for example. And Sugar of course, which Etoys is
> part of, but that doesn't utilize the plugin. Or, get
> involved with Debian, e.g. the Skolelinux / Debian Edu
> folks. That might even be better because there is no need to
> have different packages. But someone needs to see to it that
> the Debian packages are right, and someone needs to make
> sure they get into Ubuntu.
> >> You can see all plugins by going to
> "about:plugins" I
> >> think, it might also be in the help menu.
> > 
> > Did.The plugin definitely did not come with the etoys
> installation. 
> As I said, file a bug report.
> >> Also, if the distribution's
> >> packages do not work, you need to file a bug
> report with
> >> them. If nobody ever complains, it won't ever get
> fixed.
> > 
> > True, but I been there done that; got little
> acknowledgment from the report. This time I'll keep my
> powder dry till I have a better idea how to get some
> action/reaction. Others are welcome to try. I've made
> detailed observations here so they can be referenced.
> That is nice, but writing it here really does not help you
> getting the Ubuntu packages fixed.
> >> Also, someone should start maintaining the Etoys
> and Squeak
> >> packages in Ubuntu. That is even happening in the
> Sugar
> >> context, but Sugar does not use the plugin.
> >> 
> > Who would be good for doing that?
> Well anyone who is using Ubuntu and has time and interest
> to get involved, learn about packaging, etc.
> >> Something that we at Squeakland need to do is
> provide
> >> proper source tarballs. These would have two
> purposes: for
> >> one, interested users could then install from
> source to get
> >> the latest independent of the packaging, second,
> it would
> >> make it easier for packagers to see how it is
> supposed to
> >> work.
> >> 
> >> We do not, however, have the resources currently
> at
> >> Squeakland to build distro packages. And even if
> we had, it
> >> would still be better to put that effort into
> fixing the
> >> packages in the distributions, rather than
> duplicating their
> >> work.
> > 
> > Under what circumstances can the resources at
> squeakland be increased to accomplish this?
> Someone needs to volunteer his/her time to it.
> > As you pointed out one of the ways to increase the
> usefulness of the distribution is to show the way so the
> distributors can make proper packages. 
> > 
> > Right now it still seems to me that the task we are
> talking about here needs to be better defined.
> As I pointed out, the Fedora packages do work. So there is
> an example.
> >> The only short-term solution I can see is
> directing Linux
> >> users to use Etoys-To-Go, which my changed blurb
> now does.
> > 
> > Actually the changed blurb directs users away from
> Etoys-To-Go. It sends them to the mercy of the distributor.
> Okay, I made it even more explicit. Better?

> Alternatively, this should point to a page explaining the
> Linux situation. If someone writes such a page, I'd be happy
> to link to it.
> > Anyway for my current experiment I:
> > Asked the Ubuntu Software Center to remove their
> Etoys.
> > Went to the download page by following the plugin here
> link.
> > Pressed etoys to go.
> > 
> > To this Ubuntu offered to save the file or open it in
> the archive viewer.
> > I chose archive viewer.
> > Which gave me the option of extracting the file (it
> did not offer to install it as it will sometimes do)
> > So I now have the extracted folder and contents in a
> subdirectory of my home page.
> > 
> > At this point I have run out of things I know to do
> from what I have been told. So what is the next step in the
> installation process? Where on the squeakland sight should
> those directions appear?
> Not sure which installation process you are talking about.
> The only Linux version Squeakland provides for the time
> being is Etoys-To-Go. It does not need installation.
> > As I remember when I went to the sight to download
> etoys for the 8.04 version of Ubuntu, the site figured out
> what kind of a computer and OS I had, offered to download
> the appropriate things and I ended up with both a etoys
> button in an education folder and programming folder, plus
> when I launched a project in Firefox I had the plugin
> installed as well.
> Maybe that was when Squeakland still provided Linux
> packages.
> > So how do I get back to that experience? Also how
> despite the obstacles do I install etoys and firefox plugin
> on the fresh installation of 10.04 Ubuntu?
> Learn about how the plugin works under Linux, and make it
> work. Alternatively, get someone to make it work.
> Here is how it works in general:
> * there is a plugin, "npsqueak.so", in the Squeak VM
> package, that needs to be symlinked where the browser
> expects plugins
> * when the browser wants to display a page with an embedded
> Etoys project, it launches the plugin
> * the plugin executes the "npsqueakrun" script, passing
> some parameters to establish a communication channel between
> the plugin and squeak

If I have several vms and several copies or npsqueak.so and npsqueakrun how does the sym linked npsqueak.so know which npsqueakrun to connect to? Same directory?

If the plugin is npetoys.so would the sym link need to be named npsqueak.so?

Can we use the name difference to have two plugins in firefox at the same time? How would Firefox know which one to pick?

> * that script runs the Squeak VM with an image, instructing
> the VM to redirect the output into the plugin's window
> * the image then loads the project
> It's not really rocket science ;)

I somewhat look at the scripts, it's worse. :/
... Bert,
> your timely and knowledgeable responses are what keep me
> hopeful that both our times and energies will lead to some
> useful results.
> > 
> > Yours in curiosity and service, --Jerome Peace 
> Well I'm willing to explain how it should work. But the
> actual packaging work needs to be done by someone else.
Good. Find someone and train 'em. The problem may be you are the only one that keeps this from having a bus factor of zero.

> It's great you are insisting on getting the packages fixed,
> though. 

Ha. I'm just complaining by way of giving a heads up. The amusing thing was I had set out to find out if closing a squeak plugins tab in Firefox would clobber Firefox like it did in 8.04 and Firefox 3.0. Curiosity is a harsh mistress.

> In the past there was a cheap way out, namely the
> packages provided by Squeakland itself. That is one of the
> reason I don't want to provide them anymore (besides having
> no time to do so)

Ha. Your last post show you serve a curiosity also. :)

> - I believe they actually prevented people
> from lobbying their distros to make proper packages. So go
> on lobbying :)
> - Bert -


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