Current State of Nekoware / otherware

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Re: Current State of Nekoware / otherware

Unread postby foetz » Sat Oct 17, 2015 1:24 am

armanox wrote:Depends on what you're doing - I built PHP, OpenSSL, HTTPD, and MySQL just to run a Drupal site. All in the eye of the user.

of course, server stuff is relatively easy in comparison in most cases. a recent mysql not so much but you get the idea.
anyhow since opengl and gtk2 was mentioned it seems this "check" is rather targeted at desktop stuff

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Re: Current State of Nekoware / otherware

Unread postby Geoman » Sat Oct 17, 2015 1:48 am

hamei wrote:[...]but the support at user level sucks. You can't get the "I wuvs my sgi ! it's the kewlest machine ever and I wanted one ever since grade school, why don't those meanies at sgi Release the Source ?" group to even try out the most basic apps and give feedback. Developers can't do everything.[...]


Hamei is right on this - and I'm guilty as charged. Everytime I fire up the machine in the signature, I run

Code: Select all

nekosync &
. After all packages have been updated, I do nothing more (my lazyness and limited time). Well I browse some websites with the new

Code: Select all

firefox3
thinking "man is that slow" - even http://forums.nekochan.net/.

So what to do? Upgrade to the latest R14000A I guess
[...] save for the lucky few who have Fuel's, Octane2's and Tezro's.
. Or I would have to buy myself a fast(er) Fuel.

On the other hand - what is fun even on older machines is commercial software. But for GNU-stuff CPU-horsepower is all I need. And that I don't have right now.

hamei wrote:But as far as I can see, the only good reason to use an Octane is to run Irix. All the gnu stuff was interesting and in some cases useful but currently, it's shit. It started out okay but then went to the dark side.


The question is - how to continue the IRIX-experience(tm)? It is common knowledge, that SGI (and IBM and the other 3-letter-Unix-companies) put tremendous work into Linux, and linux inherited a lot of IRIX' code and capabilities. Linux is for some years now capable to run on IBM mainframes and SGI's current NUMA machines, and has a lot of stuff we love (XFS!!) compiled into its kernel.

So why not put together a Nekochan-Linux-Distro called IRIX 7.0 with MaXX-Desktop as default http://forums.nekochan.net/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=16729754& ???

*****************
Of course I see and appreciate the effort of the Nekoware-maintainers - for all these years now.
But with "mobile-phones-faster-than-a-Tezro" running Android/LINUX or MacOSX/BSD, I see that there is an end somewhere in the near future -- due to moore's law.
Last edited by foetz on Sat Oct 17, 2015 5:36 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Current State of Nekoware / otherware

Unread postby dexter1 » Sat Oct 17, 2015 8:15 am

Great discussion! Thanks for all the input.

I believe that what we need right now is some way to keep what's good and develop stuff that's useful to run and which is fun to have. Sure a decent modern browser would be cool, but i am not putting all my time in that, since debugging that Bus-Error is one of the hardest things i did. Fun and challenges are the main things which motivated me coming back and i intend to try and make stuff which is appreciated by me and others.
Also, dissing opensource projects is not the way to increase our enjoyment and productivity on our SGI's. So let's not do that, but instead focus on what does work: Do we have cool Motif stuff around? Well, get them distributed and try it out.

I think information is the main problem we are facing. The machines are getting old and knowledge is fleeting. We need to maintain this. I'll be pouring over the wiki to get some stuff straightened out.

But all in due time. My O2 is now at home, and i'll be hooking it up next week. Then let the fun begin :)
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Re: Current State of Nekoware / otherware

Unread postby nekonoko » Sat Oct 17, 2015 10:11 am

dexter1 wrote:I'll be pouring over the wiki to get some stuff straightened out.


Let me know if you run into any issues with it - I just did a large software update on it last week and haven't had a chance to test everything extensively.
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Re: Current State of Nekoware / otherware

Unread postby ClassicHasClass » Sat Oct 17, 2015 10:16 am

The only problem with the IBM is I'd need the HMC to go with it


Gawd, yes. I hate that. I fortunately do have an HMC for the p520, which I have to drag out periodically when I need to futz with the master LPAR (I'll have to do this shortly because I'm upgrading the RAM).
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Re: Current State of Nekoware / otherware

Unread postby vishnu » Sat Oct 17, 2015 2:13 pm

Yes to everything you guys have said but my point was that things like gtk and qt use language features that MIPSPro does not have, if we could add those features by patching MIPSPro we could compile latest versions of those widget sets, and all the modern killer apps like chrome and chromium and firefox. But since we're never likely to get our hands on the MIPSPro source code the only way we can do that is to patch the MIPSPro binary. Hence my statement that doing so would be either difficult or impossible. It's always been a mystery to me why no sgi engineers have ever outed themselves on here. Gotta be at least a few of them who are still fans of this stuff.
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Re: Current State of Nekoware / otherware

Unread postby foetz » Sat Oct 17, 2015 5:40 pm

dexter1 wrote:dissing opensource projects is not the way to increase our enjoyment and productivity on our SGI's. So let's not do that, but instead focus on what does work

that goes hand in hand. to know what works fine we need to know what sucks or vice versa :P

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Re: Current State of Nekoware / otherware

Unread postby hamei » Sat Oct 17, 2015 8:04 pm

foetz wrote:that goes hand in hand. to know what works fine we need to know what sucks or vice versa :P

Yes, the point is not dissing for fun but dissing to forestall the "we need mooodern software !" remarks.

A lot of modern software is ghastly. I don't think we need that. Although if everybody else wants that, that's fine too.

Dexter, you haven't been building open source on Irix for a few years, I think you are in for a shock. Of course, you can just fix their stupidities so it won't be a major barrier for you. But .....

I don't want to sound like a wet blanket, especially when we get another code warrior returning to the fold, but seriously, if the users don't step up their game, this isn't going anywhere. I hope this is the first sign of a rebirth of interest in actually using SGI computers :D

About the browser problem, something to consider -- I don't have an Irix browser problem. I rdesktop across the room and steal cycles from the Assistant. That's not what I'd like to do best but you know what ? It works. Now I can concentrate on something more productive than the endless fight with the Mozilla jerks.

Another possibility would be Proxomitron. I am not sure which is more difficult, recreating a recoding proxy or fighting with fireflop and gtk2 and all the other ridiculous dependencies involved. It's not just fireflop - it's everything it sits on, too. That's a massive undertaking because the people involved no longer even pretend to care about anything but Windows, the latest Loonix ("just aptyumget the 30 newest packages !") or maybe OS X. Firefox 3.5 would be cool, but ... the other side of that is, by the time it works the web will probably be totally useless, with the few remaining decent websites working fine in Mosaic :P

How about a list of What Do People Want to See ? for starters ? Here's mine :

For strictly nekoware, testing all the basic dependencies and getting them into /current would be YAY ! Nekoware was always so reliable, you could put anything from /current into your box and know it was good. We've fallen off that horse :(

Again about nekoware, maybe re-examine and codify the underlying conventions ? For example, I would now put 'release notes' as a default install. They are very useful. But html docs, puhlease. and the 58,000 languages that fossies love to install, sheesh. Some people here still have Indigo2's with 8 gig drives. Or smaller. I don't think we need Tibetan or atk or a lot of the other Copy-Mickeysoft stuff.

Programs :

Newer MPlayer. The old one works super but (supposedly) the newer versions have more support for multiple processors. Indigo guys won't care but Octane people would want that. Axatax has already done a lot on this, getting it over that last hurdle would be great. It's one of my favorite programs, works better in Irix than any media player I've used on Windows.

A word processor. Framemaker is good but definitely overkill for a letter to mom. Ted is okay but some smoothing of the rough edges would be nice. I found Axene source, that might be a nifty project. We did some playing with Maxwell without final success. If it were Indigo Magicked that might be a cool useful program. Open Office is ghastly.

Axene also has a spreadsheet that can (supposedly) read Excel files. Not all that sexy but if you use the computer, being able to read spreadhseets is useful.

A newer and more stable Dia. I've used the older one, it works and it's useful but it's not really up to snuff.

A newer GIMP ? That's a popular program and SGI's are supposed to be about graphics and the gimp was always pretty okay before. Don't know if they've gone goofballs since but pretty sure a lot of people would use that.

I don't know if people do ftp anymore, but I messed with Axyftp a little, it wouldn't take too much to truly Irrixify it. It's already Motif, just some rework to use more Indigo Magic widgets would make it into a real Irix app. There are more older Motif utilities like that out there, too. Or programs like Pho. Pho is gtk2 but it is so simple, if it were jacked up and Motif slid underneath, it's very useful for paging through directories of photos.

A lot of people would like some games. Fair enough. The Transport Tycoon looked like a natural, until I tried to build it. Here I disagree with you, dex. Those people don't need to be dissed. They need to be taken out behind the woodshed and whipped with a leather belt. Go try to build that before you tell me you disagree. But games, for the casual user, that's a definite yes ?

You'd know more than I about this but to me, it seems that putting a lot of effort into Pango and Cairo and GTK2 is not .... productive ? That group of people has gone off the deep end, their code is no longer portable in any way, you could spend your life trying to keep up but what do you get in the end ? A crappier version of something that worked better before. You get 10% more glitz for 60% more cpu but we ain't got that much cpu to waste on nonsense. Concentrating on a few useful programs and really optimising them for Irix, like y'all did with MPlayer, would be a better approach ?

Although all that seems to be dead in the water now, the bros are infatuated with smartphones these days, so maybe those basics will stay still long enough to be worth working on ?
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Re: Current State of Nekoware / otherware

Unread postby vishnu » Sat Oct 17, 2015 11:38 pm

I think the GIMP is enmeshed with a pretty recent gtk2, but I would think that some of the folks around here with gcc 4.7 would be able to compile them both. Hmmm... Maybe they're in /beta but it's far too late at night for me to look, perhaps in the morning. If I haven't forgotten. :cry: Getting old sucks... :lol:
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Re: Current State of Nekoware / otherware

Unread postby hamei » Sun Oct 18, 2015 1:11 am

vishnu wrote:I think the GIMP is enmeshed with a pretty recent gtk2...

You're right. What was I thinking ? that they would concentrate on the graphics instead of changing the toolkit every week ? what an idiot :oops:

http://feenix.darktech.org/files/gtk2.mpg
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Re: Current State of Nekoware / otherware

Unread postby Trippynet » Sun Oct 18, 2015 5:41 am

hamei wrote:...The support at user level sucks. You can't get the "I wuvs my sgi ! it's the kewlest machine ever and I wanted one ever since grade school, why don't those meanies at sgi Release the Source ?" group to even try out the most basic apps and give feedback. Developers can't do everything.

And why should they, if no one even bothers to try it and report back ? It's like pissing into the wind.


You know what? I agree with you - despite being one of the more recent hobbyists rather than a professional user. However, I believe that Nekochan needs both types. If you use SGIs purely for professional purposes, it's only natural that as they get older, more outdated and less supported, professionals will often turn to newer/supported machines. Not all of them, but certainly a sizeable number who used to rely on SGIs. Why spend weeks trying to bludgeon something into shape so it'll compile under IRIX, when you can just run it through GCC on a modern Linux machine and be up and running in 15 minutes? If you want newer software easily, IRIX isn't much good these days.

Generally, the only people left using SGI machines are people who love them. Either professional users that don't like the taste of modern Linux and who still love the simplicity and cleanliness of IRIX, or hobbyist users who have managed to buy/luck into an ecosystem that was financially prohibitive back in SGI's golden days.

hamei wrote:But we don't have a community. It's like pulling teeth to get one person to say "hey, the newest version of libjpeg works for me."


The big problem here is that it's very difficult to know whether some of the underlying libraries work unless you're a developer. I can take the latest build of Dillo, test it out and provide feedback because it's an actual app I can run, use and try out - and I have done this. But for an underlying library, they're difficult to test without knowing how much (or little) use of them an end-user package makes.

What I'd propose here is that the devs who manage to compile these try to take a bit more ownership of getting them into current. Rather than just popping them into Incoming, mentioning it quickly, then leaving it at that, push for the testing. Tell us some example ways we can confirm the functioning of these packages. For example...

"Hey, I've just compiled the latest version of libjpeg. It seems to work fine on my Fuel with IRIX 6.5.30, but I've not tested it on other platforms. GIMP makes good use of this library, so if people could open/save/manipulate some different sized JPEGs in GIMP on an Octane, Indigo2 etc. running earlier versions of IRIX and report back, that'd be great. Trying a few other packages that make use of libjpeg would of course also be useful".

As an end user, I now have some info on how to test this. I can try it out, experiment a bit, report back with useful feedback. If you want people who aren't developers to report back and to help with testing, you have to help them to help you. If you just say "newest zlib is in incoming" and leave it at that, getting feedback on that is always going to be a challenge.

hamei wrote:A lot of people would like some games. Fair enough. The Transport Tycoon looked like a natural, until I tried to build it.


Yeah. It seems that 0.5.3 compiles quite easily - although it does crash with a Bus Error when using the map. All other functions are fine though. For 0.6.0 and above, they changed the configuration system, and I cannot get it to complete. I spent a few hours trying to work through it yesterday, but when you have a 10,000 character input string to sed which is being rejected for "too many arguments", it's difficult to know where to begin with fixing it unless you really know what you're doing. As you say, annoying!

Overall, yes I'm admittedly one of hamei's enthusiast users. My PC is my main every-day machine, not my SGIs. However, I'm always looking for things that I can do on them instead of my PC. I've spent a chunk of time recently playing a couple of ScummVM games on them. I could do that on my PC, but I prefer to do it on my SGIs if I can. Similarly if I can get OpenTTD working, I'd love to spend a good few hours having fun with that under IRIX. I do like to use my SGIs for proper work as well. I rip vinyls on my Indigo2, enjoy odd bits of perl scripting via NEdit etc. Hence, older retro games, game engines and emulators are things I'd like to see, plus simple and useful productivity tools.

Anyway, that's my 2 cents! :)
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:Fuel: - Lithium: R14000 600MHz CPU, 4GB RAM, V10 Graphics, 72GB 15k HDD & 300GB 10k HDD, 1Gb/s NIC, New/quiet fans, IRIX 6.5.30
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Re: Current State of Nekoware / otherware

Unread postby hamei » Sun Oct 18, 2015 5:56 am

Trippynet wrote:Overall, yes I'm admittedly one of hamei's enthusiast users.

I apologize if you thought I was being negative. Enthusiasts are great, too. I was meant to be just explaining where I was coming from. Of course other people have other viewpoints.
Last edited by hamei on Sun Oct 18, 2015 6:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Current State of Nekoware / otherware

Unread postby Trippynet » Sun Oct 18, 2015 6:34 am

No offense taken, I fully understand your point. Enthusiasts are nice, but of rather limited use when it comes to porting/testing software :)
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:Fuel: - Lithium: R14000 600MHz CPU, 4GB RAM, V10 Graphics, 72GB 15k HDD & 300GB 10k HDD, 1Gb/s NIC, New/quiet fans, IRIX 6.5.30
Other system in storage: :O2: R5000 200MHz, 224MB RAM, 72GB 15k HDD, PSU fan mod, IRIX 6.5.30

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Re: Current State of Nekoware / otherware

Unread postby vishnu » Sun Oct 18, 2015 7:51 pm

I'll try my hand at Maxwell again, as I recall I managed to get every object file to compile but the makefile did something really stupid with them that resulted in no useable binary. Yeah, I'm remembering it now, that makefile was the result of a hand-rolled Makefile.in that made no sense, I'll see if I can't doctor it up.
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Re: Current State of Nekoware / otherware

Unread postby rosehillbob » Wed Oct 21, 2015 6:33 pm

vishnu wrote:What we should do n order to compile this "modern" shite on our SGI's is to write and compile binary patches to MIPSPro that add the functionality that C and C++ now possess, that MIPSPro doesn't. Difficult? Yes. Impossible? Probably. Now, who's with me? Into the fray! :twisted:

WELL IT'S ALREADY BEN DONE! Let me explain. Oh about three months back I was busing looking into getting QT 4.8.5 working so I could build QTWeb. At this time I found out the areas the MIPSPro7.4m and GCC4.7 compilers were weak in. The Mipspro compiler was very fast,stable but the didn't support the latest C++11 syntax. The GNU compiler on the other hand supported C++11 syntax but while attempting the QT code would generate "internal compiler errors" plus it was very slow...It took twice as long to compile large C++ programs compared to Mipspro. At this time I had a choice of looking for a different compiler or start debugging the GNU compiler. I stumbled across LLVM which support MIPS big and little endian. I currently works on Mips Linux so I needed to get it to work on SGI. In the process of configuring it the configuration test programs said I was running "CLANG" but with obsolete version 6.0 of stdc++ libraries ...What the heck!
I did some checking and found out the front end code of MipsPro was acquired by Apple. Apple enhanced it, changed the name to "CLANG" and hooked it up to LKVM as the backend code generator and posted all the changes back into LLVM site. The LLVM fully supports three targets ...mips,intel and arm.
A group on the internet posts builds of the Linux kernel for the MIPS le and be built using the LLVM compiler. The kernel runs is reported to run faster than one built with GCC.
What this means right now people are basically running an updated version of our MipsPro compiler under MIPS Linux!
I think we should get the compiler working back under SGI!
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