[Bdi4emc-help] Re: BDI-4.38 suggestions

Kent A. Reed knbreed at erols.com
Thu Dec 29 21:21:12 CET 2005

Paul, et al.

[<gently ribbing on> What? 4.38? Already?</>]

At least on paper, subversion looks great. If Source Forge is going to 
migrate to it from CVS, then it sounds like your hand will be forced 
soon enough. I lean toward Gene's suggestion that you postpone including 
it until it's needed for updating EMC2 from Source Forge, but you know 
better what including it now or later entails.

The recent discussion of features to be included or excluded suggests to 
me that you have some conflicting requirements for the BDI from your 

In descending order of priority, my desiderata are (writing EMC/EMC2 as 
if they were one animal, which of course they aren't):

1) painlessly install a Linux with real-time extensions on which 
EMC/EMC2 will run
2) provide the resources to update/maintain this real-time Linux, 
preferably directly via the internet, but indirectly through a transfer 
of packages via CD or flash drive is acceptable if it can be managed easily
3) provide an environment in which I can build a running copy of 
EMC/EMC2 from source.
4) provide the source code for a stable version of EMC/EMC2.
5) provide a running copy of EMC/EMC2 "out of the box."

Item 1 is the most important for me because I made up my mind early on 
that I don't want to get tangled up in the real-time kernel issues and 

Item 2 is next most important because there are always updates and 
patches to the kernel and surrounding modules and libraries coming down 
the pike. In principle, my EMC host will never be exposed directly to 
the Internet but it is exposed to the other hosts inside my firewall and 
I like all my hosts to be secure just-in-case.

Item 3 is next most important because it means I can build an running 
copy of EMC/EMC2 from source that might be provided with the BDI or that 
I download / update from Source Forge. Obviously this requirement is 
more important for EMC2 than for EMC since, quoting from the Wiki, the 
latter is "...the old stable version and no major improvement will be 
done here." In any case, I believe you should provide an environment 
that can build the same executables you might choose to distribute. This 
is the essence of the open-source movement.

Items 4 and 5 are at the bottom of the list because I can download and 
build a running copy of EMC/EMC2 myself if the system satisfies items 1, 
2, and 3. It would be nice to be able to exercise EMC/EMC2 immediately, 
as I did when I first got hold of BDI-Live a year ago, but I don't mind 
having to build it before I run it, so I ranked the provision of source 
code above the provision of executables, and it is included only because 
then I could build a first working version even if the Source Forge 
servers were temporarily unreachable or the EMC/EMC2 source code on the 
servers were temporarily corrupted, both of which have been known to happen.

Based on my list, you can dump anything from the CD that doesn't 
directly support building and running EMC/EMC2. If this gets sticky 
because of the requirements of others (as you put it, "The inclusion of 
subversion in the BDI-4 builds is primarily for the people that use 
BDI-4 for non-EMC development."), then you could push all the EMC/EMC2 
stuff to a second "application" CD and still meet my needs. Indeed, you 
could simply leave off all the EMC/EMC2 stuff and still meet my 
irreducible need.

Like Gene, I consider all my open-source software and practically 
everything else to be just an Ethernet cable away. The other end of that 
cable is either a cable modem at home or the equivalent of a T3 service 
at work, so I don't flinch from downloading what I need (I downloaded 
BDI-4.30 at home without any difficulty and from an overseas server to 
boot). Whether or not it all fits on a single CD isn't so terribly 
important any more, since we're not trying to run from it, executing an 
unattended install from it doesn't seem to be a requirement, the discs 
are cheap, and recording them no longer takes all afternoon. From my 
prespective, a network install of everything from a remote server would 
be fine (but, oh, what a headache for the poor guy providing the network 
servers). After all, we're basically doing that now when we install or 
update EMC/EMC2 from Source Forge.

As for editors, I had no problem coping with your solution when I 
installed my BDI. I just downloaded and installed the editor I wanted. 
Between me, my staff, and various visiting professors and students, 
we've tried them all on my systems at work. I never met an editor I 
couldn't complain about :-)

Just my 2 cents worth. I am already on record as being completely 
satisfied with the effortless install of BDI-4.30 on several different 
cpu/motherboard combinations so all this is in the nature of counting 
how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.


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