[Bdi4emc-help] Re: BDI suggestions

Kent A. Reed knbreed at erols.com
Sat Dec 31 21:58:23 CET 2005

So then Gene wrote:

>On Thursday 29 December 2005 15:21, Kent A. Reed wrote:
> <yada yada yada>
>Following up on this train of thought, rather than provide the srcs, 
>provide instead a script that will download a known stable version of  
>a script to build emc or emc2, which probably is not the current 
>cvs/svn.  That way, if a given snapshot builds and runs, then the repo 
>is frozen long enough to fine-tune the script, the script is added to 
>the wiki, and then the repo is opened up again, what, a  day down the 
Sure. That's why including source was way down my list.

>>5) provide a running copy of EMC/EMC2 "out of the box."
>Nice for absolute gnubies, but really, by the time someone comes 
>looking for emc, can we not assume they know the basics of building an 
>app?  The script itself should be able to handle the dependencies.
I was thinking more of the folks who'd like to invest the minimum effort 
required to take EMC for a test drive. Maybe the BDI-Live is still the 
answer for them., or maybe just exercising the different user interfaces 
in a scripted test harness would suffice. I'm old enough to have learned 
to drive when only stick-shift cars were used by the testers. I was all 
hands and feet, so to speak. With experience, complicated things, like 
hand signalling, downshifting, braking, and turning became easy. I think 
the combination of Linux, EMC, controller hardware, and the machine tool 
itself presents similar challenges even for folks who have either 
software or hardware experience but not both. It's comforting to know 
that major parts of the system already work.

Judging from the questions I've seen posted to some of the cnc-oriented 
groups and to cnczone, I don't believe we'll ever go wrong by assuming 
the least. I'll bet most parties get interested in EMC because they want 
to drive a machine tool and not because they're Linux-heads looking for 
a cool application, so there's no basis for assessment of their computer 

>Or am I chasing rabbits and barking barking at the moon here?
So what's wrong with that? Surely you've noticed the smile on the 
hound's face!

>>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 debates.
>Neither do I, generally speaking, although this box is always running 
>the latest kernel from Linus that will run on this box, currently 
>2.6.15-rc7.  Does that place me a cut above the average emc user?  I 
>doubt it...
I do doubt it. I've seen lots of experienced Linux users never upgrade 
the kernel that came with their distro even when they religiously run 
up2date or its equivalent. There's an unspoken fear that they'll screw 
up the works if they start playing with the kernel. In the old days, 
this was a realistic fear. These days, the upgrade tools are so well 
integrated and automated that it seems like a no-brainer to override the 
default setting not to upgrade the kernel.

>>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 :-)
>Neither did I, which I guess is the reason I tend to stick with what I 
>know on linux, vim.  Or occasionally gvim.  I'd like to see the last 
>version of CygnusEd that was published for the amiga ported to linux, 
>that was to me, the ideal editor of all editors.  The vi/emacs debate 
>would be noise I could cheerfully tune out were this to happen.  
>Unforch, a quick check with google fails to even find it for sale to 
>run on an amiga today.  Sad state of affairs indeed.
Well, I wrote but then deleted a long section in my first reply that 
argued for inclusion of a vi-compatible editor because of its "greatest 
common denominator" status over the decades I've played with various 
Unices and Linux. It's hard to teach an old dog new tricks!

If you're a true Amiga fan, why not install "Amiga Forever" on your 
Linux box to emulate the Amiga OS so you can run CygnusEd :-) I never 
got into the Amiga fan club but I've got a colleague at work who still 
hasn't gotten over the forced retirement of his Amiga video toaster.

>>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.
>Humm, now thats a question I never felt it was our lot to know the 
>answer thereto. :-)
That's what makes the argument so much fun. Nobody can ever win.


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