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Old 11 September 2009, 18:45   #21
eLowar
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Originally Posted by Christian View Post
Actually, Windows is so shite, I'm also gonna go back to 3.1. Got me a wireless network card now and iBrowse. A much nicer experience all round I'm sure you'll agree.
I'm sure some will.
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Old 11 September 2009, 18:45   #22
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Awwww...

EDIT: People deleting their posts! Now I look silly!

UNEDIT: HURRAH!

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Old 11 September 2009, 22:26   #23
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I prefer the Amiga as a retro platform personally. I have no interest in OS 4.1 etc. I would like to see more simple, effective things to keep the Amiga systems out there alive. A perfect example is the Indivision graphics cards, stuff like that is what we need. That And maybe some custom A1200 cases that can accommodate some of the more popular hardware mods into them (USB ports, a VGA connector that is Indivision ready, a slot and mounting area for rear facing slim DVD drive etc.) Basically all of these awesome mods and hacks people here do, I would like to see them mass produced so dolts like me can install / use them. :-)

Last edited by illy5603; 11 September 2009 at 22:33. Reason: can't spell
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Old 11 September 2009, 22:30   #24
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Good point there illy5603
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Old 11 September 2009, 22:45   #25
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Good point there illy5603
Good point? It's a great point!

It would be great to run my A1200s without their bits hanging out all over the place.
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Old 14 September 2009, 02:23   #26
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If you really want to have an Amiga look and feel in a modern environment (which is essentially what you're asking, even if you don't quite realise it), What I would do if I could code better than I can (and had a LOT of time, I never said this would be easy):


1) Set up a bog-standard PC for today, maybe with some extras like Catweasel, etc. so you can use real Amiga floppies.
2) Get a minimal Linux distro (Linux is a brilliant place to start for an OS as long as you don't need a new kernel (which we don't), since it is so hackable, and can be made to do whatever you want to do), preferably Debian - for the reason, see one of the paragraphs below.
3) Write workbench from scratch. I would do it on top of X since that's already there and most apps support it. You could also use some pieces of existing software for some components, maybe modify it a little. If parts or versions of workbench are open-source, you could probably directly lift those with minimal modifications, but I believe none are. You would need:

* A desktop application (to display icons, wallpaper etc).
* A file manager (to manage files - this could be based on the desktop. It would be just like WB's file manager, supporting INFO files, etc)
* A Window decorator + manager (to manage the windows and add their borders)
* A widget engine, to uhm, make widgets...
* Most of the old Amiga programs remade and/or renamed to allow you to get into it: xterm would be Shell, and all the commands (cp, mv, etc) would have Amiga symlinks (copy, rename, etc)

Then you would have your "base system" if you like. It would have a Linux filesystem layout, but as we've seen from some distros (like that one that has a Windows-like FS layout that I forget the name of), this is changeable, by having application directories, each of them having a mini linux FS inside them, and symlinks from the "real" filesystem to each program that are invisible by default via hacking the filesystem drivers to report them as hidden. This way you could have most of the Amiga directories - Devs (symlink to /lib/modules/`uname -r`, for device drivers), C (symlink to /bin), S (symlink to /bin again, or possibly a dedicated /bin/scripts), Fonts (symlink to wherever fonts decide to be kept, possibly (/etc/fonts), libs to /lib, Utilities, System, Prefs, Games, Programs (symlinks to special directories that just have info files and no actual programs), the list goes on.



For the truly old-school, there would be an emulated Amiga system, with the help of E-UAE, that loads in the background either at boot or when needed (depending on prefs). This would use a subordinate Amiga FS (possibly at /retro-amiga or something) as the boot device, and have the root FS mounted as DH1:. When an app is loaded that is an old Amiga binary, disk image or HDD image:

If the emulator isn't running, it's started, and the binary loaded, or the image mounted and booted from.

If the emulator is running, using a hack to the emulator, it would just load the program in the currently-running system, or just mount the image (and maybe a requester pops up asking if you want to reboot into it).

If possible (which I doubt), some real complex hackery will be written to allow the emu'd Amiga's windows to be moved freely around Linux's. This would require severe hacks to X, UAE and the emulated system.




Now you would have a base system with the ability to run most Amiga apps and games as integrated as possible. Native Linux apps (which there are loads of) would of course be installable - I would base it on debian myself since, thanks to Ubuntu, Debian packages are the most commonplace. You would simply have to double-click a package and a retro Amiga-style installer would pop up (most of the steps in the installer will easily correspond to Debian packages - they would be installed in the real path, as normal with debian packages, and symlinks and info files automatically generated by the Amiga installer where necessary, based on .desktop files and their icons). RPM packages would also be installable via an alien frontend that works just as seamlessly as deb packages - other than the dependencies of course, which the user would be manually prompted to check the presence of if they aren't found (which is likely since RPM packages are named quite differently).

A new format would also be created for Amiga-specific packages, with specially designed info files and Prefs modules, etc. This would be exactly the same as Debian packages but maybe with a small change so the amiga knows, and different extensions.



Then you would add the finishing touches - install some basic packages needed by modern programs (I'm thinking GTK and Qt, which for Linux non-users are like the Windows API or the Amiga Tool Kit; they are the things that generate the widgets like buttons, scroll bars, text boxes etc), write some themes to make these use workbench icons and looks and feels, possibly even hack GTK and Qt to draw widgets with your widget engine you made above. Then, install firefox or Opera, an e-mail client, IRC, etc. and you're good to go!



So now we have a base system with the ability to install pretty much any program you want that exists for Linux. It has the ability to install its own packages for Amiga-specific changes, and old Amiga packages would easily work. And, most importantly, it will have 100% the look and feel of an old Amiga, but with all the advantages of today's desktop.



I hope this thorough explanation is what you were after (well, not quite, since what you would really be after is for someone to do it ). Is anyone up for the challenge? :P

Last edited by Muzer; 14 September 2009 at 02:29.
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Old 14 September 2009, 02:40   #27
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Sounds a bit like this:
http://www.anubis-os.org/home/
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Old 14 September 2009, 12:20   #28
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and with elements of:
http://www.xamiga.net/

and:
http://www.lysator.liu.se/~marcus/amiwm.html
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Old 14 September 2009, 13:57   #29
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told you most of it would already exist

I might try to put together an Amiga Linux distro...


X-Amiga doesn't look very useful - It doesn't seem to have any advantages over a minimal Debian + E-UAE...
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Old 14 September 2009, 19:15   #30
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Sorry KG - that was probably me deleting my post that confused things (it was only up for a very short time, didn't think anyone saw it)

Any mod, please feel free to undelete it (if you can/want to)

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Old 14 September 2009, 19:49   #31
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I have copied it (browser cache is an awesome thing ). If you want to I'll PM you your own post so you can put it back here
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Old 14 September 2009, 19:57   #32
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I just found out you can get minimal installs of Ubuntu. That is absolutely awesome (Ubuntu and its variants are by far the best Linux distros in terms of compatibility and usability). I'm going to use that instead of Debian (sorry Debian!)
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Old 14 September 2009, 20:47   #33
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For my own reference as much as anything, I'll put what things I need to make (or get someone to make), and which are already done:


Quote:
Originally Posted by Muzer View Post
If you really want to have an Amiga look and feel in a modern environment (which is essentially what you're asking, even if you don't quite realise it), What I would do if I could code better than I can (and had a LOT of time, I never said this would be easy):


1) Set up a bog-standard PC for today, maybe with some extras like Catweasel, etc. so you can use real Amiga floppies.
That sort of goes without saying...

Quote:
2) Get a minimal Linux distro (Linux is a brilliant place to start for an OS as long as you don't need a new kernel (which we don't), since it is so hackable, and can be made to do whatever you want to do), preferably Debian - for the reason, see one of the paragraphs below.
Ubuntu Minimal install - check

Quote:
3) Write workbench from scratch. I would do it on top of X since that's already there and most apps support it. You could also use some pieces of existing software for some components, maybe modify it a little. If parts or versions of workbench are open-source, you could probably directly lift those with minimal modifications, but I believe none are. You would need:
X - Check. Amiga mouse and topaz font - check.

Quote:
* A desktop application (to display icons, wallpaper etc).
That's easy - use rox. Wallpaper, I found a lovely AmigaOS4-like wallpaper on opendesktop.org. Icons, not so easy. There must be an icon set around somewhere. For .info icons, infotopam (unfortunately not available as a DEB) can be called on the fly by a hacked Rox.

The top panel can easily be created in something lightweight such as pypanel.

Quote:
* A file manager (to manage files - this could be based on the desktop. It would be just like WB's file manager, supporting INFO files, etc)
There are plenty of suitable DirOpus replacements.

WB's file manager has proved a lot more difficult to find a replacement for - Rox springs to mind as looking quite a bit like it. Rox has trillions upon trillions of features, but doesn't support .info again - I think the format is floating around on the internet, so I could try to hack Rox to fully support .info files. Arbitrary icons are unlikely to be supportable.

Quote:
* A Window decorator + manager (to manage the windows and add their borders)
AmiWM.

Quote:
* A widget engine, to uhm, make widgets...
GTK with Amiga-Bluetabs-Brushed theme (looks like AmigaOS4, which is no bad thing)

Quote:
* Most of the old Amiga programs remade and/or renamed to allow you to get into it: xterm would be Shell, and all the commands (cp, mv, etc) would have Amiga symlinks (copy, rename, etc)
I can:

* Use symlinks and aliases to get most of the standard file management commands - they will behave like the Unix varieties however unless I feel like rewriting them.
* xterm is a suitable terminal emulator
* As for the Shell's own functions - I could hack bash, or just leave it as it is (how many of you would still prefer typing #? instead of * - I need opinions.)

Quote:
Then you would have your "base system" if you like. It would have a Linux filesystem layout, but as we've seen from some distros (like that one that has a Windows-like FS layout that I forget the name of), this is changeable, by having application directories, each of them having a mini linux FS inside them, and symlinks from the "real" filesystem to each program that are invisible by default via hacking the filesystem drivers to report them as hidden. This way you could have most of the Amiga directories - Devs (symlink to /lib/modules/`uname -r`, for device drivers), C (symlink to /bin), S (symlink to /bin again, or possibly a dedicated /bin/scripts), Fonts (symlink to wherever fonts decide to be kept, possibly (/etc/fonts), libs to /lib, Utilities, System, Prefs, Games, Programs (symlinks to special directories that just have info files and no actual programs), the list goes on.
Having the Amiga-style directories symlinked is one thing. Hiding the Linux ones is quite another, and I don't feel like wading through the kernel yet!



Quote:
For the truly old-school, there would be an emulated Amiga system, with the help of E-UAE, that loads in the background either at boot or when needed (depending on prefs). This would use a subordinate Amiga FS (possibly at /retro-amiga or something) as the boot device, and have the root FS mounted as DH1:. When an app is loaded that is an old Amiga binary, disk image or HDD image:

If the emulator isn't running, it's started, and the binary loaded, or the image mounted and booted from.
Easy enough, just make a mime type (or use the existing one if one exists)

Quote:
If the emulator is running, using a hack to the emulator, it would just load the program in the currently-running system, or just mount the image (and maybe a requester pops up asking if you want to reboot into it).
It depends how easy the emulator is to hack. In fact, thinking about it, it doesn't sound easy at all. The emulated system would need to communicate in some way to the real system - possibly with the filesystem somehow, possibly with an emulator hack that sends something to the running OS. I could probably pull this off. As for mounting images, that should be easier than launching programs - just an emulator hack would be needed. The requester could be host-side.

Quote:
If possible (which I doubt), some real complex hackery will be written to allow the emu'd Amiga's windows to be moved freely around Linux's. This would require severe hacks to X, UAE and the emulated system.
...eek




Quote:
Now you would have a base system with the ability to run most Amiga apps and games as integrated as possible. Native Linux apps (which there are loads of) would of course be installable - I would base it on debian myself since, thanks to Ubuntu, Debian packages are the most commonplace. You would simply have to double-click a package and a retro Amiga-style installer would pop up (most of the steps in the installer will easily correspond to Debian packages - they would be installed in the real path, as normal with debian packages, and symlinks and info files automatically generated by the Amiga installer where necessary, based on .desktop files and their icons). RPM packages would also be installable via an alien frontend that works just as seamlessly as deb packages - other than the dependencies of course, which the user would be manually prompted to check the presence of if they aren't found (which is likely since RPM packages are named quite differently).
The installer sounds easy to make. .info files, maybe a little harder. I should be able to manage.

Quote:
A new format would also be created for Amiga-specific packages, with specially designed info files and Prefs modules, etc. This would be exactly the same as Debian packages but maybe with a small change so the amiga knows, and different extensions.
Easy.

Quote:
Then you would add the finishing touches - install some basic packages needed by modern programs (I'm thinking GTK and Qt, which for Linux non-users are like the Windows API or the Amiga Tool Kit; they are the things that generate the widgets like buttons, scroll bars, text boxes etc), write some themes to make these use workbench icons and looks and feels, possibly even hack GTK and Qt to draw widgets with your widget engine you made above. Then, install firefox or Opera, an e-mail client, IRC, etc. and you're good to go!
GTK theme - already sorted.
Qt - I seem to remember there's a way of forcing GTK to draw Qt widgets. I have to wrack my brains for this one...

Quote:
So now we have a base system with the ability to install pretty much any program you want that exists for Linux. It has the ability to install its own packages for Amiga-specific changes, and old Amiga packages would easily work. And, most importantly, it will have 100% the look and feel of an old Amiga, but with all the advantages of today's desktop.
It sure does

Quote:
I hope this thorough explanation is what you were after (well, not quite, since what you would really be after is for someone to do it ). Is anyone up for the challenge? :P
Hooray! That doesn't sound too hard after all.
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Old 14 September 2009, 21:21   #34
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just 2 weeks then ....
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Old 14 September 2009, 22:44   #35
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Sorry KG - that was probably me deleting my post that confused things (it was only up for a very short time, didn't think anyone saw it)

Any mod, please feel free to undelete it (if you can/want to)

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheCyberDruid View Post
I have copied it (browser cache is an awesome thing ). If you want to I'll PM you your own post so you can put it back here
Both Christian's and eLowar's post afterwards have been undeleted
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Old 14 September 2009, 22:58   #36
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GTK theme - already sorted.
Qt - I seem to remember there's a way of forcing GTK to draw Qt widgets. I have to wrack my brains for this one...
http://qt.nokia.com/doc/latest/qgtkstyle.html

Quote:
The QGtkStyle class provides a widget style rendered by GTK+

The QGtkStyle style provides a look and feel that integrates well into GTK-based desktop environments such as the XFCe and GNOME.

It does this by making use of the GTK+ theme engine, ensuring that Qt applications look and feel native on these platforms.
Note that this is Qt 4, I'm too lazy to check the Qt 3 docs right now, but they're on the same site.
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Old 14 September 2009, 23:00   #37
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Yeah, that's the one I was thinking of


There's no Ubuntu package for it but again, that's no problem...
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Old 14 September 2009, 23:16   #38
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No no, you just have to use some config tool (QtConfig, KConfig, or whatever), to make Qt use the GTK style system-wide. There's also a command line switch to set the style on a per-program basis in every Qt program. There's nothing to install, the style class should be part of the normal Qt/QtGui package.
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Old 14 September 2009, 23:53   #39
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I could have sworn you had to install something (I used to use it on my netbook until a few months ago). Maybe it's just not included in a default Qt installation in Ubuntu and you have to install it because of that?
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Old 15 September 2009, 00:02   #40
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I could have sworn you had to install something (I used to use it on my netbook until a few months ago). Maybe it's just not included in a default Qt installation in Ubuntu and you have to install it because of that?
I wouldn't know how Ubundu packages Qt. When building Qt from source, GTK style is built into QtGui, or optionally as a plug-in. You can test whether it's available quite simply with aforementioned command line option. I think it's -style=gtk in this case. You can also check KDE's config tool(s) (or otherwise try QtConfig, which, actually probably is a separate package).

Note that I personally never use Linux for desktop use, so I don't know the details of all this, I'm only speaking from general Qt knowledge and things I've heard here and there.
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