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Kernel Configuration As An Adventure

timothy posted more than 12 years ago | from the what-about-leisure-suit-larry-style? dept.

Linux 171

brent_linux writes: "ESR has developed a new kernel configuration system called CML2. Recently (as in yesterday) he posted to the kernel mailing list that he had added a new configuration for Expert Users. This new interface follows the interface developed from the old infocom text based adventure games. Commands such as 'look,' 'nearby,' and 'go' are used to navigate and options are items that you 'take' or 'put.' Check out the mailing list for his messages or download CML2 for yourself and check it out."

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171 comments

it offers the `quirks' of adventure games, too! (5)

sagei (131421) | more than 12 years ago | (#142302)

> take SCSI
It won't budge.
> take SCSI
Seriously, it is not going to move an inch.
> take SCSI
You try, but it won't move.
> take SCSI
It moves a little!
> take SCSI
SCSI: taken.

-- Robert

So does this mean... (1)

dhovis (303725) | more than 12 years ago | (#142305)

...that you have to be carefull not to be eaten by a grue?

...that you might be able to execute a series of obscure actions and get babelfish integrated into your kernal?
--

I watched the LInux Kernel Summit (3)

VFVTHUNTER (66253) | more than 12 years ago | (#142306)

on kernel configuration. I think it was Keith Owens who spoke first, and after him it was ESR. ESR is working on a new python interface that will be based on deductive logic I think, and it will prevent people from creating an invalid kernel configuration.

There was some discussion as to why it had to be in Python. ESR said it could be done in C, but he declined to do it, since it would be _hard_. At any rate, it will be sweet when there is logic checking in the kernel and it won't be possible to start compilation of an invalid configuration - the idea is that with this logic, whatever you make will _boot_.

Now is they can just decrease my compile times from 20 minutes to under 1 minute...

It was the next natural step... (4)

andkaha (79865) | more than 12 years ago | (#142307)

It was the next natural step after the Kill -9 With a Doom Shotgun [slashdot.org] article from some time ago, I guess...

The next step will be have to be a lemmings-based office application, or maybe a combat flight simulator-based intrusion detection system.

New compiler (4)

aredubya74 (266988) | more than 12 years ago | (#142308)

# make bzImage

You are in a series of twisty, turning tunnels, all alike

Damn, they really DID update GCC.

Great way to get new users... (1)

wrinkledshirt (228541) | more than 12 years ago | (#142310)

It's a great os, with a great kernel, and you configure it with an rpg-like interface!

(Just wait until after they buy before telling them it's not QUITE like Diablo...)

It doesn't look decent... (3)

jsse (254124) | more than 12 years ago | (#142311)

Choose your processor architecture. A brass lantern is here.

There is a row of buttons on the wall of this room. They read:
X86, ALPHA, SPARC32, SPARC64, MIPS32, MIPS64, PPC, M68K, ARM, SUPERH, IA64, PARISC, S390, S390X, CRIS
The button marked X86 is pressed.

>take lantern
Lantern: taken.

>enter SPARC64
You are now in SPARC64 kernel, process.c is staring at you in its cage.

>look process.c
arch/sparc64/kernel/process.c: /* fuck me plenty */

(Actual quote from grepping 2.2.17 source)
&nbsp_
/. / &nbsp&nbsp |\/| |\/| |\/| / Run, Bill!

some comments on the new adventure (4)

sagei (131421) | more than 12 years ago | (#142312)

almost sadly, this is a real config option. its 'make adventure' in cml2 1.6.0. it is kind of neat to play with, actually.

esr has some ideas planned for future versions, see your cml2-1.6.2/TODO.

when esr first posted to the kernel list the announcement for this new feature, I posted a reply to him on lkml along the lines of "_WAY_ too much time on your hands, dont you have some linux advocacy to be doing? :)" ... he replied he wrote this on a plane flight.

for those of you ready to take the jump to cml2, it is available at http://tuxedo.org/~esr/cml2/. You will need python2 (RedHat PowerTools has an RPM, Debian has a DEB in stable) to use it. you will also need tkinter2 if you want to use `make xconfig'. installation is simple.

i was one of the people initially against cml2 on lkml (i didnt want to install python2, i didnt think cml1 was broken -- and hence we were created problems) but now i am pretty impressed by cml2. its still not a must, imo, but i like it. it should be integrated in 2.5.2.

give it a try.

-- Robert

Zork Kernel (5)

shogun (657) | more than 12 years ago | (#142313)

You have entered a maze of twisty little source trees all alike.
There is a device driver code fragment here.
> take code
code taken
> compile code
the code is buggy it will not compile
> debug code
You try and debug the code but fall asleep.
> drink jolt
jolt drunk.
> debug code
You spend the next several hours debugging the code.
The Lantern grows dim.
The Lantern goes out.
The code is debugged.
It is dark.
> N
You are eaten by a gnu, you are dead.

Boss! I'm not playing games! (3)

jsse (254124) | more than 12 years ago | (#142314)

I'm compiling the freaking kernel!

Oh yes, this is a Quake front end.
&nbsp_
/. / &nbsp&nbsp |\/| |\/| |\/| / Run, Bill!

Re:ESR wrong (1)

Deluge (94014) | more than 12 years ago | (#142315)

6/13/2000
MSFT: $70.69 (+23%)
LNUX: $3.28 (-74%)

Surely you mean 6/13/2001... or was ESR trying to predict the past?

---

Re:It was the next natural step... (1)

BitwizeGHC (145393) | more than 12 years ago | (#142316)

Mayhaps a Space Channel 5 inspired debugger? (Bugs appear on screen) "Left, Chu, Chu Chu! Right, Chu, Chu!"

The natural cheap shot... (1)

Midnight Ryder (116189) | more than 12 years ago | (#142317)

The next step will be have to be a lemmings-based office application, or maybe a combat flight simulator-based intrusion detection system.

Lemmings-based office application? Ya know, Microsoft already has some office based applications that depend on lemmings buying them... It shouldn't be much of a streach from there.

(Ok, I don't normally take pot shots at Microsoft (they have treated me well on the only deal I've done with them), but I had to...)

...and I'm STILL stuck on the Heart of Gold ... (1)

jeko (179919) | more than 12 years ago | (#142318)

Just read the post. It looks funny as Hell... and utterly useless, which of course makes it even funnier...

Oregon|Kernel Trail (1)

frenchs (42465) | more than 12 years ago | (#142319)

In the spirit of the thread regarding "Oregon Trail" last week on one of the posts... here is a "kernel adventure"

Sample "Kernel Trail" Dialog Box
You need a new driver for your SCSI card, your wife hasn't seen you in a week, your kids call you "the guy in the other room on the computer"

Would you like to:
A) recompile the kernel and then hope it works again.
B) Shutdown and do it later.
C) Use a sledgehammer cause the fscking computer just won't work the way you want it to
D) get a divorce and give the wife custody of the kids.

Maybe I'm onto something... maybe let kids play this one in school... heh

Steve

Re:some comments on the new adventure (4)

BitwizeGHC (145393) | more than 12 years ago | (#142320)

Only thing that truly bothers me is the Python requirement. If CML2 is somehow earmarked as the successor to the current kernel config, then that would be a problem as Python would be required in order to compile a damn kernel. I'm sorry, but I think that kernels should be kept relatively free of dependency cruft, i.e., you should only need sh, the compiler and related support tools in order to be able to build yourself a shiny new kernel. Maybe a Python-to-C translator is in order here?

Great.... (1)

2Bits (167227) | more than 12 years ago | (#142321)

It used to be that I play games, or I work, i.e. I compile my kernel. Now it's all games. I guess life is all about playing, eh?

Re:It was the next natural step... (1)

mini me (132455) | more than 12 years ago | (#142322)

When I first read this article, the Kill -9 Doom was the first thing I thought off. How long before we can configure our kernel with Doom? On a miss the option will not be added, a near hit will be added as a module and a direct hit will be compiled right into the kernel. Once you win the kernel compile will begin, if you lose well you are just out of luck!

Kernel Configuration already too easy. (1)

evin (31167) | more than 12 years ago | (#142323)

A couple days ago I compiled a PPC kernel for the first time (having previously only done x86 kernels). Without reading the documentation and not really knowing the names for everything in my computer, I guessed a bit. I compiled and rebooted, expecting kernel panics or worse. But no, everything worked perfectly. Where's the fun in that?

what a waste! (1)

jchristopher (198929) | more than 12 years ago | (#142325)

If the energy expended on useless hacks like this was instead used to improve the usability of Linux, Microsoft would be out of business by now.

Re:some comments on the new adventure (1)

tubby (73242) | more than 12 years ago | (#142326)

I wouldn't look to hard for python2 in debian stable (potato), it's not there. I assume that you mean unstable, otherwise known as 'sid'.

Re:it offers the `quirks' of adventure games, too! (5)

Alpha State (89105) | more than 12 years ago | (#142327)

> take udf
A Jack Valenti steals your /dev/dvd!
> use decss
The Jack Velenti is stunned.
You are attacked by a large band of corporate lawyers!
> take udf
udf: taken
A corporate lawyer hits you for 5 years!
A corporate lawyer hits you for 6 years!
A corporate lawyer hits you for 3 years!
A corporate lawyer hits you for 7 years!
A corporate lawyer hits you for 5 years!
A corporate lawyer hits you for 5 years!
You are eaten by a corporate lawyer!
Game Over

Re:So does this mean... (1)

SEWilco (27983) | more than 12 years ago | (#142328)

There is a buggy 3c507 driver here.
> hit 3c507
The driver vanishes in a cloud of greasy black smoke.
>

Re:Thank God you can choose NOT to use it (1)

Gerad (86818) | more than 12 years ago | (#142329)

It's actually quite easy to turn the paperclip off.

Right click on the little sucker, click options, un-click the checkbox "Use the Office Assistant" or whatever the hell it is. I do it on every fresh install and I never see the little bastard again.

Compile for the Z-machine? (3)

iabervon (1971) | more than 12 years ago | (#142330)

Infocom compiled all of their games to a virtual machine to make porting easier. Clearly, if this is going to be a proper text adventure, it should be available for that VM. That way, if you want to configure your kernel on, say, your pilot or your VIC-20, it would be no problem.

Actually, this might be practical... (2)

President of The US (443103) | more than 12 years ago | (#142331)

One of Microsoft's biggest selling points for its server-based stuff is the "ease of configuration". That just means that any goofball can use the interface, and get at most or all of the options (usually before they know what those options actually do).

The point is, that Microsoft's interface is pretty interactive. Most sysadmin types that I know (windows or nix) prefer text-based interfaces because of the control, flexibility, and the ability to use scripts to make life easier. As a MS SQL Server admin I rarely use the GUI for anything but the simplest tasks.

The downside of the text interface is it's lack of interactivity and visual representation. In reality, there's no reason why one couldn't make the experience adventure-like. You could have verbosity levels, which would be great for novices and training situations; once you advanced in ability, you could turn down the verbosity (or it could automatically turn it down based on its own assessment of your skills as an admin). Unfortunately, everyone is having such a blast making the same Infocom jokes that they don't bother to realize that this might be a useful idea.

Rest assured, Bill Gates is not spending his time making campy "for the fun of it" user interfaces. This infocom thing might be a funny idea, but think of the CTO who reads about ESR and his thoughts on open source, and starts to consider implementing it, then sees this is how ESR spends his time. It only re-inforces the non-professional image that Microsoft is trying to portray of Open Source.

Speaking as someone under Microsoft's thumb, I hate it at times. And yet, every new release of their software has some truly amazingly useful features that sell the product very well. I get a kick out of this fun stuff, but it ain't gonna sell with my boss, nor his boss, nor his boss, the CTO.

ESR, sorry man, but if you're serious, it's time to change. You can't beat Bill Gates with geek subculture. And while you're doing that, Gates' army is charging, on a mission.
-----------------------

Re:some comments on the new adventure (4)

Spy Hunter (317220) | more than 12 years ago | (#142332)

Maybe a Python-to-C translator is in order here?

ESR says in his info page that such a thing already exists and is one of the reasons he chose Python in the first place. He mentions that a kernel source tarball could be distributed with a compiled version of the CML2 interpreter.

Insightful (?) observations (1)

dcsmith (137996) | more than 12 years ago | (#142333)

Plugh and xyzzy were clearly backdoors.

Keys = root password

Grate = firewall

Dwarves/pirate/grues = virii

Lamp=Watch/debug

Re:some comments on the new adventure (1)

Amokscience (86909) | more than 12 years ago | (#142334)

Well, it's what happens when it's written by a person whose favorite languiage is python.

http://www2.linuxjournal.com/cgi-bin/frames.pl/l j- issues/issue73/3882.html

Something I came across as I was messing with a Wiki today.

Been There...? (1)

Caraig (186934) | more than 12 years ago | (#142335)

I'm not a kernel hacker, but hasn't this already been done with the Adventure shell, and a few others which are based off of MUDs?

Then again, I guess that it's based off the the Infocom games, so that makes it slightly different. After all, it'll bring back memories to 'get babelfish' and 'put towel over head.'

But, darn, you gotta watch for them Grues....

---
Chief Technician, Helpdesk at the End of the World

Re:I watched the LInux Kernel Summit (1)

BJH (11355) | more than 12 years ago | (#142336)

Having a valid configuration does not guarantee that the kernel will boot. It just guarantees that the configuration chosen is valid and contains no contradictions.

Re:Necesary? (3)

ethereal (13958) | more than 12 years ago | (#142337)

Maybe if you would just bring it a shrubbery? A nice one, not too big...

Courtesy of xscreensaver/hacks/screenhack.h, and reprinted 'cause it's so damn funny and this is a worthy article:

Found in Don Hopkins' .plan file:

The color situation is a total flying circus. The X approach to device independence is to treat everything like a MicroVax framebuffer on acid. A truely portable X application is required to act like the persistent customer in the Monty Python ``Cheese Shop'' sketch. Even the simplest applications must answer many difficult questions, like:

WHAT IS YOUR DISPLAY? display = XOpenDisplay("unix:0");
WHAT IS YOUR ROOT? root = RootWindow(display, DefaultScreen(display));
AND WHAT IS YOUR WINDOW? win = XCreateSimpleWindow(display, root, 0, 0, 256, 256, 1,BlackPixel(display, DefaultScreen(display)),WhitePixel(display, DefaultScreen(display)))
OH ALL RIGHT, YOU CAN GO ON.

WHAT IS YOUR DISPLAY? display = XOpenDisplay("unix:0");
WHAT IS YOUR COLORMAP? cmap = DefaultColormap(display, DefaultScreen(display));
AND WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE COLOR? favorite_color = 0; / * Black. * / / * Whoops! No, I mean: * / favorite_color = BlackPixel(display, DefaultScreen(display));
/ * AAAYYYYEEEEE!! (client dumps core & falls into the chasm) * /

WHAT IS YOUR DISPLAY?display = XOpenDisplay("unix:0");
WHAT IS YOUR VISUAL? struct XVisualInfo vinfo; if (XMatchVisualInfo(display, DefaultScreen(display), 8, PseudoColor, &vinfo) != 0) visual = vinfo.visual;
AND WHAT IS THE NET SPEED VELOCITY OF AN XConfigureWindow REQUEST? / * Is that a SubStructureRedirectMask or a ResizeRedirectMask? * /
WHAT?! HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO KNOW THAT? AAAAUUUGGGHHH!!!! (server dumps core & falls into the chasm)


Caution: contents may be quarrelsome and meticulous!

Re:some comments on the new adventure (1)

jmauro (32523) | more than 12 years ago | (#142338)

Python in and of its self isn't so bad, it the fact it requires Python 2.0 or greater. None of the main distributions ship with this at all and I really don't want to install it. That is the bummer.

Re:what a waste! (1)

Courier (91998) | more than 12 years ago | (#142339)

Where would we be if linus said that when he was about to start linux? he would have said gee it's such a waste of time to make a new os when there are already some OS out there.

Of course this isn't the same but it's simlar.

Also this is part of the fun of linux that keeps people here!

Re:Zork Kernel - Walkthrough! (1)

Morbid Curiosity (156888) | more than 12 years ago | (#142340)

You spend the next several hours debugging the code.
The Lantern grows dim.
The Lantern goes out.
The code is debugged.
It is dark.

What are you doing, debugging with the lights on? :-) Also, from a walkthrough [force9.co.uk] for Infocom's "The Lurking Horror":

"Some notes about the game before we start, TURN OFF the FLASHLIGHT when you are in lighted areas to conserve the batteries, I won't mention this is the solution. When and where you start getting tired will vary depending upon the number of moves you've made. So when you are told that you are getting tired go back to the kitchen in the computer block and drink from the bottle of Coke which you will find in the refrigerator."

Later on, it gives instructions on how to get the hacker to repair your filesystem, and borrow his valuable master key for some Chinese food.

I sure hope ESR has implemented these features...

I'd like to see that for BSD (1)

chrysalis (50680) | more than 12 years ago | (#142341)

Actually, GUI for kernel configuration are great. I like to 'make menuconfig' instead of editing a long configuration file.
But the Linux kernel already had that.
Is there a change to see CML2 ported to BSD kernels ? I love BSD, but kernel configuration is something I really hate on these systems. It's very difficult and non user-friendly.

Re:Actually, this might be practical... (3)

Jason Earl (1894) | more than 12 years ago | (#142342)

ESR was doing this more out of a desire to show what can be done with his nifty creation than to show what should be done. Apparently he wrote the entire interface on an airplane trip.

The cool part is that this particular interface is one of four that use his Python based backend configurator whatsit. In othe words the underlying software is designed to be useful, and the Zork interface only shows how flexible and powerful it is (and how easy it is to modify it so that it does what you would like).

And before you get all high and mighty about Microsoft and their business attitude, just remember that it was the folks at Microsoft that included a useable flight simulator in Excel. Compared to that particular stunt this hack is nothing. At least ESR's Zork kernel configurator is still useful as a kernel configuration tool.

Re:Actually, this might be practical... (2)

Courier (91998) | more than 12 years ago | (#142343)

Bullshit!

IF people are doing this not for fun that what are they going to code open source for? Profit?

The fun is all part of it. It gives people drive to do better.

Even MS does it with the likes of "clippy" and his being out of a job. It's call fun and even MS knows how to have some.

I suggest you go read this book call "PC Roadkill" you'll find that inside MS there is more fun then you think. They are not all just money hungry spwans of evil.

Re:Actually, this might be practical... (2)

ethereal (13958) | more than 12 years ago | (#142344)

  1. Of course, this wasn't advanced as a serious kernel config option to begin with, and
  2. if the open source world has to change its nature to win, is winning really desirable?

If a CTO wants "professional" Linux, they can pay RedHat or some other services company for it, and good luck to them. But that's no reason that the rest of us can't enjoy it the way we have been all along.

Me, I'm happy to live in a world where I can configure and use Linux in business during the day, and laugh about ESR's antics after work. The guy's an inspiration and a good indication of the level of energy and inventiveness going into the platform. If that spirit of playful curiosity remains, it won't take long to defeat however many billions of dollars worth of business ambition, consumer disregard, FUD, and greed.

Caution: contents may be quarrelsome and meticulous!

Re:Been There...? (2)

Morbid Curiosity (156888) | more than 12 years ago | (#142345)

I'm not a kernel hacker, but hasn't this already been done with the Adventure shell, and a few others which are based off of MUDs?

This is a configuration tool, not a command shell.

Then again, I guess that it's based off the the Infocom games, so that makes it slightly different. After all, it'll bring back memories to 'get babelfish' and 'put towel over head.'

I just hope it isn't more like 'computer, range is 360, theta is 150, phi is 30.'

But, darn, you gotta watch for them Grues....

Count yourself lucky you're not likely to come across any kobolds or paskalds. They're Red Purple Black Purple Red, through and through.

Chief Technician, Helpdesk at the End of the World "I am an IT-Goth and an Adept of Tantric VAX."

Hmm... is an IT-Goth like an Ur-Grue? :-)

> WEAR BOOTS
They are nice. You are likely to be hit on by a Goth...

Re:I'd like to see that for BSD (2)

%systemroot% (63702) | more than 12 years ago | (#142346)

Hmm. The only real difficulty I've had with FreeBSD 4.x (STABLE) kernel config (the flavor I have experience with ) is certain options not being documented *anywhere* (LINT/Handbook/errata) like

device agp

which was necessary for me to get my work laptop happy with X.
I actually prefer the one-bigass-textfile config approach, but, of course, YMMV.

Made for the Web, too. (2)

Soko (17987) | more than 12 years ago | (#142347)

Being able to set up and compile a kernle via a text script means that someone can make an entirely Web based front end using thier favorite Webified language (Perl, Python, PHP, Java, etc.) to allow the user to complie a custom kernel. The implications of this? It's one more step to making Linux a Mom and Pop OS.

One of the reasons that Windows is easy to install and configure (or seemingly so, anyway) is that Microsoft have insulated users from the gory technical details of thier hardware via friendly, easy to use, really hard to fsck up Wizards. So, if a vendor chooses, they write a Web front end that accepts the serial #. The vendors' database pulls up what was installed in that machine (CPU type, Chipsets, RAM, Disk etc.) and the CML2 Builder Web Page creates a custom kernel script, downloads it to the boxen and cranks up gcc. (Maybe XML would help?)Third party cards may be a problem - don't know how to make additions to machines newbie-proof.

All in all, I like this. And I'm sure the game interface could still be used in a browser. I haven't had the pleasure of meeting a Grue, but that damned Twonky...

Re:make zorkconfig? (2)

shogun (657) | more than 12 years ago | (#142348)

But would the DONT PANIC in big friendly letters really keep the kernel calm?

Re:what a waste! (2)

spasm (79260) | more than 12 years ago | (#142349)

"If the energy expended on useless hacks like this was instead used to improve the usability of Linux, Microsoft would be out of business by now. "


Yeah, but if we were the kind of programmers who could resist the temptation to play with "useless hacks", we would have taken the job at Microsoft in the first place.

Re:it offers the `quirks' of adventure games, too! (4)

OmegaDan (101255) | more than 12 years ago | (#142350)

Will the walkthrough be avaliable at happy puppy ?

Epic battle with Bill Gates! (3)

shiftless (410350) | more than 12 years ago | (#142351)

Warning: do NOT try the new kernel configurator! Look what happened to me!!


- look
Kernel Core
You are standing in the center of the most magnificent room you have ever seen. The chamber is enormous, with huge data shunts rising up from the floor as far as the eye can see, finally disappearing into the blackness above. Doorways, crawlway entrances, and ladders abound, each labeled with their destination and purpose.
Linus, Savior of Mankind is here. He wields a Text Editor in one hand and a copy of "C Programming for Dummies" in the other.
You see exits leading out, in, north, south, east, west, northeast, northwest, southeast, southwest.
- greet linus
You greet Linus, Savior of Mankind with a sincere smile.
-
Linus sees you and smiles warmly. "Welcome to the Linux kernel! Please note that this is an experimental version, so it's not entirely stable yet."
-
Linus takes a Text Editor from a burlap sack.
-
Linus gives you a Text Editor.
-
"Please feel free to use this tool to add to and/or repair the Kernel. Enjoy your time here!"
-
Bill Gates, Dark Lord of Everything That Is Evil wanders in from the west.
-
Bill Gates greets you with a sincere smile.
-
Bill Gates says, "Just looking for some new code ideas to "innovate" into the new Windows Anti-Christ Edition. Remember, 'ALL YOUR CODE ARE BELONG TO US'!"
-
Bill Gates removes a simple oaken pipe from a burlap sack.
-
Bill Gates removes a tinderbox from a burlap sack.
-
Bill Gates removes some marijuana from a burlap sack.
-
Bill Gates places some marijuana in a simple oaken pipe.
-
Bill Gates lights a simple oaken pipe until it is smoking nicely.
-
Bill Gates takes a long drag off a simple oaken pipe.
-
You see an aura of ultimate destruction appear around Bill Gates.
-
Bill Gates laughs evilly.
-
Bill Gates holds up his hand, closes his eyes, and begins to chant strangely.
-
Mystic energies swirl beautifully before your eyes.
-
Without warning, the energies converge into strange apparations, in the shape of flying windows, and float evilly in the air around you.
-
Suddenly, the strange apparitions rush at you with terrifying speed, ripping into your soul and shattering your mind.
-
You bleed 666 health.
-
You have been slain by Bill Gates.

You have played 8 games so far.
Thank you for playing 'make adventure'!

For those of you who are knocking the concept ... (3)

LL (20038) | more than 12 years ago | (#142352)

... I would refer you to this article [ed.ac.uk] which discusses structured environments. Basically to be efficient at something, e.g. preparing a dish, we line up all the instruments in a particular order to help cue us when a particular task needs to be done. Extending this into a semi-spatial (if ESR can get the right relationship of in-on-up-etc representing the true connectivity between kernel modules) setting would help people orientate themselves and get to work faster (so you can get back to that QUAKE game). Just like we would put a letter by the door, or shopping list by the car keys, each cue triggers associated memories and reminds us of specific actions that need to be done. Sure you can have a linear check-list like the space shuttle pilots but anything computing-wise is so variable that a more flexible arrangement is desirable. I've been looking into something similar for the make processing for reproduceable documents and it is not as easy (or trivial) as people think (at least to get right). For example, color assignment ... do you map this property to time-of-last-modification (ie heat colors) or to likely hazard (red=stop, orange=hazard, yellow=caution, etc). If you dig far enough, you eventually realise it is actually a text variant of scientific visualisation but in the qualitative domain. There are a number of theories on how you allocate the properties based on human cognitive functions (see Lloyd w.r.t. OpenDX and fiber bundles) ... but there are a lot of issues remaining such as what works for 5-6 objects doesn't work for thousands. Like all ideas, let the users decide and if it works, it will be included into the meme-pool. Imagine TuX, the penguin avatar trundling around kernel space looking for fish or and fixing security leaks. At the worse, it will provide a few minutes of amusement. LL

Re:Made for the Web, too. (5)

dimator (71399) | more than 12 years ago | (#142353)

The implications of this? It's one more step to making Linux a Mom and Pop OS.

You couldn't be more right. Why, just the other day, after my mom asked me how to open up AOL, and how to save a Word document, she asked: "I think there's a new nVidia driver out, is there an easy way to recompile my kernel, say, in a web-based manner?"


---

OT: This reminds me (5)

cybermage (112274) | more than 12 years ago | (#142354)

This reminds me of one of the funniest Usenet .sigs I ever saw:

"DOS is, quite possibly, the worst text-adventure game ever"

Atleast text-adventure game errors made sense ;)

[OT] Crackhead moderators (1)

L. J. Beauregard (111334) | more than 12 years ago | (#142355)

*sigh* The above is not +1, Interesting. It's -1, Offtopic. Duh.
--
Ooh, moderator points! Five more idjits go to Minus One Hell!
Delenda est Windoze

Offtopic :E-mail address. (1)

KupekKupoppo (266229) | more than 12 years ago | (#142356)

I'm going to have to ask you to give up the name Kupek. I've had it for years, and if you don't give it back, I probably won't actually care.

Next... Actual kernel functions (2)

NitsujTPU (19263) | more than 12 years ago | (#142357)

The kernel is locked in the games process

look:
you are in a dark cave
search:
you find a treasure chest
open treasure chest:
the treasure chest is empty
give treasure chest to process handler
...
the process handler is not placing processor states into the treasure chest and exchanging them for inactive ones. Congratulations, your kernel operation has reached a new level.
Congratuations, you have reached a new level, select device drivers to install!
buy bttv.o
You do not have enough experience to install this as a module, build into kernel?
...
...
...

Re:*BSD loses networking test - finishes dead last (1)

lucysoft (309178) | more than 12 years ago | (#142358)

You could have skipped this one, he's right and there is nothing funny about it, imho.

Re:Epic battle with Bill Gates! (1)

cooley (261024) | more than 12 years ago | (#142359)

WTF, man? That was funny, I just wish I had some shit that made me Code like that.

Good show.

Cooley

Wrong answer (4)

Animats (122034) | more than 12 years ago | (#142361)

You should never have to tell the computer something it already knows.

That was one of the original Macintosh interface guidelines. And it's still a very good rule. Think hard about that the next time you design something that needs "configuration".

Re:ESR wrong (1)

ergo98 (9391) | more than 12 years ago | (#142362)

All of those whacky regionalized date/time designations are crap. Use ISO 8601:2000 and the world will be a much nicer place. Seriously.

Irony alert: When I bought the 8601:2000 PDF from the ISO page the date/time in the upper right was in dd-mm-yyyy format (and because it was lower digits for dd/mm it was ambiguous). Found that pretty funny.

This message was posted at 2001-06-19T01:30-04 (2001-06-19T05:30Z)

An adventure installation program (3)

MikeFM (12491) | more than 12 years ago | (#142363)

The next logical step I think would be to take that Doom engine and this Zork configurator and mix them into some distros installation program. Make it so you can select your key maps, hardware, packages, etc all by running around and flipping switches and such. It might not be the most practical way to install but it might be enough to make some gamers try it out and prove that Linux isn't just for servers before the user even gets the OS installed. :)

Hell I'd like to see a graphical multi-user shell enviroment on Linux. Not to replace the cli or gui but to go along with it and make it more fun for users and help them learn how different parts of the OS interact. They'd need to be able to do everything the shell usually allows as well as interact/chat with other users. They'd start in their home directories and be able to browse the filesystem from that point (seeing anything that was visible to them from the normal shell) and be able to teleport to different directories directly. They'd need to be able to create a new file or directory as well as delete them all in real time. They'd have to be able to run commands, edit files, etc. I'd have a little CLI part under the MUD-UI where they could type/edit commands they were selecting from the MUD-UI as well as chat with fellow users. I'd make it so any program could be written with the ability to interact within the MUD-UI in the same way programs can interact with X to create windows, menus, etc as appropiate for the enviroment. You could really do a lot with it if you don't get silly and think most people will want to replace their CLI/GUI methods with the MUD-UI and treat it as an addon. Start with something simple and well known like the Doom engine (the nicely cleaned up version) and first try to do everything Bash does for a user and then extend from there. :)

KDE has a new Kernel Configurator too (4)

Geek Boy (15178) | more than 12 years ago | (#142364)


KDE 2.2 will be shipping with a new kernel configurator too. It's build into the KDE Control Centre and is a very simple, fast and easy way to configure your kernel. It uses the kernel's existing configuration files/system but has it's own parser and intuitive gui. Check it out!!

Re:Why?? Oh why? (1)

jjsjeff (210138) | more than 12 years ago | (#142365)

That was the cheat code to get 30 lives in the Nintendo game "Contra" right? Oh the days of the simple Nintendo.

-Jeff

Re:Wrong answer (4)

chromatic (9471) | more than 12 years ago | (#142366)


What if you're compiling a kernel for a completely different computer? What if you want to experiment with a new option, or turn a feature into a module?

I'm not a fan of creeping featurism, but there's clearly room for kernel configuration. (And hey, it looks like ESR got the design of CML2 right. I'll give him credit for that.)

--

Re:some comments on the new adventure (1)

bkhl (189311) | more than 12 years ago | (#142367)

It's no worse than the current requirement of TCL/Tk for kernel configuration in X, I would say.

Re:some comments on the new adventure (2)

Maldivian (264175) | more than 12 years ago | (#142368)

Let me remind you that 'make menuconfig' depends on curses and 'make xconfig' on TCL/tk.

on a technical note (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#142369)

From reading the first two pages, it looks like a rules engine. Even though the description doesn't call it a rules engine, that is essentially what it is. Why not just use a rules engine that implements RETE and use Clips? There's already a well proven expert system algo and rules language. Seems like reinventing the wheel.

Re:Boss! I'm not playing games! (1)

catch23 (97972) | more than 12 years ago | (#142370)

Actually, quake as a configuration tool is actually a pretty good idea. Even using 'make menuconfig' we still have to read the options before selecting it. If we can represent options as certain "baddies", we'll get accustomed to the enemies and will remember the options much better. Everytime I play quake, I always remember where the next "baddie" will turn up. Perhaps this is the next best way to actually configure your options.... as long as you don't become trigger happy and get carried away.

Re:Thank God you can choose NOT to use it (1)

Elendur (228338) | more than 12 years ago | (#142371)

Or better yet, do a custom install and don't even install the assistant.

Re:An adventure installation program (1)

plorqk (134858) | more than 12 years ago | (#142373)

I suppose you could make it a game to learn *nix. Have objectives like learning basic (ls, rm, etc) commands and work your way up to harder commands before it will let you explore certain directories. If the player is able to master it all they become root!

Re:make zorkconfig? (2)

orangesquid (79734) | more than 12 years ago | (#142374)

Hmm.. kernel configuration as an adventure?

But it *is* an adventure, when you rm all the Makefiles first! ;)

Things we'd wouldn't like to see... (1)

stox (131684) | more than 12 years ago | (#142375)

> fsck that

The cassette port is in back.You know where to stick it.

(Obscure historical reference, the response Microsoft Advenure 1.0, running on an Apple II, gave to a simlilarly phrased response )

Re:What an idiotic idea... (2)

Elendur (228338) | more than 12 years ago | (#142376)

If you were to actually follow the links, you'd see that the new system really is simple and easier. This front end is to demonstrate how easy it is to make a different front end.

The CML2 system even makes sure you're making a valid configuration, unlike the current system.

In response to the other reply to this, the system has significantly less code.

Oh no, he released make infocom... (4)

Elvii (428) | more than 12 years ago | (#142378)

Erm, I was in the group that was talking to ESR at a Denny's in Lathrop, when make infocom (our original idea, before we realized infocom might not like it) was born, at least in the idea. Look out for Chuck, or the killer rabbit... so many things we talked about there, guess I better see what he created from all the idea that were thrown out...

bash: ispell: command not found

Re:Wrong answer (1)

ttyRazor (20815) | more than 12 years ago | (#142379)

Computers don't "know" anything. Bits go in, bits come out, and it couldn't give a shit about what the state of those bits are. It's not the computer that knows stuff, its the guy who programmed it presuming to know what's best for you. What I "know" is that its taking too long to compile a kernel with 5000 modules for hardware that I don't even own, but someone out there might and features that might either open huge security holes or leave them open if not enabled, or crash the thing entirely are floating around in there, and while i may not want anything to do with them and waste valuable kilobytes of disk space and memory when compiled in, but someone out there probably wants them because they put them there in the first place.

Re:Why?? Oh why? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#142381)

I'm feeling a sense of mourning for the people who waste their time with such foolishness.
It really depends on what philosophic level you are operating. The older I get, the more I realize that life is essentially meaningless. It is a way to pass the time until we die. So what does it really matter if some folks enjoy this? It is no skin off my back. Maybe someone likes biking or stamp collecting. Whatever floats your boat. 70 years from now it won't matter to anyone reading Slashdot in 2001. Take your pleasure where you find it.

kernel mailing list archives (1)

mab (17941) | more than 12 years ago | (#142382)

I used to read the archives at http://boudicca.tux.org/hypermail/linux-kernel/thi s-week/ but I have not been able to get to the site for a while anyone know of another archive?

Re:some comments on the new adventure (1)

StenD (34260) | more than 12 years ago | (#142383)

Let me remind you that 'make menuconfig' depends on curses and 'make xconfig' on TCL/tk.
And both of those are optional. So far as I know, everything you can select via menuconfig or xconfig can be selected using 'make config'. So long as CML2 maintains a configure-and-build mode that doesn't require Python, then having an optional (but far more convienient) mode that does require it is completely acceptable.

Does anyone else... (1)

hyehye (451759) | more than 12 years ago | (#142384)

.. believe that this is an excellent thing? Think about it: someone loves coding and linux etc so much that they spend their flight times not on sleep, but on coding bizarre kernel installs. This gives me some hope of escaping the 'geek OS' image and onto desktops. But that brings up something that's been on my mind.
Why do we want to do such a thing? What is there to gain? Sure, more support for devices and perhaps some food and shelter for the bignames who keep the major projects going. And of course tech work at various levels for the rest of us. But I submit that this may just serve to pollute the environment, so to speak. Bringing your average desktop person to linux is a good thing for them, but is it a good thing for you? Won't you spend a lot of time not learning, but fixing stupid mistakes for the inductees? Where is the value? Notice how every time something good comes along, higher-ups play with it first and let it slowly then leak to the public, reducing its value. But with our 'good thing', it's not a game. It's something we deeply enjoy, and many of us strongly believe in. Regardless of licensing flavor, it's all a common idea. If the average desktop user runs it en masse, it will be diluted and choked with commercialism. The funny thing about the net and its trappings is that it's the opposite of the real world - communism will work. One potato, when grown, can feed an entire population. I am a die-hard capitalist, a supporter of F.A. Hayek and Miss Rand, but even I recognize the radically different exchange dynamic within this community, and it's not something I personally want to see brought down to the common level. For a very nice example of what I mean, check here [individualistvoice.com] . Of course I'm not suggesting that we should never go to the desktop. Simply that we should make a conscious effort to continue and expand upon the roadmap that's already been in place - which is, specifically, to fork our OS's into commercial and 'hobbyist' branches. This allows a friendly useful cheap GNU/Linux office terminal, with very low support requirements and excellent software and capabilities. I will personally keep my FreeBSD and Slack for a while.

So does anyone else believe that this kernel configuration game is a good sign?

Re:it offers the `quirks' of adventure games, too! (1)

Electrum (94638) | more than 12 years ago | (#142385)

The poster above made the original post on the kernel mailing list...

Ok... why stop here! (2)

Restil (31903) | more than 12 years ago | (#142386)

We now need a FPS kernel configuration routine.

Need to upgrade the mud based shell as well. Anybody who's anybody does their work in FPS mode these days. After all, its the only truely intuitive process. I mean seriously.. whats more likely? Someone entering the workforce that "intuitively" understands the concept of files and directories, and double clicking, or would they more likely understand roaming around with a shotgun and shooting monsters to erase files.

Lets get cracking people.. Until we can fully emulate everything we do in full 3D, then we might as well just do it in reality since it would be more efficient that way. :)

-Restil

Re:ESR wrong (1)

drsoran (979) | more than 12 years ago | (#142387)

MSFT is Fistandantilus? The gates of the Tower of High Socery will open for Bill *Gates*. I should have known. Now all he needs is a stupid muscle-headed brother and a virgin cleric of Paladine and he can take his place among the Gods.. or take the place of them. We must stop him before it is too late.

CurseML2 (1)

datalife (17290) | more than 12 years ago | (#142388)

If this is an adventure.
could these be a sequel to
Curse of MonkeyIsland?

CML2 -> Curse of MonkeyIsland2

I prefered the comic-style stuff.

Re:Actually, this might be practical... (5)

The Man (684) | more than 12 years ago | (#142389)

Dammit, we're *not* professionals. This kind of thing reminds me of the Good Old Days Before Microsoft when hackers were hackers and did it for the fucking code and not to wipe out IBM or sell shit. Jesus H Christ, people, will you get over it? World Domination is a joke, it is not intended to be a holy war.

This kind of thing is the stuff that makes Unix worth using. It's the kind of stuff that makes us better than Microsoft. Not GNOME. Not KDE. Not GNU this or Open Source that. The freedom to implement what you like rather than what a focus group calls for is one of the fundamental advantages of Free Software and of the hacker tradition that preceded it by 20 years or more.

Rest assured, Bill Gates is not spending his time making campy "for the fun of it" user interfaces.

Fine. He runs a multi-billion-dollar company. He wears suits. He talks about "vision" and marketing and The Road Ahead. Is this really somebody you want to emulate?

You can't beat Bill Gates with geek subculture. And while you're doing that, Gates' army is charging, on a mission.

On the contrary, he can't be beaten without it. Give up the fun, you've given up one of the primary distinguishing features. It doesn't count as a victory if you end up the same as your enemy.

This is one of the best things I've seen in recent years. I couldn't be happier. If a stuffed suit decided not to use Open Source because of it, I think we're just that much better off. Nyah!

Re:some comments on the new adventure (4)

sconeu (64226) | more than 12 years ago | (#142390)

Maybe a Python-to-C translator is in order here?

while (customer_asks_for_cheese)
{
lie_about_cheese_presence( );
}

Oh! Wrong kind of Python-to-C translator!!!! Sorry.

Anyone remember when we did this stuff for fun? (1)

The Man (684) | more than 12 years ago | (#142392)

Doesn't anyone ever get tired of being serious all the time? Fuck, people, it's supposed to be fun. You don't need Linux to be bored and frustrated; we have Windows for that.

Re:Oregon|Kernel Trail (3)

The Man (684) | more than 12 years ago | (#142393)

Nah, that's no fun. Better that you pick up the parts of the kernel you want in Missouri and then lose parts along the way.

You attempt to ford the river. You lose sparcaudio, two filesystems, and ffb_drm. sparcaudio pulls cs4231 into the river with it. You are out of filesystems.

Man, OT was the best. :-)

Re:Made for the Web, too. (1)

Helge Hafting (14882) | more than 12 years ago | (#142395)

Things don't necessarily get "newbie-friendly" just because you make it web-based. Consider web-based bash, where you submit commands one at a time, and the rest of the page is the resulting output. Web-based but no improvement whatsoever over telnet.

Re:kernel mailing list archives (2)

BJH (11355) | more than 12 years ago | (#142396)

I could say "Use Google!", but here you go:

http://uwsg.iu.edu/hypermail/linux/kernel/

Re:KDE has a new Kernel Configurator too (2)

GauteL (29207) | more than 12 years ago | (#142398)

Do you have any info on this? I've searched the kde-websites, and cannot find any information about this Kcontrol-module.

Funny: Todays UFi is right on topic: (2)

gerddie (173963) | more than 12 years ago | (#142399)

See here [userfriendly.org] and enjoy. - I assume the "forbidden hole leading west" then is write support for UDF :).

Re:Boss! I'm not playing games! (1)

DestructioN (163267) | more than 12 years ago | (#142400)

%#@$! SMP support just fragged me!
---
www.stallman.org is running Apache/1.3.6 (Unix) on FreeBSD

Yea (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#142401)

So why I must then type all kinds of ID numbers to a setup-program if it apparently already knows the right answer?
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