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Apollia's Puppy Linux Setup Kit v1.0

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9/30/2014 - Apollia's Puppy Linux Setup Kit v1.0 (Puppy Linux - Software Release)


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Apollia's Puppy Linux Setup Kit v1.0
Tuesday, September 30th, 2014
17:23:11 GMT

Puppy Linux
Software Release

I'm very happy to announce that I finally have finished a releasable edition of my Puppy Linux Setup Kit.

Here it is:

Apollia's Puppy Linux Setup Kit v1.0

See its home page and readme for more details about what it is and what it does.

Below, I'm not going to rehash that - I'm just going to jot down some extraneous, digressive notes.

It took a lot longer for me to finish the Puppy Setup Kit I thought it would. I got started on it last May or maybe even April. I didn't work on it non-stop since then, but, darn, I expected it to hopefully only take less than a month. But it took much longer, especially with (as usual) other crap in my life (mostly related to my and my family's continual financial problems) getting in the way.

(As always, donations, microdonations, and purchases of goods and services are welcome.)

Anyway, I think I worked on the setup kit most in May, August, and September, transforming it from the mess you can see here to something much more elegant and polished, if I do say so myself. It is my best work in Perl ever, so far, and even just a couple years ago, I would have been incapable of creating it.

I learned a lot from the book Code Complete, 2nd edition**. which I read around Oct./Nov. 2012. I also learned a lot from my still-incomplete (but remarkably successful) attempts in 2013 to convert Astroblahhh Desktop into a PHP-GTK app, while at the same time keeping it fully capable of running on a web server.

Why did I bother with the project of converting Astroblahhh Desktop? Partly just for fun, and partly because I do get a bit tired of being dependent on the non-libre Windows XP, even if I'm only using it inside a VirtualBox*.

And I also wanted to get away from having to depend on a MySQL or MariaDB server, too, so I also added already fully-functional SQLite conversion capabilities. The newest unreleased version of Astroblahhh Desktop can use both MySQL/MariaDB and SQLite databases, and seamlessly transfer data between each type of database. (At least, it seems pretty seamless so far.)

But I digress from the topic of the Puppy Setup Kit.

Apollia's Puppy Setup Kit is the thing I wrote about in 2013 in the Apollia's Puppy Setup and History With Puppy section of the page Some Puppy Linux Basics.

Back then, it was terribly messy and primitive - partly because I simply didn't have the time to learn how to do things right and polish it up nicely, and largely because I didn't even yet know how to make Perl modules from scratch.

So, in each original setup kit script, there was a lot of needlessly repeated code. I also didn't even yet know that it's a good idea to use these statements near the top of each Perl script:

use strict;
use warnings;

If you're not used to using those statements, they'll probably cause you a lot of annoying warnings at first, but, they'll help you catch a lot of little problems you'd otherwise miss, and help make you more careful and scrupulous in general.

So, happily, now I'm a lot more comfortable with Perl than I ever was in the past. It's still not my favorite language - that's still PHP - but I think now Perl might be my second-favorite language.

And I'm so glad I've finally gotten something so useful finished and released.

I'd like to expand the Puppy Setup Kit to make it capable of nicely customizing Lighthouse 64 Puppy Linux 6.02 Beta 2. I quite like LH64 because it seems to run faster than Lucid Puppy Linux 5.2.8 version 004.

My main obstacle so far with that is that I haven't been able to figure out how to get my favorite window manager, IceWM*, working in LH64. If anyone has some clues on how to do that, I'd love to read about it.

Anyway, at least with this long-overdue project finally finished and released, I now feel far more free to move on to something completely different, if I want. And I might, since I'm likely to take my time with the LH64 part of the Puppy Setup Kit.

Probably my top focus should be trying to figure out how to really fix my financial situation for good.

I guess maybe I might relatively soon start up two more of my websites - one of which will be focused on free (as in freedom), libre, open source stuff, and the other on stuff which is free, but only free as in price.

On the latter, I might point out various examples of the many hidden costs of supposedly "free" (but only as in price) things. And also draw attention to the superior alternatives - stuff which is truly free, as in freedom.

I've owned Apollia.com since Oct. 2013, and I'm thinking I might like to make that into some sort of nice portfolio website, something more polished and more impressive at first glance than Astroblahhh.Com. I've been getting ncreasingly annoyed by Astroblahhh.Com being an informal, messy, too-seldom-updated assortment of stuff of varying levels of quality, and I'm itching to reorganize it somehow, perhaps by installing a CMS.

So far, the CMS I'm most likely to install here is CouchCMS. And maybe someday I'll expand my WordsPlatz blog software, and merge it with features of Astroblahhh Desktop, maybe throw in some wiki-like features, and whatever else seems like a good idea, and hopefully wind up with my ideal, dream CMS.

Or probably I should call it a WRS - website revision system - as GNU.org sensibly recommends calling CMSes, given how absurdly ambiguous the term "content management system" is.

Quoted from this page on GNU.org:

The term "content management" takes the prize for vacuity. "Content" means "some sort of information," and "management" in this context means "doing something with it." So a "content management system" is a system for doing something to some sort of information. Nearly all programs fit that description.


Apollia.com will probably not be anywhere near as formal as the average curriculum vitae/resumé site, and I hope I will find some way to keep it from being static and boring.

My main goal with it will probably be to try to impress potential employers, probably by pointing out my best work, and maybe I'll put up some glitzier, fancier special effects than I normally like to use on my websites - once I learn how.

Probably my $9.00 a month subscription to Learnable.com will help me learn how to deal better with the cosmetic side of web design which I've typically largely neglected. And it already has helped me gain a deeper understanding of some technical things, and I was a bit surprised to find I quite liked their project management ebook.

Hmm, what else can I mention in this post? Oh, yes. One of the best things I discovered lately was the Mercurial* distributed version control software. It was of great help to me while building the Puppy Setup Kit.

The website hginit.com is a great intro to Mercurial.

I wish I had looked into version control software years ago. I thought version control software was mainly intended to make it easier for multiple developers to collaborate on one project, so I didn't realize it would be of so much use to me as a solo developer who has never yet directly contributed code to anyone else's project.

Sometimes I like to work on the same project on different computers, and in the past I had run into the problem of not having a really good way to merge the changes I made to the same project in each different location. Mercurial solves that (among other nuisances).

So does Git too, I guess, but I find Git quite confusing in comparison. And also, it seems like the copy of Git installed in Lucid Puppy 5.2.8 version 004's DevX SFS file (containing development tools) is partly broken - I couldn't get it to display log entries.

I'd still like to release the original version of my Eryss astrology software - the AutoHotkey* version I threw together in Oct. 2011 and have scarcely touched since Nov. 2011. Perhaps I should quickly just do that, even though it's nowhere near as polished as I'd like, and I'm now aware it has some errors with the code for calculating midpoints, which I really don't feel like struggling to fix.

If I manage to release it before Oct. 5th, then, I will just barely avoid having not released it for 3 entire years after I first started building it (Oct. 5th, 2011).

I guess I can just call it an alpha version. It's very doubtful that I'll ever complete it, because I am still plagued with financial problems, and on top of that, I find it rather hard nowadays to get motivated to work very hard on software which is native to non-libre platforms such as Windows or MacOS, because free, libre, open source software is inherently superior to closed source software in so many important ways.

Again, donations, microdonations, and purchases of goods and services are welcome.

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