Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 6th Oct 2007 23:12 UTC, submitted by Kaj de Vos
Syllable, AtheOS The first development release of Syllable Server is available. It provides a text mode Linux environment, but also contains a preliminary graphical environment built on the framebuffer device, with DirectFB and SDL on top. The planned graphical environment from Syllable Desktop is not included yet. The installation procedure is short, but is still manual - and resembles the installation procedure for the old AtheOS. Included are tools such as a graphical web browser, a file manager and an editor. One thing Syllable Server is designed for is to function as a light-weight virtualisation platform for running other operating systems (or multiple instances of itself). The QEmu virtualisor/emulator is included, and the KQEmu Accelerator kernel module is integrated into the system. There's a screenshot of Syllable Server running on Syllable Desktop, installation and usage instructions, a torrent (preferred), and an installation package [.tar.7z].
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Kudos & Kuestions :P
by UglyKidBill on Sat 6th Oct 2007 23:58 UTC
UglyKidBill
Member since:
2005-07-27

Well... Kudos to Vanders and the Syllable team. Always great to hear the project keeps maturing.

I would like to know what is the "vision" they have for the server branch. I mean, what do they have in mind to make it a better, or at least a different approach, to something like a minimalistic Linux server (other than "because it can be done", which I would find a very good reason already ;) ).

Also, did a quick glimpse on their website but couldn't find about sys requirements?

TIA

Reply Score: 1

RE: Kudos & Kuestions :P
by BurningShadow on Sun 7th Oct 2007 00:14 UTC in reply to "Kudos & Kuestions :P"
BurningShadow Member since:
2006-09-07

"[i]Also, did a quick glimpse on their website but couldn't find about sys requirements?[i]"

If you had followed the link "installation and usage instructions" you would have found the minimum requirements at the top of the document ;-)

Reply Score: 2

What a waste of time
by tails92 on Sun 7th Oct 2007 05:40 UTC
tails92
Member since:
2007-10-07

Why develop a new kernel like Syllable if it at the end you're still going to use Linux for a distribution?
It just seems bad managment and waste of time in my opinion.
And their excuses that the Syllable kernel is not good for servers are pathetic, if the kernel really is bad for servers, then why do the kernel developers not adapt the Syllable kernel to servers better?
And, well, web-servers even used to run under DOS, so they why can't them run under Syllable?
Most people do not need to run Slashdot, they know.

Reply Score: 4

RE: What a waste of time
by smitty on Sun 7th Oct 2007 07:13 UTC in reply to "What a waste of time"
smitty Member since:
2005-10-13

I think the main issue is hardware support, it's going to be a while before Syllable can realistically provide all the drivers that Linux does. This way if the Syllable kernel doesn't support your hardware they can point you to the linux version as an alternative.

The other possible issue I can see is scalability. The linux kernel is designed to scale up to hundreds of processors, and I'm sure Syllable isn't. In fact, that might even be a good choice for a desktop system since I'm sure there are some design tradeoffs involved. I'm not sure anyone with hardware like that would really want to run Syllable anyway, but perhaps that's what they're aiming for?

Reply Score: 4

RE: What a waste of time
by Vanders on Sun 7th Oct 2007 10:00 UTC in reply to "What a waste of time"
Vanders Member since:
2005-07-06

if the (Syllable) kernel really is bad for servers, then why do the kernel developers not adapt the Syllable kernel to servers better?


Because that would require a ridiculous amount of work to add server features and hardware drivers which would then simply result in us having a clone of the Linux kernel.

And, well, web-servers even used to run under DOS, so they why can't them run under Syllable?


Right. I don't know many people running DOS on their servers. Perhaps there's a reason for that?

Apache runs on Syllable Desktop already, and Kurt used to run atheos.cx from an AtheOS machine, so it's possible. Running a web server is only one possible application for Syllable Server, and it's not even the most interesting one. A lot of people think of web or mail servers: instead, think of a workgroup and file server.

Reply Score: 2

Nice
by johkra on Sun 7th Oct 2007 08:01 UTC
johkra
Member since:
2007-09-12

I've followed the development of Syllable for a while already and I think this is a very important step.

Syllable is not ready to replace my current desktop, but I have no high-end (for a vm) or spare computers to run a test systems.

Now, when they port the graphical interface to Linux, I can do a bit more work to get familiar with programming for Syllable on my current computer - particularly GUI programming - and I can use my familiar environment and tools.

I think that's really nice.

Reply Score: 2

lzma
by sbergman27 on Sun 7th Oct 2007 17:48 UTC
sbergman27
Member since:
2005-07-24

Kudos to them for recognizing the value of lzma compression. I often see lzma produce 30-40% smaller file sizes than bzip2.

Reply Score: 1

RE: lzma
by WiggetyWhack on Sun 7th Oct 2007 20:47 UTC in reply to "lzma"
WiggetyWhack Member since:
2007-06-30

What a flat out lie. You can't beat bzip2 with anything but a few percent, except on the occasional obscure crafted file. Prove it, I say. You say "often". I invite you to pick any exe on teh intarweb, compress it with bzip2 and lzma and post the results to something like fileshack.

Reply Score: 0

RE[2]: lzma
by Vanders on Sun 7th Oct 2007 21:03 UTC in reply to "RE: lzma"
Vanders Member since:
2005-07-06

Did you even try it yourself first? It's not hard to test. Here's the first random, moderately sized file I thought of to try:

kristian@mars:~/Temp$ ls -l libc-2.5.so*
-rwxr-xr-x 1 kristian kristian 1216808 2007-10-07 21:53 libc-2.5.so
-rw-r--r-- 1 kristian kristian 435125 2007-10-07 21:53 libc-2.5.so.7z
-rwxr-xr-x 1 kristian kristian 536797 2007-10-07 21:53 libc-2.5.so.bz2

That's a 100k difference over bzip2 -9. For a very large file which may be downloaded a large number of times the difference is even more pronounced:

kristian@mars:~/Temp$ ls -lh syllable-0.6.4.iso*
-rw-r--r-- 1 kristian kristian 106M 2007-10-07 21:58 syllable-0.6.4.iso
-rw-r--r-- 1 kristian kristian 77M 2007-10-07 22:02 syllable-0.6.4.iso.7z
-rw-r--r-- 1 kristian kristian 82M 2007-10-07 21:58 syllable-0.6.4.iso.bz2

Edited 2007-10-07 21:04

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: lzma
by sbergman27 on Sun 7th Oct 2007 21:55 UTC in reply to "RE: lzma"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

"""

What a flat out lie. You can't beat bzip2 with anything...

"""

The data I transfer daily in lzma format is my own customers' point of sale data. I can't very well send you that. So try this instead:

#!/bin/bash
cd /etc
tar -c -v -f - . | cat > ~/test.tar
tar -c -v -f - . | bzip2 > ~/test.tar.bz2
tar -c -v -f - . | lzma -9 > ~/test.tar.lzma

Here are the results on my FC7 system:

-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 114114560 2007-10-07 16:39 test.tar
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 9486794 2007-10-07 16:40 test.tar.bz2
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 6953453 2007-10-07 16:44 test.tar.lzma

That's 27% smaller than the bzip2 file, on a test I pulled randomly out of the air.

The *big* news here is that there are actually bzip2 zealots in this world! Who'd have thought?

Would you like a valium?

Edited 2007-10-07 22:02

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: lzma
by smitty on Sun 7th Oct 2007 23:27 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: lzma"
smitty Member since:
2005-10-13

I tried it on 2 VMWare virtual machines with full Linux installations, and came up with right around 18% gain over bzip2 on both tests. So I think it's pretty fair to call a 20% gain typical. 30-40% maybe not, but for certain classes of files perhaps.

1222163426 vs 1485770949
17.7%

1037944559 vs 1274922856
18.6%

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: lzma
by sbergman27 on Mon 8th Oct 2007 02:58 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: lzma"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

YMMV. I see 30%-40% improvements on the datasets for which I most typically use the format: Cobol C/ISAM data files.

Edited 2007-10-08 02:58

Reply Score: 2

RE: lzma
by DigitalAxis on Sun 7th Oct 2007 22:04 UTC in reply to "lzma"
DigitalAxis Member since:
2005-08-28

On the other hand, in my experience LZMA compressors tend to take several times longer than other programs to compress data... (recent test with about a gig of .fits files from my research; gzip 5:48, bzip2 11:49, 7zip 56:51; none really compressed them very much though gzip was worst and 7zip was best) So it's a tradeoff between compression ratio and speed. If you don't care about compression time, LZMA is awesome.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: lzma
by sbergman27 on Sun 7th Oct 2007 22:23 UTC in reply to "RE: lzma"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

DigitalAxis,

No. These days you have a choice with lzma. The package I use accepts switches -1 through -9, like gzip. At -1, the compression is about like bzip2 and with comparable speed. -7 is the default and the sweet spot, regarding both compression speed and memory usage vs compression effectiveness.

-9 is slower, yes. But it gets better results.
Gzip is still good for when you need speed. Lzop is great for when you need *blazing* speed with, still, remarkably effective compression. (Well... all things considered.)

Bzip2 is still good for... I'm not sure what. But it's popular. ;-)

lzma has been hampered by implementations with incredibly obtuse user interfaces, unfortunately. I just recently extricated myself from that mess. These days I just use it like gzip.

Edited 2007-10-07 22:41

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: lzma
by DigitalAxis on Tue 9th Oct 2007 03:17 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: lzma"
DigitalAxis Member since:
2005-08-28

Apparently my version of 7z also accepts the 0-9 parameter... I never noticed. And yes, it appears to default to 9.

bzip2 is good for being the best compressor commonly installed on Linux systems. You rarely find rzip or rar there. And actually, rar did worse than bzip2 on my little test, but I think that was with non-optimal settings.

Reply Score: 2

Cosmoe?
by bsharitt on Sun 7th Oct 2007 22:06 UTC
bsharitt
Member since:
2005-07-07

Isn't this similar to what the Cosmoe guy was doing?

Browser: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows 98; PalmSource/Palm-D060; Blazer/4.5) 16;320x320

Reply Score: 1

RE: Cosmoe?
by unthinkableMayhem on Mon 8th Oct 2007 00:53 UTC in reply to "Cosmoe?"
unthinkableMayhem Member since:
2006-01-16

I think Cosmoe was more of an attempt to make a BeOS type system on top of Linux with the possibility of source level compatibility with other systems like Mac OS Carbon. It used the AtheOS appserver as a base for the GUI.

Syllable Server is a companion for Syllable Desktop that provides services that the Desktop system is not suited to.

Now I'm off to evangelize operating systems in a compression algorithm forum! Seeya!

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Cosmoe?
by Vanders on Mon 8th Oct 2007 08:17 UTC in reply to "RE: Cosmoe?"
Vanders Member since:
2005-07-06

Syllable Server is a companion for Syllable Desktop that provides services that the Desktop system is not suited to.


Yes. Both yourself and the grandparent are actually correct. Technically the act of running the Syllable appserver and application on top of the Linux kernel is very similar to how Cosmoe did it. Basically we'll have a small compatibility layer that adds Syllable native APIs on top of the Linux kernel and then simply build our desktop and software on top of that.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Cosmoe?
by unthinkableMayhem on Mon 8th Oct 2007 08:44 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Cosmoe?"
unthinkableMayhem Member since:
2006-01-16

Hi Vanders,

True - I read it more as a question about goals rather than the implementation.

On another note, I've noticed lately that the dev mailing list doesn't have a lot of traffic about the development people are doing. I understand the desire to keep some things quiet but I find that it's a deterrent to contributing when I have no idea what other people are up to.

Perhaps I should make this comment in that forum rather than here ;]

- Andrew (auther of the olllld Launcher and, most recently, Hex Editor)

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Cosmoe?
by Vanders on Mon 8th Oct 2007 11:51 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Cosmoe?"
Vanders Member since:
2005-07-06

Yes, sadly a lack of time means we don't get to communicate as much as we'd like. I hope the Developer Newsletter helps a little, though.

I'll talk to the developers about trying to be more vocal on the mailing lists. I may also set up a CVS commit list.

Reply Score: 2

Why?
by konrad on Mon 8th Oct 2007 09:47 UTC
konrad
Member since:
2006-01-06

You guys are doing a good job but I cant really see why anyone would like to run Syllable. Ive been a BeOS user for several years and now Iam running OS X. Convince me why I should choose Syllable over Haiku, or SkyOS or any other alternative OS?

Reply Score: 1

RE: Why?
by Vanders on Mon 8th Oct 2007 11:56 UTC in reply to "Why?"
Vanders Member since:
2005-07-06

Because Syllable is the most mature and feature complete of those three, supports a lot of common hardware (To be fair, so does Haiku these days) and we actively work to try to fix "non-booting" bugs when users report them. In other words, Syllable is the most likely to actually run on your hardware.

We're also planing to use interesting technologies such as REBOL far more, and REBOL is frankly interesting enough on it's own. We're also the only one working to provide a complete solution for your home or small work network, and that's partly what Syllable Server is intended to do.

If the license is your thing (and for you personally, I'm guessing it isn't) Syllable is also the only one which where a significant portion of the code is licensed under the GPL & LGPL.

Reply Score: 2