[sisela] Plans for the next Sisela version

Amit Kucheria sisela@earth.li
Mon, 28 Jun 2004 10:01:47 -0700

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Please see inline for some comments/additional requests.

On Sun, 1999-06-27 at 04:45, jmh2 wrote:

>    Wireless. Two in particular. Linksys usb 802.11b and d-link dwl-520E1
> both have no resident software (no flash chip) so software must be
> downloaded by the driver. This is being done with linux but is somewhat a
> challenge. Also, realtek rtl8180 cards (the cheap ones). I have these
> cards, so I can help check things out.

Wholeheartedly agree. Latest Madwifi cvs (WPA branch) would be welcome

>    Do a simple Voip telephony 'telephone'.
>    Make a version which will do voip telephony, wireless or wired that
> would be a 'telephone' to use with the asterisk software pbx.=20
>    Gnophone would be a good start. Gnophone does iax protocol and is know=
> to work well with asterisk.

If you mean the sisela should contain the Gnophone client software, I
whole-heartedly __disagree__. Sisela's goals, AFAICT, are
routing/traffic engineering/bridging etc - more of a facilitator.

>    Act as 'inverse' wireless access point. I have done this with a small
> script with sisela 0.2. Sisela attaches to the wireless internet of your
> neighbor and then provided wired internet to your network. Most useful.
> Works great with sisela, but needs a supported wireless card (see above).=
>   =20
>    Figure out how to make a wireless repeater. Same idea as above but all
> wireless. Boost local wireless signal intensity. This would seem to
> require an intimate knowledge of the ARM processor used is virtually all
> wireless cards.

Interesting concepts.

> Make a CDROM available=20
>       with 'all' of the Sisela development environment that can be
> 'copied' onto a hard disk partition, that includes kernel sources and
> compilers to make driver and application development easy and the same of=
> all of us.

Very good idea. This does away with all the breakages due to change in
location of the software or version updates. 0.3 has many such changes.
It also gives everybody a common ground that is known to work. You could
even have stable and unstable trees.

Obviously this would mean bandwidth costs. Hosting on sourceforge? bit

> On Sat, 26 Jun 2004, Martin Ling wrote:
> > Now that I'm finished with exams for this year, I'm beginning to make
> > serious plans for the next version of Sisela.

I have been using sisela for a few weeks now. The initial build
architecture is good but could be improved further.

IMHO, you could create self-sufficient 'packages' for each piece of
software; similar to Gentoo ebuilds. The advantage is that you can
configure a package in a single file providing the following:

  - Base version to use
  - Patches to apply
  - Build instructions
  - Install instructions

It doesnt have to be as complex as ebuild - doesnt need dependency
checking, pkg manager.

Get the build infrastructure somewhat easy to use and you should see
decrease in support requests and increase in user contributions. I would
voluteer to help you in this regard.

> > Lots have things have been asked for, including:
> >=20
> > - New boot methods - PXE netbooting, USB memory sticks, hard drives
> > - More support for recent wireless chipsets
> > - PPPoE
> > - AP mode support
> > - Captive portal
> > - Web administration
> > - Wireless scanning
> > - Various additional software

knoppix-type hardware detection for initial configuration?


> > Ultimately though I'm never going to be able to satisfy everyone, and
> > modifying the source package to add what you want isn't currently that
> > easy. So in future I'll be trying to build as many options as possible
> > into the source package, menu-selectable in the same style as the Linux
> > kernel configuration, so people can build in exactly what they need.
> > This is going to take a little longer than just cramming more stuff in
> > though, so I'm postponing it until the version after next.

IMHO you should concentrate on improving the build for version 0.4.=20
This version could have configurability through simple text file
editing. You could leave the menus for 0.5.
> > The Sisela roadmap, then:
> >=20
> > 0.4: Simply the most networking power ever fitted on one floppy disk.
> >      Also PXE, USB and HD-installable versions. Less ancient drivers.
> >      More new ones. Configuration menus, web management, captive portal=
> >=20
> > 0.5: A flexible source distribution allowing people to build exactly
> >      what they need onto any size or type boot media. Also 'standard'
> >      version(s) with the mostdistributed as pre-compiled images.
> >      Probably a web-based custom compilation service.
> >=20
> > 0.6 and upwards: Refinements and additions to the framework of 0.5.
> >=20
> > I'll still be trying to modularise the source package whilst working on
> > 0.4, in preparation for a fully configurable 0.5. However, making sure
> > all possible combinations build and work properly will be a lot of work=
> > I don't want to stall a 0.4 release waiting for that to be ready, when
> > there's plenty of fixes and improvements to 0.3 that can be done now.
> > You can help by:
> >=20
> > - Telling me what you want. There have been plenty of suggestions on
> >   this list already, but more are welcome. Be clear on exactly what you
> >   need and why - don't just ask for a particular program, there may be =
> >   smaller alternative way to be able to do the same thing.

1. Support for JFFS/Cramfs filesystem
2. Whole image loaded into RAM disk (already done?)
3. RO and RW partitions
   * RO partition - executable, libs
                  - loaded into memory
   * RW partition - configuration files, logs, /var etc.
                  - On disk, flash, harddrive
4. Ability to update images over the network

> > - Volunteering to test beta versions. I'll announce all developments on
> >   this list, but if you mail me now and let me know what hardware you
> >   are already using with Sisela and what you have available to test on,
> >   I can make sure things are better tested.

I volunteer.

Good luck..and keep up the great work.



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