LDS Linux

Discussions around miscellaneous technologies and projects for the general membership.
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thedqs
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Postby thedqs » Fri Jul 13, 2007 11:41 am

Yea my dad (who was the Ward Clerk during the MIS to MLS change) complained a lot about the Java interface and other bugs and limitations. Most of which have been expressed in the forums already.
- David

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mkmurray
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Postby mkmurray » Fri Jul 13, 2007 11:51 am

One of my fellow coworkers was on the team the Church contracted that created the original MLS in Java.

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Postby mkmurray » Fri Jul 13, 2007 11:53 am

thedqs wrote:Either way how many members need a running copy of MLS at home. And since I am assuming the target of this OS was for normal members even having MLS would just be a space filler.

I guess when somebody brought up MLS, I began assuming the LDS-specific Linux distro was for computers at Church buildings. If MLS hadn't been mentioned, I would have assumed regular home use for members.

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Postby russellhltn » Fri Jul 13, 2007 12:17 pm

mkmurray wrote:I guess when somebody brought up MLS, I began assuming the LDS-specific Linux distro was for computers at Church buildings.


I was the first to mention MLS, but I was keying off of this in message #1:

It seems that such a distribution would work well for Wards and Stakes. Such a distribution could be used for geneology, ward finances and records, etc.


As for my stand on this, I don't hold any hope for this going anywhere but I'm willing to play with the idea and see where it goes.

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thedqs
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Postby thedqs » Fri Jul 13, 2007 6:11 pm

Hmm when I read the post for some reason I understood home user with (geneology, finances, records, etc) (Yes, that is not a quote but how I interpreted it). For ward computers I don't see the difference except for the OS since all that software comes with the church computers already. The reason I think the church will stay with windows for church computers though is because most people who use the computers would feel lost, confused, etc when going to a Linux distro.

As for home computer LDSOS I think that it would be great as a live cd that they could pop in (of course they do have the option of installing it on the hard drive) run their church programs in a new environment and if they didn't like it just popout the disk and reboot.
- David

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Postby russellhltn » Fri Jul 13, 2007 6:47 pm

thedqs wrote:The reason I think the church will stay with windows for church computers though is because most people who use the computers would feel lost, confused, etc when going to a Linux distro.


Not to mention local support issues. (I suspect there are more Windows power users then Linix power users.)


thedqs wrote:As for home computer LDSOS I think that it would be great as a live cd that they could pop in (of course they do have the option of installing it on the hard drive) run their church programs in a new environment and if they didn't like it just popout the disk and reboot.


Where it would really help is donated machines without an OS. When it comes time to dump the machines in our FHC, I'm going to have to scrub the OS off of them because it's part of the church's site license. Only one of them has a Microsoft sticker and I think that's for Win98. A simple one-step install to make it usable for some member would be great. It would also be a good niche to build on to show what can be done and encourage the eventual switch to Open Source OS.

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Software needed for a distro

Postby rmleonard-p40 » Sun Jul 15, 2007 2:59 pm

A good starting point might be "edubuntu"
http://edubuntu.org/
(or one of the other ubuntu distros)

with the following softwares?

start building a set of links of sites and stuff that would help build a "working" computer that would allow someone to get going on a very basic computer and would provide all of the useful things that someone would need to fulfill all of their church obligations and still be "fun" and useful.

open office (productivity software)
firefox (web browser)
thunderbird (mail)
sunbird (calendar)
Evolution (open source Outlook type program)

some kind of adobe reader
genealogy software
music player
games

and so on...

some links of note
http://ldsoss.org
http://sourceforge.net/projects/ldsdps/
http://www.latterdaymac.com

Rich Leonard

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Postby rmrichesjr » Sun Jul 15, 2007 4:01 pm

thedqs wrote:I think that he wanted this as a viable OS for members of the church to use, so MLS wouldn't be necessary, but Java would because you could include the extraction program and possibly nFS client. Also filters could be installed, and other church software previously mentioned.

And yes most members have DVD drives so being on a bootable DVD would be great, now how would we store information since most Live Disks just store docs and everything on a Ram Disk which might confuse people as to why their documents just disappear.

Linux still needs work on writing to NTFS (it can read just fine) and that is what most people have their hard drives formatted as.


As I understand it, the problem with Linux writing to NTFS is actually not on Linux's side, but (based on my study) the company that owns NTFS refusing to make documentation available and allegedly changing the format from time to time in ways that some believe are designed to thwart efforts to make Linux able to write to it.

thedqs wrote:MLS is a java program similar to the indexing program.
PAF, on the other hand, would require a emulator but I think that the nFS client would be adaquate.


PAF works reasonably well for many/most practical purposes using WINE (WINE Is Not an Emulator). WINE can be redistributed under terms of the LGPL, so including WINE should not be a problem. PAF's license may be a difficulty, because it only allows "incidental, noncommercial church or home use" and prohibits selling it.

Do you have a pointer to this "nFS client"? I have heard mention that there would be an open-source application that would use the NFS API, but I haven't seen anything specific to indicate it is actually being developed. Do you have a pointer?

thedqs wrote:Either way how many members need a running copy of MLS at home. And since I am assuming the target of this OS was for normal members even having MLS would just be a space filler.


It would be WONDERFUL to be able to do MLS work from home, for those whose callings require use of MLS. (Each trip to the meetinghouse to enter home teaching visits costs me a few dollars in gas and nearly as much time traveling as actually using MLS once I get there.) However, the current MLS keeps the most current data on the local unit administrative computer, so that basic architecture would have to change before MLS could be used from homes.

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Postby rmrichesjr » Sun Jul 15, 2007 4:16 pm

RussellHltn wrote:Not to mention local support issues. (I suspect there are more Windows power users then Linix power users.)


You might be surprised. In my previous ward, there were at least three Linux power users that I was acquainted with. In my current ward in a rural county, there's at least myself and one other who could administer Linux systems immediately, and a few others who could spin up fairly quickly _if_ that were to happen.

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Postby WelchTC » Mon Jul 16, 2007 7:30 am

There are a lot of Linux distros that will run live off of a CD/DVD or USB Stick. I think that the real market for doing that is for portability. Otherwise it is much more convenient to install on the hard drive.

Having spent 5 years as the CTO for Linspire, I can say that although Linux has come a long way, for non-technical users (and even some technical ones) it still has some rough edges. I'm a huge advocate of Linux and my wife and family use it daily. However most windows apps don't work under Wine. While at Linspire, we spent around 500K on improving and developing Wine. We did this through an agreement with the Crossover guys. Our goal was to get office 2K to work flawlessly. We finally came to the conclusion that it is better to spend money on education than in emulation.

As far as an LDSOS distro goes, I think it would be a great community project for families. Eventually the Church could take a look at it but I think it would be best to build one for families. Gramps is a good alternative to PAF, OpenOffice for MS Office, Firefox -> IE, etc. Build it with a squid proxy filter in to help with internet filtering and you could make a cool homework computer.

Tom


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