News (July 2015)

Unique package instances in binary repos

Calculate is on a three-step way to a better system organization. After profiles unification and making lightweight CL versions inherit from the main ones, the last but not the least was simplifying the repositories structure. Let us see what it is all about.

It is well known that USE flags can be numerous and cumbersome. It would have been virtually impossible for the developers to provide for all of their combinations – even less so as some flags are added to the CL default ones when you install other programs that, in their turn, often bring their dependencies… For simplicity’s sake, we divided those coming on board along with your Calculate Linux system into four categories: Xorg-bound, KDE-bound, server and general purpose packages.

Portage can actually handle multiple binary repositories, but whenever some version is found in several of them, one repo gets the priority. Having this in mind, we moved all identical packages to ‘default’, which is the base repository for all CL distributions. The second stock of precompiled stuff every Calculate system draws from would be distribution-specific:

  • CLD uses ‘default’ and ‘kde’;
  • CLDX, CLSM, CLS, and CMC use ‘default’ and ‘x’;
  • CDS and CSS use ‘default’ and ‘server’.

We thus only need to compile Firefox once and then store it in the ‘default’ repository for the resulting package to be available for all flavours of Calculate, while LibreOffice will be stored both in ‘x’ and ‘kde’ depending on whether the ‘kde’ USE flag is enabled or not for libreoffice.

Getting rid of package duplicates in repos has proved very space saving: it helped reduce the size twice and unload the system that had been busy building extra binaries. We could definitely make a better use of space and memory thus freed up, if only to prepare additional binary packages for popular software.

Binary dconf format supported

The latest update (3.3.3) brought long-hoped-for dconf support to Calculate Utilities, provided as an easy to use data dump for the DConf tool. Included in the template header, the dconf option allows to specify the configuration path. For more information on using templates in Calculate, please read the relevant documentation page.

New site soon to be available in beta version

Last year, we asked CL users how they liked the official project site. Now we are coming back with some ideas that will hopefully meet at least some of their concerns: welcome the brand new Calculate Linux page soon!

The new site should look quite the same to you, with the only exception of adaptive interface meant to make mobile navigation easier. It will completely move to a location in the .org domain zone. Both Calculate users and localizers will appreciate the choice between at least three languages (Russian – English – French). Advanced functionality will be offered to site translators and international members of the CL community.

The Bugzilla service will, from now on, be part of our multilingual discussion board. In many ways, we have remained what we initially were, a nice small project run by a group of enthusiasts, which is why the community feedback and collaboration still are the underpinnings of what we do. So long live the forum! And thank you again for using Calculate Linux.