Wednesday Dec 16, 2009

Movable Type Finally Makes It To The "contrib" Repository

Okay, so that title probably needs a little bit of explaining, if you're not following the saga of the OpenSolaris Source Juicer on a daily basis as I am.  I'll get back to the good news about Movable Type 4.31 in a bit; meanwhile, here's the deal with the "finally" part of this entry's title:

Sun's ISV Engineering group has been working for a while to get a pile of open source applications into the OpenSolaris "contrib" repository, which is to say, a place where you can look to find extra stuff that doesn't come with the stock OpenSolaris release.  "contrib" is by no means the only repository of cool extras -- check out the multimedia repo for example -- but it's a good place to put apps in general.  So we do.

We use this thing called the "Source Juicer"; it's a robot that builds software packages from source code, if you give the robot some instructions on where to grab the source from the web, what other software the app depends on, and how to build the app.  Once built, you ask people to test the app and vote on whether it's good-to-go or not.

Every once in a while, the Source Juicer people decide to look at the list of apps that have been favorably voted on, and they promote these apps from a repository called "pending" to the "contrib" repo.  If you look at this list of apps that have been so promoted, what you'll notice is that for the past almost-a-month, the only guy who's gotten his apps promoted are some dude named "Roboporter"; that's not a nickname, that's a clever mechanism the Source Juicer folks use to get a whole big batch of packages into a repo if it looks like the rules for building those apps are really straightforward, or really similar to other apps they've set up for the roboporter.  The roboporter is another 'bot.


We've had Movable Type in the "pending" repo for a while now, and we've had it tested and ready to go for over a month.  (here's proof)  Finally, Eric Reid tells me that the app got promoted into the contrib repo.

Bottom line: if you like the Movable Type blogging engine, you've now got a simple way to create a blog site, protect its data, or to do development and test snapshots of sites you create with Movable Type.  Just install it on OpenSolaris and ZFS will make your data nice and safe.

Check it out, let us know what you think.

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Wednesday Oct 14, 2009

Update: Drupal now available in OpenSolaris

Sun's ISV Engineering group has been working hard all spring and summer to get fistfuls of popular and important open source applications into the OpenSolaris "contrib" repository, a repo for third-party applications that can be assumed to have some level of sanity checking done on them.

Eric Reid in ISV Engineering has submitted three different releases of Drupal; today, the final release (Acquia Drupal) was approved and placed into /contrib.  These three applications are
  1. Drupal 5 (release 5.20)
  2. Drupal 6 (release 6.14)
  3. Acquia Drupal, created by the commercial enterprise backing Drupal:
It's nice and easy to try out any of these Drupal packages in OpenSolaris.  Want help?  Read this entry on for complete yet succinct instructions.

I should also point out that when you install Drupal in OpenSolaris, the package management system will pull in the Sun WebStack components automatically, which is all free as you would expect.  It's the AMP stack components you know and love, but optimized by Sun for out-of-the-box performance improvement, plus a management console that lets you see what's going on with the components while you're running your Drupal web site.

(Okay, that may have sounded a bit like an advertisement, but we really did put a lot of engineering effort into optimizing the AMP components on Sun's systems and the new analytics thingy is pretty cool looking.)

Meanwhile, this adds one of the premier open source content management systems to the stable of apps freely and easily available to you when you install OpenSolaris on your computer.  You can even choose from amongst the leaders in blog engines / content management systems / web site building tools: Drupal, Joomla!, WordPress are all available now.  Here is a list of packages published to the contrib repository.

Check 'em out!

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Tuesday May 12, 2009

Note to self: installing OpenSolaris packages from the SourceJuicer

The SourceJuicer is a tool in OpenSolaris meant to simplify the process of getting apps onto OpenSolaris.  The tool works by taking a file specifying the contents of the package to be installed (called a "spec file"); this includes information on where to fetch the source code for the application package, directions on how to build from source, then where to install the resulting app.

Ultimately, packages built using SourceJuicer will be reviewed and voted into the "/contrib" repository, a repo for third-party applications not necessarily part of the OpenSolaris core distribution.  SourceJuicer puts the packages it builds into a repo called "/pending"; to test these apps, you need to tell the package manager where the /pending repository is.

I want to take my OpenSolaris 2008.11 distribution and play with some of the new packages in /pending.  For example, I want to try the Azureus (now called Vuze) BitTorrent Java application which somebody just made available on OpenSolaris.  To do so, I need to do the following steps:

  • Add the SourceJuicer "/pending" repo to the list of repo's known to the package manager:
  • $ pfexec pkg set-authority -O jucrpending
  • Now I can install the package I want (in this case, "vuze", the name of the Azureus/Vuze application):
  • $ pfexec pkg install vuze
Simple as that.

I can also add this package repo and install the package via the graphical "Package Manager" interface, available via the menu choice System -> Administration -> Package Manager.  Once the Package Manager is launched, I choose the menu choice "Settings -> Manage Repositories..." to add the SourceJuicer pending repo.

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