Friday, December 04, 2009

New IZ2S Shell - Coming Soon

I am probably days away from releasing another version of my Improved Z2 Shell. Since getting the ALSA sound package working, I have been working on getting a good MP3 player to use. I found that there are quite a few console (ncurses based) MP3 players to chose from - but they all shared a common problem ... *SHARED* libraries and plugins.

I have never really challenged the restriction that comes with the Z2 Shell which is "your binaries must be static". I assumed that this had something to do with the way that the kernel was built - and I was partially right. Since working with GPSFan on getting ALSA going, I have been getting familiar with "buildroot" which makes building the Z2 kernel really easy. Not that I am interested in replacing the kernel (because I don't want to harm my stock OS) but I *am interested* in re-creating the kernel. In that process that builds the kernel, you are given a chance to turn enable options, add modules, and then build software against the final product. I found that uClibc had some issues with "pre-loading shared libraries". This pre-loading process typically also contains a cache which is created at boot time, or on demand (such as after building and adding new libraries). So caching and pre-loading are broken. But ... the ldconfig, and ldd tool could still be built. That means that shared libraries can still be used provided that "ldconfig" has been run before the application that needs the libraries.

With that, I went to work on building cmus for the Z2. I had spent the previous couple of days trying to work the plugin files into "static binaries" which was quite a contradiction being that they were created in the form of .so files. Now, I could drop all that nonsense and build the application as the developers intended. With the binaries built, I began the process of getting libraries copied over and putting the shared libraries where they belonged. To my absolute delight - it worked!

And so, in the coming days I will be releasing the latest and greatest Z2 Shell which includes the highly anticipated ALSA sound modules, and a new line of applications that previously were not possible.

I am also trying to figure out how we can get the keyboard backlight working, but I will definitely need some help with that. Your friend and mine, aliosa27 has offered his assistance and so I am much more confident that we can come up with something now. You may have heard that sweetlilmre' has been successful in getting this working with the latest kernel source, but it will be tricky trying to apply his same tactics to an older kernel version. Additionally, we will have to do the whole process with modules and daemons (without touching the core kernel).

So check back soon folks. In the mean time, I will be BETA testing all this stuff I have thrown together latetly. If you aren't all ready doing so - get into #zipit on and join the discussion.

No comments:

Post a Comment