[Debian-eeepc-devel] Advice for Debian Yeeloong project?

Ben Armstrong synrg at sanctuary.nslug.ns.ca
Fri Apr 9 16:16:04 UTC 2010

On 04/09/2010 11:32 AM, Matt Kraai wrote:
> I've created a couple of pages on the Debian Wiki to start a Debian
> Yeeloong project, whose aim is to ensure full support for the Lemote
> Yeeloong in Debian.  You can find them at
>   http://wiki.debian.org/DebianYeeloong
> Based on your experiences with the Debian Eee PC project, do you have
> any advice on how to make the Yeeloong project successful?


Nice!  Well, we have always tried to stay as little divergent from 
Debian as possible, working with upstreams (principally: acpi4asus, 
debian-kernel, Debian X strike force, linux-wireless and netdev) to 
ensure patches move to stable upstream as soon as possible and then have 
patches applied in Debian.  Also, rather than focus so much on 
uniqueness of the eeepc (small screen, low power CPU, etc.) it has been 
helpful to think of the sameness with other systems.  That is, it is, 
after all, just another PC, mostly used by desktop users.  Although it 
is underpowered and small, neither of those things are particularly 
new.  So in thinking about our users' needs, we try not to narrowly 
define our vision of the netbook as a class of device requiring a 
certain kind of user interface, or certain special tools on the 
desktop.  You can run GNOME, KDE, LXDE, Xmonad, or whatever floats your 
boat on it, even console-only ...  We have users who run the whole gamut 
of these choices.

But certainly the custom installer was a great way to bootstrap the 
project, and build a community from end-users who otherwise wouldn't 
have had the patience to install things the long way, and having our own 
repository eased the process too.  However, we needed to keep our 
primary goal: mainstream everything into Debian, in the forefront, so 
that now with Squeeze a short way ahead, we will no longer need either 
of these things.

The wiki is a key ingredient, but takes a lot of work to keep up-to-date 
with the huge number of different models in the eeepc line, not to 
mention all of the usual trials that go along with trying to keep all of 
the suggestions accurate and keep the structure from turning into a 
tangly mess.  One of the less-successful things about our wiki is the 
initial spurt of enthusiastic translation effort which then diminished, 
letting all of the translations fall into disrepair.  This occasionally 
causes problems with non-native-English speaking users consulting 
obsolete information in their language, and then failing to check the 
English wiki until after we've puzzled over it for a while.

I'm sure it goes without saying that the mailing list, git repository 
and irc channels together are vital channels of communication between 
developers, between users, and between developers & users.  My own blog 
postings and "bits" to d-d-a were also a way to reach out a bit broader 
into the community at large, but not, I think, very essential to our 
success, except maybe moreso in the initial phase of the project before 
we had established a core support & development group.

Paying attention to related projects has been important as well.  A 
number of us hang out on the general #eeepc channel on irc.freenode.net 
and also in times past we have consulted the forums at eeeuser.com, as 
many of the things we use, no matter what the OS, are in come: first, 
the hardware itself, and then the drivers, etc. that we all share in common.

But I don't think we would have been quite so successful without a great 
deal of good fortune: the eeepc really captured the attention of the 
public, and this fuelled a lot of purchases and therefore gave us a lot 
of enthusiastic developers and users who have made the project a real 

Good luck with your efforts!


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