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  • From: Kevin Monceaux <Kevin AT>
  • To: SourceMage Discuss Mailing List <SM-Discuss AT>
  • Subject: [SM-Discuss] Back for another look at SMGL
  • Date: Thu, 18 Nov 2010 15:05:24 -0600


It's been a couple of years since I last tinkered with SMGL. I've
done a bit of distro hopping since then - Gentoo, Arch, Slackware,
OpenSuSE, and even a couple of non-Linux options(FreeBSD and
OpenSolaris). I'm running Debian this week. :-) I used to say I
thought I had a touch of Linux specific ADD, but I've done the same
thing with web frameworks so I guess it's not Linux specific. :-) At
one time or another the two web sites I act as webmaster for have gone
from static HTML pages to a combination of static HTML pages and
straight PHP(no web framework), PSP(Pascal Server Pages), ASP.NET(via
Mono on a FreeBSD box), Catalyst, Rails, and at the moment one site is
Django based and the other was converted to Drupal a little while

Anyway, to get back on topic, I've tried umpteen Linux distros. None
are perfect. Back before I switched from SMGL a couple of years ago I
posted a message to the mailing list mentioning a few things I missed
from other distros. I received a few suggestions on bending SMGL to
my will. I've recently been tinkering with SMGL under a chroot
environment, and have taken a stab at adding a few simple things I've
missed from other distros. I'll copy/paste and reply to a few bits
from some old messages below instead of replying to some really old
threads. I'll detail where I'm at in case anyone else finds it of

On Wed, Oct 29, 2008 at 07:08:59PM +0100, Andraž 'ruskie' Levstik wrote:
> On Wed, 29 Oct 2008, Kevin Monceaux wrote:
> >It seems with gaze I have to ask for each bit of info available for a
> >spell separately. Although I did manage to get a little more information
> >when searching with something like:
> >
> ># gaze version `gaze -q search -name vim`
> >
> gaze -q installed $1
> gaze size $1
> gaze -q website $1
> gaze -q short $1
> gaze license $1
> gaze long $1
> Also usable. Basically provide patches for this or a tool that does it ;)

I started out creating a script that calls gaze multiple times as
suggested above to sum up info about a spell. It wasn't terribly
slow, but with gaze parsing the same spell info half a dozen times or
so it was a little sluggish. So, I finally took a stab at hacking
gaze. I'm a bash novice, and know even less about the sorcery API
than I do about bash. Using existing functions in gaze as examples
adding an info function that displays several bits of info about a
spell was fairly simple. Using mutt as an example the output
currently looks something like:

(SMGL:~) # gaze info mutt

Spell: mutt
Grimoire Version:
Installed Version:
Section: mail
License: GPL

mutt is a text-based MIME mail client.

Mutt is a small but very powerful text-based MIME mail client. It is
highly configurable, and is well-suited to the mail power user with
advanced features like key bindings, keyboard macros, mail threading,
regular expression searches, and a powerful pattern matching language
for selecting groups of messages.

This spell contains various optional patches for each branch of mutt.
For details on any of the patches, see:

The -0-1 tacked on to the spell version is the patch and security
patch levels. After that I gave displaying a bit more info when
searching a try. I've only tweaked the -name search so far, which
I've made the default search in my hacked version of gaze:

(SMGL:~) # gaze search mutt
Searching . . .

I mutt - mutt is a text-based MIME mail client.
I font-mutt-misc - Module font-mutt-misc for xorg
mutter - A window manager based on Metacity with clutter support
muttprint - Formats the output of mail clients for good-looking

The I's next to the first two spells indicate they're installed.

"sorcery queue" displays a list of spells that will be updated, but
sometimes it's handy to know the versions involved. For example
upgrading from dovecot 1.2.x to 1.2.y is a lot simpler than upgrading
from 1.2.x to 2.0.x. With OpenSuSE one can use "zypper lu" to display
a table of available updates. My gaze now has an lu command to do the
same. It depends on "sorcery queue" having already been run as it
just lists any spells in the install queue(switching from stable to
stable-rc as an example):

(SMGL:~) # gaze lu

Spell Installed Version Grimoire Version
----- ----------------- ----------------
bash 4.1-2-0 4.1-3-0
bitmap 1.0.4-0-0 1.0.5-0-0
freetype2 2.4.2-0-3 2.4.3-0-3
gnupg 1.4.10-0-7 1.4.11-0-7
libdrm 2.4.21-0-0 2.4.22-0-0
libfontenc 1.0.5-0-0 1.1.0-0-0
libice 1.0.6-0-0 1.0.7-0-0
libsm 1.1.1-0-0 1.2.0-0-0
libxaw 1.0.7-0-0 1.0.8-0-0
libxcomposite 0.4.2-0-0 0.4.3-0-0
libxext 1.1.2-0-0 1.2.0-0-0
libxinerama 1.1-0-0 1.1.1-0-0
pixman 0.18.4-0-0 0.20.0-0-0
rgb 1.0.3-0-0 1.0.4-0-0
sqlite 3.7.2-0-0 3.7.3-0-0
tar 1.23-0-2 1.24-0-2
udev 162-0-0 164-0-0
xorg-server 1.7.7-0-4 1.8.1-0-4
xz-utils 4.999.9beta-0-0 5.0.0-0-0

That's the extent of my hacking so far.

On Wed, Oct 29, 2008 at 07:08:59PM +0100, Andraž 'ruskie' Levstik wrote:

> It's a recent addition:
> gaze time vim
> Casting vim took 4m

Will this feature make it into sorcery stable? It looks like it's
still only available in sorcery development.

I'm considering switching my desktop PC back to SMGL, but still have a
bit of work to do. Among other things I'm still running dovecot

How are things looking with SMGL and "root on LVM?" I have most of my
drive space lumped together as an LVM root at the moment. The LVM2 on
root guide page:

still says "coming soon" as it did when I last looked at it a couple
of years ago. Not to be nit-picky, but should that perhaps be changed
to "maybe coming eventually?"


Bruceville, TX

What's the definition of a legacy system? One that works!
Errare humanum est, ignoscere caninum.

  • [SM-Discuss] Back for another look at SMGL, Kevin Monceaux, 11/18/2010

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