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Rosevear Software






SAM blog:

March 2022

  • I've made some changes to SAM. In fact, work on SAM is ongoing.  I've decided, however, to focus this site on discussion of and articles about software that has been released for distribution.  You can read about the pre-release work on SAM at my other site Joe's Life where I write about current work on SAM and other projects.

    I will however also write about this website, Rosevear Software itself, and where appropriate I will take a chance and write about my plans.  This last one is not an easy thing to write about, so bear with me.  If I can, without wasting your time and mine going on about things I will never deliver, I want to share with you a little about what is to come.

  • I think I can safely say that SAM is going in a new direction.  I have had over the last couple of years two opportunities to meaningfully share SAM with other *nix users.

    This was great for me and for SAM, as it gave me some insight.  I saw that SAM has grown into a tangled, but useful, mess.  Therefore I have begun a process of cleaning up.  The SAM distribution has a kernel and an application.  It is mostly the application that needs cleaning up, as it contains a lot of example code that, for various reasons, is not appropriate for inclusion in SAM--junk, in a word. 

    Some of this junk is useful code.  Because SAM is a great framework for writing code to solve problems, I had filled it up with lots of code that I had written for my own use. I did this thinking that, as it was useful to me, it might be useful to others also. And I did it from laziness.  It was easier to put the code in my example menu than it was to find a convenient but separate place to stage the code.

    Now, seeing the error in my ways, I have designed exactly that: a convenient, but separate place to stage my code.  The solution I found was simple.  SAM code lives in menus, and the menus menus are just directories.  Therefore I found that I could stage my code in directories which are separate from SAM.  Here's an example that shows what I mean:

      Before I did this (at the SAM command line) to run tool "prep" that mounts my encrypted drive:

        backup; prep

      Now I do this:

        bound /mnt/other; tools; moreback; prep

      It is admittedly more to type, but it works and allows me to host prep outside of the SAM distribution.

    The above example was about application junk.  SAM also has special files and directories (that serve an executive role) that live in the root of the installed distribution; I have found that junk of another kind (executive junk) accumulates here.  This problem is odd.  I don't need to edit the files and directories here, but I do need to make copies of them, then edit the copies.  I do this to tailor SAM for my own use.

    Previously, I put the modified copies of these files and directories also in the root of the installed distribution, giving them different names.  Then when making the distribution I had the annoying task of editing code that excluded the stuff that I didn't want in the distribution.  This made releasing SAM slow and difficult.

    Now I do things differently.  First here is some background:  Some of the files of the root of the distribution begin with the letter "b" and are invoked by the user to start SAM.  I call these b-files. More than one b-file is needed, because they start SAM in different ways.  For example begin starts SAM normally, and bree re-starts SAM as root, keeping the menu and current directory the same, a SAM session that is already running as non-root.

    I have found a way to start SAM by invoking either a b-file in the root of the installed distribution or, alternately, invoking a b-file in a custom dir elsewhere that contains symlinks to some of the stuff in the root of the installed distribution.  In other words, I can have my cake and eat it too!

    The above solution is not hard to implement and it gives me a simple way to keep the junk out of the root of the SAM distribution.

    I was inspired to make these changes to reduce the junk in SAM by the sharing of SAM as I described above.  Receiving well intentioned feedback helped me to see more clearly what I needed to do.  The work is ongoing, but hopefully it will result in a simplified SAM that is easier to document, use and understand, yet still contains a good collection of useful example applications.

    I will not name the individuals I spoke of, as I did not receive their permission, but I will say that I found them in these two locations:

    • The Usenet group called "alt.os.linux.slackware".

    • The Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/unixshell/

March 2019

  • Hello and welcome to the new SAM blog!

    I'm writing to share with you about SAM.  Perhaps you don't know what SAM is good for.  Or perhaps you want to know what new tools or features have recently been released or are soon to be released.  I hope to serve those purposes and also to give some air to my thoughts about SAM.

    You get SAM from SourceForge, in case you didn't know.  See the link at the left.  I last uploaded SAM to SourceForge on October 7, 2018.  I have no release schedule--I release when I am able, hopefully with reasonable time intervals.  I want to avoid letting it go for long periods of time--something I have been guilty of in the past--I have made some improvements to my methods to help with this.


© Joseph Rosevear
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