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Red pill =/= install from file.

 
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vadimpelau
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PostPosted: Tuesday, 12.Jan.2010 13:33    Post subject: Red pill =/= install from file.   Reply with quote   

Red pill is much more than install from file, it gives you access to chuncks of unfinished projects and other things as such that can brick your phone.
This things are in all repositories and are not for users as none of them is actually a working application.

However install from file can RARELY (almost no .debs for maemo outside the repositories) be found and even "more" rareley are they any good.

For those whishing to play with fire, there's a voting thread here: http://talk.maemo.org/showthread.php?t=40158
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Michal Jerz
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PostPosted: Tuesday, 12.Jan.2010 15:23    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

Quote:

Red pill is much more than install from file, it gives you access to chuncks of unfinished projects and other things as such that can brick your phone.

Oh, come on! I'm getting sick of all this moaning about how Extras Devel, or Red Pill, or everything else could brick your phone.

X-Terminal with root access enabled can do it AS WELL, if used improperly. So what? Are you suggesting that X Terminal and/or root access should be removed, too? And if not, why do you think that using the X Terminal with root access enabled is more secure than using the Red Pill mode?

What difference do you see between using those other than "Install from file" (possibly harmful) Red Pill mode functions, and typing a possibly harmful command (or incorrect argument for it) in X Terminal with root access enabled? Do you think the latter is less likely than the former?

dpkg and apt-*** have arguments that can break/remove installed packages, including system ones. Use one of them by mistake, and the results can be WORSE than using ANY of the Red Pill mode functions.

At least as long as the Red Pill Mode was available, those who wanted to install .debs didn't need to launch X Terminal, enable root access (which unlocks THE WHOLE system for any kinds of possibly harmful modifications by an unexperienced user) and play with any terminal commands like dpkg or apt-*** at all. Most of them were just using "Install from file". Now they will be forced to use X-Terminal with root access and manually use dpkg, apt-get, etc., type the parameters, paths, etc., which leaves MUCH MORE SPACE for mistakes.

Sure, we can remove all possibly harmful (if used incorrectly/unconsciously) options from the device, but what will we end up with? An iPhone clone. And I think that majority of those who buy the N900 buy it because they expect it NOT to be an iPhone, i.e. NOT to be a 100% restricted and foolproof device.

I don't think that N900 users should be treated like idiots from whom all more advanced functions should be hidden and blocked or else they'll all brick their devices. Those people also have cars, knives at home, electric appliances, etc. and somehow they still live and don't kill themselves on the first attempt of driving their car, using a knife or attaching an electric appliance to the power socket. PEOPLE HAVE BRAINS.

Besides, what's the big deal with "bricking the device"? Even if you DO, you can ALWAYS reflash it via NSU or Flasher.exe. All you need is a backup and in less than half an hour you're back to what you had before any problem occured. It's VERY DIFFICULT to brick the N900 beyond a state where simple reflashing and restoring a backup fixes it completely.

The Red Pill Mode wasn't accessible directly. It required enabling it CONSCIOUSLY, by following a special procedure. So it's not that one could do it unconsciously or by mistake. And in this regard, it wasn't ANY different than launching the X Terminal, enabling root access and using dpkg to install a .deb file, it was just EASIER, QUICKER and SAFER.

Some people will STILL want to install packages from .deb files rather than waiting until they get promoted to Extras or even uploaded to Devel. Look at Maemo.org discussion forums: there are DOZENS of threads there were developers upload the early versions of their just started projects as .deb files. And lots of people WILL always be tempted to install them before they appear in any repository. So far they were using the Red Pill mode. Now they'll have to use the X Term with root access which IMHO is less convenient and LESS SECURE than the Red Pill mode was.

So what's the next step? Forbid developers to post .debs on Talk.Maemo.org so that unexperienced users don't get tempted to install them via X-Term / gainroot / dpkg -i ? Shocked

Finally, if the purpose of removing the Red Pill mode really was THOSE OTHER advanced funtions offered by it and not the "install from file" option, why weren't those other functions removed and the "install from file" function left intact, instead of removing the WHOLE Red Pill Mode?

As I wrote, for me removing the Red Pill mode while keeping the X-Terminal, root access, dpkg, apt-*** etc. seems to have a completely different background than security. It was meant to make it harder to distribute/sell software outside the just launched Ovi store. Money talks.

Make up your mind guys. Either you want Maemo (as you advertise it) to really remain the most OPEN mobile platform, OR gradually remove all advanced features from it. It slowly gets TIRING to everyday see all those scary warnings how one should NOT use Extras Devel or else one will brick his device, how one should not install standalone .debs or one will brick his device, and so on. We already have one perfectly restricted, totally foolproof device on the market: the iPhone, and there is no need to make the N900 a clone of it because it's NOT what majority of people bought it instead of the iPhone for.

Even just to make screenshots for my Maemo Software catalog, I install and launch EVERY SINGLE package from Extras Devel. Guess what. For almost four months, NONE of them bricked (or in any other way damaged) my N900. And free memory on my rootfs just DOESN'T WANT to go below 40-50 Megs as most packages (even in Extras Devel) are now optified and those who aren't and take too much space for my liking can simply be UNINSTALLED. And my N900 is still rock stable, doesn't reboot, freeze or hang, the firmware update went seamlessly, everything JUST WORKS.

So please stop telling me every single day how bad and harmful it is to use the Red Pill mode, install software from Extras Devel, install standalone .debs via dpkg -i, etc. I want to ENJOY the openness of the N900. Please, don't ruin that impression. And even if I manage to brick my N900 one day, it will be a real pleasure to revive it in 20 minutes using Flasher.exe and backup restoration.

If I wanted a foolproof iPhone, I would have bought the iPhone.
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debernardis
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PostPosted: Tuesday, 12.Jan.2010 16:04    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

I'm with you Michal - even if I don't think this is to jail us into the ovi store.
As I can remind, it's only packages which haven't in their "section" parameter in the control file inside the debian package the "user" tag which don't appear in the application manager. Adding "user" is enough to show them, even from a third part repository.

Here's the content of the control file for the package "gnutar" which I took from the Diablo extras repository (and btw works even on Fremantle):

Package: gnutar
Version: 1.19-1
Section: user/other
Priority: optional
Architecture: armel
Depends: libc6 (>= 2.5.0-1)
Installed-Size: 2092
Maintainer: Magnus Kulke <your.name@example.org>
Description: the gnu tar
GNU tar, as the standard maemo tar is crippled, gets installed as /usr/bin/gnutar

Here, if Section was blank or contained only "other" instead than "user/other", it would not have shown in the application manager. So, if was meant as a way of preventing third-party packages and repos, it would be quite easy to circumvent Razz
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Michal Jerz
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PostPosted: Tuesday, 12.Jan.2010 16:22    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

Quote:

I'm with you Michal - even if I don't think this is to jail us into the ovi store.

Well, I think that Mr. Konttori actually confirmed it in his blog... He just wrote:

"Ovi store content is not visible in the application manager installable applications. This is intentional, as we want the official Ovi store front-end to be the only place to browse for the great applications, backgrounds, ringtones and wallpapers. For this reason, the red pill mode was removed as well."

http://konttoristhoughts.blogspot.com/2010/01/retrospective-on-101.htm l

Quote:

Adding "user" is enough to show them, even from a third part repository.

Yes, I know, but I meant something different.

Handango, Mobihand and other existing online software stores have EXTREMELY POOR KNOWLEDGE about Linux software distribution system. It is also completely different than what their content management systems currently support and how they work. Adding support for repository-based software distribution would require them to develop it from scratch, which - with the N900 being currently the only Maemo device on the market - definitely wouldn't be something they'd find worth and profitable to do.

So if those other software stores ever decided to sell Maemo software, they'd probably start from offering it as standalone .deb files with instructions about how to install them via the Red Pill mode and might consider develop repository based systems at a later date, after N900 sales proved to be profitable for them.

Now that the Red Pill Mode has been removed, it'll actually definitely prevent any other stores from supporting the N900. They won't instruct people to install software bought from them using the X Terminal / root access / dpkg, as it's simply way too complicated for majority of end users and far too "inelegant".

This way, indirectly (but intentionally) removing the Red Pill mode actually killed any Ovi store competition before it even was born.
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vadimpelau
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PostPosted: Tuesday, 12.Jan.2010 22:32    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

Guys, it's not like they'll read your opinions here. Either way -dpkg still does the job.

As long as rootsh is there, there's no need to worry.
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Michal Jerz
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PostPosted: Tuesday, 12.Jan.2010 23:44    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

Quote:

Guys, it's not like they'll read your opinions here.

So what? Does it render discussing such things, even just between us, i.e. N900 users, a waste of time? Is talk.maemo.org supposed to be the only place to express opinions about the N900?

Quote:

As long as rootsh is there, there's no need to worry.

If we ignore that playing by a novice user with X Terminal with root access enabled is actually ten times more risky and insecure than using Red Pill's "Install from file" then, well, sure.

No, I personally do not have ANY problems with using dpkg -i rather than Red Pill mode. But I guess that a newbie who found a deb file somewhere on the net (e.g. on talk.maemo.org where lots of developers post early versions of their new projects as standalone .debs) and googled for some instructions on how to install a deb using dpkg and re-typed something incorrectly, e.g used a wrong argument for dpkg, can harm his N900 much more than he could ever do in the Red Pill Mode.
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debernardis
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PostPosted: Wednesday, 13.Jan.2010 07:50    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

I am no coder unfortunately, but I'm sure that for an average programmer, developing a GUI application that autoinstalls a .deb package or any other package type might be a breeze. It could be done with sh I guess.
Handango and friends only need such an app that when one clicks on a deb package on the device's file manager, installs it via apt together with its dependencies. Voilà.
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Michal Jerz
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PostPosted: Wednesday, 13.Jan.2010 08:13    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

Yes, I know it that simple. But tell this to Handago... It took them 3 years or so to develop their own InHand client for S60 phones, while all that InHand client does is giving access to a small, selected number of applications (like top 10 and 10 recently added)...

But of course it's not Nokia/Maemo to blame for that.

P.S. That GUI installer you mentioned would also have to be installed somehow Smile So users would have to use X Term / dpkg at least once Smile
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PostPosted: Wednesday, 13.Jan.2010 16:05    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

i agree 100% with what Michal Jerz says here.


as long as theres a good bootloader (or whatever its called) on the N900, it will be impossible to brick the phone. its just as simple as backing up the phone right before tampering with it and if anything goes wrong - THE N900 CAN BE 100% RESTORED Smile

PS. i really hope the bootloader is 100% foolproof ...actually i hope it resides on a read-only ROM that cant be reflashed in any possible way. that way really nothing can go wrong (unless other components like the camera or wifi chip have their own firmware and can be bricked ...or a virus makes some extreme overclocking that damages the circuits)
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Michal Jerz
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PostPosted: Wednesday, 13.Jan.2010 17:13    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

Bootloader CAN be reflashed. But can't be damaged (at least easily) by user tampering with system files.
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Elohim
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PostPosted: Wednesday, 13.Jan.2010 22:56    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

There should be a install from file option in N900..

But i guess Nokia don`t want users to do that ..

Its really strange how so many users in a community like maemo.org condemn the use of Red pill mode and screams like a lady as soon as a user even asks about it and tips users to use x terminal...Dont see the logic behind that..

Or how they scare people away from using extras devels and extras testing and on the other hand complains about so few users testing program and votes so they can reach extras...
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Michal Jerz
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PostPosted: Thursday, 14.Jan.2010 09:05    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

Quote:

Its really strange how so many users in a community like maemo.org condemn the use of Red pill mode and screams like a lady as soon as a user even asks about it and tips users to use x terminal...Dont see the logic behind that..

Yeah, they always scream about it and blame other websites (including My-Maemo) of promoting it, but at the same time their own forums (talk.maemo.org) are literally FULL of developers posting initial (often extremely unstable and thus insecure as it's usually before they even get uploaded to -Devel) versions of their new apps as standalone .deb files from where thousands of unexperienced new users get and install them, and I haven't seen ANY Maemo community member ever complaining (not to even mention doing something) about that. Indeed, not much logic behing it.

Quote:

Or how they scare people away from using extras devels and extras testing and on the other hand complains about so few users testing program and votes so they can reach extras...

Or how they complain about users filling their rootfs with unoptified packages, as if they couldn't FINALLY make it a REQUIREMENT for ALL packages to be optified right from the start, even in Extras Devel.

These guys are really CONFUSED.
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PostPosted: Sunday, 17.Jan.2010 20:36    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

Michal Jerz wrote:
P.S. That GUI installer you mentioned would also have to be installed somehow Smile So users would have to use X Term / dpkg at least once Smile

Not when you put that app in your repository! Smile
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PostPosted: Saturday, 13.Feb.2010 04:05    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

how do you put your n900 back into red pill again?


i did it before but have reflashed my phone.
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PostPosted: Saturday, 13.Feb.2010 16:08    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

ceroberts75 wrote:
how do you put your n900 back into red pill again?


i did it before but have reflashed my phone.


If you've flashed with the new firmware then you can't - it's been disabled. With the old firmware you created a new catalogue, set the URL to "matrix" then tapped the popup window to exit.
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