I need some help!
Note: This page doesn't really belong on this wiki but it doesn't belong on the blog either (it isn't related to the scriptures) and I don't want to start a blog just for this. The audience of this wiki may not be a good fit. If you read this and have another venue for soliciting help, please link here. Thanks!
Family Search Indexing requires a pretty decent computer to run well. Many Family History Centers have older computers and limited budgets. Many volunteers who want to work on the project from home are in the same boat.
A possible solution
Get a stripped down linux os with java run-time to run fsi (family search indexing) in a speey way on an older computer.
What's been done to date
Made CD one can insert in an off computer, power it on, start up FSI and it runs. Specs:
- based on DSL linux--a compact linux OS.
- added java-runtime environment to automatically load
- added FSI software so that it is already installed on the CD (even though reading from a CD is slow, I found it faster than just having the start file which downloads the whole thing from the internet.
- This was a first test. The results were less than stellar on memory usage perspective.
- Also, there is a bug right now that I'm not really sure how to attack (because I don't know anything about this). Any drop down box that you also can type in (or better I should say you also ought to be able to type in) the user actually cannot type in it. This renders the program unusable. I think it must have something to do with the jave run-time environment. I know that I got a similar package to run under ubuntu just fine. Likely trial and error will solve this problem.
- trial and error on the combo box issue
- test on a computer with 256 meg (I don't have one currently).
How you can help
- if you know anything about linux you can see if you can't get the family search indexing program to run on DSL linux by messing around with it. My next guess is to try to see if there are any other packages for the java run-time environment. That would be an easy solution. Another option (though I don't think it is hard I've never done this) would be to compile it yourself.
- Test out the CD on your computer. [Unfortunately, you still can't do this. I wasn't able to upload the 92 meg ISO file so that you can download it and test it for me. I'll think about how to do this.] I would expect that you ARE going to encounter the same combo-box problem mentioned above. So it won't actually be usable. But you can tell me whehter it works on your computer, how the speed is of loading the graphics and messing around with stuff.
- If you have a computer to play with then it would be nice to see how things work when a hard drive install is done. I think (but am not sure) that the customizations I have done to DSL linux (e.g. adding the java run-time environment) will persist through the install. If you have an old computer you can wipe the hard drive off of and it has enough memory to be worth the time testing (at least 128 I think) please test this out and report back here the results.
- I'd like to see Dillo (instead of firefox) as the browser that starts up when within FSI you click on an internet link. Even the old version of firefox inlcuded in DSL Linux is memory hog compared with the trim Dillo. And for what we are doing Dillo is good enough.