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Author Topic: Bounty Challenge Draft - Compile, Link, and Install Lisa Office System Source  (Read 4333 times)

sigma7

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This is a preliminary draft of a Bounty Challenge for Re-compiling the Lisa Office System.

Hopefully this can be improved to the point of officially offering it as a Bounty Challenge with a designated prize. I will pledge at least US$100, perhaps more depending on interest, other pledges, and the difficulties encountered.

Please comment or send a private message if you have ideas on how to make success of this challenge more likely.



Thanks to the efforts of Al Kossow, we now have access to some Source Code for the Lisa Office System

There are various ideas to fix/improve/modify/develop LOS further, but before any such projects can proceed, we need to be able to re-compile the source code and install the resulting binary.

Hence this Bounty Challenge: To document a way to compile and install the LOS source.

Requirements to successfully accomplish the Challenge are:

  • The development system/environment/software/hardware be readily accessible to Lisa enthusiasts without substantial expense. One may assume that a physical Lisa computer is available, eg. to run the Lisa Pascal Workshop, but it is not required that a Lisa is used to compile the software if a cross-platform compilation turns out to be a better solution.
    .
  • Sufficient documentation is provided so that a knowledgable Lisa user can reproduce the successful challenge, which means:
    • Any source code not already provided by the CHM is supplied
    • All Compilers/Linkers/Binary Libraries, shell scripts, etc. required are easily obtained at no or modest expense
    • A method of installing the resulting binary is provided/documented such that the binary will run on a physical Lisa computer with substantially the same results as the LOS as it was distributed by Apple.

To break down the Challenge into more manageable parts, I suggest:

Part 1: Be able to Compile the source code without errors
Part 2: Be able to successfully Link the compiled source such that comparing to Apple's binary shows limited/acceptable differences
Part 3: Be able to install and run the binary

I think it may be best to divide these parts further to distinguish the operating system environment from the LOS Tools/Applications, and perhaps to divide further so the Applications are considered individually if any have unique difficulties.
eg. LisaWrite may be much easier to compile, link, and install than the OS itself, so may be a good place to start.
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stepleton

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Thanks for proposing this!

One variation on the prize scheme that might attract more participants (funders and maybe competitors --- but will motivate people differently) would be to have the cash not go to the winner but instead go to the winner's choice of reputable computer museum.

The Lisa community is pretty small, and it might be the case that one of the donors or even an organiser or cheerleader for the challenge (nb: I'm not speaking with you/sigma7 or anyone else specifically in mind here!) could be one of the winners. Some people might be reluctant to contribute if they were worried about a conflict arising there, especially folks who are unfamiliar with us. ("What if one of these lisalist2 strangers had a working build all along, and this was just a way to make some easy cash?")

The nominal benefit of giving a donation choice to the winner might seem like less of a conflict, and the person contributing to the pot of money also gets to feel good that the cash is going to a museum. This may encourage more people to participate as funders. (This is also one reason to restrict the winner's choice to computer museums --- presumably those are of interest to nearly everyone who might want to compete or fund, and funders can give freely without any worry that the winner might choose a charity that they find morally objectionable.)

I'm thinking too that a donation bounty might encourage more collaboration than a cash bounty. If a pile of money is on the line, then competing participants may not want to share secrets or tools so that they can maintain an advantage. If the prize is a donation choice, then a competition may stay friendlier and may go faster as participants may wish to try and get the cash to a museum (and get a working build) as soon as possible.

A donation bounty also has fine PR value I think, and while we're not trying to market ourselves per se, a "feel good" story like this may spread further than the story of a traditional bounty. A wider reach could attract more people into the Lisa community, and that could have all kinds of benefits: what if some hacker gets it done by sprucing up LisaEm's Workshop support in the process, for example?

Of course, the motivation of a small personal windfall will be absent with this scheme, and I don't think there's any shame if that's what drives you to take up this challenge!

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Moving away from the nature of the prize, we could also reward desirable modifications and improvements to the Office System, like ways to use different storage media, networking, fixing the Y1.996K bug, etc.

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Anyway, just some thoughts. Thanks again for drafting this!
« Last Edit: September 28, 2023, 10:10:05 pm by stepleton »
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AlexTheCat123

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What about a hybrid approach where half of the prize goes straight to the winner, while the other half goes to a computer museum of their choosing? That way, both the people who are motivated by the cash prize and the people who want to make a feel-good donation to charity would be happy!
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sigma7

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What about a hybrid approach where half of the prize goes straight to the winner, while the other half goes to a computer museum of their choosing?

Or perhaps the person making the pledge can decide which is their preference?

I fear the task may be too big, which will prevent anyone from getting the prize, or worse, there will be duplication of effort for the initial part of the problem, then no further progress due to challenger burn out. Success may require sequential effort from multiple people.

So then:

Is there a way to prevent duplication of effort?
Is there a way to fairly allocate the prize among multiple contributors?

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sigma7

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The Lisa community is pretty small, and it might be the case that one of the donors or even an organiser or cheerleader for the challenge (nb: I'm not speaking with you/sigma7 or anyone else specifically in mind here!) could be one of the winners.

Some people might be reluctant to contribute if they were worried about a conflict arising there, especially folks who are unfamiliar with us. ("What if one of these lisalist2 strangers had a working build all along, and this was just a way to make some easy cash?")

I suppose that could be a concern, so I (JDM aka Sigma7) officially remove myself from eligibility to win any of the prize.

If anyone spots any other considerations that could deter support for this challenge, please explain.

If someone does already have a working solution, I would consider them still eligible for the prize (including you TS :) ), as the task of documenting it is worthy in itself.
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