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Thread: Tell Me What You Want...

  1. #1
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    Tell Me What You Want...

    Hi, my name is Jeff, aka the DistroDawg, and I want to build your perfect distribution. I think I have a pretty good start on this, but I'd really appreciate some feedback from users of this site, as you represent a different user group than the one's I typically develop with/for. The insights I'd like from you are:
    1. Your preferred desktop environment, and more importantly, why it's your favorite.
    2. The text editor you use most often, and why you choose this app over other choices.
    3. The web browser you use daily.
    4. The multimedia apps you can't live without, and, again, why.
    5.What file-types are the hardest to work with for you under Linux?
    6. Do you prefer binary packages, or do you compile from source?
    7. Do you use a GUI for package administration or system administration?
    8. Do you use Crossover Office, Win4Lin, VMWare or WineX (cedega) to run Windows applications from your Linux desktop?

    Your help in answering these questions may well help shape the way a new distribution's installer presents itself to first time users. Helpful folks will get a shot at the bittorrent downloads of the early betas, and my undying gratitude.
    Thanks in advance,
    Dawggie!

  2. #2
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    1. KDE - it's the best looking, very well integrated (i.e. in terms of applications fitting together nicely), and as of version 3.2, is extremely responsive.
    2. ee - Laugh all ya want, but it's what I used as a newbie and it does everything I need from a CLI editor. Nano if I can't get ee.
    3. Firefox - is there any other? :wink:
    4. Xine - as long as you have the necessary libraries / codexes, you can watch (almost) any video file format. I use Noatun for listening to music, but that's just because it's a simple audio player for KDE; I don't have a strong bias for it.
    5. Any proprietary video formats, particularly quicktime and *especially* .wmv / .asf. Microsoft have done a fine job screwing everyone over that doesn't run Windows for watching .wmv files.
    6. Binary packages. Specifically, .debs. Why struggle with compiling when I can do dpkg -i <package> and be done with it?
    7. It really varies; I use CLI a lot but it's nice to have a GUI when the CLI tools get really complicated. One nice option is to have the utility for system administration be CLI but then to have the *option* of using a GUI. In Libranet, adminmenu runs from the command line but xadminmenu functions as a front-end for it.
    8. Nope. I have a dual-boot system for when I absolutely have to use Windows.

    Hope that helps!

  3. #3
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    I think an install should be text based. GUI installs are prone to errors... and don't make it any easier.

    WM: fluxbox, it's fast, efficient, lots of screen space, and it always works

    Text editor: vim, it's very powerful, and anyone w/ a bit of *nix knowledge should know how to work with it

    Web browser: firefox if in X, links in cli

    Multimedia: mplayer, it has the ability to run via framebuffers, i hate starting X up unless I _have_ to, and with mplayer i don't have to just to watch a movie

    file formats that are hard: none, probably proprietary ones, but i refuse to use those

    packages preferred: binary, but make the headers available so that if i _want_ to install something by source i can

    GUI for sys-admin: why?

    Way to run all those wibloze apps: Yea, i'm not interested in those, furthermore if you included something like cross-over office with it's fucked up license by default and did not give me a "free (as in freedom) software only" choice, i would not install your distro

  4. #4
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    maccorin,
    I have noted your reticence to use anything that's not free and Gpl'ed. Does that mean you haven't installed any documentation, since much of that falls into the non-GPL'ed area? As far as "opting out" of any non-free packages: with the exception of live-cd installs, I've never seen a distro which didn't give you the option to de-select any package you didn't want to install. Once upon a time, Suse and Red Hat required that you use non-GPL'ed tools for system administration, but that time has passed. I'd spend a little more time researching the "free, as in freedom" concept, as it has been applied to the Open Source community. Many of the best and brightest minds don't share your belief that different licenses can't exist without corrupting the whole. Furthermore, while you're free to evangelize your beliefs anywhere you want, as a forum moderator you should be careful taht your beliefs aren't so vehemently represented as to overwhelm new users, who might just be happy with free, as in beer. In fact, if we took your point of view to it's logical conclusion, you would come out as supporting SCO's claims against Linux. Since SCO alleges that some small part of the code included in Linux is not free at all, but was included improperly, you should probably uninstall immediately! Otherwise, like all other users of Linux, you should feel free to install whatever packages you want, free or not. I guess I'm just a little put off by the "tone" your zealottry takes.
    Oh yeah, crossover office, with it's f#cked up license has managed to bring a significant number of commercial users, who have very significant investments in closed-source software like Microsoft Office into the Linux world. Would you really have all those people be forced to run Windows as a primary operating system just because they don't share your beliefs? Since crossover licenses cost money, I probably won't include one in my free release. But, many of my commercial Linux clients became Linux clients because they could allow their staff to continue to use the apps they were familiar with on a more stable and less expensive platform. They'll never pay for another Microsoft license, and many of their users are migrating to Open Office in place of MS Office, but they'd never have taken the first step if I hadn't been able to offer them some familiar faces on the desktop.
    Like so many other arguments in this, and other Linux forums, the CLI guys are always far more vocal in screaming that nothing non-free may touch the snow white purity of their linux installs. Like so many other purity arguments, the truth behind software development is missed. Yes, we have an Open Source community. Yes, anyone can contribute. No, we could not develop most of what we have without commercial support. Linus and the rest of the team get paid to develop. The people that pay them get financial gain from our beloved free Linux.
    Guys like me develop distros and packages because we want to make a contribution, and because we hope to see some gain from our work. Would the free version of my distro suck because there was a paid version available? If so, tell it to all the major distros which, with the exception of Debian, offer free and paid versions. You can actually pay for Debian discs, too. I sell them myself, contributing all but production cost back to the Debian project. If you, and folks like you, bring this fight to Linux, competing OS's (read-Microsoft) will undoubtedly use this to generate FUD where it need not exist.
    Eventually, we'll be left with a crippled-up hobbyist OS which offers no real choice at all. Without commecail gain, businesses fail. That's true even for non-profit and free-software providers. Open GL didn't start out open. SGI built GL to make money, then thankfully released it into the OSS community before selling it to Microsoft. Likewise, pretty much every other file format, filesystem type and application has commercial development at its' beginning. Only after IBM made money on JFS, for instance, did it open that filesystem to our community. Likewise, those profiteers at SGI developed xfs as a commercial product, then opened its' source. Heck, Hans Reiser gets paid to develop reiserfs, and sells commercial implementations of it. I can't recall any of the big names in the community advising us all to ignore GL, JFS, XFS or Reiserfs becuase they're not all fundamentally free. The evil geniuses at Sun developed java as a commercial product, and continue to maintain it as such. Does the option to use some form of java corrupt the whole of Linux? Debian doesn't seem to think so, as you can install the Sun or Blackdown versions of java under their remarkably "free" distro. I assure you, if you were to ask any of these people/companies whether they would have developed these products without a commercial outlet for them. the answer would be a resounding no!
    What's next? Will the purists start demanding that their PC's only run on non-proprietary hardware? Maybe we'll need some free PC's to give away, with completely unbranded components inside.

  5. #5
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    I replied to you in another thread. http://www.linuxfoo.org/viewtopic.php?p=1751#1751
    Please keep this conversation to one thread instead of placing your thoughts everywhere so as people only see your side of this.

    and ummm... how the hell is Rieserfs or XFS not free..., both have free implementations included _in_the_fucking_kernel_, oh yea... Free as in Freedom is much different then free as in beer, don't go confuse the 2.

    Look all i said is you should have an option that says "I Do not want non-free software"

    Sorry if that offends you, if it does though, you should not have asked what we want.

    Now there is a more complete response to the philosophical questions at hand at the link i have above.

  6. #6
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    1.) KDE- Sorry Gnome users, but KDE is infinately more beautiful, and a lot more customisable. It is also easy to use, but it can also keep a power user happy.

    2.) KWrite- It is not overly powerful (like emacs), but it is simple, and easy to use. It also provides syntax highlighting, which is great for those website developers!

    3.) Mozilla 1.7- Really fast, accurate, and friggin awesome browser.

    4.) JuK, Rhythmbox, XMMS, MPlayer, XINE, Grip, GIMP- These are the basics of multimedia!

    5.) I don't have any problems.

    6.) Binary. I hate not having package dependencies too!

    7.) Go the GUI! I know it gives problems, but at least if you include the GUI, there is a choice of whether or not the user wants to use the GUI or the console.

    8.) Wine is a good choice. If you could get WineX or Crossover, that would be absolutely great!

    Good luck at making the distro! If you need a beta tester, count me in! :wink:
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