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 Forum index » Taking the Puppy out for a walk » Suggestions
Puppy Observations/Wish List
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elroy


Joined: 02 Feb 2012
Posts: 374

PostPosted: Sun 27 May 2012, 19:55    Post subject:  Puppy Observations/Wish List
Subject description: it'd be nice if...
 

I’ve come to appreciate the fact that Puppy Linux, and in particular Saluki, is a very usable, easy to set up distro (due to the frugal install/Grub/Grub4Dos), and that it is perfectly suited, and imminently useful, for every day tasks in a GUI driven environment. That said, there are some limitations that I find irritating. More on that later. However, compared with other full-blow GUI driven Linux distros, Puppy as it currently stands is on the whole a far better alternative - very small, easy to install/maintain, and very flexible. Not to mention the fact that it is capable of being run from so many different kinds of medium.

And I’ve come to realize that one of the biggest complaints from reviewers concerning Puppy - the fact that Puppy runs exclusively in root mode - isn’t really an issue at all if you’ve used Puppy for any length of time. You have a personal save file, and to run as anything other than root would be ridiculous. After all, who are you protecting yourself from? Yourself? Certainly it’s possible that some rogue code could destroy data due to the lack of ‘sand-boxing’, but because of the frugal install (and hopefully you’re backing up your save file frequently) any such event can easily be rectified in a very timely fashion. If you want a system that protects you from yourself you might want to check out Windows (and may I suggest
Vista if you enjoy being irritated by nags). Because of the save file, Puppy isn’t really set up for a multi-user environment (although arguably you could do a multi-user model by creating encrypted save files for each user). It’s a very personal distro in that regards - and therefore running as root actually makes sense. To do otherwise would be cumbersome. So, as a regular Puppy user, I’ve come to the conclusion that reviews tagging Puppy in regards to the issue of running as ‘root’ are misinformed.

As far as irritations, there are a few. As with any distro, nothing is going to be perfect. But here are some things I find cumbersome. Please keep in mind that these opinions are my own. I’m not an authority on the matter; these are just observations I’ve made from having used various Puppies and multiple Linux distros (and also Windows, even pre-GUI). Please keep this in mind while reading the following...

1) There are too many Puppies (official Puppies, that is). There should only be one, whether it be based on T2, Ubuntu, Slax, or whatever - pick one and stick with it. Focus all development efforts (official) on that one distro. This would allow for a rich, more consistent repository. Anything in the repository would work with Puppy - period. No more “it might work with upup, but it might not; although it should work with racy, but then again... Anything else should be a fork; independent and unsupported. Puppy needs to get back to the Unix/Linux model - do one thing, and do it well. Puppy in recent years has become a hodgepodge; it’s trying to be too much without doing anything really well, at least in terms of the new user experience. I can’t count the times I’ve read posts on the murga forum about people trying to install Pets from one Puppy distro on to another and for the life of them not getting why it (sometimes) doesn’t work. These users expect Pets to work on Puppy, and if they’re using Puppy(A), then why won’t it work with Puppy(B)? They don’t get it, and really, it’s not their fault. To them Puppy is Puppy, but in reality it’s not. It’s almost become more of a concept than a reality, and that’s why I feel efforts should be concentrated on one lineage (and my personal opinion is to throw my hat in with the Saluki model - not because of Xfce, which is incredibly user-friendly considering its size, but because of jemimah’s adrive concept - who cares about which windows manager; read on to see my opinion(s) on that - I feel it to be revolutionary in terms of overall user experience/customization. And to me, being able to customize my distro is the ultimate measure of usability. If I can figure out something in 20 minutes, it’s infinitely more valuable to me then something that takes two weeks to figure out, let alone something that I’m not allowed the ability to customize at all without resorting to hacking).

2) Package Management: The current system of package management is certainly lacking. Again, users try to install Pet packages from one Puppy distro onto another. It’s confusing for them. Obviously, if there were only one official Puppy that would go a long way towards sorting this issue out. Also, there needs to be a way of including dependencies in a SFS download, so that a SFS will download any needed dependencies even if it happens to be temporary in the sense that it is only installed while the SFS is loaded, and un-installed upon unloading. And perhaps a script system for SFS/ Pets, that would be nice, so that a developer can add any necessary paths (or whatever) without burdening the user to do so.

3) Forcing JWM on people. A huge issue, as least with me. Yes, JWM is lightweight, but I prefer the Arch philosophy - make no assumptions as to what the user wants. Don’t embed a WM and make it cumbersome for me to remove. Again, the Saluki/adrive model rectifies this situation if used properly; Install a base and let them choose which packages they wish to install/remove. At least with the Saluki/adrive model, it would be easier for the end-user to remove things than it currently is with other Puppies. Remaster can be cumbersome. Remove packages is almost unusable. Pick a package, and when the screen refreshes, start at the top and search through it’s entirety again. It’d be nice if it resumed where you left off. It’s really akin to the Android app store. Click on something and you’re doomed to start at the beginning. Check-boxes would have been a better vehicle. Or perhaps the answer would be to offer multiple ISOs, each with a different window manager, and ultimately an ISO that consists of only a console mode setup, so that an experienced user can add what they choose to add from scratch. A base package with nano and wi-fi tools via the console would be an awesome thing for some of us. It would allow us to eliminate even more bloat (not that Puppy has much, but again, customization is paramount to greatness in terms of distros). Obviously a package manager that would be able to be accessed via the console would be needed (again, an Arch strength), but this could also be used via the GUI ISOs with an added front-end. Even separate ISOs with different kernels could be a possibility. Or perhaps a downloading option. I for one am dead against things that are hard-coded into a distro. The user should have a much easier option to include/remove things other than using the remastering Pet. If anything, it should be offered during the install.

Puppy has some really talented developers (barry, tuxx, jemimah, etc). If they were to collaborate Puppy could be a serious (more serious) force to be reckoned with. Puppy is very good as is, but with collaboration it could be great. And with that, I rest my case...
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Lobster
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Joined: 04 May 2005
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PostPosted: Sun 27 May 2012, 20:55    Post subject:  

Quote:
After all, who are you protecting yourself from? Yourself?


You gets it! Smile

I would suggest collaboration is much better than it used to be.
Puppy package manager contains many more programs than it used to. In fact we never used to have any package manager.

Improvements are gradual and come from a diversity of directions.
Woof2 builds of Puppy are very similar. Saluki uses radically different programs and a complete set of additions.
http://www.mashpedia.com/Saluki
At the moment there is only one recommended Puppy . . .
Slacko 5.3.3
http://puppylinux.org/wikka/Puppy533

I am using it now. Doesn't suit everyone, all situations.

For example older computers, Long term support
some video cards. Running on an ARM motherboard,
For that we have diversity Cool
http://puppylinux.org/wikka/PuppyVersionDevelopment

Puppy Linux
Singularly Diverse

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ttuuxxx


Joined: 05 May 2007
Posts: 10843
Location: Ontario Canada,Sydney Australia

PostPosted: Sun 27 May 2012, 23:15    Post subject: Re: Puppy Observations/Wish List
Subject description: it'd be nice if...
 

elroy wrote:

Puppy has some really talented developers (barry, tuxx, jemimah, etc). If they were to collaborate Puppy could be a serious (more serious) force to be reckoned with. Puppy is very good as is, but with collaboration it could be great. And with that, I rest my case...

I've tried working with jemimah she is really great as a developer and well jemimah just does what she wants when she's in control and so I walked away from Saluki, There was no group effort feeling, I on the other hand like working in a group where we all are treated equals. Barry has always been a one man show, Its a shame with his genius visions and ideas that he's never really joined forces with other developers and went off the main beating track. Most developers have a vision and stick with it, its usually very difficult to make them do something they don't want to do. Hence the reason why we have so many different versions of puppy. As for puppy being great, My personal opinion isthat puppy is the Greatest Operating system of all time, my wife's pc uses windows 7 and out of the box 2.14x looks better, has better apps and functionality, its 1/20 the size and doesn't get viruses. Hands down for bang for a buck, puppy wins hands down.
ttuuxxx

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Lobster
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PostPosted: Mon 28 May 2012, 02:46    Post subject:  

The last post I remember reading from ttuuxxx was someone casually asking about a games version of something . . . and Ttuuxxx agreeing to spend some days creating . . . Bravo!

Despite having up to date hardware, Jeff has consistently championed those with limited hardware.
His wikki page is sorely bare Confused
I hope Darkcity, Coolpup or a 2.14x user reads this and develops the page . . .
http://puppylinux.org/wikka/Puppy214X
. . . and no logo?

The 2.14x Puplet has continuous improvements and always responds to users needs and requests.
I must admit to not needing it so not advocating Embarassed
2.14x could be similar to antiX for all I know Wink
http://antix.mepis.org/index.php?title=Main_Page

Saluki works radically different
(I found it too unfamiliar to continue using)
I could remix with familiar programs using the base but so far have not . . . Rolling Eyes
http://puppylinux.org/wikka/Saluki

ttuuxx we desperately need your compiling optimisation skills on new hardware . . .
http://puppylinux.org/wikka/PuppiArch

At the moment our team of Raspberrians desperately need a lead developer. Barry has promised some woof2 support.
I am really hoping for rapid progress once our real developers get their raspberries. Smile

Puppy Linux
Everyone Develops

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harii4


Joined: 30 Jan 2009
Posts: 444
Location: La Porte City, IA , U.S.A.

PostPosted: Mon 28 May 2012, 05:05    Post subject:  

Ubuntu proves - one size do not fit all. Twisted Evil
New hardware
Old hardware
Window managers
File managers
Web browsers
One Puppy Linux can't please them all.

Quote:
1) There are too many Puppies

Would we settle on just one breed of dog?
One Brand of anything?
One flavor?

Wink

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ICPUG

Joined: 24 Jul 2005
Posts: 1290
Location: UK

PostPosted: Mon 28 May 2012, 12:45    Post subject:  

I think it's time for our Publicity Agent to have some refresher training!

Lobster says:
At the moment there is only one recommended Puppy . . .
Slacko 5.3.3


I think you will find, if you look at www.puppylinux.com that there are TWO recommended Puppies:
Wary 5.3 and Slacko 5.3.3
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ICPUG

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PostPosted: Mon 28 May 2012, 13:16    Post subject:  

Elroy -Even if you find Aladin's lamp your wish will not be granted!

You are not the first and probably will not be the last to recognise that Puppy is truly wonderful but a bit rough at the edges and with a little bit of formality (you call it cooperation) could be truly great. I agree with you but it will not happen.

The Puppy development model is chaotic and the prime directive is to have fun. As soon as you introduce some formalism then the fun goes.

If we look at the many Puplets and the many Linux distros I am amazed that Linus have managed to have only 1 Linux kernel! There again there is BSD I suppose, so there is plurality there!

One thing we have to recgonise is that there are different types of user out there. No one Puppy could suit them all. Saluki is the nearest we have got to a modular Puppy but there are many who wouldn't have a clue how to put modules together and i don't mean technically. All those choices - how would we choose? This is where a preselected choice of apps / WM / etc. is useful. Then again there are home users / professional users. There are Intel based users - ARM based users. There are consumers - producers.

Even Windows has had multiple SKUs with each version. The only one that seems to get away with one version per device type is Apple but then they control EVERYTHING - the hardware - the OS - the infrastructure - your brain.

There's your solution - if you want a one size fits all get an Apple!
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darkcity


Joined: 23 May 2010
Posts: 2479
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PostPosted: Tue 29 May 2012, 09:21    Post subject:  

1) Focusing on one version seems similar to having a
long term development version, which has been suggested before. the trouble is without a puppy foundation to back it up it is a pipe dream. (although BarryK is committed to supporting Wary)

How about an LTS (Long Term Support) stable Puppy version?
http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=75582


2)
see following topic
The State of Package Management
http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=75383

3) it is easier for a beginner to have a bungled wm included. it may to be possible to make JWM remove easier/ cleaner - have all its components in a PET or SFS maybe ?

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elroy


Joined: 02 Feb 2012
Posts: 374

PostPosted: Fri 08 Jun 2012, 19:24    Post subject:  

Thank you for your replies/ideas. They are most welcome. My goal was not to necessarily get an education (g-bless slacko, but personally I can't stand it; I've tried it, I hate it - I'd take wary any day), but my agenda was more in the vein of starting a discussion of areas that I find lacking in Puppy. To show that 'joe' average user really thinks about these kinds things. That these things (flexibility/customization/minimization) are actually important to some; and that these types of things are what can set a distro apart from others. And also that these 'things' need to be taken into consideration when moving on down the road. I've been using Arch as of late, set up in root-mode, and I have to say that I'm impressed with pacman. But I'm more impressed with the Puppy frugal ability in terms of system recovery. That to me is what makes Puppy the superior distro of any distro - the frugal install, and the ease of wifi setup (which excludes tiny-core and slitaz because of wifi setup difficulties). However, if Puppy had a common repository, I can't think of another distro that could even compete - maybe 'buntu flavors for newbies/ease-of-use, but I've used those, and frankly, Saluki isn't a bad alternitive for newbies. But off topic...

Thanks for the input. Much appreciated. Hope it gives some fodder to future projects.
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