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GoboLinux for Linux File Structure Modifications?
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Eldon

Joined: 09 Sep 2010
Posts: 110

PostPosted: Fri 24 Aug 2012, 17:29    Post subject:  GoboLinux for Linux File Structure Modifications?  

Has anyone ever heard of GoboLinux?

They haven't been developing it for about 5 years, but I though it would be interesting to see if anyone could or would make similar changes in puppy.

They created a more intuitive file structure with "symlinks and an optional kernel module called GoboHide to achieve all this while maintaining full compatibility with the traditional Linux filesystem hierarchy."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GoboLinux


http://gobolinux.org/

They also had an app that allowed you to use "recipes" to easily compile an application.

I think that puppy would benefit from experimentation with similar innovative stuff that could make it more accessible to the average user.
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tallboy


Joined: 21 Sep 2010
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Location: Oslo, Norway

PostPosted: Fri 24 Aug 2012, 23:24    Post subject:  

If you make a query, you'll get about 30 hits on the topic in this forum.

I think it was an interesting approach to the use of multiple versions of Linux applications, but I believe it was more of a research project.

If it had been a great success, there would probably not have been a five year long development vacuum...

(unless it was devloped to perfection five years ago, of course, which it was not!)

tallboy
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disciple

Joined: 20 May 2006
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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

PostPosted: Sat 25 Aug 2012, 02:25    Post subject:  

1) I don't see Puppy's current filesystem layout causing any problems.
2) Unless there is a real advantage to doing something else I think it is best to stay with a standard layout. I do like what Arch is doing removing some of the duplication though e.g. /lib is a symlink to /usr/lib
3) That looks like it was just more complicated...

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Eldon

Joined: 09 Sep 2010
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PostPosted: Sat 01 Sep 2012, 01:15    Post subject:  

disciple wrote:
1) I don't see Puppy's current filesystem layout causing any problems.
2) Unless there is a real advantage to doing something else I think it is best to stay with a standard layout. I do like what Arch is doing removing some of the duplication though e.g. /lib is a symlink to /usr/lib
3) That looks like it was just more complicated...


1) The problem is that it's confusing to new users that are used to windows, preventing it from being more widely adopted and bringing new users and developers, to foster further development. This is a problem with more than just puppy.

2) If "something else" can be done, I think experimenting with similar ideas could bring advancements none the less.

3) I haven't tried Gobo yet, but it looks far, far less complicated from an end-user standpoint. Perhaps it's harder to manage and create/maintain, but it seems fairly doable.

I realize that it's been brought up before, I'm just surprised that with something as flexible as puppy, there hasn't been anyone doing that sort of experimentation. If perfected I think puppy with a more intuitive file system could be very popular.

I mean part of the reason millions of people don't switch every day is partly not knowing there's an alternative, and partly software that wine won't run etc. BUT a lot of users don't switch simply because the file system is confusing.

When somebody sees usr/, intrd/, lib/ etc/, etc. they say "Huh?" Where in there is my program files and settings etc.? Learning the new file structure takes time and effort that people don't invest and then developers don't invest time on it either because of lack of users, and so on.
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disciple

Joined: 20 May 2006
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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

PostPosted: Sat 01 Sep 2012, 02:13    Post subject:  

Quote:
BUT a lot of users don't switch simply because the file system is confusing.
When somebody sees usr/, intrd/, lib/ etc/, etc. they say "Huh?" Where in there is my program files and settings etc.?

Do you have any evidence that a lot of users don't switch for this reason? From my experience most Windows users even understand the Windows filesystem these days, and they're unlikely to go digging around in program files and settings (which are in the registry) unless maybe something is broken and they're following some instructions to fix it.

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mikeslr


Joined: 16 Jun 2008
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Location: Union New Jersey USA

PostPosted: Sat 01 Sep 2012, 12:01    Post subject: Mostly irrelevent, but confusing are terms not structures  

There are three vantage points for looking at the file structure of Linux in general, and Puppy in particular: The Developer's; The User's, and the Tech-Savvy User's.
From the User's Viewpoint, Linux and Puppy are "black boxes," just like Windows. Things work, or don't.
From the Developer's viewpoint, the file structure of Linux, and Puppy in particular, are understood and flexible. Various folders bearing such names as "bin","sbin", "bin in usr", and "opt" are places --"within the path"-- where executables are to be written; others named "lib" where libraries (instructions) or required data can to be placed; and so on. They have memorized the one area of semantic confusion.
Tech-Savvy User's must do the same. That semantic confusion results from Linux's Unix ancestry and by now is so firmly a part of the Linux culture that trying to change it would only cause more confusion. Unix was developed for main-frames which were to be shared by many different parties. A way had to be established by which all could use applications, only some could install or modify applications, and each could exclude all or most from accessing the data he or she generated. The solutions reached were a hierarchy of permissions and a secure compartment for each person to store his data which only the individual user, his administrators and perhaps his group could access. When Bill Gates adapted the Unix system for desktops, he called that place "Documents and Settings." Steve Jobs did something similar. Unfortunately, in Linux it was called in the file structure "root" because "root" in computer terminology already had a meaning:"The highest level of a drive or partition." Adding to this confusion, the "root" corresponding to Windows "Documents and Settings" came to be called in the vernacular "home," As Linux retains Unix's limited access philosophy, each drive or partition before it can be used must be mounted by someone having permission to do so. But Puppy Linux automatically mounts the drive/partition on which it (if Full install) or its SaveFile (if Frugal install) is located. That partition/drive is known as the "home" partition, and is so usually named in the file structure: i.e, the home folder found within "mnt." Further adding to the confusion, the desktop icon for starting the file manager usually bears the label "files." When it is clicked it will open the "home" folder.
It is theoretically possible for all Puppy Devs to agree to use a set of different terms. But then it would be far more difficult to build Puppies to make use of applications developed for other distros which use the traditional file structure and naming conventions.
And trying to change an established system is usually a waste of energy, Consider the confusion involved with spelling in English. That confusion results from its use of only 26 letters which have to identify 47 (I think) distinct sounds. Various proposals over the last century have gotten nowhere.
Or consider the "qwerty" keyboard. It was developed during the age of mechanical typewriters because typists could strike keys faster than springs could return keys to their rest positions, causing them to jam. The qwerty keyboard --by placing the most frequently used keys under the weakest fingers-- slowed typing down so that the machine could keep up with the human. With the advent of computers, use of the Dvorak keyboard was proposed. Not only did it not become the standard, today when typing is done on smartphones using only thumbs, the qwerty keyboard continues.
It is easier to teach new dogs old tricks, then retrain old --but still active and influential-- old dogs.

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Eldon

Joined: 09 Sep 2010
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PostPosted: Sat 01 Sep 2012, 23:12    Post subject:  

disciple wrote:
Quote:
BUT a lot of users don't switch simply because the file system is confusing.
When somebody sees usr/, intrd/, lib/ etc/, etc. they say "Huh?" Where in there is my program files and settings etc.?

Do you have any evidence that a lot of users don't switch for this reason? From my experience most Windows users even understand the Windows filesystem these days, and they're unlikely to go digging around in program files and settings (which are in the registry) unless maybe something is broken and they're following some instructions to fix it.


Yeah, it's actually self evident that this turns people off. Just show somebody unfamiliar with it- this file structure will make them avoid it and say things like "I'm not a big enough geek to mess with that or even try to make sense of it".

When somebody uses the same program in linux as they do in windows, and all the personal data and settings aren't as clearly defined as with many windows programs putting it in a folder called "Documents And Settings" they don't bother figuring it out, they just go back to what they know.
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Eldon

Joined: 09 Sep 2010
Posts: 110

PostPosted: Sat 01 Sep 2012, 23:29    Post subject: Re: Mostly irrelevent, but confusing are terms not structures  

mikeslr wrote:
But then it would be far more difficult to build Puppies to make use of applications developed for other distros which use the traditional file structure and naming conventions.
mikesLr


Thanks for the history lesson (about two thirds of that I knew), but what makes you think this would make it more difficult to use other applications?

Did you not check out gobo?

Wikipedia:
"GoboLinux used symlinks and an optional kernel module called GoboHide to achieve all this while maintaining full compatibility with the traditional Linux filesystem hierarchy."

That should make it compatible with any standard linux apps, no? It sounds as though the file structure itself is exactly the same- just hidden form the user via "GoboHide" which is basically a symlink pseudo-file-system.


That is my whole point- that some experimentation could produce a (even) more user friendly puppy with all the same features.

The hardest part would be the figuring out and planning how it would work and doing it- but building puppies to use apps made for other distros would be no more or less difficult or necessary than it is now, as far as I can tell. I mean making a linux app that works with it wouldn't require anything new as far as I know. You would just need to add symlinks to get it in the "PuppyHide" "psuedo-directory tree".

Oh and tallboy- while there hasn't been a new release in five years, heir "Compile" program was last updated in 2010 and in the open source community manpower is often the biggest (limiting) factor in development, not perfection or effectiveness or promise of an idea etc. If mick0 and others didn't have time for puppy then many puplets wouldn't exist no matter how much promise it has or how good it works etc.
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tallboy


Joined: 21 Sep 2010
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Location: Oslo, Norway

PostPosted: Sat 01 Sep 2012, 23:45    Post subject:  

disciple wrote:
When somebody sees usr/, intrd/, lib/ etc/, etc. they say "Huh?" Where in there is my program files and settings etc.?


My view:

I definitely see the advantage to having the whole structure of the dependencies to a program, kept in a separate folder containing/belonging to that program only, and as In Gobolinux, having links to those dependencies if they already exist elsewhere in the architecture. That is the way Gobolinux is meant to work, and that is what allows you to run multiple versions of a program simultaneously. But I fail to see the necessity to have for example both X6 and X7, along with multiple versions of all the crap that makes the bugs that developers try their best to avoid!

If you look at all the different reasons given for keeping - or ditching - an existing program/application in one of the fast growing number of puppy versions today, any puppy trying to suit every user's whim regarding what version of a program is the best, would quickly grow out of all proportions.

And then it is no longer a puppy...

tallboy

Afterthought: (which clearly indicates that I have a slow acting brain - yes, yes, yes, I already knew that!)
There are often 100-150 new posts in this forum every day, which is an indication of the enthusiasm puppy users have for their distro, Gobolinux will never ever achieve that! Try Gobo for some time and report back to us. I have done that, I am still a puppy user.
As far as I know, there was also some early puppy development work using a lot of symlinks, that route was abandoned...
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Eldon

Joined: 09 Sep 2010
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PostPosted: Sun 02 Sep 2012, 03:26    Post subject:  

tallboy wrote:
disciple wrote:
When somebody sees usr/, intrd/, lib/ etc/, etc. they say "Huh?" Where in there is my program files and settings etc.?


My view:

I definitely see the advantage to having the whole structure of the dependencies to a program, kept in a separate folder containing/belonging to that program only, and as In Gobolinux, having links to those dependencies if they already exist elsewhere in the architecture. That is the way Gobolinux is meant to work, and that is what allows you to run multiple versions of a program simultaneously. But I fail to see the necessity to have for example both X6 and X7, along with multiple versions of all the crap that makes the bugs that developers try their best to avoid!

If you look at all the different reasons given for keeping - or ditching - an existing program/application in one of the fast growing number of puppy versions today, any puppy trying to suit every user's whim regarding what version of a program is the best, would quickly grow out of all proportions.

And then it is no longer a puppy...

tallboy

Afterthought: (which clearly indicates that I have a slow acting brain - yes, yes, yes, I already knew that!)
There are often 100-150 new posts in this forum every day, which is an indication of the enthusiasm puppy users have for their distro, Gobolinux will never ever achieve that! Try Gobo for some time and report back to us. I have done that, I am still a puppy user.
As far as I know, there was also some early puppy development work using a lot of symlinks, that route was abandoned...


The multiple installs of the same program isn't the subject of this thread, or about the whims of users or puppy catering to them- it's about similar user-friendliness boosting features/experimentation related to the file system to increase popularity and adoption of puppy and linux in general.

Also the thread is not a comparison between puppy and Gobo, or intended to imply Gobo is better- just discussing the IDEA and NOVEL approach to the aforementioned problem of a file system that is foreign and uncomfortable to many computer users as they are used to windows.

I think that this idea should be explored and the first distro to get as good as puppy with an improved user experience in this regard could, with some promotion(sharing) become vastly more popular.

150 users posting per day is sad considering there's 20+ thousand registered users on the forum and millions of windows users here in the USA alone.

And I've got gobo burned, and will boot it tomorrow just out of curiosity. But the thread is supposed to be about incorporating new ideas and improvements into puppy, not a promotion for gobo or supporting every feature everybody suggests.

It's about working on this one improvement. In my opinion puppy has enough appeal for a large number of windows users to switch IF it didn't seem as foreign in the file system. Everything else, puppy has done well enough to be easily adopted if that one thing were easier for new users.

I envision something like GoboHide that can be enabled/installed or disabled in puppy and help people transition to the linux directory tree.
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tallboy


Joined: 21 Sep 2010
Posts: 449
Location: Oslo, Norway

PostPosted: Tue 04 Sep 2012, 19:31    Post subject:  

Eldon, sorry if I misunderstand your point, but I guess I still do. And I disagree in some of your statements.

Eldon wrote:
I think that this idea should be explored and the first distro to get as good as puppy with an improved user experience in this regard could, with some promotion(sharing) become vastly more popular.

Huh? Why would it be more poular? What improved user experience do you talk about, is it the promo text in the Gobo site you refer to? Have you actually tried running Gobo yourself yet? Almost all end users accustomed to Windows don't give a s h i t about the design of the file structure in Linux any more than in Windows, they basically just want it to work, as do most others when it comes to their favorite distro, actually.

...and he also wrote:
150 users posting per day is sad considering there's 20+ thousand registered users on the forum and millions of windows users here in the USA alone.


Perhaps you should take a look at other Linux fora first, and then be very happy to be a Puppy user. In this forum we can have a polite discussion going, that may bring some good to all readers, whitout getting out of hand like in so many other fora, just because people disagree. And as a bonus we may actually learn something from it! I think this is a massive forum compared to the number of Puppy users, and it is good! If you compare to Windows, take a look at the subjects in their fora first; do you see many traces of the creativity offered in a Linux forum, especially in this one? Or just millions of complaints about something in Windows that don't work as intended, and no suggestions of a possible way to fix it, because the source code is unavailable?

The fact that many people are unaware of earlier attempts to modify or "improve" the file structure in Unix/Unixlike OSes, may simply be that most people don't like to document their misses, not that the attempts haven't been made. There are so many 'geeks' out here that would jump on a great idea and immediately start using and improving it, if it is good enough. You can read about the efforts of some of them daily in this forum. Gobo is probably not good enough, even if it has some interesting approaches. So did NeXT.

tallboy
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Eldon

Joined: 09 Sep 2010
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PostPosted: Wed 05 Sep 2012, 17:41    Post subject:  

tallboy wrote:
Eldon, sorry if I misunderstand your point, but I guess I still do. And I disagree in some of your statements.


Huh? Why would it be more poular? What improved user experience do you talk about, is it the promo text in the Gobo site you refer to? Have you actually tried running Gobo yourself yet? Almost all end users accustomed to Windows don't give a s h i t about the design of the file structure in Linux any more than in Windows, they basically just want it to work, as do most others when it comes to their favorite distro, actually....

Perhaps you should take a look at other Linux fora first, and then be very happy to be a Puppy user....

tallboy


Not in this country. People see the file system and they shut down and go back to windows in my experience. It makes no sense to the general public.

"What the f* is this bulls*? Bin? What is that- trash bin? What the hell is this? This is nonsense. It's the computer equivalent of gibberish." (Presses off button)

They then shut down and start windows- that's how long a first timer lasts when trying linux.

If you think the file structure of linux isn't convoluted then sorry to break it to you, but millions of windows users don't see it that way. It's alien to them and if you think that isn't intimidating people out of linux then you're mistaken. If you think that they wouldn't prefer a system that uses the equivalent of gobohide that aims to change this but retain functionality/compatibility then you're deluding yourself. They think that windows' file system is better and gobohide-like alternatives would be easier to use and understand than the current one and I think that for this reason it would be unquestionably beneficial to work on a similar solution for puppy to destroy microsoft's market-share.

Yes I tried gobo, but couldn't get a desktop which is why things like gobohide should be made for distros that are mature and well developed like puppy.

I never said I wasn't happy to be a puppy user- I'm using it now. Millions more could be linux users if it weren't for this obstacle. They NEVER will be linux users as long as this remains the same regardless of any linux fora.


tallboy wrote:
If you compare to Windows, take a look at the subjects in their fora first; do you see many traces of the creativity offered in a Linux forum, especially in this one? Or just millions of complaints about something in Windows that don't work as intended, and no suggestions of a possible way to fix it, because the source code is unavailable? tallboy


What I see when comparing the fora of linux or puppy to windows is not related to this discussion. This thread isn't about linux communities so stop changing the subject.

I see complaints and creativity in both Windows and any linux community, but source code is not a problem or solution in either community- money and manpower is. Things that don't work in windows would if someone threw energy, time, and cash at it, regardless of source code and the same goes for linux. Windows throws plenty of development into bad ideas because the money is there, and there are plenty of good ideas that nobody invests energy or money in on both sides.

What do you see when you ask people to try linux? Do you see them look at the file system and think it's no big deal to learn about and use it? Get real. Maybe geeks don't mind, but the general windows user does.

tallboy wrote:
There are so many 'geeks' out here that would jump on a great idea and immediately start using and improving it, if it is good enough. You can read about the efforts of some of them daily in this forum. tallboy


Geeks don't jump on great ideas unless they have time to, and there are very few of them out there. Some are on this forum, but they have only so much time and there are many ideas that are never developed for no reason other than there not being enough people willing to work on it. Trying to tie the merit of an idea to the number of geeks working on it is ignorant folley if ever there was one.

tallboy wrote:
Gobo is probably not good enough, even if it has some interesting approaches. So did NeXT. tallboy


Again, not discussing how good gobo is or isn't so please either stop thread-jacking and discussing things that aren't even on subject like windows vs. linux or gobo vs. puppy or whatever other irrelevant things you're trying to reduce the discussion to. I was discussing the idea they had of improving the user experience while retaining full compatibility and functionality. If you have nothing constructive to say then please stop wasting my time.

Their implementation or success is irrelevant, as is what's on their site or other distros or windows. The fact is their gobohide is a good idea if you want to bring linux to the masses, and so something similar should be worked on for a distro that is already very good, like puppy. I don't see anything similar implemented in puppy, and I was hoping that someone would work on it not for me or picky users, but for linux and against windows because I want linux to prevail.
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tallboy


Joined: 21 Sep 2010
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Location: Oslo, Norway

PostPosted: Wed 05 Sep 2012, 18:53    Post subject:  

Nope, that didn't help at all! If you are trying to tell us that a different filestructure in Linux would convert Windows users to Linux, you'll need every second you can find, so I'll stop wasting your time. You may also want to spend some of that time on exploring your language.

Eldon wrote:
"fora"(not a word)


http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/forum

tallboy
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MinHundHettePerro


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PostPosted: Wed 05 Sep 2012, 19:09    Post subject:  

Eldon wrote:
Not in this country. People see the file system and they shut down and go back to windows in my experience. It makes no sense to the general public.
Well, to me, as an everyday linux-user, I can't really agree that some other operating system's directory Documents and Settings makes a vast improvement as file structures go (and, where are all the other settings stored??? In a few BINary files, referred to as the registry ¿Qué?)

Quote:
"What the f* is this bulls*? Bin? What is that- trash bin? What the hell is this? This is nonsense. It's the computer equivalent of gibberish." (Presses off button)
...
They then shut down and start windows- that's how long a first timer lasts when trying linux.
Sadly, I think that says more about your (mis-)conception of your average Joe/Jane (country-fellow) than it adds to this discussion ...


FWIW Smile Razz/ MHHP

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Eldon

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PostPosted: Thu 06 Sep 2012, 14:00    Post subject:  

MinHundHettePerro wrote:
Eldon wrote:
Not in this country. People see the file system and they shut down and go back to windows in my experience. It makes no sense to the general public.
Well, to me, as an everyday linux-user, I can't really agree that some other operating system's directory Documents and Settings makes a vast improvement as file structures go (and, where are all the other settings stored??? In a few BINary files, referred to as the registry ¿Qué?)

Quote:
"What the f* is this bulls*? Bin? What is that- trash bin? What the hell is this? This is nonsense. It's the computer equivalent of gibberish." (Presses off button)
...
They then shut down and start windows- that's how long a first timer lasts when trying linux.
Sadly, I think that says more about your (mis-)conception of your average Joe/Jane (country-fellow) than it adds to this discussion ...


FWIW Smile Razz/ MHHP


Number one, you're a linux user, and I'm talking about bringing people from another OS to linux. Obviously if most users were like you they'd be using linux. They clearly aren't. If you ask them about the windows file structure they respond with something like "What about it?". They don't have a problem using it. They don't know what a registry is of a binary file, so /bin is cryptic and ambiguous and in my experience they turn off the computer when they see it, or at least after looking around and none of this making any sense to them. Any registry settings they don't change, or know about unless they can do so from within a program like the "control panel". This is very easy for them, and until the linux community addresses theirs, and makes it easier for general users, it will remain unpopular among the general public.

That's the sort of thing I have heard from (most)people when they try it- that's not my misconception- I have never met anyone that didn't have that attitude that wasn't already an avid linux user.

Last edited by Eldon on Thu 06 Sep 2012, 14:49; edited 1 time in total
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