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Other Distros
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Pete


Joined: 02 Mar 2014
Posts: 675

PostPosted: Fri 19 Aug 2016, 16:39    Post subject:  

Colonel Panic wrote:
.... One problem though is that as standard in the live version, the caps lock key doesn't work; you have to press the shift key to get capitals.


Who in their right mind releases something like that?
Heck why did they even bother with a keyboard driver then when users could rather click their mouse buttons to create morse code.

That is one distro I will definitely not be trying.
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Colonel Panic


Joined: 16 Sep 2006
Posts: 2089

PostPosted: Sat 20 Aug 2016, 00:52    Post subject:  

Pete wrote:
Colonel Panic wrote:
.... One problem though is that as standard in the live version, the caps lock key doesn't work; you have to press the shift key to get capitals.


Who in their right mind releases something like that?
Heck why did they even bother with a keyboard driver then when users could rather click their mouse buttons to create morse code.

That is one distro I will definitely not be trying.


Fair enough, but I think there's a certain amount of "YMMV" with distros, as witness the fact that I struggle to get networking in Slackware 14.2 (or any distro based on it) to work whilst no one else seems to have the same problem.

When I point out problems I've experienced with a distro, it's to inform people of the problems they may experience with it, not to tell people not to try it. I did that once (with a Greek distro called Slackel) and was quickly put in my place by other posters here who informed me that they hadn't had the same problems with it that I'd been experiencing.

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learnhow2code

Joined: 12 Jun 2016
Posts: 1015

PostPosted: Sat 20 Aug 2016, 13:26    Post subject:  

Colonel Panic wrote:
think there's a certain amount of "YMMV" with distros, as witness the fact that I struggle to get networking in Slackware 14.2


one thing that i think is really missing in the distro world is some way of testing more distros/features in an automated way.

im not expert on automating such a thing; i think its an idea worth exploring and considering, but the idea of testing everything by sending it out to users (while reasonable and itself a time-tested method with its own advantages) seems very old-fashioned for what could be possible these days.

not that automation would replace by-hand-testing, simply augment it. i also think theres a cultural shift in what users want to do, which doesnt make them any less entitled Smile it does make the jobs of distro builders that much more interesting. im sympathizing mostly with the distro builders this time-- it would help users, too.

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fig os 1.3 md5
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rufwoof


Joined: 24 Feb 2014
Posts: 3181

PostPosted: Sat 20 Aug 2016, 14:59    Post subject:  

exlight http://exlight.exton.net/?p=4

I used the

cp xxx.iso /dev/sdf

approach to write the iso to USB and then booted that USB (login either using exlight userid and no password, or root userid and 'root' as password).

Some interesting animated wallpapers in a e17 (Enlightenment) style desktop (similar to macpup). Includes google chrome ... so good for netflix etc.
exlight-desktop-netflix-160810.jpg
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exlight-desktop-netflix-160810.jpg

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Pete


Joined: 02 Mar 2014
Posts: 675

PostPosted: Sat 20 Aug 2016, 16:49    Post subject:  

Colonel Panic wrote:
....
When I point out problems I've experienced with a distro, it's to inform people of the problems they may experience with it, not to tell people not to try it.....


Fair enough point taken and of course they are free to try it although I certainly won't.
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Colonel Panic


Joined: 16 Sep 2006
Posts: 2089

PostPosted: Sun 21 Aug 2016, 17:12    Post subject:  

Pete wrote:
Colonel Panic wrote:
....
When I point out problems I've experienced with a distro, it's to inform people of the problems they may experience with it, not to tell people not to try it.....


Fair enough point taken and of course they are free to try it although I certainly won't.


Thanks, although part of the problem for me is that I don't like the thought of having that much (negative) power. Someone can spend hundreds of hours putting a new distro together, and I might spend an hour or even thirty minutes trying it before I decide I don't like it and another five to ten minutes saying something critical of it on here.

There's an imbalance in that which bothers me. It's like the old theatre critic situation; a drama group spends months putting on a play, doing rehearsals etc., and a critic can take a couple of hours at most to write a withering review in the paper after the opening night, which can have a bad effect on the takings at the box office from then on.

I'm not saying that one shouldn't say anything negative about a distro (or that there shouldn't be theatre or for that matter film critics); just that it's important to keep a sense of perspective. I am one person with one computer trying something out, and other people may (and from what I see here and elsewhere, sometimes do) have different experiences.

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learnhow2code

Joined: 12 Jun 2016
Posts: 1015

PostPosted: Sun 21 Aug 2016, 18:04    Post subject:  

Colonel Panic wrote:
Someone can spend hundreds of hours putting a new distro together, and I might spend an hour or even thirty minutes trying it before I decide I don't like it and another five to ten minutes saying something critical of it on here.

There's an imbalance in that which bothers me.


fairness is important, and we are unlikely to agree on what it entails in every detail.

1. on the one hand, people do put a great deal of time and effort into creating a distro-- at least if they stick with it (i did not, at first.)

2. on the other hand, it takes a certain amount of trust and effort just to try that distro-- in some cases the distro will do something that creates problems for the person using it.

3. being specific helps fairness "this sucks" may be true, or it may color other impressions of a distro in a way that is not really fair. "i think at least caps lock should work-- but here it doesnt" is specific. if you say why, then by all means, let people know you think it "sucks." at least they know what you mean and can decide if they agree.

4. not everyone is cut out to maintain a linux distro. i dont know if im the best person to put a distro online, im trying to find out. certainly people can look at my script and decide if they want to run it. if they dont want to run it, ally was kind enough to run it and put the result on the archive.

5. some people will just think "x sucks" because they "like y better." so if you compare the two, you can guess what matters to them.

Quote:
it's important to keep a sense of perspective.


it sure is. and its surprisingly rare Smile

its good advice youre giving.
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Colonel Panic


Joined: 16 Sep 2006
Posts: 2089

PostPosted: Tue 23 Aug 2016, 07:42    Post subject:  

Thanks for the advice and the kind comments.

One of my first ever distros (even before I tried Puppy for the first time in 2006) was one called Featherweight, and I still recall its developer Ron Meinsler's response to a critical review on a blog somewhere.

He ended up telling the reviewer that he looked forward to seeing the reviewer's own distro sometime. Somehow that never happened...

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Colonel Panic


Joined: 16 Sep 2006
Posts: 2089

PostPosted: Tue 23 Aug 2016, 07:51    Post subject:  

In other news; I've been trying a couple of Slack-based distros recently

The first one was the release candidate of Salix64 14.2 XFCE (the final version of which the devs have said will be out very soon, around the end of the month). It works well except that the taskbar inexplicably disappeared at some point and I wasn't able (or didn’t know enough) to get it back. As I've said before in previous reviews of Salix, it also needs a bit of fiddling about with to make it work.

In my experience also of past versions of Salix, the user forum and the installation messages can be somewhat condescending if not actually insulting, "shouldn't you be watching television?" or some such, and people who don't know their way around either Linux or a distro which doesn't allow you to log in as root may encounter this.

All the same though, Salix in my experience is a pretty competent distro and the final version of 14.2 will be worth waiting for.

The second one was ConnochaetOS 14.1, a distro composed entirely of free software and made for older computers although it still needs 128 MB of RAM. Like Salix it's not a live disk and needs to be installed to the hard drive.

When I'd done so I got a persistent error message 240 on bootup; “Couldn’t mount (the partition it's installed on) because of unsupported optional features.”

Apart from this, like Salix it needs a bit of fiddling about with to make it work (Iceweasel only worked if I sudoed it, for example), but otherwise it works well.

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learnhow2code

Joined: 12 Jun 2016
Posts: 1015

PostPosted: Tue 23 Aug 2016, 12:33    Post subject:  

Colonel Panic wrote:
The second one was ConnochaetOS 14.1, a distro composed entirely of free software and made for older computers although it still needs 128 MB of RAM. Like Salix it's not a live disk and needs to be installed to the hard drive.


+1 i havent tried it in years. the author submitted it to the fsf list of free software distros and they mucked it up somehow. he refuses to resubmit it until they explain why they wont give him the same response next time Smile seriously though, that list is never going to grow. they dont manage their initiatives very well, its really too bad (i used to help fund them.) i do like the ryf list.
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Colonel Panic


Joined: 16 Sep 2006
Posts: 2089

PostPosted: Tue 23 Aug 2016, 16:25    Post subject:  

Thanks for your reply, but just a note if I may on the question of free software.

On ConnochaetOS;

"the author submitted it to the fsf list of free software distros and they mucked it up somehow. he refuses to resubmit it until they explain why they wont give him the same response next time Smile seriously though, that list is never going to grow. they dont manage their initiatives very well, its really too bad (i used to help fund them.) i do like the ryf list."

That's a shame. Back in the days when ConnochaetOS was based on Arch, I got some shade thrown at me on its forum for admitting that I used an early version of Opera in my installation of the distro, because Opera of course isn't open source.

They're entitled to their view, but for me whether software is open source or not has never been as important as how well it works on my system; and unfortunately for example Iceweasel does seem to be more crash prone than mainstream Firefox (I don't know why), so I'm reluctant to use it or at least to rely on it as my only browser.

I'm also happy to use Softmaker Office, which definitely isn't open source; I've even taken advantage of the special offers the company holds occasionally to register and pay for it.

I do understand though that some people take a different view on all this, but for me the priority is to have a system that works, is reliable and doesn't crash or freeze up. If it's possible to have all that and free software as well, then great; but if not then crashing browsers, or ones which won't play the videos or other flash content I want, aren't IMO a price worth paying.

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Last edited by Colonel Panic on Tue 23 Aug 2016, 17:18; edited 2 times in total
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learnhow2code

Joined: 12 Jun 2016
Posts: 1015

PostPosted: Tue 23 Aug 2016, 16:36    Post subject:  

Colonel Panic wrote:
That's a shame. Back in the days when ConnochaetOS was based on Arch, I got some shade thrown at me on its forum for admitting that I used an early version of Opera in my installation of the distro, because Opera of course isn't open source.


well yeah-- theyre trying to promote the exclusive use of non-proprietary software. and while ive been in YOUR shoes on this issue on more than one occasion-- the number of places you can even get away with talking about using 100% free software (without getting shade thrown at you) is really a tiny minority.

like i wouldnt get far trying to promote that idea here (though you may note im a librepup fan. i also need to get the non-free wifi drivers out of fig os. i was waiting until i talked to the refracta dev about which ones were non-free.)

Quote:
They're entitled to their view, but for me whether or not software is open source or not has never been as important as how well it works on my system; and unfortunately for example Iceweasel does seem to be more crash prone than mainstream Firefox (I donlt know why).


iceweasel is just an old version of firefox without the branding. mozilla doesnt even have the issue it did when iceweasel became necessary (it was mozilla that suggested the new name.) but thats new.

im typing this from the same version of mozilla ff that is in refracta and thus fig os, but id like to switch to palemoon because "it sucks less."

Quote:
I'm also happy to use Softmaker Office, which definitely isn't open source; I've even taken advantage of the special offers the company holds occasionally to register and pay for it.


youre in the majority. dont take it personally if the 100% libre crowd has one or two little sandboxes. honestly, it should be more than that, but it probably never will be Sad

think about it. cheers.

Last edited by learnhow2code on Tue 23 Aug 2016, 16:40; edited 1 time in total
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Colonel Panic


Joined: 16 Sep 2006
Posts: 2089

PostPosted: Tue 23 Aug 2016, 16:39    Post subject:  

Thanks again. I've since edited that post (I didn't know you were reading it at the time!)

Cheers,

CP .

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learnhow2code

Joined: 12 Jun 2016
Posts: 1015

PostPosted: Tue 23 Aug 2016, 16:50    Post subject:  

Colonel Panic wrote:
Thanks again. I've since edited that post (I didn't know you were reading it at the time!)


let me know if you want to fix the quotes Smile i will leave them if it doesnt matter either way.

i was an "open source" guy first... the entire reason the fsf (and the gnu project) was created was to relieve people of any need to run non-free software-- to give people the option not to. so there are few distros that meet this criteria. debian imo does a good job with their blob-free kernel and well-organized repos. (but linux-libre, trisquel and gnewsense came first.)

what "open source" did was reframe the entire issue as practical and shifting things to being more corporate-friendly (not commercial friendly, thats a separate issue.)

whenever free software advocates stand up for their position, its framed as an attack on your choices and on open source. but after scrutinizing the history of this (for years,) ive decided that open source really co-opted free software.

the good news? you still get both choices-- the free software way, or the "anything goes" open source way. and i sure wont tell you what to do! but if you ever get curious, one of the founders of the open source initiative (bruce perens, who wrote the debian free software guidelines that the "open source definition" was based on) left osi and wrote this, 17 years ago:

Quote:
I'm Bruce Perens. You may know me as the primary author of the Debian Free
Software Guidelines and the Open Source Definition. I wrote the Electric
Fence malloc() debugger, and some pieces of Debian.


https://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/1999/02/msg01641.html

i dont expect this to sway anyone, i dont even expect you to read it. its part of the history of (gnu/) "linux" and its something i feel is left out of "the story." i know most people probably find it boring and irrelevant, and thats one reason "open source" will always seem hip and fun-- it sets the (political) bar of entry much lower. whats not to like Smile its not really a "war" though-- its two organizations debating whether the first one has a right to talk about itself and its goals.

thats why i went to the "free software" side. but i also cancelled my fsf membership for "reasons."
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Colonel Panic


Joined: 16 Sep 2006
Posts: 2089

PostPosted: Thu 25 Aug 2016, 05:53    Post subject:  

Thanks for replying. To be honest the conversation has stalled at my end because I'm hazy about the distinction between "free" and "open source" software. I'd always taken them to be more or less the same thing.
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