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Old 06-30-2009, 05:28 PM   #691
AGer
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Slackware should control catering to nontechnical users


Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodsman View Post
For the record, Slackware is my primary operating system. Yet I work and deal with many people who are not technical users or computer savvy. I have a lot of empathy for them with respect to using computers. Hence, my ideas and wish lists often are focused toward such people rather than myself or core Slackware users.
I understand your feelings, but...

The interests of technical and nontechnical users differ a lot. Current Linux is a cooperative effort of developers. Technical users can and do use it without problems. Nontechnical users can get a friendly OS if and only if they pay for it. They may pay to Microsoft, or Apple, or Ubuntu, or, theoretically (if there were less MS control), to hardware manufactures who in turn will pay to software developers. Zero price tag community made nontechnical user friendly Linux is a dangerous pipe dream (with roots in Redmond, I believe).

There can be exactly one mainstream OS, not many different nontechnical user friendly all mainstream Linux flavors. This is why Apple does not provide OS X for common PCs, QNX (being technically miles ahead of Windows) positions Neutrino as just a development environment, Red Hat does not attack MS on the desktop.

I see the only way for Linux to replace Windows - Canonical invests enough into gratis consumer Linux. Naturally, when Linux becomes the mainstream OS, Canonical will start charging for it.

This will not be replacing evil MS with evil Canonical since 1) existence of the gratis technical user orientated community developed Linux dramatically reduces costs of consumer OS development, and 2) existence of the free similar option prohibits high price tags (even now Linux works great as a tool to negotiate discounts with MS).

Thus, if one cares about nontechnical users, that one should help Ubuntu. Slackware team may, if it pleases so, to start catering to nontechnical users. Depending on the details of the endeavor, it will be something between wasted effort and suicide, both ends included.
 
Old 06-30-2009, 06:26 PM   #692
AGer
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Slax!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodsman View Post
1. A Live CD/USB with a desktop option to install to a hard drive. No, not Slax, a true Live CD.
I would prefer Slax. True Slackware live CD is good for promotion while Slax is actually useful. So, why not synchronize Slackware and Slax releases and put both on one DVD? I am thinking about 2 sided (32 and 64 bit) double layer (Slackware and Slax) DVD. It is a wish list, right?

If this is not possible, I would like mc to be happy with the type of the terminal when I attempt to spawn a session after booting the installation DVD, chrooting to a troubled partition, and starting mc.
 
Old 06-30-2009, 07:01 PM   #693
Woodsman
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Quote:
The interests of technical and nontechnical users differ a lot.
They differ but I'm unwilling to say a lot. In the end, all users are more focused on applications rather than the underlying operating system.

Quote:
Nontechnical users can get a friendly OS if and only if they pay for it. They may pay to Microsoft, or Apple, or Ubuntu . . .
Considering the volume of questions at the Ubuntu forums, I'm unsure I'd place that system so high.

I must admit, though, I find PCLinuxOS very nice for non-technical users. The Live CD has a small glitch, but otherwise works very well. The developers even added the VirtualBox guest additions. That was impressive!

Quote:
I see the only way for Linux to replace Windows. . .
That is not particularly my goal. I'm more interested in helping those non-technical users who display an interest in breaking the Windows bonds. Non-technical users are not highly interested in how computers work under the hood, and often are not interested in learning, but they are smart enough to recognize vendor lock-in, crappy software, malicious software nonsense, etc.

Quote:
Slackware team may, if it pleases so, to start catering to nontechnical users.
They might. They might not. There is a fringe market of people who customize the stock Slackware: Zenwalk, Vector, Wolvix, Slax, etc. I still would not rate any of those as significantly easier to use than the stock Slackware, as compared to, say, PCLInuxOS. Still, that they might is reason enough to discuss possible features.

Quote:
True Slackware live CD is good for promotion while Slax is actually useful.
I don't follow. All of the installable Live CDs I have tested were functional and useful.
 
Old 06-30-2009, 10:36 PM   #694
Daedra
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I think Slackware has gotten way easier to use then it used to be, I think the team has struck a great balance between making things easier and still maintaining the KISS philosophy.
 
Old 07-01-2009, 03:51 AM   #695
vigi
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I started with mandrake several years ago, with a dial up internet connection and limited knowledge - I didn't get far. Returned to linux some time later with ubuntu, wolvix and more recently slackware12.2. Excellent stability and information to allow you to take and keep control of your system as you set it up.

The flexibility of the installation process and the configuration processes through the terminal including slackpkg has been a very good learning experience for me.
This system is balanced just right, in my humble opinion.

There are plenty of customized slackware distros filling the other gaps, with front end gui's and gslapt auto updates etc. The problem I found is they become incompatible with the original, and auto Updates can become annoying. Why do some distros change every six months, instead of getting the existing system right?
 
Old 07-01-2009, 04:13 AM   #696
sahko
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daedra View Post
I think Slackware has gotten way easier to use then it used to be, I think the team has struck a great balance between making things easier and still maintaining the KISS philosophy.
Totally agree.

On topic, maybe it would be time to replace libungif with giflib?
All other distributions i am aware already have done so (although that is not a reason by itself).
The libungif project has disappeared.

Last edited by sahko; 07-01-2009 at 04:14 AM.
 
Old 07-01-2009, 06:32 AM   #697
/dev/me
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I really don't see what a LiveCD/DVD would add to the Slackware arsenal. I mean, a fully grown DVD (to allow full install upon user command) that boots into runlevel 3 and does nothing but present a blinking cursor. Who would learn anything from that? One `startx|telinit 4` later, yes there is the default WM. What did it prove? I don't understand the benefit.

---

As for the installer autoguessing it's way to network settings *oops* that could break things in networks.

I mean, yes, sure it's possible that DHCP is running. But it's equally possible that's meant for clients, not for servers*). The Slackware installer hasn't an idea what I want to install yet. What I love about Slackware is that it doesn't assume it knows what I want. I define all the metrics (or almost all) by hand. That gives me a system where everything needs to be turned on manually. To non-technical users this is their 'Welcome2Hell'(TM!). To me, turning things off by hand is far more work. I hate it when a machine that is not fully setup yet all of a sudden starts doing things on it's own account.

It wouldn't be the first time a complete morning of pleasant and smooth configuring of a machine got wasted because some automagic service decided to overwrite some of my settings, breaking everything and leaving me clueless about the extend of the changes. Slackware doesn't do this, and that is why I love Slack. I was actually a bit disappointed that Slackware started doing `alsaconf` on it's own during installation. That's all well and proper for a desktop, but not much use on a server (unless it's a multi-media server, obviously ).

---

Wish list?
Well, I like fping, I've installed that. I'm still very much in a learning phase, and I haven't decided yet on what network monitor to use. Some thing like nagios or something (or is there such a tool included that I didn't see?).



*) Depending on designer of the network, some think DHCP is excellent for clients. I decline the chance to say what I think of this.
 
Old 07-01-2009, 07:24 AM   #698
hitest
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Smile

Quote:
Originally Posted by /dev/me View Post
The Slackware installer hasn't an idea what I want to install yet. What I love about Slackware is that it doesn't assume it knows what I want. I define all the metrics (or almost all) by hand. That gives me a system where everything needs to be turned on manually. To non-technical users this is their 'Welcome2Hell'(TM!). To me, turning things off by hand is far more work. I hate it when a machine that is not fully setup yet all of a sudden starts doing things on it's own account.
That is what I love about Slackware as well, the installer does not make pre-determined decisions about what should be installed, set-up. The last thing I want to see from Slackware is that it becomes a fully-automated POS.....****cough ubuntu cough****. The KISS philosophy of Slackware continues to serve us very well indeed.
I look forward to our next release being stable, secure, fast. The same good ol, bullet-proof OS.
I love Slackware.

Last edited by hitest; 07-01-2009 at 07:25 AM.
 
Old 07-01-2009, 08:23 AM   #699
brianL
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Yes, let's keep the different distros distinct (nice bit of alliteration there, Brian!). Ubuntu's perfect for people who want what it has to offer, Slackware's perfect for people who want what it has to offer.
 
Old 07-01-2009, 12:01 PM   #700
rworkman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sahko View Post
maybe it would be time to replace libungif with giflib?
All other distributions i am aware already have done so (although that is not a reason by itself).
The libungif project has disappeared.
The libungif sources are still hosted at the giflib page, for what it's worth.
Even so, it's probably worth investigating the replacement.

I've got it built here (but not installed yet; pending some further research into what, if anything, links the libungif.so* libraries by real name as opposed to their libgif.so* symlinks). It's almost surely too late to even consider this for 13.0, but I'll keep it on the table for 13.1.
 
Old 07-01-2009, 12:38 PM   #701
Ilgar
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I've been testing slackware64-current for a while on my laptop. It looks pretty nice . I had my first crash today: I clicked a video file (well, actually double clicked), a couple of gxine instances were fired up and then things went haywire a bit. After a lot of disk activity and a looong wait, the system calmed down, but kwin had crashed. I've mentioned this request in some other thread before: Please, please, get rid of gxine. Even M$ products wouldn't compete with it when it comes to bugginess. I'm quite happy with the addition of Mplayer. However it seems to require Samba at runtime. It would be nice to compile it to be independent of Samba, since the two don't seem to be related too much.

Last edited by Ilgar; 07-01-2009 at 12:39 PM.
 
Old 07-01-2009, 01:00 PM   #702
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rworkman View Post
The libungif sources are still hosted at the giflib page, for what it's worth.
Even so, it's probably worth investigating the replacement.

I've got it built here (but not installed yet; pending some further research into what, if anything, links the libungif.so* libraries by real name as opposed to their libgif.so* symlinks). It's almost surely too late to even consider this for 13.0, but I'll keep it on the table for 13.1.
Yeah, its a drop-in replacement. No rebuilds are needed.
edit: Or maybe the correct way to put it, is that giflib is libungif's successor.

Last edited by sahko; 07-01-2009 at 01:15 PM.
 
Old 07-01-2009, 08:30 PM   #703
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Quote:
I really don't see what a LiveCD/DVD would add to the Slackware arsenal.
A nice way to sample a system without installing. I have tested several installable Live CDs lately and I am impressed with how they run. I got an immediate taste of how the system is designed and functioned. I have been reading a bit (need to read a lot more) and creating a Live CD from an existing hard drive image is possible. Somebody could create a configured Slackware hard drive image and create a Live CD. The CD then could be used to demonstrate Slackware without installing.

Try to remember that Slackers are technical people, computer savvy people. A majority of the computer users today are office people and non technical users of computers. That does not mean they like Windows but without the technical expertise they are not going to try to install a new operating system. A Live CD allows people to test systems. If they like what they see they then can ask somebody who has the skills to help install. Such people are not going to ever see Slackware without a Slackware showing an existing installation or through a Live CD.
 
Old 07-02-2009, 12:44 AM   #704
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodsman View Post
A nice way to sample a system without installing. I have tested several installable Live CDs lately and I am impressed with how they run. I got an immediate taste of how the system is designed and functioned. I have been reading a bit (need to read a lot more) and creating a Live CD from an existing hard drive image is possible. Somebody could create a configured Slackware hard drive image and create a Live CD. The CD then could be used to demonstrate Slackware without installing.

Try to remember that Slackers are technical people, computer savvy people. A majority of the computer users today are office people and non technical users of computers. That does not mean they like Windows but without the technical expertise they are not going to try to install a new operating system. A Live CD allows people to test systems. If they like what they see they then can ask somebody who has the skills to help install. Such people are not going to ever see Slackware without a Slackware showing an existing installation or through a Live CD.
There are a couple of problems with a LiveCd version of Slackware. First, as mentioned previously, the default setup for Slackware is so vanilla that it really does not show the user much (runlevel 3 woohoo!). Making the LiveCD into an example of a what Slackware can be setup like is possible, but many assumptions would have to be made. This goes against typical Slackware philosophies, but would be acceptable as long as it is clear that the setup is simply an example.

Second, other assumptions would have to be made about the hardware as well. While it is true that some auto-detection/auto-configuration scripts could be included, they may not always work properly. This would potentially mar Slackware's image of rock solid stability.

As I mentioned previously, one way to at least minimize the second problem would be to create a VirtualBox image instead of a LiveCD. One of the Slackware team members, for instance, could make a copy of their custom setup to a VirtualBox image (BSD girl background images and all). They would also probably want to take out any sensitive information or user docs that others don't need and change any configs needed to fit the default virtual hardware. A brief description of the setup could be included where the VBox image is hosted. Multiple images could even be included for different setup examples- or better yet, one image with multiple Slackware installation examples on separate virtual partitions. While this would not help users see if Slackware will work for their hardware out of the box, it would help them to easily see many examples of what Slackware can be.
 
Old 07-02-2009, 04:25 AM   #705
gnashley
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Creating any LiveCD requires a lot of tricks and special init and setup routines which are substantially different than those used by any normal installation. Much of the work is handled by using an initrd -much larger and more complex than one like what is used to boot a normal installation.

Slackware used to ship with a LiveCD version but the methods used by it are not very similar to those used by most LiveCD distros. Either way, creating a LiveCD results in a pretty different setup - not even close to a 'mirror' of a hard drive partition. Having it include hard-drive installation routines means it also has to include routines and extra files not used by the live version. The init scripts, especially, are quite different.

Creating and maintaining a really good live CD is a full-time job -even if it is based on an existing distro. Like it or not, I doubt we'll be seeing an official Slackware live CD, nor significant changes to the Slackware installation and setup routines. woodsman is right that Slackware now includes or does things that used to be despised as being Un-Slackish, but some changes are always inevitable.
 
  


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