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Old 05-28-2020, 06:47 PM   #1
Dominic3344
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I am starting a distribution based on Historical Research tasks


Hello all. First time poster. I have started preparitory work on a distribution devoted purely to historical research. More about it at the website

I'm doing a lot of preparity work behind the scenes to make this happen. I have the work I set out for myself done today. And I find I would like to talk to people about it.

What can I say about it in a few words. It will be a Linux distribution with bespoke social applications included. Chat, file share and book share. Yes, physical books. I have a pile of them at home I'd like to trade.

Later. Aplications to facilitate and promote collaboration. I'm a big fan of podcasts such as 'In Our Time' by the BBC. If users come out with something like that some day I'd be very pleased.
 
Old 05-29-2020, 01:14 AM   #2
ondoho
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dominic3344 View Post
More about it at the website
I do not trust weebly. Too many third-party resources. Not accessible with Tor Browser.
Try [Github pages](https://pages.github.com/) if you don't have your own server.
 
Old 05-29-2020, 01:56 AM   #3
Dominic3344
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Originally Posted by ondoho View Post
I do not trust weebly. Too many third-party resources. Not accessible with Tor Browser.
Try [Github pages](https://pages.github.com/) if you don't have your own server.
Thanks. I found out that large area's of the world are region blocked. No one in Ukraine for example can open a weebly site.
 
Old 05-29-2020, 02:18 AM   #4
Turbocapitalist
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And just to make it more complicated, GitHub sold out to M$ two years ago and M$ makes it clear that they intend to keep their thumb in the eye of a range of projects that have the misfortune of not migrating away fast enough. (Edit: M$ spent 7.5 billion on the purchase. They'll never be able to recover that directly out of GitHub users directly. Look for indirect trouble instead.) So I'd avoid feeding GitHub.

Since your project is new, I would really recommend starting with a domain name and a VPS. The domain name can be from 1 EUR to 15 EUR per year, depending on the top-level domain. But if you keep the web site simple then you can get by with around 3 EUR per month for the VPS. Be sure to get the domain name and VPS from different companies though. Or if you do get the domain name as part of a deal with the VPS, migrate it as soon as possible to a second company.

Alternatively, you could self host on old equipment if your ISP allows incoming connections on HTTP and HTTPS. You'd still need a domain name but then instead of an A or AAAA name you'd make a CNAME and point it at whatever dynamic domain name service you've chosen. You'd outgrow that after a while but it would give you much more control, a heck of a lot of flexibility, and save a small bit of money during the experimental phase.

Either way you'd need a domain name and since you'll need one eventually once the project grows you might as well establish branding early on.

You can keep the site simple by using a static site generator. There are some very good ones to choose from nowadays. They produce consistent aesthetically pleasing static sites. Being static there are no moving parts and no need to be on call 24/7 to respond to some critical PHP update or yet another CMS *cough*wordpress*cough* disaster.

Last edited by Turbocapitalist; 05-29-2020 at 02:22 AM. Reason: 7.5 billion
 
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Old 05-29-2020, 03:21 AM   #5
Dominic3344
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turbocapitalist View Post
Since your project is new, I would really recommend starting with a domain name and a VPS. The domain name can be from 1 EUR to 15 EUR per year, depending on the top-level domain. But if you keep the web site simple then you can get by with around 3 EUR per month for the VPS. Be sure to get the domain name and VPS from different companies though. Or if you do get the domain name as part of a deal with the VPS, migrate it as soon as possible to a second company.
Thanks for this. Webhosting seems cheaper than when I went to cost a site a couple of years ago. Your post has given me the impetus to run a website properly.

Last edited by Dominic3344; 05-29-2020 at 03:31 AM.
 
Old 05-29-2020, 04:07 AM   #6
Dominic3344
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I have a request. I want to put textual material on the desktop. For now, items like a guide to no longer used measurements. I'd like that to look as attactive as possible. Both the icon and the text. The ability to add ilustrations would be great aswell.

How should I go about this? Is there an aplication out there that is fit for this?
 
Old 05-29-2020, 04:18 AM   #7
Turbocapitalist
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There are several options, but each going a different route depending on the final result. How will this documentation end up, printed to paper or uploaded as a web page?
 
Old 05-29-2020, 04:31 AM   #8
Dominic3344
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turbocapitalist View Post
There are several options, but each going a different route depending on the final result. How will this documentation end up, printed to paper or uploaded as a web page?
Apologies. It's a document for the desktop. A digital file. I just thought there might be an application that would pretty up such things for viewing. It will be small, it's not to be printed. Just used as a reference.
 
Old 05-29-2020, 05:31 AM   #9
Turbocapitalist
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No worries. It's just that there are a lot of tools and there are a lot of interpretations of pretty documents. You could look at LibreOffice or Calligra for one style. You could look at Zim for another style, and that would be usable even with the zettelkasten method if you are careful about annotation and linking. Yet one more option would be to set up a local-only web site using Hugo or Jekyll or another static generator.

The plain text files, and some XHTML too, are searchable with grep. The OpenDocument Format files would need Recoll or another heavier engine.
 
Old 05-29-2020, 05:40 AM   #10
boughtonp
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Why do you think an entire distribution is the worth spending time on?

Would it not be far simpler and way more practical to build a suite of applications that work on existing distributions?

 
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Old 05-29-2020, 06:10 AM   #11
Dominic3344
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boughtonp View Post
Why do you think an entire distribution is the worth spending time on?

Would it not be far simpler and way more practical to build a suite of applications that work on existing distributions?

It won't be a ground up distribution if that's what your saying. These applications will just be thrown on top of a stable full build such as debian.

I suppose I have no ready anwser for you, as to why these should be bundled with a distribution and not pacaged separately. Perhaps one day they will be.
 
Old 05-29-2020, 06:28 AM   #12
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Maybe a meta-package for Linux Mint or Ubuntu would be a good way to go.
 
Old 05-29-2020, 01:44 PM   #13
boughtonp
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dominic3344 View Post
It won't be a ground up distribution if that's what your saying. These applications will just be thrown on top of a stable full build such as debian.
There are potentially valid reasons from building a focused ground-up distro, that might apply in special situations.

I can see zero valid reasons to have applications "just be thrown on top of" any distribution - and a number of reasons why that is a bad idea.


If you ask around, the overwhelming advice will be to create the applications you want either as a single package, or as individual packages grouped into a single metapackage, and then submit those packages to official Debian repos and/or setup your own repositories hosting the packages.

It will be less work for you and less work for potential users.

 
Old 05-29-2020, 02:45 PM   #14
Dominic3344
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Originally Posted by boughtonp View Post
There are potentially valid reasons from building a focused ground-up distro, that might apply in special situations.

I can see zero valid reasons to have applications "just be thrown on top of" any distribution - and a number of reasons why that is a bad idea.
The first application will be just thrown on top of a distribubution and shoved out the door. Just to get some airplay on the likes of Distowatch. I think it has to be this way. At least at the start. No-one is going to come complete social applications at my beck and call.

I have one use case senario where someone suggested features of a distribution to be adressed for a particular type of research. I want more. I didn't really mean to be so short and imply that will be all to the distubution. You said it would be hard work building a distribution. That work won't be mine at all. I am completly new to Linux and I am not a programmer.


Quote:
Originally Posted by boughtonp View Post
If you ask around, the overwhelming advice will be to create the applications you want either as a single package, or as individual packages grouped into a single metapackage, and then submit those packages to official Debian repos and/or setup your own repositories hosting the packages.

It will be less work for you and less work for potential users.
Could you expand a little on this for me please? I know the 'many hands make light work' ethos is strong in Linux and open source. Fixing bugs together .ect

Last edited by Dominic3344; 05-29-2020 at 02:47 PM.
 
Old 05-30-2020, 06:41 AM   #15
boughtonp
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Ok, this is from your current website:
Quote:
The dream of HRL is to provide an online connection to people from all parts of the world. To share information about what they are currently working on and what they have learned about.

To achieve this, HRL will need bespoke applications. HRL will not release until at least one of these applications are in place.
Start with the community - you have a forum, but only one post - before going further, find like minded people who share your dream (not for a distro, but for the things you envision that distro providing), and start to describe and discuss the different applications and how they might work. What the closest currently available software is, and where it falls short. Is there a plugin system that can be used to address those issues, will the project accept contributions to solve them, or is a new application needed. Each one should have its own thread where people can lay out their thoughts and bounce ideas around. Basically, gathering requirements and determining potential solutions.

Also, whilst you're doing that, improve your website to clarify what the aims are (ideally make sure the site works with JavaScript disabled), and of course use Linux as much as you can to gain experience.

As you discuss things, you'll begin to be able to classify each piece of software according to how they contribute to your goal - e.g. "essential", "useful", "nice to have", etc. - as well as how much effort might be involved, (whether its creating a new application, a large/small update to an existing one, whatever), and then you can start to prioritise and workout a roadmap.

At that point - when you have a community with a shared understanding of what it wants - you can weigh up the benefits of simply creating/updating the relevant software, versus doing that and also taking the extra step to bundle it all into a new distribution.

It could well be worth taking that extra step (I partly disagree with yesterday-me), but the key is that creating a distribution should be seen as that - an extra step - and not the starting point.

A distribution doesn't create a community, it comes from a community.

 
  


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