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#1 2022-02-05 22:11:34

Bladtman242
Member
Registered: 2012-02-14
Posts: 127

How do you stay on top of changes to the arch ecosystem

Arch is constantly changing.
As time goes by, I find that the tools I use are no longer the recommended tools for the job.
Whether I learned to use the tool because it came with the installer,
or because it was the recommended solution on the wiki, whether it's xorg giving way to wayland, or ifconfig yielding to ip, or wifi-menu to iwctl,
every now and then my tools go out of fashion, and exit the ecosystem.

My question is this: Is there a good way to stay on top of which tools are the "recommended arch way"?
I've seen suggestions for using the mailing lists, followed by examples of changes that were not posted there.
Currently, I only realise when a tool finally breaks (which is rare), or when I run the latest installation media (which is rarer), and things like wifi-menu aren't on it.
This is obviously not a good way, so what is the easiest way to stay on top of new arch ways, preferably without having to cull through too much other information?

Last edited by Bladtman242 (2022-02-05 22:15:18)

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#2 2022-02-05 22:15:08

fukawi2
Administrator
From: .vic.au
Registered: 2007-09-28
Posts: 6,199
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Re: How do you stay on top of changes to the arch ecosystem

Not even close to System Administration; moving to Arch Discussion.

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#3 2022-02-05 22:16:02

Bladtman242
Member
Registered: 2012-02-14
Posts: 127

Re: How do you stay on top of changes to the arch ecosystem

Thank you, and apologies!

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#4 2022-02-05 22:19:42

jasonwryan
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From: .nz
Registered: 2009-05-09
Posts: 29,990
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Re: How do you stay on top of changes to the arch ecosystem

I really don't pay too much attention to "the recommended arch way". I use a subset of tooling that I suspect is very much in the minority. I follow some threads here, like "Latest software you have found", and "Things that make you go Ooh, Nice!" that tend to bring CLI tools to my attention. I subscribe to the mailing lists so I am aware of changes to [core] and [extra] that might warrant intervention, and I assisduously avoid anything related to electron or node or any of the other bloated, trendy software that is currently clogging the arteries of computation. Basically, I'm happy with simple Unixy tools and, obviously, living in the past! smile


Arch + dwm   •   Mercurial repos  •   Surfraw

Registered Linux User #482438

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#5 2022-02-05 22:24:04

Bladtman242
Member
Registered: 2012-02-14
Posts: 127

Re: How do you stay on top of changes to the arch ecosystem

jasonwryan wrote:

and I assisduously avoid anything related to electron or node

Oh hell yes.
I have to use all of those for work these days, but into their containers they go big_smile

Kidding aside, those are some good recommendations, although that sounds like a lot to go through on a regular basis!

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#6 2022-02-05 23:03:56

Trilby
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Registered: 2011-11-29
Posts: 26,692
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Re: How do you stay on top of changes to the arch ecosystem

I think my approach is pretty similar to what JWR described.  But there is never any directed effort at keeping up to date with what's changing just for the purposes of keeping up to date.  I am just always open to finding "better" versions of anything I use.  So when I hear about new things on the forums or elsewhere, I'll take a quick look.  If I'm not horrified or completely turned off to them at first glance, I might install it and try it out.  Then I'll determine if it actually is better for me than what I had been using.  Otherwise I file it away in my I-probably-don't-want-this-but-I-now-know-of-it bucket.  If / when I face real problems with a tool I need, I dig into that bucket to evaluate alternatives.  On rare occasions, the option from that bucket proves to be better.

I was fiercely resistent to switching to wayland.  I was hearing a lot about it and I found everything I heard really off-putting to be honest*.  But as I struggled with more and more issues on my main laptop including video tearing and severe nearly-migraine-inducing tearing just from scrolling run of the mill web pages, I jumped ship and dove in to wayland (and ended up writing my own compositor to do so).  It took a lot of unresolvable misery in Xorg before I gave wayland any real consideration - but had I not even paid attention to discussions about wayland, I'd not even be able to give it a try when I needed it.

At that time, alacritty was the only really viable terminal emulator for wayland (other than those that are bundled with the big DEs) - so that's what I used.
But I did just see talk of the wayland terminal emulator 'foot' being added to the repos this past week.  I had heard about foot before, but I was turned off to trying it as building it seemed to be a bit of a hassle.  As I was able to now quickly and easily install it from the the repos, I gave it a shot; and it took only a few minutes to realize it was much better than alacritty for my purposes.

So keep your ears / eyes open.  Just be aware of what's out there.  But there's no need to change anything to keep up with any trends.  Trends pass.  Change your tools when one of your current ones is failing, or you have good reason to believe a new one will suit you better.

*note: I think Drew DeVault and anyone else behind sway / wlroots deserve huge credit for making wayland useable.  Without their contributions I'd still see the whole protocol as a joke.  Those projects took wayland from an interesting idea that would never be practical to a fully useable system - and this is whether or not one actually uses wlroots due to the influence they've had on the whole wayland ecosystem.

Last edited by Trilby (2022-02-05 23:14:27)


"UNIX is simple and coherent..." - Dennis Ritchie, "GNU's Not UNIX" -  Richard Stallman

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#7 2022-02-05 23:54:44

Slithery
Forum Moderator
From: Norfolk, UK
Registered: 2013-12-01
Posts: 5,238

Re: How do you stay on top of changes to the arch ecosystem

All of the above suggestions are good.

I also browse Phoronix as it's a good rundown of the latest Linux news. I'll find out if new kernels/systemd  or graphics drivers have any new features for my CPU and GPU. As another example I heard about Pipewire there before Arch packages for it were available, so had already read a bit about it and knew what to expect.

Just don't visit the forums........ smile


No, it didn't "fix" anything. It just shifted the brokeness one space to the right. - jasonwryan
Closing -- for deletion; Banning -- for muppetry. - jasonwryan

aur - dotfiles

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#8 2022-02-07 22:33:01

Bladtman242
Member
Registered: 2012-02-14
Posts: 127

Re: How do you stay on top of changes to the arch ecosystem

It seems the consensus is to pay attention to the forums and similar.
For some reason that hasn't worked for me in the past (it just never becomes a habbit), but maybe with the specific thread recommendations etc from you guys, it'll stick this time.

Thanks for the suggestions!

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#9 2022-02-08 01:34:06

Trilby
Inspector Parrot
Registered: 2011-11-29
Posts: 26,692
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Re: How do you stay on top of changes to the arch ecosystem

Bladtman242 wrote:

It seems the consensus is to pay attention to the forums...

Keep in mind, you've asked this question on the forums, so you get responses from those of us who are active on the forums.  That's a pretty biased sampling.  Keeping an eye on the forums works for me because I'm doing that anyways.


"UNIX is simple and coherent..." - Dennis Ritchie, "GNU's Not UNIX" -  Richard Stallman

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#10 2022-02-27 06:36:35

cammyman50
Member
Registered: 2014-06-01
Posts: 44

Re: How do you stay on top of changes to the arch ecosystem

I just have news feed which I subscribed to I think four years back, and I check once a week at the arch website for any announcement

A rule of thumb when using arch though if stability is what you are looking for then I suggest a desktop environment like xfce, and I have a lts kernel as a backup and a stock kernel.

Though recently im using the zen kernel and I find that in terms of desktop use there is some slightly improvements but not much that I can tell from. Don't take my word for it, just make sure when you try things out you have some redundancies like backups and some on your own systems like a lts kernel and a stock kernel. Only thing that breaks sometimes that I hate is Nvidia but when that dies, ill be getting a used amd card because prices are well up there

Last edited by cammyman50 (2022-02-27 06:38:15)

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#11 2022-02-27 17:56:31

Alad
Wiki Admin/IRC Op
From: Bagelstan
Registered: 2014-05-04
Posts: 2,309
Website

Re: How do you stay on top of changes to the arch ecosystem

Arch is constantly changing.

Arch itself does not change that much (though, for better or worse, the last 2-3 years have been different). What does change all the time, though, is upstream. Usually I look out on the forums or wiki for breakage with common packages before upgrading.

recommended arch way

The wiki will usually give you a list of choices and you'll have to decide for yourself.

Last edited by Alad (2022-02-27 17:57:56)


Mods are just community members who have the occasionally necessary option to move threads around and edit posts. -- Trilby

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