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#1 2003-02-21 03:06:28

rasat
Forum Fellow
From: Finland, working in Romania
Registered: 2002-12-27
Posts: 2,176
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Few AL ideas.

When browsing through support forums of different distros similar to this bulletin board, what all seems to have in common is to answer members' hardware and config questions. Discussions move around setting up the distro and few programs. Installing is a beginning stage, what about getting support how to work with the distro? 

From my experience with people I have helped to install Linux, once they are on their own later they come and ask what programs (packages) and functions are availabe. Also I have seen the mess some of them create when not knowing how to setup a workstation and build a well organized desktop environment.... there are times when I had to re-install everything smile.

Could Arch Linux become something more than dealing with hardware and system / package config? A distro helping with the selection of programs (packages) and what are available. Also help (or give hints) how to setup a workstation (multimedia, local web & database server, etc.) and build a well organized desktop.

The "program & what are available" support can be held on this forum.

How to help setting up a workstation with a related desktop setup I am not sure how to go about the idea. How about making it into a workshop with the help of active members on this forum trying to make a default Arch Linux workstation / desktop distro version? The discussion itself will provide support and hints.

Any comments?

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#2 2003-02-22 07:08:54

BluPhoenyx
Member
Registered: 2002-12-23
Posts: 239

Re: Few AL ideas.

rasat wrote:

Any comments?

Yes.

I thought AL was already more than "dealing with hardware and system / package config". After all, it's a very functional Linux system for everyday usage on my Toshiba laptop as well as a custom Athlon box I'm tinkering with.

My desktop preferences are quite different from yours or any other users for that matter, and theirs are different as well. While I can (and would) help people understand how to maintain a desktop and their programs I don't want to restrict AL to a specific desktop or style. I've seen other systems trying to use this method and I have either quit using them or avoided using them.

This is not to say that there aren't some great desktop systems around, KDE 3 is great for those who want that big, everything right here system. Gnome2 is certainly up and coming. Enlightenment is working on their own desktop version as well, XFCE3 is a small desktop and the new XFCE4 is now reaching desktop status. Then there is the ROX system, not to mention the various, custom desktops which people build using simple window managers.

I surely understand where you're coming from though. I just don't think making the system follow the footsteps of everyone else and use a default desktop is the best choice. I think the solution here is not the desktop as much as a user friendly method of handling the pacman system. This project is currently being considered and discussed and ideas are welcome.

I also think that part of the problem is many users come from OS's with simple file systems and have no real concept of proper file system usage or directory hierarchy. When you have access to everything all the time and can put stuff wherever you want, you don't think much about these things.

Of course, that's just my opinions.


BluPhoenyx

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#3 2003-02-22 12:35:56

rasat
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From: Finland, working in Romania
Registered: 2002-12-27
Posts: 2,176
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Re: Few AL ideas.

BluPhoenyx wrote:

I thought AL was already more than "dealing with hardware and system / package config". After all, it's a very functional Linux system for everyday usage...... 

My desktop preferences are quite different from yours or any other users for that matter......

This is not to say that there aren't some great desktop systems around, KDE 3 is great for those who want that big, everything right here system. Gnome2 is certainly up and coming. Enlightenment is working on their own desktop......

The ideas I am suggesting is not about Arch Linux (how good or bad it is.... it's an excellent distro) but to extend this forum support with a program (package) information forum and how to setup a desktop making it easier to navigate and access the programs (nothing to do with the type of desktop). With a default desktop (if then KDE or Gnome) I am also not in favor except as a discussion to share ideas. How about making some simple desktop guidelines?

Here below are example of the two suggested ideas.

Example (Program Information Forum) questions:

1. What multimedia packages are available (AL and non-AL)?
2. What's difference between KOffice and Open Office?
3. I want to setup a complete webpage development station. What are the packages and the setup?
4. Etc.

Example (Desktop Hints&Ideas or forum):

1. Sample webpage development menu for Blackbox, Openbox and Fluxbox.
2. Instructions how to customize KDE menu.
3. BBtools
4. What I can do with KDE Control Center.
5. Etc.

One difficulty side with a forum is to know what to ask if the person doesn't know what AL (Linux in general) can offer. On internet we find lot of technical information about Linux but detail functions are not much available...... its more "try on your own". This functional side of AL I am trying to bring up with these two ideas.

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#4 2003-02-23 05:17:38

BluPhoenyx
Member
Registered: 2002-12-23
Posts: 239

Re: Few AL ideas.

Sorry, my bad... I'm sort of mixed up right now from chasing down a stupid library error while building Mozilla 1.3b with  xft support along with verifying version status of packages. My brain hurts. smile


BluPhoenyx

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#5 2004-03-31 13:14:31

aris002
Member
From: London, UK
Registered: 2004-03-21
Posts: 75

Re: Few AL ideas.

This was a very good rasat's idea. Why nobody is interested any more?
But I would even suggest in packages databases *next to each package*- links (and/or to arch forums discussions or even there) available something like:

1. "Packages features reviews - compare" -
aim "read before you want to install: links to home pages, archers opinions & other review websites.

2. "Packages - instalation"  -
aim "read before you start installing: technical requirements -software and hardware, preparation steps, what can go wrong! etc." (in most cases -"?min just pacman... link //to general pacman" - should attract new people IMO)

3. "Packages - compiling" -
aim "read why or when would you need DIY, dependancies!, PKGBUILD etc."

4. "Packages - configure and use" -
"tips for configurations and usage"

Arijus
P.S If you want to see an example check this:
http://englanders.cc/~jason/howtos.php

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#6 2004-04-01 14:01:47

im_ka
Member
Registered: 2004-03-07
Posts: 118

Re: Few AL ideas.

yea there could be a section in the forum for applications. app reviews, votings for e.g. multimedia/game/network/game etc. software of the month. people could ask "what app should i use for this task?" there instead of asking it in the "package configuration problems" or other places.

imho great idea! it's up to the mods smile

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#7 2004-04-01 14:36:39

Mr Green
Forum Fellow
From: U.K.
Registered: 2003-12-21
Posts: 5,746

Re: Few AL ideas.

Google states that a Workstation is

A networked computer that uses server resources. A computer that is connected to a mainframe computer. It is usually a personal computer connected to a Local Area Network (LAN), which shares the resources of one or more large computers. Workstations differ from terminals or dumb terminals in that they can be used independently of the mainframe. Also, they can have their own applications installed, as well as their own hard disks. A type of computer that requires a significant amount of computing power and that can produce high-quality graphics.

I have been told several times to STFW or RTFM so I tend to use Google as much as possible ..

although I have no use of a workstation (at the moment) maintaining  a system is a proirity...

Security is a real issue as is System Admin...its no good loading packages if you have no idea what they do or affect..

If you are talking about a GUI frontend for pacman why?

I agree that a forum for setting up a default system is a very good idea..even preparing hard drive (which I believe puts many people off) setting mount points etc...then a basic package list....

After all  the best system set up is what we are all after...desktops, well take your pick but with everybody pulling in different directions how to please everyone...

Please don't turn Arch into Gentoo :cry:


Mr Green


Mr Green

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#8 2004-04-01 15:05:27

rasat
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From: Finland, working in Romania
Registered: 2002-12-27
Posts: 2,176
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Re: Few AL ideas.

Mr Green wrote:

After all  the best system set up is what we are all after...desktops, well take your pick but with everybody pulling in different directions how to please everyone...

I don't agree. This what "we" may think when the whole internet of Linux is filled with websites about system and configure. Among Windows users is more about softwares and what they do. To pinpoint why I posted this topic (one year ago), what's the point of having the best system when not knowing what can be done with it smile  wink

PS.
I don't want't only a best system but also the best utilization.

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#9 2004-04-01 15:26:13

aris002
Member
From: London, UK
Registered: 2004-03-21
Posts: 75

Re: Few AL ideas.

Mr.Green wrote:

If you are talking about a GUI frontend for pacman why?

Who was talking? roll
I started thinking about me... Then, as I understood,  the talk was about
"how to improve -make faster and more convienient- access to the information about packages"
from existing arch's webpages: forums, downloading areas, wikis etc.
before and after download.
And I gave a link, which I like, as an example. Because before downloading, from there you can check the dependancies and more (I don't use Slackware any more, BTW) if you want to compile. That example is not ideal though. I would like to see links to all existing versions (including where they, or information, reside  /incoming , /current , /extra,  /BIY-(build it yourself) ) and from there then to have links to readme, howto, forum discussions etc.
Arijus
P.S. Because latest OpenSSL problem really sucks :evil:

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#10 2004-04-02 03:35:40

rasat
Forum Fellow
From: Finland, working in Romania
Registered: 2002-12-27
Posts: 2,176
Website

Re: Few AL ideas.

As an example half year ago when I was in a need for a CD burning package, I spent three days finding / installing / testing both AL and non-AL pkgs in this category. K3b was the last I tried because of the "stupid" three letter name (doesn't tell anything... typical Linux style of naming a program).

If there would have been a criteria option "CD burning" at Arch website and each pkg in this criteria with a link telling pro & con, evetually I would have had installed K3b at the first place..... at least within one day. smile

A suggestion, could each pkg at the website (AL or other) be under a "type of application" category (not only type of package as currently) and also linked to a wiki "pro & con" page maintained by the users.

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#11 2004-04-02 04:08:24

Xentac
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From: Victoria, BC
Registered: 2003-01-17
Posts: 1,797
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Re: Few AL ideas.

Have you looked at freshmeat.net?  It has something basically like that.


I have discovered that all of mans unhappiness derives from only one source, not being able to sit quietly in a room
- Blaise Pascal

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#12 2004-04-02 04:53:54

rasat
Forum Fellow
From: Finland, working in Romania
Registered: 2002-12-27
Posts: 2,176
Website

Re: Few AL ideas.

Xentac wrote:

Have you looked at freshmeat.net?

Last couple of days when working with AIR,  this site was very helpful.

Now when you are mentioning, also I did a test, it would be quite easy to make a link to freshmeat for each package (as a variable....as long as the pkg uses the original name).

A PHP sample link for k3b --> $pkg_name
<a href="http://freshmeat.net/projects/<?echo "$pkg_name"?>"></a>

Does Arch's website use PHP?

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#13 2004-04-02 05:40:22

Xentac
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From: Victoria, BC
Registered: 2003-01-17
Posts: 1,797
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Re: Few AL ideas.

Yes, the archlinux site does use PHP.  But why would you want to have a link to the freshmeat page?  Why not just use the url variable from the packages, which we already have...

My question is why not use freshmeat as your program searching site?  It does everything you want it to.


I have discovered that all of mans unhappiness derives from only one source, not being able to sit quietly in a room
- Blaise Pascal

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#14 2004-04-02 06:19:17

rasat
Forum Fellow
From: Finland, working in Romania
Registered: 2002-12-27
Posts: 2,176
Website

Re: Few AL ideas.

Xentac wrote:

But why would you want to have a link to the freshmeat page?  Why not just use the url variable from the packages, which we already have...

My question is why not use freshmeat as your program searching site?

The freshmeat page for reading pro & con, what we where here speaking about. Currently the variable brings to a page with links for pkg home page, source, dependencies, etc.  The pro & con could be included.
Sample:
http://www.archlinux.org/packages.php?id=942

To stop wasting time searching at two or more websites when all links could be in one place. Morover,  when using AL's website the user knows there is a AL pkg, which is the most valuabe part in this search.

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#15 2004-04-02 14:05:00

aris002
Member
From: London, UK
Registered: 2004-03-21
Posts: 75

Re: Few AL ideas.

Yes, Yes, Yes! rasat! I admire your practical thinking with real steps!
Just... I would like to see |dependancies: optional/required|.

...And imagine if Microsoft or Apple etc. wrote on their websites:

"If you want to learn about libraries (etc.) we ship, your best library is Google! And if you haven't read the whole nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn Google websites, stay on the safe side - don't use our products".

And imagine more and more websites decide "It has been written enough everywhere else - use Google!" until all decide the same... big_smile
Arijus

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#16 2004-04-02 15:46:51

rasat
Forum Fellow
From: Finland, working in Romania
Registered: 2002-12-27
Posts: 2,176
Website

Re: Few AL ideas.

aris002 wrote:

Just... I would like to see |dependancies: optional/required

If you speak about the dependancies (required pkgs) of each AL packages, we can find at the AL's website. Optional / related pkgs is what could be interesting. One single pkgs (though having all dependancies installed) doesn't usually do the full job...... its rather a set of packages. When dealing with multimedia stuff many things go along.

Are we speaking about same thing?

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#17 2004-04-04 02:25:58

aris002
Member
From: London, UK
Registered: 2004-03-21
Posts: 75

Re: Few AL ideas.

Hi!
rasat wrote:

Are we speaking about same thing?

Then apart from what I've already said,
1. How to make faster and more convenient access to information about packages (seperate- before and after downloading) from Arch's packages page.

2. Some ideas. Topic's name was "few AL ideas". So ... I think AL has got a big potential future to reach even top5 at the end of 2004 (I'm not saying I want this!)
But even from egoistical point of view - "the more cooperating developers and packagers, the better service for me and every Arch user." Hence, if that growing quantity of newcomers (not all of them will be GUI lovers or complete newbies...) is wisely welcomed and can quickly reach the required important information to become involved then the whole Arch can become not only a good but a graet distro and great force...

3. Some problems with packages and packaging:

3.1. How to avoid disasters (like OpenSSL...)
    Because nobody is perfect and Murphy's? law says:

If things can go wrong they will go even worse!

I can approve to some extent "Nobody will hold your hand..." but I'd like to see some warnings (switchable) from pacman.  e.g. "This a cruicial for your  ...." or see below PKGTREE idea.

3.2. How to spend less (in fact - normal... for some packages) time making PKGBUILD files and compiling. Or to automate that process more("pkgbuilder"?)

To summarise:
Dependancies and versions (and package configuration) are maybe the weekest Linux link (despite pacman's huge leap!) and they need to be presented (addressed?) better for existing and potencial packagers. "Pacman -Qi pkgname" is not enough. To go to various home pages or search related pages and browse them until you collect all required pieces of information is a ....

Possible solutions:

1. Make rasat's sample "live"!
http://www.archlinux.org/packages.php?id=942
and improve it be asking archers.
I'd personally like to see there something like processes pstree:
"depends on" - "target package" - "required by"

2. Include required/optional for "depends on" if you want to customize and build it yourself (Or it can be on a seperate page for builders).

3. I'd like to see the same tree with pacman or another program ("pkgtree"? and/or "pkgbuilder"?).

4. Maybe some extra forum sections e.g "tips how to use" etc. maybe with links next to each package.

5. Attract and educate more packagers and more quickly -> less pressure on existing ones then -> they more happy  big_smile (seperate discussion - how)

Arijus

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#18 2004-04-04 04:09:20

rasat
Forum Fellow
From: Finland, working in Romania
Registered: 2002-12-27
Posts: 2,176
Website

Re: Few AL ideas.

aris002 wrote:

.... practical thinking with real steps!

Thanks aris002 for your input in this topic. I suggest we do some experiments to know the practical side.

Currently I am working on AIR, which is related to this topic. Here we can add ideas, see how it works, and new things may come up.
http://bliss-solutions.org/archlinux/incoming/

<b>What do we want to add in AIR </b> to do things what we have here discussed?... the items, and also if possible how & where.
I am adding the type of application. Any suggestions what types to add in the selection box?

PS
In Arch Linux there are two sides of development: (1) developers and (2) user contributions. AIR is an user contribution.

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#19 2004-04-04 05:52:03

rasat
Forum Fellow
From: Finland, working in Romania
Registered: 2002-12-27
Posts: 2,176
Website

Re: Few AL ideas.

To keep this topic for new ideas only, I have started another topic in "User Contributions" forum where we can discuss about details.

Package info - WORKSHOP:
http://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?t=3665

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