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#1 2008-04-14 07:31:53

Nathan P
Member
Registered: 2008-01-30
Posts: 93

Opportunity

I see a major opportunity for Arch to get involved in converting new linux users.  Because Arch is so clean and simple, I see no better base for a newbie distro to be formed from.  The config files, everything, are super simple.  This reduced complexity, when paired with a good GUI system for managing it (Yes, I said it, GUI) would create a system that is not only easy to setup, but stable.  Any added complexity in any kind of system increases the likelihood of a problem.  Problems are a newbie's worst enemy as they don't have the know how to go into the CLI or more advanced configuration stuff to fix it.  I feel the KISS base would make an ideal newbie distro if packaged correctly with a good default setup and software install.  To a lesser extent you could extend the KISS theme into the newbie wing.  Use KDEMod as the window manager and install only what is necessary.  One main web browser, one office suite, one email client, one main music player, one or two main video players, etc.  All of this would reduce confusion for the new user, further making it a great beginner linux.

Also, one of the main advantages of Arch is that the user decides which modules are installed so you don't have a bunch of extra modules for video cards, sound cards, etc that you don't need installed onto your computer, which allows full system updates without confusing the hardware detection etc.  This could be kept by having the full compliment of modules available on the LiveCD, using an autodetect like PCLinuxOS, Mint, and Ubuntu use to configure the hardware, and then once the install button is clicked, it could only install the modules which were detected.

Any thoughts are welcome!  I don't have enough know-how to do this myself but I'd gladly help if anyone else has a similar dream or plan!

Nathan

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#2 2008-04-14 07:46:24

finferflu
Forum Fellow
From: Manchester, UK
Registered: 2007-06-21
Posts: 1,899
Website

Re: Opportunity

How about this?


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Free music for free people! | Earthlings

"Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away." -- A. de Saint-Exupery

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#3 2008-04-14 07:52:55

brebs
Member
Registered: 2007-04-03
Posts: 3,742

Re: Opportunity

I think a common misconception is:

Arch's KISS philosophy == user-friendly == newbie-friendly

This is wrong. Arch is "friendly" for *experienced* users, willing to put in the *effort* to configure the system, happy that Arch won't get in the way too much (and also won't attempt to auto-configure).

Therefore, a GUI gives the wrong impression of newbie-friendliness and is, well, out-of-character for this distro.

Newbies can use Ubuntu. Creating and maintaining a new distro is, I expect, a huge amount of effort, especially if the users are newbies and therefore can't contribute, except for wailing when things don't work.

Last edited by brebs (2008-04-14 07:55:40)

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#4 2008-04-14 07:56:24

Nathan P
Member
Registered: 2008-01-30
Posts: 93

Re: Opportunity

Don't have the time until tomorrow to read much into it but I'm through the first page and it seems interesting.  Not a big fan of Openbox though...

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#5 2008-04-14 08:04:32

iphitus
Forum Fellow
From: Melbourne, Australia
Registered: 2004-10-09
Posts: 4,927

Re: Opportunity

There's been a heap of discussion on this before.

In summary: Nothing will happen until someone actually writes some code. Talk gets _nowhere_

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#6 2008-04-14 09:31:23

Tido
Member
Registered: 2007-06-21
Posts: 65

Re: Opportunity

I'll take killer docs any day over a GUI. Config files aren't hard at all as long as you understand the contents. So if you want to help the newbies, don't hold their hand, help them learn. Make the Arch wiki even better!

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#7 2008-04-14 09:42:34

finferflu
Forum Fellow
From: Manchester, UK
Registered: 2007-06-21
Posts: 1,899
Website

Re: Opportunity

I say that if people want to develop such a "newbie-friendly" Arch, why discouraging them? After all they're not asking the devs to change Arch, they wanna start a side project. I believe side projects bring new ideas. So, I wish them all the luck needed.


Have you Syued today?
Free music for free people! | Earthlings

"Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away." -- A. de Saint-Exupery

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#8 2008-04-14 10:44:34

zodmaner
Member
Registered: 2007-07-11
Posts: 653

Re: Opportunity

It seems that the KDEmod team are currently planning to do just what you have described, Nathan P.

More information here: http://archux.com/blogs/miggols99/makin … -some-help

Why don't you contact them and see if you could help them out? The KDEmod team is quite small (even smaller than the Arch devs team) and they could use a hand. wink

Last edited by zodmaner (2008-04-14 10:57:49)


Memento mori

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#9 2008-04-14 15:18:24

catwell
Member
From: Bretagne, France
Registered: 2008-02-20
Posts: 207
Website

Re: Opportunity

I don't want a newbies-friendly project associated with Arch. As the userbase grows, we notice more and more requests for things like GUIs and auto-configured packages.

On another hand, I'm not against a distribution that would use Arch as its base, like Ubuntu with Debian, as long as it is clear that it's a  different project, with its own forums, IRC channel, bugtracker and so on.

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#10 2008-04-14 16:42:29

Nathan P
Member
Registered: 2008-01-30
Posts: 93

Re: Opportunity

catwell wrote:

I don't want a newbies-friendly project associated with Arch. As the userbase grows, we notice more and more requests for things like GUIs and auto-configured packages.

On another hand, I'm not against a distribution that would use Arch as its base, like Ubuntu with Debian, as long as it is clear that it's a  different project, with its own forums, IRC channel, bugtracker and so on.

I would prefer it that way as well, as I like Arch just the way it is for my use.

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#11 2008-04-15 00:25:17

zodmaner
Member
Registered: 2007-07-11
Posts: 653

Re: Opportunity

catwell wrote:

I don't want a newbies-friendly project associated with Arch. As the userbase grows, we notice more and more requests for things like GUIs and auto-configured packages.

On another hand, I'm not against a distribution that would use Arch as its base, like Ubuntu with Debian, as long as it is clear that it's a  different project, with its own forums, IRC channel, bugtracker and so on.

Then you don't need to worry, catwell, because the KDEmod team are planning to do just what you have said. They are going to create a new distro based on Arch that put emphasis on ease of use. It will of course be a different project (see the link in my last post for detail).

Also, maybe we're a little bit too worry about the current influx of new user and all the suggestions for GUI installer and stuff? The Arch devs have said many, many, many times that those things won't be implemented or included into the main Arch repos, so I don't really see why we should be worry that Arch will be 'changed' or 'Ubuntunized' to suit new user any time soon (and didn't Arch already have a GUI for stuff like package management, and lots of them?).

I feels that there is a lot of misgiving for new users recently, which is understandable with all the requests for change that have been going on. Well, the important thing to remember is, not all new user (newbie) want to change Arch. Many of them like Arch the way it is and are willing to learn and adapt to it.

Another important thing is that not all of the users that requested Arch to be change is new user. Many of them have been using Arch for quite sometime and made their comment and suggestion based on their experience, point of view and what they think would made Arch better. Whether or not their suggestions are sound or will be implemented is another matter and for the devs to decided but they should not be shun for voicing their suggestion (well, if they do so nicely and reasonably that is). After all, isn't open source all about being open to the new idea? wink

Last edited by zodmaner (2008-04-15 00:33:32)


Memento mori

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#12 2008-04-17 23:29:49

peets
Member
From: Montreal
Registered: 2007-01-11
Posts: 936
Website

Re: Opportunity

Tido wrote:

I'll take killer docs any day over a GUI. Config files aren't hard at all as long as you understand the contents. So if you want to help the newbies, don't hold their hand, help them learn. Make the Arch wiki even better!

Yes.

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#13 2008-04-18 17:15:58

schivmeister
Developer/TU
From: Singapore
Registered: 2007-05-17
Posts: 971
Website

Re: Opportunity

A perfect example is Slackware. Take a look around, there are many beginner-friendly distros built upon the distro.


I need real, proper pen and paper for this.

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