Foresight Linux 2.5.0 release, it is still not dead

Wow, I did not think they would bring out another version:

Here is an Editor note about Foresight from Tomas Forsman.

 

Nothing much new. The release had increased the rank of Foresight to the 32nd most important distro. Popularity is nit everything, but the message of Foresight really was, that it would be for everybody. Which it isnt.

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GNOME 3 / GnomeShell Review

Somebody made a review. I can agree on his view mostly:

and here:

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Switching from Ubuntu to Debian again

I  had been a long time Debian user years ago. But I have switched to different Linuxes. I have used Ubuntu for the last years, but had a problem with it for quite some time. Where I have already talked about earlier.

I have now decided, that it is much easier to just not use it any more, instead of living with their craziness of manipulating all kind of behavior in a non standard way. Its worse enough that GNOME does not goes in the wrong direction. But GNOME still is workable. At least in Debian.

I am now using Debian Testing/Squeeze. I like to see that Debians community is alive and developing.

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Ubuntu: Is it worth it?

I have been enjoying using Ubuntu. But there is one issue that make me start to think about switching distribution, again. The one issue is Mark Shuttleworth. But the individual, but his role in the distribution.

First of all I do not believe in the concept of benevolent dictatorship. I rather believe in the wisdom of crowds. So I do not trust the decisions of a single person, whoever it is. Does not matter who!

The second step is to look at some decisions Mark had made. In tle last 2 years I especially have a problem of two core decisions, which are:

  • Deciding to remove the shutdown option from system menu
  • Deciding to move the window buttons from right to left.

My main reasoning for disliking the decisions is that I had big, big problems adopting the changes. But I dont want to reduce decisions oin if I can get along. But if you think twice it is easy to realise that people with disablities, children or old people with have much more problems adopting the changes. I have enabled the FUSA on some other desktops and it sill feels totally unnatural to me.

Also my view is, that a distribution in fact should not fiddle around with the software as much as Ubuntu does. The right way would be to talk to GNOME and to reach a consensus . From a service perspective it is just hell if you assume you are providing services to different Linux distributions and you cant assume a specific layout, which is known to be a GNOME standard.

Maybe Mark decided this way so that Ubuntu is so different to other distributions and then people who learn Ubuntu will stick to it? I dont know – because obviously he and the gus from Ubuntu made a very bad decision from a usability perspective (TWICE!).

I am not  always conservative. I have played around different window managers – and I think GNOME has missed the opportunity to adopt tiled window managing before Windows did. And now Windows advertises with tiled window managing, while Linux had this for ages – but  GNOME can not claim to have supported it. It had the taste of being too geeky (while in fact its a very practical feature).

So I like to update my desktop. But what I do not like is that I incorporate drastic UI changes which are not really thought through. and forcing to manually fix. I install a great deal of Linuxes for other people – and what I hate is that I have to fix all kinds of stuff before I can let people work with the machine. I like to keep things as default – because this enables people to feel home on many machines. Right now its so that somebody who gets a default Ubuntu will never feel home on a default Fedora, although both use the same GNOME and would have the perfect chance to show that different distributions dont mean you have to adopt and learn before you start working with another distribution. And it is not Fedoras fault this time!

So my criticism to Ubuntu is exactly two very consious decisions they made – without any need. So its not just some kind of bugs. They want it that way – they want people to get upset and have second thoughts about using Ubuntu. Why? I do not know.

I am think between switching to Fedora or Debian right now. Debian has the advantage of being more democratic and me being mor efamiliar with apt-get. Fedora is more interesting technically. But as I am getting older I also do get more conservative. I have used both for some years. I did like the responsiveness of the Debian maintainers, whoch is much higher than on Ubuntu. On Ubuntu you are mostly being seen as just a stupid user.

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Software Freedom Day Registration is open

After some weeks of preparation the SFD worldwide has opened up the registration!

I had taken up the task to prepare the new wiki. The old wiki was quite outdated but we could not update it easily. We chose to through away the user database, because there had been a lot of spam user accounts and it was qute impossible to scan them all for good and bad.

I hope our server will survive to be slashdotted (fingers crossed).

Yes, we still use MoinMoin as the wiki engine. Its actively developed, has caching capabilities and an  advanced search engine. And also the ability to use templates for page creation makes it mor easy for the general user, to add content.

We also have a Drupal CMS as the new front page and so we seperate the stable content from the more chaotic wiki content.

Its an interesting experience to see all those teams around the world running over our infrastructure. And I am impressed about their (your) enthusiasm.

Ah btw. the SFD is on September 18th in 2010!


If you want to start please read the StartGuide! Also I like to welcome your questions and suggestions. Contact me in #sfd as ritinardo on Freenode!

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You can not download GNOME!

One might think that this should be a simple task. I have continuously written about what GNOME does wrong. I should not care. but sometimes I re-check if things changes. But they do not.

Simple thing: Let’s say you think you like GNOME and want to download it. If you are smart you go to the GNOME main website. You even might now that GNOME is not just some Windows software, but you have to do more. But even then. I already wrote about the GNOME Live Disc problem. Which does not really have beend fixed. You do not see any Download link on the GNOME main website:

The only thing you see is a link to the latest release: GNOME 2.30. But why should you care? GNOME developers always think people just want to know about what ahs changed, because thats how they think about it. But lets say you have trust in thins link and get to the release notes page of GNOME 2.30. What now? You can go to the Bittorrent downlaod page torrent.gnome.org if you even know what Bittorrent is and that this can be a way of downloading. But you cant, because all GNOME 2.30 releases have a “Coming soon!” – But wait – we now see the “Download” button on top! We click it and where are we getting to www.gnome.org/start/stable/, which this time again leads us to the release notes of the latest stable release (today that is GNOME 2.30). So we look what else we find and we are successful, because there is another link:

You can get a list of distributions that ship GNOME and discover the latest versions they ship on our Get Footware page.

Aha. This should be it – so lets click on that page. But at least on the german page version this link is broken (And because there is still now 404 page we would be lost). On the english version it works. But now we are facing the fact that we only reached a page of links to DistroWatch. Though the page is nice to have, this is much away from any direct ability to download. This page is much more like a wiki page, which keeps geting updated every now and then.

The problem is: downloading GNOME should be the most important thing for GNOMEs people to consider a general user wants. This is still true – but still nobody cares. But you even have “Support” twice in the main page.

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I declare Foresight Linux as dead

I am not any Foresight Linux Official, but I asked if Foresight Linux is dead in December 2009. Og Maciel answered publicly to my blog post and said:

So to answer the original question posted by Thilo, “is Foresight Linux dead?” I can gladly say “Far from it!” I predict that the Foresight community will rally together in 2010 to get back to being the most GNOMEic and bleeding edge distribution out there!

More then six months after his post, there is still no new release. And as I tried to look where Foresight is ranking now, I found out that it is not listed by DistroWatch any more.

And I think it is fair, with all respect to those who invested a lot of time and energy to foresight Linux, that Foresight Linux can be declared dead.  The main reason for this is the wrong marketing in a broader sense. Because the product never fitted the message. Foresight Linux had many options to which path it could go, but it chose to try to do it all – being the “just works” distro and also being the “bleeding edge” distro. So in fact it became the “bleeds while its running” distro. In my opinion in a distro you habe to make tuff choices. You can not have it all. You can not do it all. If you try you will lose all possible users and end up destroying the software project.

Besides the Foresight problems I have also experiences a lot of problems with rPath – the core of Foresight, because it continuously had only old versions of Python per default and no mod-wsgi for Apache and many other problems. There where mich more efforts to gain more customers, than to fix those problems.

But if you, like me, have based your whole server on bleeding edge Python software like MoinMoin wiki and server technology, rPath is just not good enough. MoinMoin needs very modern Python and loves to work with mod-wsgi.  it is not the question of you can fix those stuff by yourself. Thats what you can do on EVERY distro. Its more the question of those base stuff is something you wont have to worry about. But on rPath, you have. And that is just not acceptable for me any more.

It is said to see all this, but I have foreseen this years ago. Everybody who had eyes could see it. It was not impossible to make very good distros out of rPath and Foresight, but  if the managers do make bad choices continuously, then there will soon be no choices. I guess rPath is not yet at the end. Maybe Red Hat will buy the company and technology or some other software company?

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