| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 45, 19 April 2004
Welcome to this year's 16th edition of DistroWatch Weekly. The main upcoming attractions of this week are KDE 3.2.2 and, in certain countries, SUSE LINUX 9.1.
Debian Package a Day
Do you know how many packages are currently present in Debian Sid? Here is the number: 15,420. Yes, that's over fifteen thousand deb packages that are available at any time for your downloading pleasure. Granted, a significant portion of them are libraries, header files and development packages split from the original source code, but still... That's a lot of good software to play with.
Given the cryptic names that Free Software developers tend to give their products, it is hardly surprising that a lot of the included software is little known by most users. A quick quiz: how many of the following packages you know, use, or at least have heard of: pcregrep, arch-buildpackage, apt-watch, udev, readpst, netselect-apt, darcs, kmd, fam, fwatch, proxycheck, libnet-google-perl, pwgen? If your answer is close to zero, you might want to check out Debian Package a Day.
Debian Package a Day is a web site publishing daily descriptions of interesting applications to introduce people to cool packages in the Debian testing distribution. So far over 25 packages have been featured. Syndicated feeds are available in RSS and Atom formats. The applications mentioned in the above quiz are just some of the recently featured packages; they include a brief description and purpose, and readers are welcome to make comments. Even if you are not a Debian user, Debian Package a Day is a useful page to bookmark and visit regularly to learn about all the great, but little known software for Linux.
Slackware and the X Window System
A few weeks ago we talked about the unexpected inclusion of XFree86 4.4.0 in the Slackware current tree. Unexpected because Slackware was the only major Linux distribution that has accepted the new version of XFree86, despite the fact that its new license is generally seen as incompatible with GPL. Now it seems that Patrick Volkerding is having second thoughts about the issue and is soliciting ideas from users. This is from a recent entry in the Slackware's Current ChangeLog:
"testing/packages/x11/*: Added X11R6.7.0 from X.Org.
Got an opinion on what the future of X in Slackware should be? I'm curious about that myself, and welcome comments on the matter at firstname.lastname@example.org."
It will be interesting to see how users react. Could it be that Slackware ends up being the only distribution that lets users decided about that matter?
|Released Last Week
Buffalo Linux 1.2.0
Buffalo Linux 1.2.0 is out: "This release of Buffalo uses the new 2.6.5 kernel exclusively. Six kernels are provided for i586, Pentium 2, Pentium 3, Pentium 4, K6, and K7 (Duron/Athlon). Major package upgrades (74) including OpenOffice-1.1.1. Plus a bonus bundle GNOME package that contains another 73 packages. 44 little used packages were deleted to fit on a single CD. The 2.4.24 kernels are no longer included on the CD, available on website for download only. There is a 102MB upgrade from 1.1.6 to 1.2.0 available." The full changelog.
SLAX 4.0.7, 4.0.8 and 4.1.1
A busy week for SLAX as versions 4.0.7, 4.0.8 and 4.1.1 were all released within a few days: "The changes in this release are as follows: added smb4k (a Samba share browser for KDE); better font and sound handling in KDE; kernel 2.4.26; Netscape plugins 7.1; added parted. X can now handle three mice in parallel. The eject boot parameter was fixed along with the create_bootdisk.sh script (lilo no longer stores MBR backups). The memtest and ide-scsi module loading were also fixed." The full changelog.
Feather Linux 0.4.0
Feather Linux 0.4.0 has been released. From the changelog: "Updated OpenOffice.org script to 1.1.1; fixed localscript.sh; fixed xterm colours; fixed Synaptic script; added 'noicons' option to stop XTDesk loading on bootup; changed frequency option to DPI in X setup routine; added poor man's install script (type sudo pm_install) - very experimental; added xsri to set background (bsetbg now works); added whowto, a script to grab and view HOWTOs (e.g. type whowto 3-Button-Mouse) and wdict; added scripts to download aMSN, AbiWord and xpuyopuyo; included xmms-volnorm; added evilwm (run it by booting with knoppix evilwm)..."
Mandrakelinux 10.0 Official
"After nearly two months of polishing and enhancing the Mandrakelinux 10.0 Community release, Mandrakelinux 10.0 Official is now available. Mandrakelinux 10.0 Official offers the most advanced Linux features currently available. 10.0 Official provides increased performance with Linux kernel 2.6, an enhanced desktop experience with KDE 3.2, GNOME 2.4 and Mandrakegalaxy II, unbeatable hardware recognition, and support for Serial ATA, USB2 and IEEE 1394. Mandrakelinux 10.0 Official makes the latest and greatest Open Source technologies accessible to everyone!" The full press release. Get the brand new Mandrakelinux 10.0 Official either from the Mandrakeclub or the Mandrakestore.
Damn Small Linux 0.6.3
Damn Small Linux 0.6.3 has been released. From the changelog: "Added new applications: control-panel, hdparm; added new game: Xtris; enhanced xsetup: 'cancel' option to use wheel mouse if found, otherwise the 3 button mouse; enhanced dsl-hdinstall: added colors, check for actual Linux partition, prompts for multi-user otherwise boots into X as user damnsmall; enhanced knoppix-autoconfig: added toram and frugal options, embedded dsl-start into knoppix-autoconfig for faster boot up, added ftp boot time shortcut to start betaftpd; enhanced boot.img: changed from 'knoppix' to 'dsl', updated F2 screen to reflect new 'dsl', updated F2 added ftp to daemons options list..."
Aurox Live 1.4.4
A new version of Aurox Live has been released: "We are glad to announce a new live version of Aurox, numbered 1.4.4. This issue brings support for more winmodems. The most important changes in this release: Connexant HSF last free full speed drivers; lynx added for console browsing; better discovery of SmartLink USB modems; fixes in 'System Settings -> Network': you can activate and deactivate modem connections for some winmodems; Czech translations added; Czech OpenOffice.org help used for this release." The full release notes.
STUX GNU/Linux 0.7
STUX 0.7 has been released: "Changes: user 'gp' removed: now applications run with root privileges; MiniDesktop 0.1 released: MiniDesktop is an application that uses graphical interface to perform all operations required to manage Live CD sessions (devices setting, configuration save, hard disk installation, ...); all STUX codes have been rewritten and included in MiniDesktop; introduced Cheat Codes: Cheat Codes are used to pass values to STUX, to help with getting it working on difficult hardware, start with a different desktop manager, set root password, debug, ... (press F1 at boot prompt for a list of available Cheat Codes)..." See the rest of the changelog.
This is the first official release of LBA-Linux, a distribution created by Finland's Linux Business Alliance: "The Linux Business Alliance has released its inaugural GNU/Linux distribution, LBA-Linux. LBA-Linux R1 is a technologically advanced, versatile, easy-to-use operating system with high aesthetic appeal. Enhanced usability, hardened security, well-tested functionality and a legal safety check are some of the key features that distinguish LBA-Linux from other GNU/Linux distributions. The new distribution also comes with a useful update 'watcher' - a program that periodically notifies the user about updates to LBA-Linux software." Read the full press release and visit the product page for further details. LBA-Linux R1 is based on the second beta of Fedora Core 2 and developed by SOT Linux (formerly Best Linux).
A new version of Devil-Linux has been released. From the changelog: "1.0.6: added latest mremap and vmalloc kernel patches; fixed kernel ext3 info leak; fixed kernel iso9660 vulnerability; disabled netfilter optimization patches in the default profile as the pptp nat- and conntrack modules is killing the machine with them applied; fixed a long standing problem in that the netfilter patches did not get pplied."
Development and unannounced releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
SUSE LINUX 9.1
The much awaited SUSE LINUX 9.1 was released to manufacturing last week. The product will be officially launched later this week, at least according to a README file published for journalists and reviewers:
"The final product, including printed manuals and installation support, is scheduled to be available on
• 23 April - Germany, Austria and Switzerland
• 6 May - UK, US, Benelux and Scandinavia
• 10 May - Spain and Italy
SUSE LINUX 9.1 Personal is only available in English and German and contains: 1 Live CD for 32-bit x86, 1 installation CD for 32-bit x86, installation guide, 30 days of installation support.
SUSE LINUX 9.1 Professional contains: 5 CDs for 32-bit x86 (AMD Athlon, Intel Pentium systems), 2 double-sided DVD (containing binaries and sources for 32-bit x86 and x86-64 (AMD64 and Intel 64-bit Extended Technology))"
You can pre-order SUSE LINUX 9.1 from the SUSE Online Store, and also from Amazon:
Have a lot of fun!
SUSE LINUX 9.1 - promises to be the release of the year
(full image size 1,313kB)
|Web Site News
Does DistroWatch layout scare you away?
I made some cosmetic changes on the main index page. This was prompted by a not-so-flattering revelation by a poster on OSNews:
"I beg you pardon but the website distrowatch.com scared me away. What the hell where do I start reading its like this website is full of hyperlinks on the right/left/top/bottom with a little bit of text in the middle."
If there is anything else that can be done to make the main page clearer, please feel free to make a suggestion in the forums below.
Update on Google AdSense
Some of you will remember that two weeks ago the DistroWatch AdSense account at Google was terminated due to this site allegedly breaking AdSense language policies. The good news is that the account was re-activated - without any explanation. Thank you all who offered help by writing to Google to try to convince the responsible person that DistroWatch really is an English-language web site :-)
New on the waiting list
- LinEspa. LinEspa is a Spanish linux distribution, based on Knoppix and optimised for Spanish and Latin-American users. It includes a useful selection of software while featuring a Live-CD mode. The web site is in Spanish.
DistroWatch database summary
- Aberium Supervisor Security Linux. Aberium Supervisor features a firewall, DMZ, VPN (IPSEC and PPTP), QoS, an email server, a web server, a file server, a proxy, web content filtering, web user reports, and backup management. Aberium Supervisor rapidly transform any PC into an internet security appliance. Installation is automatic, taking 5 minutes and management is through a web-based interface. Among the main features are: firewall, DMZ, VPN (IPSEC & PPTP), QoS, email server (Integrated Webmail, antivirus, antispam, mail filter and reports), web server, file server, proxy, web content filtering, web user reports, backup management (emails, logs, files). No Linux knowledge required to configure.
- MAdrid_LinuX. MAdrid_LinuX (or MAX) is a new Linux distribution launched by the Council of Education in Madrid, Spain for use at schools. It is currently under development and will be based on Debian and Knoppix. The web site is in Spanish.
- KLA - Knoppix Linux Azur. KLA - Knoppix Linux Azur is new French distribution based on Knoppix. The web site is in French.
- Number of Linux distributions in the database: 281
- Number of BSD distributions in the database: 3
- Number of discontinued distributions: 33
- Number of distributions on the waiting list: 69
DistroWatch on Daily Rotation
Bob H writes: "Hi, just wanted to let you know, we think highly of DistroWatch, and so we just added its news headlines to Daily Rotation. Your users would probably like to know about us too, so a link back wouldn't be misplaced...."
Mandrakestaff mirror stuff-ups (again)
John C writes: "I have been watching DistroWatch during the last week, and expected to see at least some comment about the Mandrake's 're-invent the wheel' for the mirrors (including the updates paths). This has caused havoc for many many Mandrake users and wasted days for lots of people who have been trying to do an update (at least 9.2 and 10.0 community).
The whole point that I am getting to is that, except hidden in a cooker mailing list, Mandrakesoft (or Mandrakeclub) did not warn anyone about this. It may be coincidence but the club's posting 'Mandrakelinux mirrors, what's up with that mess?!' by Warly only got posted 2 hours after I put a complaint about the lack of communication in the Mandrakeclub forum.
I feel that, to be fair to all your DistroWatch visitors, you should put some sort of posting this week about the fiasco NOTING that this is not the first time that Mandrakesoft have screwed up the mirrors. The ideals of the Mandrake geeks wanting to restructure the mirror directory is bad enough; doing it all without mentioning it beforehand to their users, and especially the Mandrakeclub users, was irresponsible.
Anyhow that's my 2 cents worth, you can quote any of the this if you want to (so I get the blame) but I feel that, as a General Linux distro critic, you should put a posting about it at DistroWatch (and not minimising the fall out it has had - especially 'end users' waste of time'). You know I use and support Mandrake, but this was an inexcusable stuff-up, and could have been avoided by public announcements a week before :-("
That's all for this week, see you next Monday :-)
1 • DistroWatch's Look (by DaveW on 2004-04-19 15:45:32 GMT) |
I appreciate DistroWatch as an incredibly information-packed site that's brilliantly packaged to enable easy navigation. The design is exactly right for the site's purpose. The jerk at OSNews obviously can't be bothered to spend 30 seconds to see where s/he's at, and is not somebody who can benefit from the information therein. I mean, the person doesn't know where to start reading? Maybe "a little bit of text in the middle" would be a clue? Keep on doing what you're doing.
PS: I'm not seeing any "new" lables with Firefox .7 with cookies turned on.
2 • Lame suse (by GP at 2004-04-19 16:06:51 GMT)
«SUSE Personal does not come with GCC, make, or any other compiler tool that I needed to install my own software from source. This is no good.»
And the guy goes on explaining why it's a bad idea not the have a compiler on a Linux system.
Was this article meant for April 1st and publication was postponed until now? Otherwise, this would be so idiotic on the part of suse that I'd certainly have a big X on their distro for years to come.
3 • Content placement on the frontpage (by Penguin on 2004-04-19 16:22:34 GMT)
I suppose that "Linux Software" is a sponsored link? Anyway, it takes quite a big piece of space in the beginning of the DW front page. Any chance to place that part in some other place that is not so central?
At the moment and though I use big 1600x1200 resolution the first actual DW news headlines appera not until about mid page on my screen. I suppose that on a 800x600 resolution one wouldn't see any news headlines at all without scrolling the page down first.
The current design works ok though, and I understand the need for commercial ads etc., but now when I think about it, the main news information on the front page could be placed upper than it currently is on the page. IMHO nonrelevant things like the page hit ranking could also be placed a bit lower on the frontpage if necessary.
4 • Site layout (by DiegoG at 2004-04-19 16:39:56 GMT)
Perhaps you could send the language selection bar to the bottom, or perhaps give a brief explanation of the site's purpose below the slogan "put the fun...". I agree that a person that can't find any information in the first 4 seconds of attention is probably not worth worrying about, but your advertisers may think different. I've been visiting your great site for some years now, and I'll still be reading it if you change your layout, so adapting it to new visitors is fine for me.
5 • eLearnix 2.6.5 (by SyntaxError at 2004-04-19 16:48:27 GMT)
Has anyone tried this release? I got kernel panic on 2 machines. I looked at their homepage to see where I could report errors but found none.
6 • Distrowatch's Look (by Paul at 2004-04-19 17:24:30 GMT)
Don't mind him, the site looks great, and is very easy to find what you want. You can't please all the people all the time, but I am sure your site pleases 98% of them :-) Keep up the GREAT work.
7 • Firefox New Labels (by SnowX on 2004-04-19 17:41:40 GMT)
I have the same problem when visiting http://www.distrowatch.com/, but if you go to http://distrowatch.com/, they seem to appear just fine :-)
8 • search by package version level (by Aus on 2004-04-19 18:11:20 GMT)
Something that could be useful, for instance if you needed to select a distro which came nicely with a certain kernel level requiring no upgrading, is to possibly be able to search all distros offering a particular package (at install level) @ a particular (or minimum) version level.
eg search for all distros which offer a stock 2.6.3 kernel (or above) ?
obviously this would be limited to the packages and versions tracked by distrowatch.
Just a thought I came across when encountering problems upgrading a distro from 2.4 to 2.6 kernel.
9 • Layout/Theme for LinEspa? (by MET on 2004-04-19 18:49:13 GMT)
I saw the screenshot for LinEspa (http://www.linespa.com/) and I like it. Can some provide me with their thoughts on how to accomplish the same layout and look for task bar, clock and player?
10 • Layout (by brodders at 2004-04-19 18:56:38 GMT)
Yes, it is cluttered - but you do pack in a lot of info!
Perhaps.. make your near-top datetime:
Last Update: Monday 19 April 2004 15:15 GMT
with a # hotlink to the first news item on the same page just further down and retitle it like:
with Today's News Last Update: Monday 19 April 2004 15:15 GMT
making this as visually broad as the DistroWatch Logo & perhaps give it it's own colour... a bit like this
11 • distrowatch.com Site Layout (by Brad Mc. on 2004-04-19 19:22:07 GMT)
I agree wholeheartedly with the person on OSNews who said that it's hard to find the main text. Although s/he could've been more cordial about it and possibly offered some suggestions. I discovered this site by way of RSS feeds (a bloglines search, specifically), and every time I've opened a page to something like the distrowatch weekly, I think you're site is broken at first glance because the section with the list of story links just blends in to the sea of other sections.
There's way too much at one time, and the main section of most pages starts at the bottom of the screen on the average 1024x768 res. screen.
My guess is that you want to have a somewhat different look from the average site out there, but I believe there is one simple way to make your site _much_ more easily readable. Step one would simply be to list your navigation down the left side, instead of across the top. And there's probably a lot more whitespace around the logo image than you really need. The mirror site listing could probably go across, under the logo, and in a smaller size. A lot of the existing left and right column content could probably stand to have its own page instead of being fully listed on the front and sub pages.
Not only would this bring your main page content as far to the top as possible, but it would also put it in a more conventional format that most people are used to. And I think being more conventional, instead of more original, is really important for a site with this much info.
I think that looking at simiarly large sites made by companies who have the money to put into the research of things like readability, etc, is a good idea here. I thin CNN and USA Today are good examples. Although their front pages are a little busy, they still have their latest content near the top. And I think their subpages are a good example of what I mean.
Anyway, I don't mean to hate ... I mean, I love your site, and you have tons of great info to offer. But since you brought it up... ;-)
12 • Debian Package a Day (by Unpronounceable on 2004-04-19 19:26:04 GMT)
Thanks for pointing out this really interesting site. I'm an ardent advocate of Open Source Software but the "technical" (read: unimaginative & unpronounceable) program names sometimes almost make me cry. Anyway, it's good to see a site that introduces the fine programs that hide behind these horrible names.
13 • DistroWatch layout (by Leo on 2004-04-19 21:02:57 GMT)
I love the CONTENT of the site, but I totally think that at some point it will need a radical facelift. I humbly think that a homepage should be readable without scrolling (or with very little scrolling).
The idea IMHO is to present, in the main homepage, nicely presented links to the several sections of the site. A very nice example is www.suse.com . I also like very much www.mozilla.org , though it is a little to verbose IMHO.
An extreme example of this design philosophy is google.com
For instance, in the main page I would only show a very short summary of the last three Distro news, with a visible to link to "more news", and then expand the news in the "news" section. And so on with the rest of the content. Just a cute icon and a phrase pointing to the Page Hit Ranking , and the Ranking in a separate page.
Anyways, my 2cts !
14 • RE: Lame SUSE (by ladislav at 2004-04-20 00:03:12 GMT)
Just remember that the Personal edition is meant for people who have had no previous exposure to Linux/UNIX. They can simply learn and explore the product without a compiler (you didn't compile your kernel on the first day you installed Linux, right?) Once the users start feeling comfortable, they can get any packages (including compilers) from the Professional edition by pointing YaST to a nearby SUSE mirror (it normally takes about a month or two before the complete SUSE LINUX Professional tree appears on mirrors).
I don't know, but I don't think this is a terribly unfair setup; certainly not unfair enough to start calling SUSE "lame".
15 • RE: Firefox New Labels (by ladislav at 2004-04-20 00:10:59 GMT)
The border and the "NEW" label will only appear on those news items that you haven't seen. Once you've seen them and reload the page, they will appear as normal news items.
This idea came from LinuxToday. I find it a big help to see immediately which news items are new, so that I don't have to scroll down and remember whether I've seen the news or not. However, on LinuxToday, you have to register (or log in) before you can take advantage of this feature.
16 • RE: Content placement on the frontpage (by ladislav at 2004-04-20 00:21:25 GMT)
I suppose that "Linux Software" is a sponsored link?
Yes, it is. Originally, it was meant to go on the sidebar, but I could not fit in there nicely, so I placed it on the top of the page. As soon as its current run is over, I won't accept it again for placement on the top of the page.
17 • RE: DistroWatch layout (by ladislav at 2004-04-20 00:34:47 GMT)
I humbly think that a homepage should be readable without scrolling.
Hmm, I can't say I agree with you here. What you suggest works great for corporate web site with a great range of products and services, but there aren't many news sites that only offer "links to several sections" on their main page. Even if I did what you suggest, how many people would bookmark the main page designed in such a way, instead of the page with news?
Just look at all other news sites - LinuxToday, LWN, NewsForge, MadPenguin... The main pages of all of them present news in chronological order, not just links to different sections. If any of them offered a main page in a SUSE-style corporate web page layout, I would certainly never visit the main page, but simply bookmark the page with news.
I am not saying that your idea is bad, but you really have to look at the site's purpose before making a decision on its layout.
18 • Microsoft Advertisements (by TDB at 2004-04-20 01:08:59 GMT)
It bothers me somewhat that one of the first ads you see is a link to Microsoft's anti-Linux campaign.
19 • Layout: some more suggestions (by Penguin on 2004-04-20 01:14:35 GMT)
Some more thoughts:
Smaller commercial ads could fit with the crowded DW layot better than some wider banners. I suggest that you wouldn't usually accept those wide style commercial banners in the top middle of the DW front page (other pages, or lower space on the front pag could be ok) but reserve that central space for original DW contenmt only. Also commercial ads could fit better the on left and/or right DW column in general. Advertisers probably understand that the DW front page IS quite crowded already, and in order to make people use the site (and see the ads), the relevant content must be easily approachable to customers.
Mirror sites links:
Are those links needed in the top right corner? Could be placed behind a link too, I suppose?
The same with the Debian logo on top left corner. I'm quite sure that that logo could be placed in the bottom of the page too instead of almost the first and topmost spot of the front page, don't you think?
Having those things elsewhere, you could have more room around the DW title banner, for other, more relevant content. I suggest that you place the "Select distribution" and "Type distribution name" fields there, beside the DW banner. Or maybe language options could fit there too?
Latest Packages box:
The site is about distributions, not so much about some new software: So is it necessary to have that sofware info box on the front page at all? It could be behind one of the basic links too, for example?
The same with "Recommended sites" box. Does it need to be on the front page at all?
They don't take too much room on the top, but I suppose that they could be placed somwhere else too instead of the topmost row of the front page? And, they actually are there already in theleft column too. Is it necessary to have the langiage options twice on the front page? Could one or the other option be removed?
If some of those above suggestions could be arranged, there would be much more room for the commercial ads in right or left side column, and the news and other relevant DW content could be placed higher in the wide central column.
20 • RE: Microsoft Advertisements (by ladislav at 2004-04-20 02:04:02 GMT)
Where do you see Microsoft ads? Certainly not on this site, or am I wrong!?
21 • DistroWatch Layout (by Howard on 2004-04-20 04:50:22 GMT)
I think you are doing just fine. Sorry to all the others who think it could be done better. Improvements are always good. I just know that I couldn't do what you do, and appreciate all the great information this site provides. So, I say, do what you can, but in the end the kind of people who are looking for the kind of info this site has would probably like it just about any way you lay it out. I liked it when I first visited it, and I still like it.
22 • Re: LinEspa eyecandy (by Guest on 2004-04-20 05:08:58 GMT)
That would almost certainly be SuperKaramba
Kurumin also uses Karamba eyecandy
23 • Re: LinEspa eyecandy (by Guest on 2004-04-20 05:41:20 GMT)
That particular theme seems to be called glassmachine
There are more themes at http://kdelook.org/
24 • layout and mandrake (by ajc314159 on 2004-04-20 05:56:17 GMT)
I would vote for being able to see some news without scrolling on 1024x768. Not that it all has to be visible, but it should give some clue that there is news in there somewhere :-) Also, the Linux Software ad is not distinguished enough from the content of the page - advertising should be (not glaringly) obviously different from content.
In terms of Mandrake, I have mixed feelings. I love 10 Official but am very annoyed at the mess-up with the mirrors. Many people were unable to download any software or perform any security updates for about a week. This reflects very badly on Mandrake. The real problem, however, is worse. 10 Community edition was SUPPOSED to be updateable to Official if it was kept current with the update mirror. With the mirror problems, the update source was converted to the developement tree (Cooker) and anyone who updated in the last days of the mirror were corrupted with 10.1 cooker packages and no graceful way to get back to the 10.0 Official version.
I just broke down and re-installed. I am pretty adept at it, but for a novice this could be torture. I have respect for Mandrake and it is still my favorite desktop distro by far, but this really got to me...
I don't know what to say other than they probably lost a number of people less loyal than I.
25 • THE release of the year? (by cies at 2004-04-20 08:31:51 GMT)
> SUSE LINUX 9.1 - promises to be the release of the year
I heard the next SuSE will be THE release this year, because it will feature all of 'project utopia's goodness (HAL, D-BUS, udev, etc.)
At least I'm waiting for my release of the year :)
26 • Main page layout (by Jerry Willimann at 2004-04-20 08:37:34 GMT)
I am not sure about the person who complained about the Distrowatch main page but I have been using the Internet for many years and this is one of the best pages I have seen for this type of web site. Everything is there. It's just a matter of getting a mental map of the layout and then use it!! No big deal.
Keep it as is. It looks great.
27 • website (by Jon at 2004-04-20 12:46:00 GMT)
I do like the website layout. The only scary thing I see is an add to still buy SuSE 8.2!
28 • RE: RE: DistroWatch layout (by Anonymous on 2004-04-20 13:43:29 GMT)
> > I humbly think that a homepage should be readable
> > without scrolling.
> Hmm, I can't say I agree with you here. What you suggest works > great for corporate web site with a great range of products and
> services, but there aren't many news sites that only offer "links to > several sections" on their main page
Excellent point. I hadn't thought about it. But simplicity and minimal information (as far as possible) can still be a goal. See for instance http://www.cbc.ca . Or even news.google.com , with a headlines section and the rest below (I still prefer www.cbc.ca ), along the lines of what ajc314159 suggests above.
Also, this is YOUR page, so you know better than anyone what you offer. But let me tell you how I use DW:
1) as a news site
2) as a reference site
Several times I need a link, info on some mandrake package, or something distro related and I come here. I have sent dozens of new Linux users to DW to get an idea of what distros are out there, etc. Those users are not particularly interested in the news.
Anyways, keep rocking Ladislav !
29 • Site Design (by Bob at 2004-04-20 14:04:19 GMT)
The only thing I would do immediately would be to put the LinuxSoft.cz "Linux Software" section at the very top until you get rid of it, and to remove the "Site Navigation" banner in favor of a "Site Map" link above "Latest News and Updates". This would put "Latest News and Updates" just below the title and be more accessable. And can you have a link to LiveCD distros from your Site Map? It is kind of hard to find.
I would also make the columns to either side of "Latest News and Updates" a slightly darker shade in order to better distinguish between the sections.
Thank you for your hard work.
30 • RE: website (by ladislav at 2004-04-20 14:59:34 GMT)
The only scary thing I see is an add to still buy SuSE 8.2!
Where do you see that!? I thought I had replaced all SUSE 8.2 links to 9.1. If I missed some place, please let me know.
31 • Distrowatch layout (by luddite (London, UK) on 2004-04-20 21:50:52 GMT)
I visit Distrowatch frequently. It is one of my favourite websites. I do not have any trouble finding the info I need. Distrowatch is a great website. I say this wthout reservation.
I also visit OSNews regularly, but I confess I have not read the critique of the DW website appearance.
If one can't be bothered to scroll through this website, then one should stick to simple non-scrolling websites, which aren't quite so physically demanding.
The only thing I am not that keen on are the adverts, but I know money doesn't grow on trees......
PS: I am very glad to see that DW is covering BSDs too.
Keep up the good work. Don't change for the sake of change.
32 • m$ ads (by Anonymous on 2004-04-20 22:17:58 GMT)
"It bothers me somewhat that one of the first ads you see is a link to Microsoft's anti-Linux campaign."
- think about that for a moment: m$ is inadvertently helping to fund this site and to promote Linux while trying to spread its anti-Linux FUD. ironic.
33 • RE: m$ ads (by ladislav at 2004-04-20 22:32:33 GMT)
m$ is inadvertently helping to fund this site
Come on now, I don't have any MS ads on this site. I repeat, there are no Micorosft ads anywhere on DistroWatch. What are you talking about!?
34 • Distrowatch layout (by Dimitri at 2004-04-20 23:18:20 GMT)
I'm no Eistein, but puleeez. There seems nothing difficult about the Distrowatch layout. New apps, new distros, Linux news hyperliks on the left, latest distro news in the middle, hyperlinks to pages of the distros followed by Distrowatch on the right. What's hard about that? Most of us, I would venture, are techies who wrestle with far tougher issues than navigating a Web site. But heck, even newbies should get the hang of Distrowatch easily. I think we should put our energy toward advancing Linux, not toward tinkering with what is argueably one of the top sites devoted to Linux (and BSD!).
35 • Distrowatch Layout (by ChuckP at 2004-04-21 01:55:15 GMT)
I am a rank newbie to Linux and I love your site just the way it is. I think it is the best Linux sit I have found. I know I am echoing the sentiments of many others, but the sheer amount of excellent and current information is what brings me back to the site every day. I would hate to see any of this sacrificed in favour of cosmetic changes to the site's appearance. Stay the course! (sorry about that.)
36 • Suse: still lame IMHO (by GP at 2004-04-21 03:10:14 GMT)
Ladislav ! wrote:
"Just remember that the Personal edition is meant for people who have had no previous exposure to Linux/UNIX. (...) (you didn't compile your kernel on the first day you installed Linux, right?)
Ladislav, I can't believe YOU wrote this! Maybe you only want to spice up the discussion?
Not only didn't I compile my kernel on the first day, I never did. Never needed to. So what? Haven't you ever heard of this configure, make, make install, way of installing from source? :) No big deal. It works. Or should... (I had problems recently with xcdroast.)
If you use Slackware or Debian, you get a compiler and the whole paraphernalia for free. Tell me, what's the up side to having to wait months to get a compiler from the Professional Edition when you PAY to get this Linux distro? Don't you think newbies can leave the compiler just standing there if they don't need it?
Did it ever occured to you that seasoned users could do just fine with the Personnal edition?
What next? They'll remove the command line? Tell me you're just kidding!
37 • College Linux Link problem (by Tariq Farooqi at 2004-04-21 05:56:45 GMT)
I just clicked at the Add on main page and it returned " The connection was refused....".
I think you need to alert them to fix it.
Have a nice day.
38 • Finnish?? (by Andy at 2004-04-21 07:38:29 GMT)
Minor point. I live in Finland, but don't understand it.
DistroWatch is a bit too clever - putting the page in Finnish whenever I refresh. Minor inconvenience (and I suppose I better 'puhu suomea' sometime...)
-But, thanks for the site!
39 • Your site (by Anonymous at 2004-04-21 08:52:34 GMT)
To whomever it may concern:
I thought I was unique but I have found I am, rather, a member of a growing population who refer to distrowatch.com on such a regular basis, as to go through gut-wrenching withdrawal symptoms if I don't get several hits of it a day. As Linux's significance increases, so, proportionately, does the importance of DistroWatch.com.
When I first visited the site, I did find it a bit intimidating, but in a short while, I discovered I was getting more bang for the buck here than on virtually any site I've visited.
I can understand some folks' consternation with its design, but it's apparent that the maintainers' goals, along with integrity, are most clear: to be as thorough as possible with regard to the issues and resources surrounding and involved in Linux, GNU/Linux, and/or open source.
Such clarity of purpose is evidenced in your honest admission of your proclivity for Debian, an area in which we concur, though concurrence in not essential for the use and enjoyment of your information.
I personally hope you don't change one damn thing about DistroWatch.com. Thank you for your amazing site. It's brought me more hours of enjoyment, excitement, suspense, and drama than HBO and CNN ever could.
Warmest wishes and best of continued success,
40 • Re: M$ ads (by sven on 2004-04-21 15:17:37 GMT)
The Microsoft ad in question is from Google, links to their "get the facts" campaign.
41 • Distrowatch Site Layout (by Sandy Kerr at 2004-04-22 07:36:03 GMT)
It's great, don't "fix" it! Add to it, adjust the details, but leave the basics as is. Thanks for a fine service, I'll be checking in several times daily as long as the guts of the site remain.
42 • PLD Live CD (by Sergio on 2004-04-22 12:55:40 GMT)
It must be the most amazing I have ever seen!
How did they manage to squeeze so much in so little space: several desktop environments, tons of app, several languages...
Kudos to them, they deserve praise no end.
Is there a way to install PLD to HD?
43 • PLD Live CD MINI (by BillH at 2004-04-22 14:16:51 GMT)
Looks like PLD also has a 174 Mb mini-distro. Go down their homepage about 4 items and look for the link. Online machine "translation" indicates that it is a work in progress.
44 • Site layout (by Henrique Maia at 2004-04-23 10:02:35 GMT)
Hello Ladislav, hello all,
First of all, the site content is absolutely great. This is one of my favourite Linux's site. Been reading it daily more than a year now. Nevertheless, I have to agree with all the folks here who said things about the site layout. I have nothing more to add than what have been said, but I wrote to state my opinion. I think DW would benefit this change, especially for new readers that would find the information more easily.
Thanks a lot Ladislav for the work, thanks all for reading,
45 • Livux 1.1: a smart linux distro. (by Teobromina on 2004-04-25 09:01:47 GMT)
and download the present version (1.1).
It is based in Knoppix, and it is a very good work for those that need a live CD distro using ES (Spanish) as the main languaje. It has a smart environement, improved links to programmes and applications in the desktop, and a good help to install it in the hard disk. Copying its main folder 'livux' to the hd at any partition provides another way to start the OS, just using the CD as a boot disk (as a sort of lilo).
I recommend it to all of you.
46 • More about site layout (by Henrique Maia at 2004-04-25 17:53:06 GMT)
Why don't you make a survey about the site layout, in the home page?
In that way, you could have a way of finding if it's really worth to make the change or not.
47 • Absence of information (by Charlie at 2004-05-17 16:26:20 GMT)
Hi Folks, Have one question! What happened to the section on the home page that listed the different adons like Database, Utilities, Office etc?
Number of Comments: 47
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