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1 • Vinux (by Tom on 2011-04-04 11:48:53 GMT from United Kingdom) |
Hi :) Many thanks to Patrick (comment 100) last week. Vinux is aimed at blind users but presumably would be more effective if manufacturers of specialist devices would develop 1 OpenSource driver to cover all the other platforms (Linux, Bsd & Mac) rather than several proprietary drivers for a few Windows versions such as Xp, Win7, Win8?
Perhaps a ".Deb and a ".Rpm" would make it easy for almost everyone whereas 1 Windows driver only works on a single version of Windows and needs to be re-written for other versions?
2 • Slackware 13.37 (by Didier Spaier on 2011-04-04 12:07:25 GMT from France)
This release will be the best ever ... Till the next one, as usual;)
3 • Long live KDE... 3.5.10 (by macias on 2011-04-04 12:18:44 GMT from Poland)
"With the controversies surrounding the radical UI redesigns offered by KDE Plasma, Unity and GNOME Shell, Xfce might offer a comfortable home for those who just want their desktop icons and a panel on the bottom with easy configuration of applets."
The same is true for KDE3.5.10. One can run KDE3 as desktop with minimal set of stable applications (KMail, Konqueror, Gwenview, Konsole) with rest of various pack -- Dolphin/KDE4, Brasero.
I tried to ditch KDE3 when upgrading to openSUSE 11.4, but it appeared it is too solid and there is no advantage of migrating to Gnome2/XFCE/LXDE (not even speaking about KDE4).
4 • Xfce 4.8 (by Pierre on 2011-04-04 12:25:22 GMT from Germany)
Once been a KDE3 user I never was able to become friends with KDE4 and therefore was distrohopping and DE-hopping a lot since then. I finally stop switching with Linux Mint Debian Edition and the nice configured GNOME, although I really was impressed by Xfce since I once tested it on an old Pentium3 with Arch. It was fast even on that very old hardware and rock solid and stable.
But when it came to modern hardware and perfomance was no big deal GNOME always was the more comfortable choice. But since 4.8 released I gave it a try on my IBM dual-core notebook ontop of Arch and since the first run I'm loving it. I'm now preferring the laptop over the desktop although the desktop features a fulll hd 24" TFT + 17" TFT, quad-core power and 4 times amount of memory.
So well, loving LMDE, too, I can't stop myself from time to time thinking about a switch to Arch + Xfce4.8 on my desktop, too. Although power, battery life etc. are no arguements for the switch, but the simple beauty of Xfce4.8, the very nice improvemts.
5 • KDE 3.5.10 becomes Trinity Desktop (by Pierre on 2011-04-04 12:29:20 GMT from Germany)
For those who love KDE 3.5 and can't stop loving and using it, I found the Trinity Desktop Project quite interesting. It is based on KDE 3.5 but with ongoing development. Some lovers started to continue development on the KDE 3.5 branch.
6 • gnome, lxde, openbox, xfce (by hotdiggettydog on 2011-04-04 12:30:41 GMT from Germany)
I have not tried the gnome 3 beta. I just hope they did not go the route of kde4. Perhaps Ubuntu adopting the Unity desktop is not a bad thing. Unity needed a lot of work last time I played with it although the Oz Ultimate team did a pretty good job with it.
I have no problem with using the alternates like xfce and lxde but many software does not play nice with anything but gnome. Hope this changes.
7 • Slackware (by zbreaker on 2011-04-04 12:34:02 GMT from United States)
My true distro of choice after several years of hopping around. It just does what you need and want it to do....simply and powerfully.
8 • Re: #4 and Bodhi (by Mathew John Roberts on 2011-04-04 13:23:40 GMT from United Kingdom)
My default distro is arch 64bit + xfce 4.8. I have not been disappointed. xfce has always been my desktop environment of choice. I could never get along with gnome and always preferred gtk over qt so xfce is perfect for me. Essentially I went from Fedora Core (yes, before it became just plain Fedora) to zenwalk to xubuntu to arch; all xfce. I'm loving the rolling release way of arch.
As regards enlightenment, I must admit there aren't many options around to try it out well configured. I gave bodhi a go and while it is nice and "blingy" with remarkably smooth transition effects, it still doesn't feel uniform to me. I just can't put my finger on it. But it would be good to see more enlightenment based distros out there.
9 • UNetbootin (& Arch) (by Albertde on 2011-04-04 13:51:20 GMT from Canada)
I have a netbook and, unless I want to set up an external DVD drive, it would be difficult for me to explore Linux distributions to see which ones are the best fit for my hardware and my needs. So UNetbootin has been an essential tool. In general, my experience with UNetbootin running from Ubuntu derivatives like Pinguy has been favourable.
My only complaint is trying to work with Arch. I found that Arch stalls and gives a command line when run from a USB flash drive. This did not happen with a CD.
10 • Vinux & others (by Tom on 2011-04-04 14:15:19 GMT from United Kingdom)
Please can we have a review of Vinux or another distro aimed at blind users (if there is another). I enjoyed the Kororaa one, quite ironic, and the Bsd ones are good to hear too. It is good to hear about alternatives to "the usual", such as compiling, or making usb-sticks bootable.
11 • unetbootin (by hughetorrance on 2011-04-04 14:16:09 GMT from United Kingdom)
I have used unetbootin a number of times and I never knew about its optimism, that's one of the things I like about distowatch.com,you find out things and learn a little more every day... LOL Thanks
12 • @Tom (by Barnabyh on 2011-04-04 14:57:38 GMT from United Kingdom)
Hi Tom. I've been wanting to do a review of Vinux for a while as it is actually for once something with close relevance to my job. An ex colleague who is a VI specialist is testing it at the moment and I'm waiting for her feedback. You may have a review in 2-3 weeks.
Cheers. Enjoy the day.
13 • #3 Long Live KDE-3.5.10 Trinity (by El_Barto on 2011-04-04 15:18:55 GMT from United States)
thanks! i love KDE-3.5.x even though kde-4.x is current it would seem like since so many people love the kde-3.x line that somebody would want to keep available and maintained a kde-3.5.10 set of packages & patches
14 • Source Based Distros (by DG on 2011-04-04 16:30:46 GMT from Netherlands)
Jesse, thank you for overcoming your aversion to source based distros to provide the review of Calculate. Yes, they can be slow to install because you have to compile a lot of things from scratch. Such distros are clearly not aimed at the DistroHoppers who want to download the latest desktop every other day. However, if you want to have a headless machine running with very few network services for a very specific task, where less is more, there might not be so much compilation involved. That was the original niche for Lunar Linux, "designed by sysadmins for sysadmins" as someone said on #lunar recently (although with a bit of patience, you can still install full KDE and XFCE desktop environments if you want).
Source based distros like Gentoo, Calculate, Lunar and SourceMage are aimed at their own niches, which do not really overlap with those of the DW Top10, so kudos to Calculate for impressing you.
15 • unetbootin versus boot-from-ISO (by Julian on 2011-04-04 16:50:40 GMT from United States)
this method is quick and easy. it
works with some distros (Ubuntu, Mint, Lucid Puppy, tiny core) but not all:
note that if you have an ISO file instead of a CD, you should skip all of the steps that create an ISO file from a CD (steps 5, 9, and 10)
16 • @5 Trinity (KDE3.x fork) (by Thom on 2011-04-04 17:00:10 GMT from Sweden)
I tried Trinity and it worked well but running Gnome normally, I found it messed up a lot of stuff (I assume because it reconfigured apps-starting-with-K to work in KDE) which would subsequently not work in Gnome
This is not a stab at Trinity, merely a heads-up for those wanting to try it out. If you use Gnome, expect changes...
17 • Calculate (by Jesse on 2011-04-04 17:13:55 GMT from Canada)
>> "kudos to Calculate for impressing you."
Indeed, the developers have done a good job. I wish I'd had more time, particularly to set up Calculate Directory Server, to see how it would interact with the client.
We've got some big name distros coming up in the next few months, Slackware, Fedora, Ubuntu, Mageia. Which one is everyone looking forward to the most?
18 • @Jesse (by Fewt on 2011-04-04 17:46:07 GMT from United States)
I'd like to see a review of Mageia. I don't know too much about that distro. Slackware also, it's been years since I've touched it.
19 • Unetbootin and debian? (by jimcooncat on 2011-04-04 17:58:54 GMT from United States)
Maybe I was doing it wrongly, but has anyone been able to install a debian squeeze .iso using unetbootin or a manual copy and changing grub? I've tried several times, but the end result does not fully boot. Maybe squeeze can't run from a loop mount?
20 • Ubuntu Lifesaver called Puppy LuPu 525, Thanks Barry and Puppy Team (by ChiJoan on 2011-04-04 19:00:33 GMT from United States)
Last night, I seemed to have suffered an unclean shutdown and saw the ominous message about /sbin/init missing. I could have used their LuPu 511, which mounted the drive and saw my 300 GB of files and backed up as usual, but I had been praying for a quicker easier fix. Well, it has arrived and on booting up live saw the sick hard drive and asked if I wanted to repair...I said yes, it even let me know to wait until the SATA hard drive was ready. After the repair, I unmounted and backed out of Puppy safely, and re-boot.
It worked and I just finished updating my Ubuntu 10.10. I can't thank everyone involved enough. I have a Gateway ESeries P4, so it may not work for some Distros, but we'll see what the future holds.
Joan in Reno
21 • Reviews (by jmirles on 2011-04-04 19:55:44 GMT from United States)
I would love to see a review of Mageia and how it compares to Mandriva. Also would love to see Slackware reviewed but please skip the usual "not for newbies," "installer is out of date," and the ever present "should be able to resolve dependencies by now."
I think everyone knows that Slack is for those that want to learn the OS, not just use it.
I'm not saying that Jessie has made these comments, but just about everyone else has!
22 • Re: 17 (by Antony on 2011-04-04 20:10:16 GMT from United Kingdom)
From the four you mention Jesse, Mageia would interest me most.
23 • Vinux review (by Jeff on 2011-04-04 20:32:18 GMT from United States)
I too would be very interested in a full review of Vinux and other distros designed for low vision.
Keep up the great work! I visit every day.
24 • Usb modems (by m on 2011-04-04 20:33:28 GMT from India)
Though unrelated to current DW weekly. Would love an article/howto on 3g/4g modems configuration on PCbsd or any other BSD.
25 • Distros coming down the pipe (by Jesse on 2011-04-04 22:06:59 GMT from Canada)
Just to clarify, I do plan to review each of the four distros I mentioned. Mostly I'm curious as to which one people are looking forward to and why?
>> "Also would love to see Slackware reviewed but please skip the usual "not for newbies," "installer is out of date," and the ever present "should be able to resolve dependencies by now. I think everyone knows that Slack is for those that want to learn the OS, not just use it."
When I do the Slackware review I probably will mention it's not targeting newbies and it doesn't do dependency resolution because those are important aspects of the distribution. If I don't bring up those points then I'm not doing much good as a reviewer and there may be people who aren't aware of Slack's characteristics. But, as with my reviews of the BSDs, I'll be framing those observations in the context of who the distro is targeting.
Regarding 3g and 4g modems on PC-BSD, I recommend reading this post on the pcbsd blog: http://blog.pcbsd.org/2010/09/update-on-3g-modems/
And this manual page: http://wiki.pcbsd.org/index.php/Advanced_Network_Settings_and_PPPoE
Honestly, my how-to would pretty much be a copy/paste of those two pages.
26 • UNetbootin (& Arch) (by anomy on 2011-04-04 22:26:15 GMT from United States)
Albertde, I don't use Unetbootin, but just loop mount iso and copy files to usbflash and adjust my grub-menu.lst (legacy). I found that Archbang for e.g. needed the usbflash label to be specific for archbang and so did Ctkarch. Perhaps looking at this, you may have more luck.
27 • @Albertde regarding UNetbootin and Arch (by Geza Kovacs on 2011-04-05 01:38:18 GMT from United States)
The issue with UNetbootin not properly creating USB drives for recent versions of Arch Linux was actually just fixed in the latest release (549). Error messages for failed downloads are still on the TODO list :)
28 • Reviews... (by KevinC on 2011-04-05 01:53:26 GMT from United States)
I would like to see you take Crunchbang Statler for a spin...namely the XFCE variant. Whereas the Openbox version is nice, the XFCE seems every bit as snappy to me. It also offers a unique interface and the Liquorix / Zen kernel. After playing w/ mostly Gnome 2.x and KDE 4.x distros, Crunchbang is refreshingly light and fast. And being based on Debian Squeeze it is stable and really well done. One of my favorite, go-to distros at this time.
29 • Crunchbang XFCE vs Mint XFCE (by fernbap on 2011-04-05 02:08:27 GMT from Portugal)
I would really love to see a comparative review of these 2 great distros.
Both are based on Debian Testing, both include the latest XFCE.
The main difference is the "Mint layer", basically.
30 • The DWW Introduction and The Review (by Landor on 2011-04-05 04:10:32 GMT from Canada)
First a comment on the introduction to this week's DistroWatch Weekly about the review:
"Gentoo Linux is not only the biggest and most popular source-based distribution, it is also a choice of many developers as a base from which they build custom solutions. One of them, Calculate Linux, is under spotlight in today's feature story. Does this Russian distribution deliver a more polished and friendly user experience than its famous parent? Read on to find out."
It's my understanding, though I may be wrong, that Jesse hasn't used Gentoo. Even if he has, he admits to having a bias for, and I would believe he has very little experience with, source based distributions in general (based on his personal view that they are redundant), let alone Gentoo. How can someone then write a comparative review based on one (or both) of which they know little or nothing about? Also though, there was absolutely no final conclusion drawn in comparison of user friendliness and polish between the two in the review. The only comparison that I noticed was in regard to package management.
A bit misleading about the review for the introduction, Ladislav. :)
About Portage. I find it strange that you would expect Portage to be fast. It's written in Python, which is the reason why it's slow. Again, I may be wrong here, but I'm sure it was you that said Python is not slow, or resource hungry some time back, I believe in regard to PackageKit. Well, now there's two instances that Python is slow, and both of those instances are to do with package management. It should be noted from my years of experience with it, Portage has made some serious improvements in speed. It was a fair bit slower at one time, though far from horribly so, then, or now. Fact of the matter is its speed is hindered more with Python than it would be with C. I'm surprised though that you didn't draw any parallels between the two(meaning the speed issues of PackageKit and Portage), and should have, as part of the ongoing review process. That's assuming that you were aware Portage is written in Python (which you probably were not, given that you have no real experience with it). I think points like that make or break a review. It changes them from something just written to something well thought-out. Also, you could have even conferred with Ladislav in regard to Portage. Though dated now, he wrote an article for LWN.net about Portage almost seven years ago. http://lwn.net/Articles/87845/
I also noticed that you failed to mention that Calculate uses its own Overlay, on top of Gentoo. Though this doesn't cause any problems (that I'm aware of) it makes it more of a hybrid of Gentoo than a pure Gentoo build. Just a note here for anyone reading, and to actually help them understand a bit more, I'm not saying that Calculate is not similar to Gentoo, it's close. It's more so than Sabayon, which took/takes Gentoo and modifies it heavily, making it very different from Gentoo proper. Calculate from what I am to understand, and have seen, makes use of some scripting, and the small overlay to add to Gentoo. That's all. It's still a hybrid though, thus making it 'not Gentoo'. That's right, it's not Gentoo. If it was Gentoo it wouldn't be called Calculate. It's really that simple. If you have a piece of fruit that's orange, has a thick skin that peels fairly easily, and comes off a tree, then you combine it with banana to make it full of pottasium and elongated doesn't mean it's an orange anymore. Not by any means, it's something else. As I said, it's really that simple. Change something and it's no longer what it was, or it wouldn't have 'changed'.
You didn't discuss compiling any software, at all(yet you discuss long delays installing software in that manner). You didn't mention what profile Calculate was using. How was the make.conf file setup. Those are very important points to be reviewed in regard to these offshoots that are based on Gentoo in some manner. You failed to mention that Gentoo proper has binary versions of applications as well(again probably unaware due to lack of experience with it). I haven't went to look lately, but Firefox and OpenOffice are two that instantly come to mind. So, it's nothing new for Calculate, and most likely it's just part of the normal Portage Tree.
Also, you're a tech from what I understand, and I understand you do some programming too, though on what level for both I'm not aware. Yet, you can't come up with any substantial reasons for running a source-based distribution? I find that hard to believe if you are that skilled of a tech/programmer, to be honest. Now I'll completely agree that for the desktop cpu specific optimizations do little for the overall speed of the system, or application in use, if anything. What is important here are the USE Flag optimizations. An example is turning off Java support for either a specific application (Open Office comes to mind), or globally, will have an extremely profound effect on performance. Quite visible. I've had problems with PulseAudio in some games that I like to play. PulseAudio is a resource hog as well. Disabling it on a global level not only makes sure that any games that I enjoy don't crash due to it, it also makes any applications more responsive that have the option to make use of it. I find the multi-messengers are a lot more responsive if you disable the protocols you have absolutely no intention of using. A lot more responsive is an understatement. As always too, you remove some things to make something less complicated and it's far less prone to breaking. Simple common-sense.
Again, as a programmer/tech you should easily understand what I stated a few weeks ago here to someone. Anyone wanting to do development/programming should find doing it on a source based distribution a lot easier, and far less frustrating than any binary. The simple logic behind that fact is that it is a source based distribution, and all development packages you would need pretty well come installed since they're needed for building (compiling) applications. That's a huge bonus for anyone working in that field, or interested in it. Which I'm sure this community has a higher per capita ratio of those user than in comparison to just the average desktop using noob. That's something I believe reviews in DistroWatch Weekly have been missing for some time, the fact that the true majority are not playtime desktop noobs interested in kiddie distributions only. The select few that comment here do not represent the whole, by any means.
Keep your stick on the ice...
31 • A few more bits about source distributions (by source based user on 2011-04-05 05:25:54 GMT from United States)
Landor hit one of the big reasons for using a source-based distribution (the ability to disable unwanted features), but I want to touch on another. Source based distributions make it easier by far to overcome developer idiocies (both distribution developers and upstream developers). Everything from unnecessary dependencies (the biggest reason for me), to removing stupid restrictions (no, the name on my gpg key does not need to be five characters long), to getting the backspace key to work correction (I mean so that it sends ^H, and the kernel correctly handles that). I have about forty packages that I maintain my own patch sets for. It is not easy even with a source-based distribution, but it is far easier (since source-based distributions are built for ease of working with source code) than it would be trying to make all of these changes with a binary distribution (and package management systems that are primarily designed, obviously, to work with binary packages).
I can compile most of the smaller packages on my machine in less than a minute (and recompile the almost 1000 installed packages in about six hours - which I do overnight), so most if the time the compilation time is not an issue for me.
Source-based distributions are about getting EXACTLY what the user wants (a good match for control freaks). If someone is happy to be fed what the binary distributions offer, then there is no reason to use a source-based distribution.
32 • @30 (by JR on 2011-04-05 05:57:02 GMT from Brazil)
I really like the review, so, congratulations.
I don't know you (distrowatch people), so, I will not call you by first name, sorry about that, but I really like the site although I did not understand half of what some say, then, the focus of reviews is the right one for me ...
Calculate impressed me too, I just wish they put in a default installation a GUI for portage, to an end user like me (yet curious) would be a good thing ...
Souce based distributions always left me curious and Calculate Linux helped me satisfy that curiosity ...
Keep up the great job on the site and reviews and remember that not all readers are programmers, system administrators, or something like that.
Congratulations again for the great review.
33 • Re: 9 • UNetbootin (& Arch) (by Ariszló on 2011-04-05 07:46:59 GMT from Hungary)
You may want try ArchOne. I is designed for Acer Aspire One netbooks but it is also runs fine on my Eee PC 900. You can install it on a usb stick with the dd command as explained on the Download page at http://archone.sourceforge.net/
34 • Well... (by disi on 2011-04-05 07:57:09 GMT from Germany)
why do I use a sourced based distribution (Gentoo)?
I can do with the system, whatever I want to... if my login manager fails (whatever you use here), try to find out why or use another one :)
Gentoo doesn't really start with compiling packages or running the login manager.
It starts with how would you like to partition your harddrive or whatever you use and what boot manager and what filesystems in regards to which of the 15 available different kernels or kernel versions on what of the ~11 supported hardware platforms (I have some armv7 and armv5 netbooks here, they build quickly with crosscompiling in a cluster).
35 • Source based distros (by RobertD on 2011-04-05 10:31:16 GMT from United States)
I second what Jesse said in his review about the performance gains when compiling your own distro. It's negligible and the average user would not benefit from it at all. But as a learning tool they are hard to beat. You gain additional insight as to how all the pieces fit together to form a cohesive OS.
36 • Linux distributions for ARM PDA's (by silent on 2011-04-05 10:51:12 GMT from France)
Unfortunately www.handhelds.org (the site of Familiar Linux and the GPE GUI) is down for a long time and it is difficult to see when it is going to return. Angstrom Linux - http://www.angstrom-distribution.org/ - is active, but relatively few devices are actively supported. On the other hand the new version of the Opie GUI (1.2.5) - http://opie.sourceforge.net - has been released in December 2010. Are there any other active distributions for ARM PDA's? In fact, one can find some information on the net about the installation of linux on specific devices or one can try to install Android as well.
37 • @36 (by disi on 2011-04-05 11:48:24 GMT from Germany)
Thanks for the Link, looks really good...
There is also an unofficial project with instructions on how to and with precompiled binaries for several ARM based chipsets: http://neuvoo.org/
Looking at the most famous distribution out there like http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ubuntu_Mobile it's only a different constellation of software around the Linux kernel on x86 devices -.-
Slackware ONLY supports one certain ARM archtitecture
Debian' ARM packages just got upgraded to armv4 -.-
38 • re: Vinux (by Tom on 2011-04-05 12:29:11 GMT from United Kingdom)
BarnabyH, that is a generous offer. Writing a review is unlikely to be as easy as Jesse makes it look but i'm sure many outside of DW would also appreciate it
Jesse, i think you should review one that you have been looking forwards to reviewing rather than getting pushed into ones that other people want. The big names will have many reviews elsewhere but kinda need to be covered here in some way. Mention of Slackware still reminds me of that amazing shirt. Slackware and Mageia are the releases i'm most looking forwards too especially because Ubuntu is not an LTS release and the 6 monthlies don't excite me much.
39 • Calculate Linux (by petr on 2011-04-05 12:29:45 GMT from Czech Republic)
This is a very fast distro or operating system, much faster than even Puppy Linux. The web browser works double quick. If you want to know where to find knowledge, there is documentation pages in the official website!
40 • RE: 31 + Stuff (by Landor on 2011-04-05 12:51:46 GMT from Canada)
"Source-based distributions are about getting EXACTLY what the user wants (a good match for control freaks). If someone is happy to be fed what the binary distributions offer, then there is no reason to use a source-based distribution."
That's exactly why a source based distribution can't be reviewed properly. How do you review something that completely changes with every use?
Oh sure, someone could take the ISO recently released, view it as 'standard Gentoo', or the minimal ISO, and review those. They're not it though, only a mere demonstration or tool that someone uses to create what really is Gentoo, which is what they want their system to be.
Anyone that doesn't understand, and refutes the simple logic of improved performance by removing unwanted functionality when compiling the program knows pretty well nothing about A) A source based distribution, and B) compiling software, no matter what they claim otherwise.
Keep your stick on the ice...
41 • @30 (by Patrick on 2011-04-05 15:35:12 GMT from United States)
>>>> Does this Russian distribution deliver a more polished and friendly user experience than its famous parent?
>> How can someone then write a comparative review based on one (or both) of which they know little or nothing about?
When I first read this comment I was confused, because I didn't read the review as a comparison between Calculate and its parent, Gentoo, but just an introduction to Calculate. Then I looked back and found the above line, and while I took it less literal than you did, and I enjoyed the review on its own merits, I agree that this line could really create some unfulfilled expectations if taken at face value. Introductions should not create an expectation just to draw attention and then leave it unfulfilled.
>> I find it strange that you would expect Portage to be fast. It's written in Python, which is the reason why it's slow.
This statement is way too broad to be taken seriously. Software architecture tends to make much more difference than the language used. If you write the exact same code you'd write in C and just translate it to Python, then yes, that would be orders of magnitude slower. But that's not how you should write Python code. Python code should be written at a much higher level, taking advantage of language features and libraries that shift most of the heavy lifting into compiled C code, and leave the Python code to just glue the pieces together and define high-level functionality. Maybe this is not possible for the task of package management, and maybe that means Python is not the right tool for the job when it comes to package managers, I don't know. But the myth that _because_ software is written in Python, it _must_ be slow, is just that: a myth.
A well architected Python program can beat a badly architected C program any day. A well architected C program will likely beat any Python implementation, but not necessarily with a noticeable difference. If the difference is noticeable, Python probably wasn't the right tool to use, as the functionality was too low level and could not be abstracted to a high enough level to make it suitable for Python. Low level functionality and number crunching are not Python's strong suits--compiled code will always beat interpreted code for that. But if a Python implementation is "fast enough", it will likely take a fraction of the time to develop compared to C, have significantly less bugs and be much more maintainable, which are very important reasons to choose Python over C in many cases.
>> It's still a hybrid though, thus making it 'not Gentoo'. That's right, it's not Gentoo. If it was Gentoo it wouldn't be called Calculate. It's really that simple. If you have a piece of fruit that's orange, has a thick skin that peels fairly easily, and comes off a tree, then you combine it with banana to make it full of pottasium and elongated doesn't mean it's an orange anymore. Not by any means, it's something else. As I said, it's really that simple. Change something and it's no longer what it was, or it wouldn't have 'changed'.
Yes, we get it, Calculate is NOT Gentoo. Understood.
>> You didn't discuss compiling any software, at all(yet you discuss long delays installing software in that manner). You didn't mention what profile Calculate was using. How was the make.conf file setup. Those are very important points to be reviewed in regard to these offshoots that are based on Gentoo in some manner.
*LOL* You first go on and on about how Calculate is NOT Gentoo, and then you insist that all these low level details related to its Gentoo base should have been discussed? Sorry, but that makes no sense at all. Calculate is its own thing, built on Gentoo but not trying to be Gentoo. Someone, who knew more about it than I do, set the Gentoo base up a certain way, and I trust that they knew what they were doing. If I wanted to know these details and have control over them, I'd use Gentoo, not Calculate. Did you get your own argument of how your banana is not an orange anymore?
>> Again, as a programmer/tech you should easily understand what I stated a few weeks ago here to someone. Anyone wanting to do development/programming should find doing it on a source based distribution a lot easier, and far less frustrating than any binary.
Not sure it makes much of a difference. On a binary distro I just install the binary and source packages and I'm done. That's a fast way to get the binaries and the source. On a source based distro, I download the source, and then I need to wait for the binaries to build so I can link against them. That takes longer.
Personally, I think source based distros only make sense if you want full control to build a minimal system, either because you like it or you're building a single purpose, low resource system for embedded use. If you don't intend to actually use the USE flags to disable a bunch of stuff, there's not much point in using a source based distro.
From an environmental point of view, I am glad binary distros are more popular than source based ones. Compilation is a resource hungry process, and it just makes much more sense to do it once on the build machine of the distro maker and have the resulting binary used by everyone, than to have ever single end user machine do it all over again. With about 1 billion computers in use, and using the lowball number of 1% Linux use, if every Linux machine would use Gentoo and need to compile for 1 hour a day, and assuming an idle PC needs 100 watts and a compiling one 200 watts, that would add another gigawatt-hour per day in energy wasted worldwide. I like efficiency, and any efficiency you gain by running code optimized for your machine is more than offset by all the compilation needed.
42 • kde 3.5 (by bernie nimeskern on 2011-04-05 16:48:27 GMT from United States)
'3 • Long live KDE... 3.5.10 (by macias on 2011-04-04 12:18:44 GMT from Poland'
Mepis 8.0 very good and stable
43 • RE:41 (by Landor on 2011-04-05 18:21:40 GMT from Canada)
"But if a Python implementation is "fast enough", it will likely take a fraction of the time to develop compared to C, have significantly less bugs and be much more maintainable, which are very important reasons to choose Python over C in many cases."
Fast enough? That equates good enough. When I hear people make those comments, that means they didn't put in, or were unwilling to put in, the required effort to do it right.
That said, I didn't say Python was slower than C. You really shouldn't assume things. :) I said it was why in this case it was slow. Thank you though for filling the gaps I left with more detail. I will say this though, some of your views on Python and C are nothing more than that, views. :)
"LOL* You first go on and on about how Calculate is NOT Gentoo, and then you insist that all these low level details related to its Gentoo base should have been discussed? Sorry, but that makes no sense at all."
If you actually understood the topic at hand, you would understand exactly how that makes perfect sense. The problem is you don't.
The rest of your stuff is laden with pure opinion, ifs, maybes, and you even make totally absurd comments in regard to compiling one hour every days, systems using 100 watts on average and 200 to compile, WoW lmao! But that's about all the reply you're getting on the last part of your reply.
Keep your stick on the ice...
44 • @43 (by Patrick on 2011-04-05 19:31:52 GMT from United States)
>> Fast enough? That equates good enough.
Since when is "fast" the only way to determine whether something is "good" anyway? I'm glad most people have higher standards than that.
>> When I hear people make those comments, that means they didn't put in, or were unwilling to put in, the required effort to do it right.
You may be surprised that in the real world, where real people write real software, "good enough" is the gold standard and perfect does not exist. In case you're not aware of it, your computer runs on software that at best meets the "good enough" standard. In a world where people have lives, limited lifetimes, limited amounts of time to finish projects, need to put bread on the table, have imperfect memories, imperfect skills and make mistakes, "good enough" will have to do, and will take all the effort most developers can give. That is one of the virtues of high level scripting languages like Python: if you want the "good enough" balance to tilt in favor of quality over speed, developing in Python is a good choice, and speed will have to be "good enough".
>> That said, I didn't say Python was slower than C. You really shouldn't assume things. :) I said it was why in this case it was slow.
My point stands. You can't prove that this is the reason, you're just assuming it.
>> I will say this though, some of your views on Python and C are nothing more than that, views. :)
I guess I am learning something from you after all. :)
>> If you actually understood the topic at hand, you would understand exactly how that makes perfect sense. The problem is you don't.
Yeah, I've heard that before when someone ran out of valid arguments.
>> The rest of your stuff is laden with pure opinion, ifs, maybes, and you even make totally absurd comments in regard to compiling one hour every days, systems using 100 watts on average and 200 to compile, WoW lmao! But that's about all the reply you're getting on the last part of your reply.
Again, very easy to laugh at someone without providing any proof to the contrary. Seems to be your favorite MO, of course with the requisite WoW thrown in. I got those ballpark wattage numbers from the net, where people used real power meters to actually measure the power of their systems while idle and under load. I don't have a power meter myself. Do you? I'd be happy to see the idle and full load numbers of your system, if you care to share some real info for a change, instead of "pure opinion, ifs, maybes, and totally absurd comments". And here is an easier one I'd be interested in, what is a ballpark compile time per day to keep a Gentoo system up to date? Anyone?
45 • PackageKit is not written in Python (by Rahul Sundaram on 2011-04-05 19:44:50 GMT from India)
"but I'm sure it was you that said Python is not slow, or resource hungry some time back, I believe in regard to PackageKit."
You seem to be under a misconception that PackageKit is written in Python. It is written in Pure C. Backends might be in different languages including Python, C++ etc but the framework itself is NOT python.
46 • RE:41 (by Landor on 2011-04-05 18:21:40 GMT from Canada) (by mark on 2011-04-05 19:57:12 GMT from Greece)
quoted: " With about 1 billion computers in use, and using the lowball number of 1% Linux use, if every Linux machine would use Gentoo..."
...then the world would have been a better place. Amen! :)))))
I think the environmental reasoning, although interesting superficially, it misses the big picture. Source distros are not the cause of global warming or leakage of radiation, please...
Regarding the speed of portage, the initial searching for an ''emerge -ave world" takes about 10 secs (maybe less, I haven't counted it because it did never bother me) on a e5800 dual core (by the way 65 Watts TDP). Also, if those extra 1-3 secs are so important, there is the option of paludis as well.
Regarding the compilation itself, on a desktop machine it is not an issue. Since it is a rolling release (which in the original article was mentioned only once in a business environment, bias?) I do a world compile only after a major gcc release, which a 6 hr overnight compile will take care of.
I have been running gentoo on my n270 atom as well, If I get 10% more perfomance on the atom, which may translate to a longer operation on battery-only. I ask, nobody has ever wished he had a 5% more on his battery to finish up some work? It took 1.5 days, but someone can set up a power machine to do that and feed the binaries to the other machines. This option is a well known notion to gentooers, you don't have to compile on each machine.
Learning as stated before is a very good point. Before with Ubuntu or Fedora it was like black box. Why not use Windows in such case?
It's getting long, but binarists should not be biased against sourcerers. It's all freedom of choice and this bias goes against this. You can not blame a sourcerer because he/she wants to wear a custom article of clothing whereas the consensus is to wear a standard uniform.
Closing, there is another point in my opinion. What is the point of a review and testing done in one afternoon's time? Why not having a review after 3 or 6 months of use, which will identify most of the strengths or weaknesses of a given distro? Especially when dealing with a distro based on different philosophy than binarism. For example, the strength of setting up a binary package farm was completely missed in the article, It also makes the stated in the article weakness of a rolling release as false, since one machine can feed 100, or 10000 other corporate machines. Imagine though, that those dedicated russians developers might lose donation or funding because an IT responsible of a company decides that a rolling release is not suitable for business, after having read this article on this respectable website.
Sorry for the lengthness.
47 • Complaint (by lol on 2011-04-05 20:08:22 GMT from Finland)
Comment deleted (off-topic).
48 • Slackware 1337 (by jadecat09 on 2011-04-05 20:18:48 GMT from United Kingdom)
The oldest and the best.
If i don't see you before i;ll see you later.
49 • @46 (by Patrick on 2011-04-05 20:52:54 GMT from United States)
>> I think the environmental reasoning, although interesting superficially, it misses the big picture. Source distros are not the cause of global warming or leakage of radiation, please...
Did I say that? I know it's a drop in the bucket, and personally I'm in favor of nuclear power (I consider it the least bad of all the bad options), so no need to bring that up.
Still everyone's drop will fill up the bucket if there are enough of them. Likewise, adding up all the millions of "leaving my light on won't make any difference", "leaving my computer on overnight won't make any difference", "commuting with my Hummer or pickup truck won't make any difference", "leaving my wall wart adapters plugged in won't make any difference", and even the "continuously compiling my system from source won't make any difference", do end up making a difference after all if there are enough people doing it.
Generating energy in a way that doesn't cause damage in one form or another is hard. Trying to use less energy is a worthy effort, that's all I'm saying. Burning power to compile software that gets used by millions of people has a good benefit to energy ratio and it energy well spent. The ratio isn't nearly as good when you compile the same software just for yourself, and everyone else would be doing the same thing just for themselves. So I'm glad not everyone feels the need to do this, but if you have a good reason, then sure, be my guest.
>> ...on a e5800 dual core (by the way 65 Watts TDP)...
I hope you don't think that this means your PC will only consume 65W. Unfortunately there's a lot of inefficiency in converting from mains 110 or 220 down to the 1.2V or so that the processor uses internally, and then there are all the other components like memory, chipset, GPU etc that add their own power draw.
>> I do a world compile only after a major gcc release, which a 6 hr overnight compile will take care of.
Thanks for that info.
Any guess how long small day to day updates take, and how often they happen?
>> I have been running gentoo on my n270 atom as well, If I get 10% more perfomance on the atom, which may translate to a longer operation on battery-only. I ask, nobody has ever wished he had a 5% more on his battery to finish up some work?
Sure have. But you say "IF I get 10% more performance", and so my question is: do you get 10% more performance? Just curious.
50 • Re:43 & 44 (by Antony. on 2011-04-05 23:13:41 GMT from United Kingdom)
"Fast enough? That equates good enough. When I hear people make those comments, that means they didn't put in, or were unwilling to put in, the required effort to do it right."
Surely fast enough (in any scenario) IS fast enough? Fast enough does not equate to low standards or quality - you seem to have a set of rules allowing you a broad flexibility of interpretation whilst denying that freedom to others.
Is a particular refresh-rate, suitable for comfortable, strain-free viewing not fast enough? Is a pump in a fish tank, working at a fast enough rate to comfortably perform its task, not good enough?
Landor, you yap on and on about rights and freedom but you appear quite unforgiving.
Your second reply is bang-on.
I say that *everything* is a compromise - otherwise *nothing* could become manifest.
51 • Reviews (by Jesse on 2011-04-06 00:24:39 GMT from Canada)
Didn't have time to read everyone's comments today, but a few caught my attention....
Some people asked for a review of CrunchBang and I'm happy to report that distro is on my to-do list. We should have a peek at it soon.
One person suggested I just review what I want to review. I'm happy to say I do that, but once I get through all the distros I personally am interested in there are slots left over. And I think it's good to take suggestions as it opens me up for new and unexpected experiences. Calculate is a good example of a project I wouldn't have tried without people suggesting it. And I'm glad to have had the experience.
52 • Calculate and stuff... (by davemc on 2011-04-06 00:53:43 GMT from United States)
Interesting review. So do Mageia next and then maybe Ubuntu with its new Unity bling bling sure to please the armies of bling bang..
So I think this weeks review was a sure bet to bring out the source vs. binary thing, but we now have hints at a Python vs. C jigaboo to boot. Fun stuff. It is interesting though how some folks get all riled up about Source compile times. I think its no big secret that Gentoo takes a lot longer to install any given program than any given binary distro. The fact is that there truly is no advantage to running a source distro over a binary one except perhaps in the "I am the geekiest of all the geeks in the world!!!" factor perhaps. You can compile programs on binary distro's too. Big whup dee dooo!!
53 • Jesse's reviews (by Rudolf Steiner on 2011-04-06 00:59:48 GMT from United States)
I'm still waiting for a review from Landor or any of you other behind the keyboard journalist. It so easy to critique others work but much harder to produce something of your own. I am aware that by putting something out there for public comsuption that it is going to be scrutinized but that doesn't make your criticism any more palatable. I may not agree with a reviewers opinion but until I submit my own review I will follow ole' Mark Twain's advice written at the bottom of this section.
54 • one source compile benifit example (by RollMeAway on 2011-04-06 01:34:15 GMT from United States)
I recently discovered a new (to me) USE flag: '-semantic-desktop'. I compiled KDE4 using -semantic-desktop and am running WITHOUT: akonadi*, nepomuk* installed!
When will a binary distribution make use of this capability, and shave some bloat off kde4?
55 • @53 (by fernbap on 2011-04-06 01:57:59 GMT from Portugal)
I'm sorry, but your argument is useless.
Does that mean that you can't criticize a meal because you are not a chef? You can't criticize a painting because you are not a paintor? You can't criticize a car because you are not a mechanics engineer?
See where this is going?
56 • Mageia (by corneliu on 2011-04-06 03:28:37 GMT from Canada)
I vote for a Mageia review.
57 • @55 (by JR on 2011-04-06 03:51:35 GMT from Brazil)
yes, it does, but of course we can not like everything, just do not need to try so hard to destroy what we dislike.
If he thought it was a poor review, ask to be deeper, more technical ...
The speculations he makes about the technical capabilities or expertise of the reviewer are disrespectful in a way ...
58 • I love me some DWW! (by shady on 2011-04-06 05:16:34 GMT from United States)
When I saw that Calculate was being reviewed, I knew Landor would show up and slay with Gentoo knowledge. This issue made for at the very least a different series of comments, not the usual fare.
buntu...blah we don't need no more buntuz...
fedora derivative.. omfg RPM is so bad at dependencies...
puppy distro...root user issue, my distro is smaller than ur distro...
Kinda makes me want to try and install Calculate, but I have Fuduntu set the way I like it and prob wont change until F15 comes out so I can pretend to hate Gnome3 with everybody else.
59 • Which for daily home office use? (by Uberflieger on 2011-04-06 06:15:51 GMT from Germany)
Anyone here with a suggestion for a solid daily use home office distribution? Need mail (IMAP), web (with flash), documents and a bit of multimedia (mp3) for recreation.
60 • "pi" just for kicks! (by zykoda on 2011-04-06 07:36:05 GMT from United Kingdom)
A few issues ago Slackware gave a value of mathematical "pi" to ~50 places. This got me thinking on how to do that (seemingly worthless) task. Standard C in double or quad precision is not enough (places) and there were problems. It seems that quad precision is not complete in the GNU compiler collection. So I googled and found gmp-5.0.1 source code and gmp-chudnovsky.c. After compilation on a 10+year old Athlon 1800+ single processor, 512MB RAM I had pi to 10million places in 72 CPU seconds. Gnp promises more to come in the future (trillions on places) but I won't be investing in the 4000 disks required to store it! Could not get the code to run on Atom processor and a twin Athlon 4200+ running Debian Squeeze 64 bit could not find a library (still working on that). Gmp has, of course, other uses such as factorisation, probably useful in cracking security!
61 • Re: 14 Source Based Distros (by DG on 2011-04-06 07:46:54 GMT from Netherlands)
sorry to follow up on my own comment, but just to give a comparison of another soirce based distro against Jesse's Calculate review, here a recent review of Lunar Linux:
http://dudewheresmybash.com/uncategorized/lunar-linux-review (from 2011)
Ladislav, could you add this to the DW page for Lunar and remove the dead link to the Eccelinux review? Thanks.
PS. On the Lunar Wiki/Documentation page there's also another review from 2010 which looks at the installation process, but I think the url would get munged if posted here.
62 • BSD? (by disi on 2011-04-06 08:46:34 GMT from Germany)
Since everyone is bashing at source based Linux distributions...
Anyone follows FreeBSD stable release? This is like rolling updates and you compile the packages/kernel on your own after the checkout :)
How often you update, is up to you. The longer you wait, the more complicated it might get... (this is excactly the way it is with Gentoo).
63 • Re: Vinex (by JS on 2011-04-06 09:56:44 GMT from United States)
Please review along with other low vision and blind systems.
Knoppix-Adriene is OK but I would really like a project where I can easily change and more importantly record new voices.
Currently using Knoppix-Adriene as a live system for speech or Kmag as a screen magnifier, but I would like options.
64 • @55 (by Rudolf Steiner on 2011-04-06 11:23:32 GMT from United States)
I did not say you "can't" criticize I said taking you armchair critics serious is a stretch. I mean as long as you have a mouth and a tounge you can utter complete non-sense and you do. As long as you have arms and fingers you can type complete jibberish and you do.
To reiterate: it's easy to critiquie others (As I just I showed) but much harder to produce something of your own (which I did not).
65 • antiX bubbling under (by gnomic on 2011-04-06 12:33:20 GMT from New Zealand)
Don't want to steal anybody's thunder, but a little forum has whispered in my ear that a new release of antiX is nearly here. Just in case anybody wants to do any last minute release candidate testing . . . . Sure they will look forward to last minute feedback.
66 • re #59 that solid distro which is a bit fun (by gnomic on 2011-04-06 12:59:28 GMT from New Zealand)
Most of the Distrowatch top 20 could be suitable aside from the odd technonerd sort which is enjoying a spike in popularity. Mint is pretty well 'just works'. Of late I kind of like Scientific, and Parsix. CrunchBang is not bad. For solid it's hard to go past Debian or Slackware, though you may have to read the manuals. Fedora has a remix called Omega which includes some extra bits out of the box. You don't say where you're at with Linux knowledge and experience but I expect an ubergeek wouldn't be posing this question :-) Perhaps have a look at Mint and if that doesn't work check some of the others. Sheesh, you could even go with Ubuntu if you can handle being uncool. Could be worth running a live version over your hardware.
67 • @59 - Uberflieger (by Fewt on 2011-04-06 14:26:45 GMT from United States)
Take a look at Fuduntu (http://www.fuduntu.org). We provide Flash, and MP3 support "out of the box", and also Thunderbird which should satisfy your need for imap. :D
68 • Linux DVD Player (by Stanley on 2011-04-06 16:00:34 GMT from Taiwan)
Can anyone suggest a distribution suitable for making a dedicated DVD player from a 1GHz P3 with 512MB RAM?
69 • @59 Uberflieger (by Tom on 2011-04-06 16:02:08 GMT from United Kingdom)
Hi :) I think the best bet is to make a stack of LiveCds and try them out for yourself on your own machine.
If you are not familiar with linux then try to focus on noob-friendly ones at first, such as Ubuntu. Ubuntu is a good one for machines with over 15Gb hard-drive space, 1Gb ram and 1GHz cpu but most other distros don't need so much. There are a lot of articles in fairly mainstream press about Ubuntu and the community is large so it's fairly easy to find good forums, documentation.blogs and stuff too.
I would install as a dual-boot or multi-boot keeping any working system on your machine. Even if it doesn't work well or seems broken you can often fix it with your new linux or at least read data stored in other OSes.
Although it is easy to configure distros it is easier to find one you like the look of that works well on your hardware as a LiveCd and then take it from there :)
Good luck and regards from
70 • Vinux (by Jesse on 2011-04-06 16:28:30 GMT from Canada)
>> "Does that mean that you can't criticize a meal because you are not a chef?"
Sure, you can, but there are lots of different approaches to criticism. Simply saying, "I don't like this food" says as much about the eater as it does the chef and isn't useful, it's just someone making noise. Being able to offer useful feedback like, "I think a mushroom sauce would work here better than the onion sauce" is constructive criticism and welcome. And then there are the critics who don't know enough about the subject and make themselves look silly, ie complaining they hate seafood when the meal before them contains chicken.
Which brings me to Vinux. I don't think I could do such a project justice because I'm not visually impaired (for which I'm thankful) and I don't have anyone close to me who is. I'm in no position to judge Braille support, for example.
71 • Review writing (by buntunub on 2011-04-06 18:28:29 GMT from United States)
"To reiterate: it's easy to critiquie others (As I just I showed) but much harder to produce something of your own (which I did not)."
So your saying that Distro review writing is some exclusive club that only the initiated can do?..
Anyone can write one on a blog or even submit one to Ladislav who may even post it. There is nothing in any of the reviews posted on DWW that is so unique or special that any joe blow out there could not have done, tbh. Are Jesse's eyes any better than yours or mine so that he can magically "see" things we can not about any given distro?.. I think not! Its not like this is a review of some piece of art or special gourmet dish or wine that requires a special background and umpteen years of experience to properly comprehend all of its sordid details. No, its just a guy or girl who loads Linux on a Laptop or Desktop and writes of their entirely subjective experiences. Nothing more or less about it.
Some, like Caitlynn proclaim far and wide that they have years and years and years of IT experience and so that "qualifies" their opinions over and above the unwashed masses, or so it certainly seems judging by her responses. Hogwash! Smoke and mirrors is all it be.
72 • Re: 71 Review writing (by DG on 2011-04-06 19:19:20 GMT from Netherlands)
"Anyone can write one on a blog or even submit one to Ladislav who may even post it."
I would lose interest in this site if every week saw a review of some distro by a fanatical supporter or opponent of that distro. There has to be some level of balance and objectivity.
73 • @71 (by Rulolf Steiner on 2011-04-06 19:32:38 GMT from United States)
>>" So your saying that Distro review writing is some exclusive club that only the initiated can do?.."
Where did I say that? Please!
You are correct, "Anyone can write one on a blog or even submit one to Ladislav who may even post it"
Any one can but few do (write a review) that is.
What have you written lately? Beside that lame attempt of trying to twist my words to something they clearly don't.
"Are Jesse's eyes any better than yours or mine so that he can magically "see" things we can not about any given distro?.. "
Actually his eyes are better than your and mine. This is something he does on a regular basis (at least weekly) and as we all know--the more you do something the better you get.
Please submit your gourmet dish anytime.
74 • @68 (by Rudolf Steiner on 2011-04-06 19:43:41 GMT from United States)
Openbsd make a great dvd player. Also works well on a machine with limited resources like the one you mentioned. I've been using it to serve up both movies and music for years and have had little to no problems. May take some studing on you part but well worth it in the end. IMO, course.
75 • Re: 71 (by Antony on 2011-04-06 20:24:40 GMT from United Kingdom)
"There is nothing in any of the reviews posted on DWW that is so unique or special that any joe blow out there could not have done, tbh."
I think it is just so naff when people come out with this kind of nonsense.
Well, I have no problem admitting that I would have enormous difficulty trying to write a review.
76 • #73, #75 (by buntunub on 2011-04-06 22:20:51 GMT from United States)
"Well, I have no problem admitting that I would have enormous difficulty trying to write a review."
There is no way to justify a ridiculous statement like that. Have you never written a comparative or informative essay on a subject before?.. That's about all the qualifications that are required. Dont sell yourself short. I have no doubt you (or anyone with middle school writing skills or better) could do a bang up job on a Distro review.
"Where did I say that? Please!"
Your right, you did not say that. Apologies for misreading the intent of your post.
"Actually his eyes are better than your and mine. This is something he does on a regular basis (at least weekly) and as we all know--the more you do something the better you get."
Ridiculous statement! How the heck would you know about me or any reviews I may or may not have written to say such a thing? For all you know I could be Donald Trump or Paris Hilton!
The only thing required to write one of these reviews is a basic level of English writing skills and the willingness to test out a Linux Distro on various pieces of hardware. Heck, given that I have seen some darn good reviews written by some people with barely any English skills at all speaks volumes! Find me a trained monkey and I bet he could do it :)
77 • #76 (by whoatethecat on 2011-04-06 22:31:08 GMT from United States)
A bit harsh, but I agree.
Jesse's review was decent though.
78 • @76 (by Rudolf Steiner on 2011-04-06 22:52:40 GMT from United States)
You are correct, I do not know if you've ever written a review. I do disagree with your statement that the only qualification one needs is to have written and essay on a subject. (Paraphrase) Based on your logic thus far I would believe you are Paris Hilton ;)
The most important thing to know when writing on any subject is your audience.
So you know how to train monkeys too:) What the hell are we debating again.....?
79 • @74 RE: #68 Linux DVD Player (by Stanley on 2011-04-07 07:21:11 GMT from Taiwan)
Thanks for the suggestion to use openbsd for a dedicated dvd player. I had a feeling someone would mention one of the BSDs. PC-BSD 7.1 stability was awesome when I tried it, and I'm looking forward to getting familiar with openbsd. May I ask, which version of openbsd do you think is good, or is it best to just go with the latest version? For me, studying about computers is fascinating. However, my wife wants me to get results quickly!
80 • Dedicated DVD Player and OpenBSD (by Rudolf Steiner on 2011-04-07 07:42:18 GMT from United States)
I would use the latest release 4.8 at this time but 4.9 is just around the corner. If you have any problems let me know and I would be more than happy to help you set it up to lessen the learning curve.
81 • @76 reviews... (by disi on 2011-04-07 07:54:26 GMT from Germany)
Phoronix does pretty good reviews Ok, not like can I click here or there and only rarely, how did we set up the distribution.
70% is tested on Ubuntu anyway,
But sometimes they have things like a "Compiler Shootout".
They also tested a source based distribution (Calculate, I think) against binary distributions. Which was fun, because they installed everything to have an Ubuntu like system, before testing for speed :)
82 • re #68 distro as DVD player (by gnomic on 2011-04-07 10:45:56 GMT from New Zealand)
Er, the spec is not very detailed here . . . . What size screen did you have in mind? I've been playing DVDs in a window on a Duron 900 box with a 1280x1024 LCD attached using Snowpuppy and VLC - works for me sitting a metre away. No sign of saturating the CPU. If on the other hand you want to fill a big screen in the lounge, you may need more horses. The video card could be a factor as well. The Duron machine has 1.5G RAM - well it has 4 slots and the RAM came my way .
83 • @68 distro as DVD player (by disi on 2011-04-07 11:30:28 GMT from Germany)
install some headless system and run mplayer or xine in framebuffer. That should be totally suitable for your needs. I prefer xine, it uses ffmpeg to play most codecs. A complete solution is MythTV, where you could also watch TV via DVB etc.
Here is a guide on how to set up MythTV on Gentoo:
pretty straight forward...
84 • @68 distro as DVD player (by disi on 2011-04-07 11:33:25 GMT from Germany)
actual use this link, the document I posted was last updated 2005 and is not complete :)
85 • Distro Reviews for Jesse (by Mike on 2011-04-07 17:57:37 GMT from United States)
Great job as always this week. Reviews I would like to see: Slackware 13.37 along with an interview with Pat Volkerding, Zenwalk 7.0, Fedora 15, and Pardus 2011.
86 • Upcoming stuff (by Jesse on 2011-04-07 19:15:26 GMT from Canada)
Thanks for the kudos, Mike, I appreciate it. I will be taking a look at the new Slackware and I've e-mailed the Slack team to see if we can squeeze in an interview. Fedora 15 is also a definite. Caitlyn called dibs on Pardus so I'm giving that one a pass. I took a look at Zenwalk 7 when it came out and the installer crashed both times I tried to install, so I had to leave that one. When 7.1 comes out I'll try it again.
87 • Reviews (by anticapitalista on 2011-04-07 20:53:04 GMT from Greece)
how about a review of antiX as Caitlyn refuses to do one on principle?
88 • Distro reviews and couple of questions (by RollMeAway on 2011-04-07 23:39:00 GMT from United States)
I would appreciate more insight for each review. What is the purpose of it existing? What is the target audience? How long has it been in existence. History? Is it a "one man show" ? Two? How many developers/members? Active forums? etc.
Two distros that have been around for a long time, recently perplex me:
Frugalware - Installed a recent release. The quality was very poor. I have been following frugalware for years. This did NOT seem anything like previous releases. I went to the forum, IT WAS EMPTY. No history, very few posts. More like a new start. What happened?
Sorcery - Source based distribution, essentially ran by one eccentric developer. I last played with it in 2002. There is NO forum, NO documentation (anymore). While there is a mailing list, I found it of little use. I did manage to get it installed, but cannot find necessary info to decipher the developers latest qualms. I could not believe the complexity built into lilo the boot loader. It looked more like grub2 in composition. Unbelievable.
Anyone with info on these two distros? Please pass it along.
89 • Slackware Interview (by Mike on 2011-04-08 02:18:47 GMT from United States)
So glad to hear you have reached out to the Slackware Team for an interview. Pat V and the crew seem like really great guys and do phenomenal work. No distro has ever taught me as much as Slackware has, hands down. I went from Ubuntu to Debian and some other short-lived stops but it wasn't till I landed with Slackware that I really started to get a feel for Linux under the hood. Sure you can get into the internals of any distro, but Slackware kind of forces you to a bit and well i just find that sort of thing fun. Anyway count me in for as eagerly anticipating an interview.
90 • source based distros (by JR on 2011-04-08 02:29:35 GMT from Brazil)
I would like a linux distribution that when I clicked on the source tarball into a web page the system offers the option to build and install the software automatically (after downloading of course) with menu shortcuts, and everything else! The security would be with SELinux, AppArmor, and other things like that.
On the issue of dependencies have no idea how it could be done!
Is it still a very far distant dream?
91 • "Exotic" Distribution (by A. Person on 2011-04-08 02:47:50 GMT from United States)
As long as some "exotic" distributions have been mentioned, might as well add T2 to the list.
92 • @90 (by banished on 2011-04-08 04:35:37 GMT from United States)
Sounds like you want a BSD variant.
93 • Re: 88 Distro reviews and a couple of questions (by DG on 2011-04-08 07:49:47 GMT from Netherlands)
"Sorcery - Source based distribution, essentially ran by one eccentric developer. I last played with it in 2002. [ . . . ] Anyone with info on these two distros?"
Do you mean Sorceror? If I remember correctly, the developer of Sorceror changed the licencing conditions into something very restrictive. As a result, some of the developers created forks from the last "open" version, and those forks became Lunar Linux and Source Mage. Both are listed on the DistroWatch pages. As they are both rolling source-based distros, they don't tend to release ISOs very often, so they don't hit the DW headlines much. However, these distros are still very much alive and well . . .
94 • @90 (by disi on 2011-04-08 09:58:18 GMT from Germany)
OpenSuse has excact that functionality. Any .rpm, .deb, .tar.gz and some other format they recently introduced on Linuxtag (I think) you click on, starts the systems package manager and shows available options.
There is even a website, where you can browse programs and click/install if you want them.
I saw that last year and it's pretty impressive. Of course that introduces more complexity and who knows what. At least OpenSuse is all about clicky bunti :D
95 • @88 yes, sorcerer (by RollMeAway on 2011-04-08 18:24:23 GMT from United States)
No documentation. The "Forum" has 49 messages, last one dated Jun 2008. 2004-06-21 was last release. Count the users on your fingers?
96 • @95 Sorcerer (by LinuxFreak on 2011-04-09 01:54:17 GMT from Germany)
I use Sorcerer on my build machine. If you look at the download page http://sorcerer.silverice.org/download/iso9660/2010/, you will notice that the latest ISOs for i686 and x86_64 platforms were released on 6th December 2010.
The last message in the mailing list at https://lists.berlios.de/pipermail/sorcerer-admins/2011/thread.html is of 25th March 2011.
If I needed help instantly, I was mostly able to reach someone on IRC #sorcerer at irc.freenode.net.
So it's everything but inactive.
97 • @ 41 (by Anonymous on 2011-04-09 07:34:46 GMT from United States)
But the myth that _because_ software is written in Python, it _must_ be slow, is just that: a myth.
If you run any program written in any interpreted language on a system with low RAM, it will be slow. The question you should be asking is, why are people unwilling to upgrade their RAM to prevent these problems? Especially when you have to look extremely hard in any store to find anything not a tablet or netbook with less than 4GB of RAM.
98 • slackware (by samuel on 2011-04-09 07:39:55 GMT from Italy)
I have checked details of slackware on DW. GNOME is not not on the desktops list. Is there a possibility of using GNOME? For curiosity only, otherwise I am very comfortable in Debian.
99 • @96 sorcerer (by RollMeAway on 2011-04-09 9:13:03 GMT from United States)
Yes, 2010-12-06 CD, 197 MB, is the CD I used to install with. Did a lot of searching in the mailing list to accomplish that. I can boot into the installation ok, but find few things similar to any other distro I've used. My sorcerer documentation from 2002, about an inch thick, is all but useless now.
I have never had a good experience with any IRC. Perhaps it is just me. New users will likely ask the same questions over and over. I thought it common practice to have a FAQ and wiki along with a "How to" section. Searchable forums answer many more questions. Guess I will just pass on this one. Thanks for the response, anyway.
100 • @99 Sorcerer (by LinuxFreak on 2011-04-09 13:26:48 GMT from Germany)
Well, actually, it was Ladislav's very favorable review of 18th Jan 2002 that got me going on Sorcerer, and I haven't regretted it up to date.
His review and the one later done on osnews.com really helped me getting my system set up and running, much more so than the rather sparse information provided on the Sorcerer homepage.
I can only recommend it to anybody looking for a development platform or a VERY different computing experience. Apart from the two forks Lunar and Source Mage it truly compares to no other source based distro.
Just push everything you know about Linux or BSD based systems to the very back of your head, and let the unique touch of Sorcerer work its magic.
The distro requires a fairly recent computer to run on and about 20 GB free space on your hard disk. Also, a spare weekend would come in handy...
This link provides some information on what Sorcerer has to offer:
Distrowatch by Ladislav Bodnar: http://distrowatch.com/dwres.php?resource=review-sorcerer (18th Jan 2002)
OSNews: http://www.osnews.com/story/4768 (8th Oct 2003)
@Ladislav: reading through your review again, I noticed the very fine layout present in the older publications. On the right hand side, you provided a table with extensive information about the hardware you tested the distro on, together with the distro's system requirements, kernel version, bundled software etc. In the case of Sorcerer, you even went so far as to provide a most helpful overview of the terminology unique to this distro - cast=install sw, dispel=uninstall sw, spell=souce code package, sorcery=package manager etc. Any thoughts of reusing that format for future reviews, by chance?
101 • Slackware and GNOME (by Mike on 2011-04-09 19:51:58 GMT from United States)
Slackware by default does not include the GNOME desktop, it was removed I think 6 or so years ago. There is a great project though called gnomeslackbuild that provides a really simple way (one command net-install) to get a GNOME desktop on Slackware with minimal impact to a standard Slackware desktop. From what i understand they will offer both a GNOME 2.32 version and a 3.0 version for Slackware 13.37. Checkout http://gnomeslackbuild.org/.
102 • antiX (by Jesse on 2011-04-09 20:18:26 GMT from Canada)
>> "Jesse, how about a review of antiX as Caitlyn refuses to do one on principle?"
I'm not sure what her reasons might be for not reviewing antiX, but I don't plan on reviewing it either.
103 • @94 (by JR on 2011-04-09 22:35:55 GMT from Brazil)
I installed opensuse 11.4 (netinstall) and X did not work for me, the screen was garbled with several bright lines, I do not know if there is any parameter that can be passed at boot, anyway, I do not expect it to happen, since opensuse makes several automatic settings correctly.
note: the video card is an onboard NVIDIA GeForce 6150SE
104 • RE: antiX (by Landor on 2011-04-10 04:01:36 GMT from Canada)
"I'm not sure what her reasons might be for not reviewing antiX, but I don't plan on reviewing it either."
That's awful nice of him, isn't it?
To be honest anti, I believe your distribution is better off not having it reviewed here. There's far more competent reviewers on other sites that could do a lot better review of it. The reviews here just keep backsliding, and have for quite some time.
Keep your stick on the ice...
105 • re #98 gnome under slackware (by gnomic on 2011-04-10 10:14:51 GMT from New Zealand)
Afraid GNOME is more or less officially deprecated under Slackware, but various brave souls have made versions that can be dropped in after some tinkering. Your computer may explode, don't try this at home, and so on. There was a live CD called Nonux but it hasn't been updated for years. http://www.nnlinux.com/en/index.html
More recently a live DVD from the Exton guy. http://slackex.exton.net/
The wikipedia sayeth:
Since GNOME was dropped from Slackware Linux, several community projects now provide GNOME binary packages and Slackbuilds for Slackware Linux. These include Dropline GNOME, GSB: GNOME SlackBuild, GWARE, Gnome-Slacky, and SlackBot.
106 • antiX Review on Distrowatch (by anticapitalista on 2011-04-10 12:28:40 GMT from Greece)
#102. Ok, your loss.
#104 The 'fame' of antiX (possibly) having a Distrowatch review almost went to my head. :)
Thanks for the comment Landor.
107 • AntiX review (by Neal on 2011-04-10 12:44:08 GMT from United States)
Has Sneekylinux from youtube done a review of AntiX? I think he would do a nice review.
Jim Lynch from desktop linux reviews did one some time ago on 8.2.... http://desktoplinuxreviews.com/2009/07/29/antix-m8-2/
Its funny how there aren't many reviews of antix out there when you go looking for them....Its such a nice little distro.
108 • RE: 106 (by Landor on 2011-04-10 14:41:20 GMT from Canada)
The person I think should review it here is Barnaby. He's got a lot of skill in doing reviews and writing for this community, and I'm not the only one who has noticed his abilities.
I wonder if he'll see this. He wrote last week I believe that he intends to do a review here soon. Maybe he could add antiX to that list. What do you say Barnaby? I know I'd personally enjoy seeing more articles from you here. Possibly even some technical based articles.
Keep your stick on the ice...
109 • AntiX (by Barnabyh on 2011-04-10 19:31:18 GMT from United Kingdom)
Hi Landor, thanks for the flowers ;) . I'm still lurking most weeks. Not opposed to trying out AntiX, its light weight philosophy appeals to me just as much as for example CrunchBang. Have never used it so I can approach it unbiased.
I'll put it on the list but it will be later this year. Not sure where it would be posted, it may not be on DW.
110 • RE: 109 (by Landor on 2011-04-10 20:34:51 GMT from Canada)
You're more than welcome, I hope they brightened up your blog..lol :)
Thanks for that Barnaby, it's much appreciated. I really like how your blog is filling out too. You're doing very well with it in my opinion.
Thanks again, and don't forget, there's at least one, and I've always believed if there's one, there's more, that wouldn't mind seeing your articles here. Something to keep in mind. :)
Keep your stick on the ice...
111 • Preconfigured desktop setups (by Edward on 2011-04-11 06:49:10 GMT from United States)
I think the following statement should be considered well by the developers of new connected distros and by DW.
CTKArch is quite a nice "preconfigured desktop setup", and I applaud the way the young man has come out with it!
CTKArch is not a distribution. It is a preconfigured desktop setup of the Arch Linux GNU/Linux distribution.
This document only contains the details specific to CTKArch. For everything else, please see http://wiki.archlinux.org.
Number of Comments: 111
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