Where to take Shift


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James7
Window manager, or desktop environment?

Either or both? I never can keep these straight. :D

I think one of the features of Shift as opposed to other distros is that you have a choice of which DE you would like by downloading the relevant CD.... I'm thinking again of the Shift-specific things that will make it stand out from the crowd. There's a danger of doing a "Gnome-by-default distro, but all other DE's are an apt-get away..."... which isn't really anything special. I don't see anything wrong with the way you currently release Shift, with 3 separate ISO's depending on prefered DE.

Ubuntu itself, as you know, comes with a number of setups: Gnome, KDE, xfce. There is a separate project, Fluxbuntu. And Ubuntu also does the child-focused Edubuntu. It is a cool idea offering different releases like that. I guess it keeps things simple for people and saves on space on each CD.

I wonder if it's not possible to run with a popular DE for the core Shift CD but to make it clear and easy for people, once they've got themselves up and running (if, I guess, they are doing a hard install) to add new DEs/WMs. LIke, say it comes as Gnome default. First thing I see upon booting up is a dialogue box that has pics of other DEs and a bit of info about each one and so that you can click on the one you want to add and it launches an apt-get or whatever to add the new DE(s).

It would be a good chance to explain to the new user about what DEs and WMs are. They could also choose not to add any, but maybe there could be a place under Apps/System Tools that relaunches such a 'chooser' window, for future use. (I know this sounds a bit lame as you can do this in a flash in terminal or synaptics, but it's a friendly way to introduce the concept to new users)

Just a thought. I think the three (or more) distro versions is a good idea, but I think, for instance, Ubuntu chooses one as the 'standard' (Gnome) for noobs who don't yet understand the variety available. And this is why they give other names to the other versions.

OR, as some say that Shift's mission is partly to focus on Live CD functionality, then maybe the multiple version route, as has been done in the past, is the way to go, as you say. If we go the multi version route then maybe we should do what Ubuntu does, like 'G-Shift' (or, if Gnome is the popular standard, simply 'Shift'), 'K-Shift', 'X-Shift', 'F-Shift' ;)

I guess it keeps coming back to the 'mission'. I'm still not too clear on what the mission is. I gather it involves: cutting-edge distro, live CD focus, stable/proven base, ease of use/popular....... :cool:

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Fish
I wonder if it's not possible to run with a popular DE for the core Shift CD but to make it clear and easy for people, once they've got themselves up and running (if, I guess, they are doing a hard install) to add new DEs/WMs. LIke, say it comes as Gnome default. First thing I see upon booting up is a dialogue box that has pics of other DEs and a bit of info about each one and so that you can click on the one you want to add and it launches an apt-get or whatever to add the new DE(s).

Having said what I said, i do think this is a good idea though... ;)

I like the concept of a "core Shift" and then kind of bolting-on what you want afterwards, but I guess it depends on the target audience. Beginners will want something that works out of the box - this idea is more suited to more advanced users.

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devilotX

Maybe there should be some sort of an test to determine the installed GUI?

Maybe a shot of the gnome panel with the applications menu open at the top of the screen, then a shot of the Kicker, etc...

and ask the user to click the one that looks familiar to them?

I don't know how that would be executed, but it's an idea.

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Barney T.

^ True, although we do have screen shots of all our different DMs on our oh so fabulous website!

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Commodore Max

I also really like the idea of choosing exactly what you want, like what we have right now on the download page. (I also happen to think the website is fabulous :p )

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Fugi
I also really like the idea of choosing exactly what you want, like what we have right now on the download page. (I also happen to think the website is fabulous :p )

Agreed =p

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CrimsonRedMk

Actually, devilotX's idea would come in handy if we make an installer DVD with all of the Desktop Environments, but for the Live CD's we'd do it on the website.

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  • 5 weeks later...
Dark Phoenix

If the question of distro is still open, might I suggest Fedora? It's become much easier to make custom spins from it, and I don't notice some of the odd quirks I noticed when I ran Debian & Ubuntu. Of course, that's just my experience...

P.S. Dunno if it matters, but I am involved with Fedora somewhat; I've done package building and I belong to all the mailing lists, where I usually give my opinions and suggest things for improving it and so on...

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Kreuger

I currently like the way it is but adding on in the ways suggested wouldn't be a bad idea either.

@Dark Phoenix I believe our next release (if not 1.0) is scheduled to be done completely from scratch (IIRC?) but I prefer the Ubuntu/Debian base as RPMs are just a pain to bother with. Deb packages especially with use of Synaptic or Gdebi is just so much nicer to use.

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Dark Phoenix
@Dark Phoenix I believe our next release (if not 1.0) is scheduled to be done completely from scratch (IIRC?) but I prefer the Ubuntu/Debian base as RPMs are just a pain to bother with. Deb packages especially with use of Synaptic or Gdebi is just so much nicer to use.

When's the last time you tried an RPM-based distro? Um, they got rid of the idea of using the RPM's directly and built a system similar to apt for Fedora; that would be yum. I no longer see differences between updating systems in Fedora and Debian, but I find that Fedora is far more free of odd quirks, like those in defoma.

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Angel Blue01

Why is the distro base jumping so much -Ubuntu/scratch/etc?

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Simon

We are actually staying with Ubuntu. Don't know where you got that idea, Kreug... :p

We've got a solid place to start now, and plan to stick to it.

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Dark Phoenix
We are actually staying with Ubuntu.

Okay, then I'm going to fully suggest taking out defoma (the Debian Font Manager) in some way. I have yet to use a Debian-based system for longer than 6 months without defoma forgetting where the fonts are installed and causing X.org to crash until reconfigure is run on defoma...

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CrimsonRedMk

@DarkPhoenix: What would you put in its place?

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slythfox

Slackware is certainly one direction, but from my understanding, it's more involved. There are some Linux Live scripts for Slackware, SLAX being a good example. If someone were to be successful with getting the scripts and modified kernel to work, it would be perfect for Shift in my opinion.

What I personally like about KNOPPIX/Morphix is that the startup scripts display details such as processor, video card, and memory when booting. However both of them are basically dead. With Morphix, you can build from the ground up, which in most cases I prefer to do. If Morphix updated and cleaned it's script and build process, it'd be almost perfect.

The problem with Ubuntu is removing/cleaning software, and branding it, from my understanding. If these problems could be overcome, it'd be great. Honestly Shift 0.6 KDE isn't as great as I'd like it to be (Part of that may be because KDE4 isn't stable yet).

Some of my fellow peers over at overclock.net have constantly suggested using Arch Linux. They are also in favor of a 64bit system, so I assume Arch Linux is 64bit. But I haven't been able to find much adequate documentation for building Arch livecds.

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Dark Phoenix
@DarkPhoenix: What would you put in its place?

Seriously, other than Debian, no Linux distro I know of uses a general-purpose font manager. IIRC, the desktops have their own ways of handling fonts, and X can be pointed in the direction of the necessary fonts as well.

Actually (though I've always found this kind of odd), Fedora's xorg.conf contains next to nothing, because 9/10ths of the configuration is performed on the fly by X as it starts up! The only things in my xorg.conf are sections on my video card, a bit on screen sizes, the basic keyboard info... and that's it. Everything else; mice, full monitor data, video card graphic capabilities, extra options... It's all loaded on the fly...

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CrimsonRedMk

We definitely won't be changing our base again :p. I'll add in looking at Fedora's xorg.conf and seeing options for the font manager to our to-do list. Thanks :)

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