If a choice is possible in the wizard, which desktop environment(s) the Pyra OS should ship ?

Which desktop environment(s) the Pyra OS should ship ?


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    78

S

sulu

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By now you've said two times (#1 & #34), that the rootfs image will ship a desktop.
My point is, that it makes no sense to ship ANY desktop with the image, because the majority of people will chose a different one (mostly happens in multiple-choice scenarios), or will have no use for an outdated version of their preferred desktop.
Creating two separate polls revolving around the default desktop choice does not address this issue.

The "default desktop choice" is really just that: A decision which box in the wizard's UI should be checked by default. Debian's net installer doesn't ship the Gnome desktop, even if that box is checked in tasksel.
 

TrashyMG

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My point is, that it makes no sense to ship ANY desktop with the image, because the majority of people will chose a different one (mostly happens in multiple-choice scenarios), or will have no use for an outdated version of their preferred desktop.
Well I'll argue that a good portion of Pandora users and perhaps now the Pyra are Linux novices, they may not know the difference between the Desktop environments, nor understand how to install one later. Not having a Desktop Environment installed will be problematic for some users to get a network connection to install one. Thirdly It's easier to just install perhaps the two most popular ones in the default image and just have the power users remove them.

The stock image needs to be fairly inviting to people new to Linux, the first boot wizard can provide a way to slim down what is installed by default, also could give options to remove or install some of the non-free packages for those concerned about that.
 
S

sulu

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Well I'll argue that a good portion of Pandora users and perhaps now the Pyra are Linux novices, they may not know the difference between the Desktop environments, nor understand how to install one later.
You're totally right about that.
But having a wizard that does the "hard work" of installing a desktop for them doesn't necessarily mean, that it has to include the desktop in the rootfs image.

Not having a Desktop Environment installed will be problematic for some users to get a network connection to install one.
They'll have to input their wifi access data anyways. With connman you can easily do that even from cli. A wizard could even wrap this functionality in an even more comfortable way.

Thirdly It's easier to just install perhaps the two most popular ones in the default image and just have the power users remove them.
Have you ever tried to do that? I have and I tell you it's not as easy as you make it sound.
If you install package A, it will usually depend on package B. So you get two packages installed. If in addition you also have package C on your system which recommends package B for some functionality you don't need, then by removing package A, autoremove will not remove package B for you, because C's recommendation of B will still give B an installation reason. You'll have to remember for yourself that you can remove B safely and you'll have to do it manually.
This of course is just a very simple example. In reality you'll have multiple levels of interdependencies between dozens of packages.
Streamlining a bloated Debian installation is a very tedious task if you want to do it right.

The stock image needs to be fairly inviting to people new to Linux,
And they shall get that. But this full-blown image should not be the only option to get a Debian system on the Pyra.
The basic image I want is just an intermediate step of creating the final image. So why not release that intermediate image too?

And a net installer is a very bad idea, especially when you have to reflash your unit and have no internet.
The user will have to download the packages installed by the wizard anyway, no matter if they are wrapped in the rootfs or provided separately. So if you have no or a slow internet connection you're screwed anyway.
 

Linux-SWAT

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Ok I get it :
We are referring to a Zaxxon-like wizard, not a net installer.
 

TrashyMG

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They'll have to input their wifi access data anyways. With connman you can easily do that even from cli. A wizard could even wrap this functionality in an even more comfortable way.
You are assuming everyone has a stable internet connection, some here on the boards stated to not even have an internet connection at home.

Have you ever tried to do that? I have and I tell you it's not as easy as you make it sound.
aTc's current image already has both XFCE4 and Mate installed. Yeah it's a problem with Debian, at least with SuperZaxxon the small 512MB of NAND space forced it to be limited to what people could install and kept things light. I guarantee some users will make a mess out of the OS image and then wonder why something won't work anymore.

And they shall get that. But this full-blown image should not be the only option to get a Debian system on the Pyra.
The basic image I want is just an intermediate step of creating the final image. So why not release that intermediate image too?
Nothing is stopping that as an alternative download, but I am talking about what is shipped out of the box.
 
S

sulu

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Ok I get it :
We are referring to a Zaxxon-like wizard, not a net installer.
Sorry, I don't get it. I have no Pandora, so I don't know what a "Zaxxon-like wizard" would be about.
I'm talking from the POV of someone who wants to set up a basic Debian system on a Pyra.


You are assuming everyone has a stable internet connection, some here on the boards stated to not even have an internet connection at home.
Well, I have to assume that. Otherwise they won't get that rootfs in the first place. And if they don't have a stable connection then it will be much more likely to successfully download a small image that only contains a base system than to download one that includes a full-blown desktop.
Once the preorder phase is over, the system that ships with "new" Pyras will likely be months old after sitting in ED's storage for some time. In that state it's barely qualified to ensure its own update in a secure way, without risking MITM attacks.
 

TrashyMG

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Well, I have to assume that. Otherwise they won't get that rootfs in the first place. And if they don't have a stable connection then it will be much more likely to successfully download a small image that only contains a base system than to download one that includes a full-blown desktop.
The Pyra will ship with an OS image on the eMMC just like the Pandora. It's not going to be shipped OS-less like a RPi.

In that state it's barely qualified to ensure its own update in a secure way, without risking MITM attacks.
Seriously, I can't see that ever happening.
 

Yoyobuae

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Personally I think XFCE should be default purely because it was on the Pandora and the majority of Pyra customers probably had one. Everything can be in the same places.
Maximize/Unmaximize = Alt+Space, X

Pyra will have modifier keys in shoulder buttons, so those shortcuts will be easy to access.

Actually you can make it even more space efficient. On 16:9 screens I feel that horizontal space is wasted while vertical space is at a premium. So I put two panels on the sides. One is for a start menu, some quickstarters, a clock and some other widgets. The other one houses a task bar. It feels a little strange at first to have a vertical task bar with rotated text, but I got used to it quite quickly.
This way you can use the entire height of the screen for your windows.
For me horizontal space is more important. That extra column makes the difference between a long line wrapping or not when running a vertical split in terminal.

Once the preorder phase is over, the system that ships with "new" Pyras will likely be months old after sitting in ED's storage for some time. In that state it's barely qualified to ensure its own update in a secure way, without risking MITM attacks.
Hopefully Pyras won't be sitting for months before selling, don't think that would be good for ED's business.

Anyway, there probably will be a full flash from SD card option. Pyra only needs to boot from the SD card, so less room for an attack to happen. Of course, you'll need to ensure the integrity of the flash image by some other means (in whatever system you consider secure).
 

___

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I would absolutely love i3wm as an option, but I am going to install it via apt-get anyway and I could understand why a tiling manager might not be an optimal choice as a default. But then again, having the option to choose one by default might introduce some new people to the wonderful world of tiling wms and efficient keyboard use.
 

levi

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I would lean towards xfce as it provides a resemblance to windows (aka the holy "Startmenu") thus common ground for people coming from the Windows world.
FWIW, I don't have a XFCE menu on my own XFCE builds. I just have launcher buttons for my web browser and my email client, and my chat client auto starts. For launching things I either use the terminal or a Directory Menu plugin (although since I installed that I upgraded the xfce4 and now use a drop down terminal for almost everything).

On my Pandora, since everything on my SD card turns up as a .desktop file, it's more convenient to use the XFCE menu to render those as a nested menu. I could pnd_run the pnd files directly, or discover a way to launch .desktop files, but despite my games/arcade folder being rather oversubscribed (and the split between arcade and action being rather muddied), it's slightly easier to find things in that menu that in a list of all my menu pnds, or all my .desktop files, at least on a system without a direct tab button for tab completion.
 

Linux-SWAT

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Sorry, I don't get it. I have no Pandora, so I don't know what a "Zaxxon-like wizard" would be about.
Zaxxon is the Pandora OS, all needed is in the rootfs, and the wizard is a script that let you choose from different options (e.g. the DE) during the first boot. Not internet is needed.
 

lukey

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Why don't include just the .debs for the DE's (along with the dependencies) in an small custom repo on the rootfs (like its done with Debian CD install), which is deactivated by the wizard after installing the chosen DE(s)? (its easy to remove this way) Maybe the Wizard can also ask if we are allowed to download Stuff from the (previously configured) WiFi/Modem and then letting the User install all possible DE's? Also +1 for having an Small and Big (and maybe an Advanced) rootfs/reflash image.
 

comradekingu

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So while perfectly reasonable and technical alternatives exist, i think limiting initial choice to a few friendly options is a good route.

Initial complexion for novice users is kept low, and novice usecase is covered, whereas experienced users can, and will have the knowledge to, pick something else.

Edit: You could even argue this to shipping a default, and then omitting it from the installer, but rather make it a menu-option for later use.

Experienced users can get the minimal image, everyone else gets, say Xfce.
 

FBnil

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Debian packages are already compressed, so it makes no sense to compress them again.
That's exactly what I told the 3DES (triple-des) people! I even demonstrated them that single and triple ROT13 result in the same amount of encryption. But no one listens!
Well... to be honest, they told me there were too many singles in the world...

(for the obtuse: this is a joke, I do not want to get an argument started that derails into a keyboard/layout thread)
 
Last edited:

rSl

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i think atc's current selection of xfce and mate is a nice one.
maybe xfce pre-ticked as default and mate as an alternative.

for the powerusers a slim-image would be great without any de preinstalled, so we can grow it like we want.
i think i have seen such thing on hns's server allready, so for me all is good. :)
 

PCXT

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Hello
I'm thinking about purchasing Pyra, but definitely not for games - as PDA with capability of fast typing.
Well, I'm a TDE user. I use it in my 12" subnotebook, and when it is plugged in dock to 2x2048x1536 displays, as well as on older computers like Pentium III. With proper tuning, I can go down to 100-120MB of RAM utilization with fully functional TDE. But I think TDE is not the best solution for so small display. It operates on lots of separate windows with own controls. This way, it may be impossible to work on small screens with high resolutions using all software - some settings may be OK for TDE applications while for other things will be too small or too large. Main working mechanics in TDE is having many windows opened on one screen. With larger project I sometimes have 20. All visible. This is not a method of operation on a PDA-like screen.
I think the good choice between clear controls, good programs co-operation and not being bloatware is MATE, maybe with some small panel-related tuning to make as much screen accessible to program windows as possible. MATE also offers a nice programs interoperability. We can be sure that e.g. dragging and dropping between MATE programs works and does not produce e.g. archive contents listing instead of files.
I successfully used MATE in a computer with small, 7-inch LCD for controlling image acquisition/processing device. It was not a problem to use MATE on small screen.

I don't have good experience with XFCE. I always found it slow on low-end hardware and its memory consumption was not smaller than other "low-resource" DEs. It always offered smaller configurability which needed to drive the system using hand-launched shell scripts. And while viewing its applications I have the same feeling like viewing GEM's Accessories in 1980s :).

for the powerusers a slim-image would be great without any de preinstalled, so we can grow it like we want.
I always use this method to install Debian on a PC. As a result, system is small and contains the things I need without unnecessary bloat.
 
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bzar

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Can't really vote, since my answer would be "any one, as long as it's just one". The preinstalled stuff should be a sensible default, not a buffet you need to clear once you've picked what you want. It should provide novice users with SOME environment to work with. It should come with basic utilities like a web and a file browser, but not too much more than that.
 
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