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

Discussion in 'Pyra OS (Debian GNU/Linux)' started by Linux-SWAT, Sep 12, 2016.

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

  1. Enlightenment

    10.3%
  2. GNOME2/MATE

    29.5%
  3. GNOME3

    3.8%
  4. KDE/Plasma

    17.9%
  5. LXDE

    24.4%
  6. MiniMenu

    38.5%
  7. TDE

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  8. Unity

    1.3%
  9. Xfce

    83.3%
  10. EvilWM

    1.3%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. bzar

    bzar A Commando

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    Any ones, as long as it's just the ones.
     
  2. Caine

    Caine Hardcore Member

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    Lynx and bash.
     
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  3. comradekingu

    comradekingu Glowing ember

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    I think there should be a full suite, not in the least because people buying game-consoles, audio players and camera-equipment will find that type of software not only valuable, but helpful to those ends.

    Even a regular laptop will not have much usefulness on it, where I would see the point, but insofar as loading it with stock software, it doesn't have to suck TM.
    A good selection of tools will help establish the pyra as an easier-to-use laptop, or even a phone.

    Between a truly novice user learning about the system, and an experienced user required to do something within their already vast knowledge, I would say its better to widen the userbase by providing out-of-box pleasantness. The most knowledgable users are already sold on the idea and know what it is, to anyone else, turn-on-and-run is the easiest way of communicating those concepts in a way that carries over.

    For the desktop environment that is Xfce right now, it seems to have established current and functional paradigms of what a desktop is. It is also easy enough to adjust to something handheld.
    Plasma, while technically neat, is rough around the edges, but might work in the future.

    Its an easy pick if the numbers don't magically change, over twice that of any other fully featured desktop.
     
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  4. Silent-Hunter

    Silent-Hunter Hardcore Member

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    I think XFCE with Chromium and the MATE image and document viewers seems like a good choice.
     
  5. PCXT

    PCXT Very Active Member

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    Many people here are thinking that there should be, by default, one environment. The "wizard" itself may not be so good with limited-memory portable system (at least when no memory expansions are installed).
    What I know from working with Linux PCs, the idea to store more than one complete DE in system partition by default is not good for a normal user. If someone wants, why not install two, but for ordinary user one DE is usually enough. OK, not counting CDE here, it constantly needs programs from other environments to offer modern desktop's functions, but CDE is older and good for bigger screens.
    So if there is one DE in Pyra's memory, other ones would have to be installed by hand, and de-installing any not used DE to save space is risky as some useful packages may go out. The choice itself is good, but I'm not sure should it be in Pyra.

    How difficult it would be to offer not a wizard, but some default system with one DE, and other DEs in form of easily dd'able images?
    I don't know how Pyra's bootloader looks like and how it boots different devices if they are present, but from functional perspective making a SD card which will flash a system with another environment will be simpler for a normal user than using special "raw" image for power users (who will apt-get what they want) and will occupy less space on the portable.
    So for example, the user has Pyra with default XFCE, and wants MATE. So he downloads image of a system with MATE and prepares SD card with it, Pyra boots from the card, launches shell script, question "do you have a backup?", "Are You really sure?", and it substitutes the system by another one configured with e.g. MATE, with no remains of XFCE. Next boot from eMMC goes with new MATE system.
     
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  6. ible

    ible professional vim user

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    i think you guys are overestimating how difficult it is to switch DEs... and how much space they take up...

    but perhaps i'm overestimating how difficult it is to maintain two images...
     
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  7. EvilDragon

    EvilDragon Administrator Staff Member

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    With 32GB space we coukd preinstall every DE there is in Debian...
     
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  8. Neelix

    Neelix Insecticidal Maniac

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    I think there should be one DE that ships by default. (two if you include a mini-menu style alternate interface like with the Pandora and count that as a DE)
    Alternative rootfs images with different DEs (or no DE) could be made available for download so more advanced users can reflash the unit with their preferred flavour, but there definitely needs to be a newbie-friendly default.

    -Neelix
     
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  9. Linux-SWAT

    Linux-SWAT Hardcore Member

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    Yes, but it means bigger rootfs archive, longer time to dl, longer time to reflash, more wear, and still waste of space.
     
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  10. Yoyobuae

    Yoyobuae Very Active Member

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    I wonder, would it be feasible for an "advanced user" to make their own rootfs? Is it a somewhat automated process or does it require lots of manual intervention?

    If it's not too much work then either users could make rootfs images for their own use, and even maybe share with community.
     
  11. TrashyMG

    TrashyMG Sarcasm Dispenser Staff Member

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    If I can do it, anyone can.
     
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  12. thatgui

    thatgui Advanced Member

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    Who should maintain them ?

    Guess again: I am a happy Linux noob for more then 5 years now (using Linux daily as my main OS), I would have no clue where to start
     
  13. EvilDragon

    EvilDragon Administrator Staff Member

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    Maintaining them would be no problem, unless you want to provide a Pyra-specific setup for each of the DE.
    The build server can spit out different rootfs based on packages, so creating single rootfs with XFCE, Mate, LXDE, etc. wouldn't be that big deal.

    If users want to provide a Pyra-specific setup for a specific DE, that could be included as well, otherwise it would just be the standard plain version of the DE, same as if you install it on your desktop PC.
     
  14. Neelix

    Neelix Insecticidal Maniac

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    huh? Do you mean DE specific? Surely the Pyra specific stuff could be included in each automatically just by including the same Pyra specific packages?

    *is confused*

    -Neelix
     
  15. thatgui

    thatgui Advanced Member

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    Is it really that easy - looking at different distributions, maintaining DE variations looks like to consume some (wo)manpower ?
     
  16. Letalis Sonus

    Letalis Sonus Advanced Member

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    The screen should have the ideal size (both physically and in pixels) to make the default configuration of most DEs quite usable. It really shouldn't be much trouble, it's standard Debian after all - they are already being maintained by others. Other distributions often don't settle with the default, they don't only come up with an own look, they also make use of alternative components and even develop new parts or whole chunks of their own, like Xubuntu's whisker menu or Mint's Cinnamon and Ubuntu's Unity. We don't really need that (I do like the whisker menu, though).

    The biggest issue with having multiple DEs is that pretty much every larger DE has its own software collection, your menu will look crowded as hell if you install them at the same time - separate rootfs images would be the most sensible solution.
     
  17. Linux-SWAT

    Linux-SWAT Hardcore Member

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    ^thatgui
    All can be scripted, and built automatically.
    For Debian, the dependencies are automatically resolved, so you can include this and that along the base system.
    For Slackware, no dependencies, but you can make an include list or an exclude list. As I ship a full image I only do an exclude list.
    Not a big deal if when done, a computer does the job ^^.
     
  18. EvilDragon

    EvilDragon Administrator Staff Member

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    I meant specific stuff for each DE like an optimized taskbar size, icon size, etc.
    NOT the Pyra specific stuff that doesn't have anything to do with the DE.

    Like the default setup we made for XFCE4 for the Pandora (plain XFCE4 looks a bit different).

    It's nothing major, everyone can change the DE settings as he likes them, but having optimized ones makes things more convenient.
     
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  19. comradekingu

    comradekingu Glowing ember

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    Pantheon desktop environment, as used by elementaryos looks really great, and it is usable for everyone.

    The least scary desktop.
     
  20. Grench

    Grench Forum Addict!

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    True, but having more than one default can make support more difficult.

    New-to-Linux user asks, "How do I do XYZ?"
    Community has to respond, "Which DE?"
    New-to-Linux user, "What's a DE?"

    Short end all of those exchanges. Put in one easy to use DE as a default. Advanced users can install whatever they want. But - keep support simple by including a single, relatively simple to use and configure, default DE. That way the community can quickly and simply answer the question of, "How do I do XYZ?" in reference to a "stock" DE with, "Click on this, then this, then that."

    DEs all do the same thing. It is the click path from start to success that differs. Keep it simple by default. The advanced users can do/install whatever suits them. The rest of the users will use the default - and expect hand holding for that default. The community can supply a lot of those answers here in the forums - if you keep it simple for them/us.

    One default DE, one set of default applications (FireFox or Chrome, a package manager, Libre Office, Gimp, Audacious, etc...) or your prefered mix of apps or the mix that comes with the default DE is good. If they can get into the package manager and download whatever else they want or alternatives to the defaults, then they have graduated to Linux level 2 user.

    My preference for ease of new users is XFCE. It does what it needs to and doesn't complicate matters.
     
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