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A Reactos Distro - Working software collection

Posted: Thu Jul 24, 2008 8:29 pm
by dr_asfak
Hi all,
I have been long using (trying) reactos since 0.2.7. And i am regularly reading almost all forum post in General Discussion section. I know the developer's attitude toward this 'Distro' matter and even know the reason why. Let's keep them away from the matter and restart thinking about making a reactos distro. The question remains. WHY, WHO, HOW and WHEN ?

1) WHY ? Why do we need a distro ? Most of the reactos users are above average users who like testing different OSes and definitely spoiled by Linux distros. They want complete package to do routine job. But that's not the goal of reactos. There are lacs of software for everything in Windows and we just need compatibility. But that stage seem to be very far away. Maybe after 0.5. So we need "almost working" GPLed software packed with the minimalist release. It helps marketing the product to get users and more developers.

2). WHO ? Not the present developer, as they have there own priorities. There is much left to be developed and they cannot be dragged here. ( Linus and his team are no distro maintainers) A team must be made from users interested.

3)HOW ? A sub-domain like distro.reactos.org be created for the sole purpose. Size of distr decided (e.g. 650 MB), GPLed software for windows to be collected. Check for compatibility within 15-30 days of stable release. Highly compatible software to be sorted out. A voting procedure to select software from those. And lastly a mechanism to install them automatically (or manually) be prepared.

4) WHEN ? If there are few takers of this idea, when should we start ? Are we in that state now to create atleast acceptable distro ? or wait for few more releases so that most favorite applications like firefox, openoffice, kde, (whatever working version) etc works fine.

Everytime, the matter comes up, the developer comes up with big NO. Developers, i agree with your concern but if there are few takers and doesn't distract your attention, please help to atleast initiate the thing. No matter if it fails in the end.

Asfak

Re: A Reactos Distro

Posted: Thu Jul 24, 2008 10:35 pm
by hto
Why to wait until someone "initiates the thing"? Begin to make it yourself.

Re: A Reactos Distro

Posted: Fri Jul 25, 2008 1:05 am
by cppm
hto wrote:Why to wait until someone "initiates the thing"? Begin to make it yourself.
And to start doing that you need support, even if you lack technical ability, which is what he's doing...

Anyway dr_asfak, if there's a way in which a ReactOS distribution could be made that would provide the essentials (web browser, email, word processing) in a secure manner, and could be installed relatively easily, I would love to see it. Note linux had a distro before it was release ready (if i'm not mistaken)

Not least because usability of ReactOS is never really going to get the attention it deserves until people actually start to use it.

However I doubt that 'secure' is really a reality for ReactOS yet.

I guess the question is; do people think it's worth it? and thus; will enough people be bothered? I'm not convinced enough people will be...

Re: A Reactos Distro

Posted: Fri Jul 25, 2008 5:57 am
by GreyGhost
IMO there's no real point in a ReactOS distro..
Linux gave birth to distros only cos linux itself is simply the kernel and essential parts .. it doesnt come with a GUI of its own .. (think bout the no. of GUIs they now have.. KDE .. GNOME to name a few..) then they ship other libraries and drivers which don't come with the kernel .. and lastly a **few** accessory applications and theres not much choice for apps either.. So the main point of distros (IMO) is to get the basic usable system up.. not necessarily the apps ..

Whereas when it comes to ROS .. we already ship our GUI .. we have/will have most default libraries which come with Windows and the drivers are provided by the hw manufacturers .. and then we have Download! which will take of the other apps ..whats the point of shiping GIMP if the user has paid for Photoshop and wants to use it? .. So ROS by default comes/will come in an usable state..

At least that's my opinion on the matter..

Re: A Reactos Distro

Posted: Fri Jul 25, 2008 11:08 am
by Ged
The reason Linux will never succeed on the desktop is because of distros.

The only Unix base which has a chance of succeeding is MacOS. Why? Because it's a single, solid unit. Choices have already been made for you and people don't have to worry about a million different variations, none of which are entierly compatible with each other.

Re: A Reactos Distro

Posted: Fri Jul 25, 2008 11:36 am
by dr_asfak
I agree that we won't need a distro when we reach a stable state, maybe 3-4 years from now. But the situation right now is different. I am installing Reactos 0.3.5 on real hardware. Installing Firefox 3.0 -failed (for example only). Next firefox 2.0.0.14. working but menu unreadable. Now from old CDs i got firefox 1.5 and installing and running fine. This is what i got from trial and error (again for e.g. only). This must be tried for all such softwares like Oo, thunderbird etc.

Now we have got a large group who has tested all version of famous, and needed software. This happens within one month time of stable release. We can group them in one cd or iso so that they no more need to search and download older working version. This will save them from installing non-working software and getting discouraged from Reactos. I know of package manager but for many getting internet working is not easy job, esp for dial up users like me in India. I am searching for good but free hosting place to start this distro job but it would be fair to have working under Reacots.org

I have changed title of topic for clarity that i am not talking of Linux like distro.

Asfak

Re: A Reactos Distro - Working software collection

Posted: Fri Jul 25, 2008 1:14 pm
by Haos
I think dr_asfak that you are getting the things a bit wrong. Its not like we disallow distros out of ROS. In fact, we cant, even if we`d want to.
The license is clear in this matter.

Our official opinion is that distroing ROS is a waste of resources. Thus, we as ROS team, wont make any distro. We also try to discourage this, having the knowlegde on ROS development difficulties, that will be surely passed onto distro.

On the other hand your resources are free to be used as you wish. We will gladly help out in terms of knowledge and experience. If a project is well made and well thought of, i suppose that you could negotiate with Fireball on using our infrastructure. Yet, you need a good idea, project written up, and people that are going to do this.

Re: A Reactos Distro - Working software collection

Posted: Fri Jul 25, 2008 1:44 pm
by hto
Asfak wrote: I am searching for good but free hosting place to start this distro job but it would be fair to have working under Reacots.org
Maybe you can use Fireball's FireForge.net site for hosting...

Re: A Reactos Distro - Working software collection

Posted: Mon Jul 28, 2008 2:55 am
by RaptorEmperor
About the closest the thing I can see to distros occurring with ReactOS is people distributing ReactOS with the GUIs altered to be like Vista, XP, or maybe even Mac OS or GNOME. Windows is pretty much standardized, and making too many changes to Windows (like the differences between Debian and Redhat Linux, for instance) would break compatibility, the whole motivation behind ReactOS. Windows isn't as modular as Linux or other operating systems, so it would probably be harder than making a Linux distro.

It is true, though, that you could make a distro with ReactOS. The GPL pretty much assures you as much, since the code is freely distributable. The only issue is getting enough developers to work on a distro of ReactOS when ReactOS itself isn't even solid yet.

I'm not against distros personally, if the diversity in opinion helps build the common core of ReactOS and its derivatives. What scares me about distros is when you have 500 different versions of an OS (i.e. Linux), and they become so incompatible with one another the average user wouldn't know they share the same kernel.

Re: A Reactos Distro

Posted: Mon Jul 28, 2008 6:25 pm
by fred02
I would voice a support (only verbal for now :roll: ) to the Asfak's initiative.
IMHO the biggest setback for this right now is ROS's limited hardware support. You can't impress people by an OS running in an emulator. What you want is a LiveCD to put on any PC, boot and "voilĂ " 8) a minimalistic but working windows clone (and current image size of ~90MB would even allow miniCDs).
May be a start would be to create a page of working programs somewhere on the site similar to the Wine's one. It can also be usefull to developers to see if the new changes break anything.

An other thing, as Asfak noted in a follow-up post, "distribution" would not be a right term. A "soft package" or a "softset" (which is BTW how many Linux distributions can be called :) ) would be more appropriate.
And also, I strongly disagree with this type of distributions
GreyGhost wrote:we have/will have most default libraries which come with Windows and the drivers are provided by the hw manufacturers ..
At least that's my opinion on the matter..
because I don't need the latest ForceWare/Catalist/.NET framework/(even more bloated things) on my 6 years old laptop with an S3 video card.
But, just as GreyGhost, this is my opinion and will not suit everybody. So I am all for having a choice about what I install, or at least be able to deselect features that I don't want to install, be it core Os, ot software bundled with it.

Re: A Reactos Distro

Posted: Mon Jul 28, 2008 6:58 pm
by GoBusto
fred02 wrote:May be a start would be to create a page of working programs somewhere on the site similar to the Wine's one. It can also be usefull to developers to see if the new changes break anything.
Some sort of compatability database...?

fred02, you madman, that'd never catch on.

Re: A Reactos Distro

Posted: Mon Jul 28, 2008 7:43 pm
by Black_Fox
fred02 wrote:May be a start would be to create a page of working programs somewhere on the site similar to the Wine's one. It can also be usefull to developers to see if the new changes break anything.
This should be enough: http://www.reactos.org/support/

Re: A Reactos Distro

Posted: Mon Jul 28, 2008 8:03 pm
by GreyGhost
fred02 wrote: And also, I strongly disagree with this type of distributions
GreyGhost wrote:we have/will have most default libraries which come with Windows and the drivers are provided by the hw manufacturers ..
At least that's my opinion on the matter..
because I don't need the latest ForceWare/Catalist/.NET framework/(even more bloated things) on my 6 years old laptop with an S3 video card.
But, just as GreyGhost, this is my opinion and will not suit everybody. So I am all for having a choice about what I install, or at least be able to deselect features that I don't want to install, be it core Os, ot software bundled with it.
by" .. and the drivers are provided by the hw manufacturers .. " i mean .. its the users job to pop in his CD/download and install .. ROS won''t ship them ..

Re: A Reactos Distro - Working software collection

Posted: Tue Jul 29, 2008 11:41 am
by dr_asfak
We have got this page http://www.reactos.org/wiki/index.php/P ... nager_Tree but the problem here is, we do not know which version of the software works best in which release. My suggestion (till anyone or myself prepares a dedicated website for that purpose) is to table the content as here :

Software - licence - Works/Fails ? - Best working version known for 0.3.5 - Best working version known for 0.3.6

This can be modified as generally agreed. And this would also help developers to check regressions.
Asfak

Re: A Reactos Distro - Working software collection

Posted: Wed Jul 30, 2008 3:45 pm
by meridian.blue
Cheers to all...=!
The reason Linux will never succeed on the desktop is because of distros.
- @Ged
I could be wrong... but my "belief" is the "Ubuntu" distro (and derivatives) and other "popular" distros at least seem to be challenging this notion (even on hardware platforms... eg. http://eeepc.asus.com/global/ and http://www.laptop.org/)...=!
IMO there's no real point in a ReactOS distro..
- @GreyGhost
My "belief" is a ROS distro could be of value to those who prefer disto's... In particular, users looking for a bundle of popular open source, cross platform, premium software on a open source platforn w/ shell options... This "appears" to me to be the driving force behind the distro boom (to a notable degree live modular CD's) in addition to bulletproof security... From my "point of view", this is the polar opposite of the goal of the MacK O$ $y$tem and Winblow$ (the two key players) of the "wIntel" oligarchy...=!