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 Post subject: introducing myself
PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2008 11:29 am 
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Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 10:54 am
Posts: 65
Hello everybody,

After a few years of GNU/Linux nomading I'm preparing myself to settle down and invite others to join (i.e. I would love to introduce some people to Linux or preferably GNU in the near future).
I've been using several distros, including BLAG since about a year, to name just a few there have been mainly Ubuntu for looking after itself ans Sourcemage for absolute control over your system (for both, both characteristics have a good and a bad side), besides Debian, Gentoo, Sabayon, gNewSense and so on.
What I hope to find in BLAG is a distro that really takes care of the /distribution/ of packages but does not get in my way when it comes to making decision about what I want to have and what should stay out.
Currently I've just set up BLAGHEAD on my notebook and am enjoying much support through IRC to get everything up and running.
In order to become part of the community and be able to help others or the project as I whole I'm interested in the way BLAG is taking.
The mission statement on the front page and on communitytechnologies is still being an "activist's distribution" and afair Jebba called dyne:bolic "the user activist distro" when announcing its latest release. Anyway I found a post (h t t p ://forums. blagblagblag. org/viewtopic.php?p=17333&sid=5f2f8083b53c5d43d4f2425c1622e79c#17333) where Jebba talks about "escaping from the activist and free software kick". So what is eventually the primary aim of this project? Become the most usable completely free distro? Just do a good job at distributing and keep out the user's way of making choices like avoiding bloatstuff in gnome like evolution, mono (btw I'd be glad if someone could explain what is the diabolic thing about mono) or is there some mission BLAG is willing to follow like providing tools for activism (in any way, including doing science)?

Have a nice day,
renilgh


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 Post subject: Re: introducing myself
PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2008 12:29 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2004 3:17 pm
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Location: Loveland, Colorado, USA
Welcome aboard. :)

renilgh wrote:
In order to become part of the community and be able to help others or the project as I whole I'm interested in the way BLAG is taking.
The mission statement on the front page and on communitytechnologies is still being an "activist's distribution" and afair Jebba called dyne:bolic "the user activist distro" when announcing its latest release. Anyway I found a post (h t t p ://forums. blagblagblag. org/viewtopic.php?p=17333&sid=5f2f8083b53c5d43d4f2425c1622e79c#17333) where Jebba talks about "escaping from the activist and free software kick".


Ah, there it looks like I was just brainstorming about new ideas--not leaving free software or activism, but looking at new angles and projects (e.g. science).

This probably best describes "where we've been":
https://wiki.blagblagblag.org/Roadmap

renilgh wrote:
So what is eventually the primary aim of this project?


The overall over-ambitious aim is summed up on the front of the website: "blag - le brixton linux action group: works to overthrow corporate control of information and technology through community action and spreading Free Software."

renilgh wrote:
Become the most usable completely free distro? Just do a good job at distributing and keep out the user's way of making choices like avoiding bloatstuff in gnome like evolution,


Well, to be honest the specifics of what BLAG the distro is going to be about may be a bit up in the air at the moment. So I'm interested in input from others about where people want to take things. With gnewsense in the picture providing a reasonably stable debian based distro there isn't really a point in us doing the exact same thing. Recently I have been quite enthused about BLAGHEAD and making BLAG super bleeding edge. So that way people wanting to run a completely free distro could choose gnewsense if they wanted some longer term stable install, or BLAGHEAD if they want to use the latest and greatest in the free software world.

renilgh wrote:
mono (btw I'd be glad if someone could explain what is the diabolic thing about mono) or is there some mission BLAG is willing to follow like providing tools for activism (in any way, including doing science)?


Mono is a gnulinux version of microsofts .NET (which i dont know much about at all). One of my concerns about it is that if it ever becomes firmly entrenched into the desktop, that microsoft will then turn around and try to screw everyone that is using it. Simply, I don't trust the source. Also, mono apps I've looked at have appeared pretty, but are bloated and unusable.

renilgh wrote:
is there some mission BLAG is willing to follow like providing tools for activism (in any way, including doing science)?


We'll happily provide any tools for activism, if you know anything in particular we should add.

Thanks,

-Jeff


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2008 2:47 pm 
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Posts: 699
Quote:
Mono is a gnulinux version of microsofts .NET (which i dont know much about at all). One of my concerns about it is that if it ever becomes firmly entrenched into the desktop, that microsoft will then turn around and try to screw everyone that is using it. Simply, I don't trust the source. Also, mono apps I've looked at have appeared pretty, but are bloated and unusable.


.NET is a move from running your own code to subscription based web apps. Window .NET apps are also buggy and unreliable, .NET is about trapping the user. GNU/Linux should work on new technologies that work to free users, programs and informations, not to just copy an non free software paradigm


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2008 5:12 pm 
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Was reading about mono last night, (was really looking for "git" to manage a repo) and I "hear" that MS do not allow contribution from the community. Get that confirmed but if it is the case then the project is just one way.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2008 6:03 pm 
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Posts: 65
So BLAG going BLAGHEAD and gNewSense as a stable alternative?

As I posted above I'm planning to set up a free OS on some friend's machines. Atm I'm not really sure which distro to choose.
If BLAG is evolving into extra-bleeding-edge BLAGHEAD there is no point in putting a newcomer in front of it (except it will be bleeding-edge and super-stable at the time but I don't think we should even consider trying to make this happen). Setting up gNewSense for someone who wants to get familiar with Linux does neither seem an ideal solution imo. I really don't consider it to be stable and at least it is just Ubuntu WITHOUT some (non-free) stuff. Of course you could count the freedom of having a completely free distro as an economic good but you could get all the free parts of gNewSense with Ubuntu too and maybe you will need to put some of the previously removed parts back into it in order to support certain hardwarre (nvidia graphic cards, wifi and so on). So why not just go with Ubuntu? It might be the most comfortable way for them. On the other hand I am currently running Ubuntu on my laptop (because it just was easiest to set up and get ready to use for duties) and I'm not absolutely happy with it.
It may sound strange but I'm kind of fascinated by some mono apps (using Muine, Gnome Do, Tomboy and so on) and the experience of one complete integrated desktop it produces especially thorugh beagle. On the other hand I sometimes really feel like sitting in front of a MS system, polling stuff but not building it up to meet my needs.

Bottomline is: I don't really see the point in using gNewSense instead of Ubuntu unless you are a straight orthodox person or a programming guru.
BLAG losing it's stable distribution set and going bleeding-edge is not for the unexperienced user. I'm okay with that for myself but it's not what I would like to be my friends' embossing experience with Linux.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2008 7:41 pm 
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By your same argument then, what's the point of using BLAG if you have Fedora? Fedora is probably more free than Ubuntu.

The point of gNewSense and BLAG is you can start with a free system and not install buggy non free software from the repos.

One reason BLAG has always been cool is that it's a very complete desktop on one CD. But is that paradigm implacable anymore with high speed connections?

These days a distro is as much as if not more than it's repo than it's CD. One idea for BLAG would turn it into an install disk for BLAGHEAD, from there you can pick from various user created package groups. Such you could install the 'BLAG desktop" of the classic BLAG Canyon on gnome + apps. Or perhaps someone else's XFCE desktop and apps.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2008 8:34 pm 
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Ah, i should make it clear, i do still plan on making "stable" releases. It does look like f8 is going to get skipped this time around, unless people prefer it to f9 for some reason (i'm leaning towards the latter).


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2008 10:08 pm 
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Personally I think F9 should work out after the first round or two of bug fixes come out.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2008 8:47 am 
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noldrin wrote:
By your same argument then, what's the point of using BLAG if you have Fedora? Fedora is probably more free than Ubuntu.


Well, I've never used Fedora. To be honest I never understood their claim to be completely free.

Quote:
One reason BLAG has always been cool is that it's a very complete desktop on one CD. But is that paradigm implacable anymore with high speed connections?

That has been my main point in using BLAG: I can for example use gnome but I don't need to have Evolution or whatsoever because of some dependencies in nautilus-tools. I can build the system myself and choose which software I would like to have and which not. I haven't experienced such freedom of choice except with source-based distros like Sourcemage (which has also been called Linux From Scratch with awesome control tools).
I haven't really looked on gNewSense's builder yet, maybe one could get the same out of it.
But as I already pointed out, I don't consider gNewSense to be really stable and I don't find their webpages etc. very welcoming.

Quote:
These days a distro is as much as if not more than it's repo than it's CD. One idea for BLAG would turn it into an install disk for BLAGHEAD, from there you can pick from various user created package groups. Such you could install the 'BLAG desktop" of the classic BLAG Canyon on gnome + apps. Or perhaps someone else's XFCE desktop and apps.

I like that idea. (:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2008 11:06 am 
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my two cents:

- Create a partition for stable BLAGs
- Create another partition for testing BLAGHEAD and alpha releases

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BLAG 'em up!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2008 11:31 am 
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john maclean wrote:
my two cents:

- Create a partition for stable BLAGs
- Create another partition for testing BLAGHEAD and alpha releases


Well and what would you do with these? Use the stable BLAG for working because you want to avoid crashes here and look into BLAGHEAD if you need a breath of future-air?
I think it could be more reasonable to stay in stable BLAG and just compile the packages in need of more recent releases. So you don't have to maintain a full installation with bleeding-edge packages.
Or use BLAGHEAD for everyday working purposes and run to stable BLAG when BLAGHEAD fails? Sounds reasonable but you need to make sure not to end up with the way described above.
Maybe it would be nice then to be able to administrate packages in the stable BLAG from BLAGHEAD. Just booting into stable BLAG in order to download some updates and installing the programs you are now using on BLAGHEAD (hopefully they do exist) might be something one would like to adjourn. (-;

I definitely depends on how stable/suitable for everyday work BLAGHEAD is and how up to date the stable BLAG is.
But all in all it seems like a good plan to me, I think I'm going to set it up like this.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2008 11:41 pm 
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Posts: 186
There is a concept that /ideas/ can/should not be copyrighted.

The term "Free Software" was not intended to mean it's yours - no charge. The IDEAS were meant to be shareable. The source code available - and if you were to wish, you could modify it.. make it your own - but make YOUR source code available too. Free, as not locked in a copyright prison.

The GNU [Gnu is Not Unix] project was the only "free" support structure when Linus wrote "Hello World", and started his creation of a "peoples" operating system. There is a LOT more to using a computer than the operating system, which, in general, just orders and executes what it is told to do. EVERYTHING else is "other", and supplied by GNU, and the Free Software Foundation folks.

And YES, coders who write and maintain "killer apps" SHOULD get paid. And their employers, too, deserve to be paid for their part. There are "free" apps, which parallel Microsoft's universe, in almost all ways.

I have bought and PAID for every M$ Windows user ver. from 3.0 up - because I needed to be able to work/play in my employer's environment. I still have an XP box 24/7 because of this. MY box is linux, MY OS is BLAG.

b-


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2008 10:28 pm 
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Posts: 29
Finally, I find the distro that suits me. Stable, easy to install and with the ethos of Free software and now you want to change that? I tried Gnewsense but its not as user-friendly as Blag and certainly no where near as stable. I believe its based on Ubuntu Hardy heron which seems to be causing issues with many users. I tried it on two of my PCs and couldn't even get it to load the livecd. (Ubuntu that is)

The Free software movement needs Blag as it is. I believe that since the debacle of Vista there will soon be many more Linux explorers who have been using distros such as Mandriva and Pclinuxos looking for a 100% Free solution. I came from Pclinuxos myself.

Most of these people will just want things to work but with the exceptance that running truly free software will have its issues. Making the distro 'bleeding edge' will just confound and confuse those who just want a reliable system... and eventually turn them off.

If you were to change anything, I'd change the name to something less localized and create a community where all political viewpoints are allowed free rein. I know theres no censorship here but there is a definite lean to the left :-) It put me off even trying this distro for some time and thats a shame. Some of my political views are left wing but I don't follow all the mantra by any means.

Regards,
Blarney


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2008 10:33 pm 
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Blarney wrote:
Most of these people will just want things to work but with the exceptance that running truly free software will have its issues. Making the distro 'bleeding edge' will just confound and confuse those who just want a reliable system... and eventually turn them off.


Just to be clear: the addition of bleeding edge BLAGHEAD does *not* mean there won't be a "stable" version too. In fact, the 90000 alphas seem pretty close to going to beta after a few more trial runs and hopefully a "stable" release RSN.

Blarney wrote:
If you were to change anything, I'd change the name to something less localized and create a community where all political viewpoints are allowed free rein. I know theres no censorship here but there is a definite lean to the left :-) It put me off even trying this distro for some time and thats a shame. Some of my political views are left wing but I don't follow all the mantra by any means.


Ya, the name does localize it to brixton obviously and it seems most of our user base speaks english. I've just recognized this, but have no plan for changing that at all (though open to suggestions as to how to go about it, of course).

I am not left wing though (i've been called far right too, fwiw). I'm an anarchist and there are quite a few others on this board as well. I dont think the political leanings of blag are going to change at all. ;)

-Jeff


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2008 10:53 pm 
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jebba wrote:
I am not left wing though (i've been called far right too, fwiw). I'm an anarchist and there are quite a few others on this board as well. I dont think the political leanings of blag are going to change at all. ;)
-Jeff


Out of interest, what form of Anarchism do you follow? I've always been intrigued by what you do or don't believe in. I currently think that the whole bunch of politicians in Westminster are useless and plan to put 'None of the above' on my next ballot paper. Does that make me an anarchist?

Regards,
Blarney


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