VectorLinux

The Vectorian Lounge => The Lounge => Topic started by: metvas on April 24, 2007, 09:51:09 am

Title: VL pre-installed
Post by: metvas on April 24, 2007, 09:51:09 am
Hello all a time for reflection.
We have been on the scene since 1989  we have accomplished what seemed in 1989 as impossible. Why?  A community formed around what they saw as a worthy cause. That would be you if you are wondering !
We have been approached by MadTux to partner in a project. In a nutshell MadTux will be offering very reasonably priced PC’c from their site with VL pre-installed. (VL or SoHo) http://store.madtux.org/index.php?cPath=57
 All warranties and repairs are their responsibility. They will also be offering pre-paid support for those machines. This has some issues attached to it. We will be offering pre-paid support for all products that are NOT purchased from our online store or a box from MadTux with pre-paid support.
An example would be a customer dwnlds our base system or buys a CD from another online source for $0.99 and then comes to us for support. That customer would be paying a nominal fee for support. All other purchases would have support via psswd and usr name log in to the support form.
Why do this? We have to at some point generate enough income for our own servers and expand VL by expand I mean advertise and promote that all costs $. Lots of them.
A few things we will need is dedicated support persons who will be paid via the pre-paid support won’t be much to start but neither will the work be much to start.
We will need the PHP code ( I do not have this neither does Robert), for log in to the support form via usr name and psswd and I can administrate the psswds form here. Fees for pre-pid support will be in the area of $9.99 month or $24.99 for 3 months.
Comments, suggestions……..or? BTW the box from MadTux will be named iGreen Machine for our legendary support of legacy hardware Our Logo will be centerd on top of the name. All this is planned to roll out first part of May hopefully to scheduel with SoHo v5.8 release.
Why do you think VL is such a popular distro?  (Voting closes: May 05, 2007, 12:54:34 PM)
Friendly & helpful community      20 (52.6%)
Easy to customize      2 (5.3%)
Large repositories      0 (0%)
Works well "out-of-the-box"      16 (42.1%)
   
Total Voters: 24

Regards to All
Darrell
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: GrannyGeek on April 25, 2007, 08:54:26 pm
We have been on the scene since 1989  we have accomplished what seemed in 1989 as impossible.

I'm confused. You say "we" have been on the scene since 1989. How can this be, given that Linus Torvalds announced in 1991 that he was working on the system that became Linux and that Slackware came out in 1993?

So whatever was on the scene in 1989 could not have been VectorLINUX, because Linux didn't exist in 1989.
--GrannyGeek
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: Triarius Fidelis on April 25, 2007, 09:32:02 pm
There might be some other seminal event in FLOSS history he has in mind.  ???
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: vector on April 25, 2007, 09:45:44 pm
I think it was a typo meant 1999 which is about right............... ;D
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: GrannyGeek on April 25, 2007, 10:17:39 pm
1999 would make more sense.
--GrannyGeek
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: metvas on April 25, 2007, 10:45:51 pm
very sorry a typo on my part 1999 is correct.
Regards
Darrell
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: metvas on April 25, 2007, 11:01:57 pm
BTW a few mediums for our on line store orders will be:

1. VL offered on a 1 gig pen drive that will auto boot the same way a CD-R now does.

2. DVD Iso images as opposed to the current CD - R this will get us back to one disk disro for machines that will support it. The current CD-R is still offered.
These will be available to those customers having the boxes that will support them. For SoHo v5.8 and VL v5.8
Regards
Darrell
Title: Re: VL pre-installed second go around
Post by: metvas on April 28, 2007, 12:37:19 pm
Hello All:

OK let’s have a second go at this pre-install issue, as I personally feel I may have confused some folks.
Here is the idea…
So, if you are a regular tech support person on our forum, no more will be required of you than you now provide. However you would get paid a modest sum for your efforts. As there were no takers this surprised me.
Madtux is offering machines with VL and other distro’s pre-installed; there is no room for VL in this offer due to competitive market forces. So our income from this offer will be in the form of pre-paid tech support.
Mad Tux is offering and getting responses for this service, I asked them to hold of on any further advertising for VL tech support until we had a chance to offer the benefits to our own people. They agreed. If we do not want this or are unable to offer this service, then I will give them the OK to continue with their own pre-paid tech support. If we do not catch this opportunity they will. I feel this a fair and ethical way to generate a revenue flow for VL expansion. This will be the first step in putting VL on the Linux scene in a larger way than we now exist. The thought of shipping machines with VL pre-installed, or VL on a pen drive floors me when I reflect on my conversations with Robert in his living room in 1998 about starting VL, (got it right this time LOL).  I can still see that picture in my mind now as clear as if it were today. Who knows were we will be a few years from now? Please remember this is a business venture and as such carries no guarantees for success. That success or failure is up to us.
Once again I will ask for you to reflect on this issue and provide your suggestions and or comments. It is your community.
Thanks for taking the time to think this over and provide your input.
Regards
Darrell

Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: The Headacher on April 28, 2007, 02:48:04 pm
Quote
Once again I will ask for you to reflect on this issue and provide your suggestions and or comments. It is your community.
Alright here it comes:

There's a certain level of knowledge most of the people with over 100 posts (the vectorites) have about for instance installing VL, using slapt-get / gslapt, system administration. It gets very different when the problems get more specific. For instance, I couldn't help somebody setup his/her (wireless) network or connect to wifi with WEP/WPA. I don't know squat about the insides of vl-hot, it just works for me. Installing printers, Ati drivers, the list of things I don't know how to do goes on and on.
However there are certain things I do know, stuff about audio and specific problems I've encountered myself.

I'm pretty sure none of us know everything, and we don't need to. As a community, we're able to help each other with helping others. I have some knowledge others might not have, and others have good understanding of stuff that's like magic to me. Together we're pretty able to help a lot of the users.

I for one can't justify people paying for my "tech support". I guess, I don't answer posts I don't feel like answering and my understanding of Linux is mediocre at best. But it's alright here, there's no pressure. And if I screw up, there's a big chance somebody else will suggest something that does work.

I'm not sure why others haven't taken the offer, but I can tell you some of my reasons:

- If I payed for techsupport I'd be pretty pissed-off to find out you can get better help at a free forum.
- I do my best here at the forum, there's no way I could help better somewhere else.
- It seems unfair to ask money for help I give here for free.
- I don't want to be responsible for tech support. If I have a busy week or just a bad day nobody will miss me here.
- I honestly don't see how some prepaid tech support could help better than what we try to do here.

I'm sorry, this is probably not what you want to hear. It's the best I can do.
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: rbistolfi on April 28, 2007, 03:09:18 pm
Quote
If I have a busy week or just a bad day nobody will miss me here.

That is no true.  :-*

EDIT: Sorry for the joke, i cant resist them  ;). Seriously, This forum is really good. I think there is no better support that the given by people who is interested in help and likes what he is doing. If you spend a short time here, you will find is better than any payed support. That said, if I know about this forum before I buy a computer with VL (I think this will be the case almost ever, who could request a pc with VL without visiting the site and eventually this forum?) then I just cant see the reason for a payed support.
In other hand, this could be a way for improve the distro development. May be the development team could find a good use for the money, I dont know. If this is the case, Headeacher has a point about this: is unfair if people pay for something others just get for free. The solution is open a diff support channel, like e-mail + IRC. You have a problem, send an email at "support@vl.com" and wait for an answer, if you have some urgency, join the IRC and MAY BE there is somebody there to help you.
I just want share my ideas, may be this could help someone to make a decision. I take the chance to say thanks to all the folks who help us every day, by the linux way; and to the developers for this great project.
cheers, Rodrigo
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: GrannyGeek on April 28, 2007, 08:21:00 pm
I'm not qualified to offer tech support people are paying for. There is way too much I don't know how to do.

I've been fortunate in having no severe problems setting up my systems. I don't know a thing about wireless or scripts or Samba or hot-plug or nVidia drivers or power management--and that's just for starters.

If I know the answer to a question posted in this forum, I'm happy to share what I know. But I just don't know enough to help someone who is paying. The only reason I can think of why someone would *pay* for an answer that could be found for free on this forum is that the problem is too complicated for a generic answer and requires expert assistance. That's way beyond what I could provide.
--GrannyGeek
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: metvas on April 28, 2007, 09:47:43 pm
Let’s re-examine the idea once again it is complex and It seems I keep neglecting items for you to consider.
Turn around time for a response is 24 hrs or less.
I have yet to see a problem not solved by us unless the user just cannot get it.
The system is pre-installed in the box and configured prior to shipping by MadTux. Pre-paid support is an option not a requirement.
All dwnlds other than purchases from CD store would be pre-paid. This means a dwnld from a site for our base OS would be pre- paid tech help and requires a user name and psswd to enter tech help. A CD purchased elsewhere other than our CD store requires pre-paid tech help. A purchased CD from our CD store comes with 30 days free tech support with the purchase BUT requires a login and usr name to enter tech help.
All help is directed via email.
I just think that with the assistance now offered and the number of folks doing it that it would be a good idea. We can always cancel this at any time, should it prove to be unmanageable or counter productive. The level of tech support for other products I have purchased has in most cases been dismal at best, we shine in that shadow.
The only reason I am harping on this is that another party is biting at the bullet for us to give them the go ahead to do the same thing.
If it won’t work or is too much for us so be it. Lets just move on.
As for the level of expertise we could compartmentalize categories to those more in touch with the particular application. Networking, printing etc.
The level of tech help given by us is getting to the point of legendary for VL.
Regards
Darrell


Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: uelsk8s on April 28, 2007, 10:03:48 pm
metvas,
Lets Do it.  :)
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: newt on April 29, 2007, 12:54:47 am
thoughts:
The idea (in and of itself) sounds fantastic and would be very cool to see vl become more than it is.  Certainly, if this community's knowledge was tapped into providing technical support then the results would very likely be positive.  However, the concern that the results are negative is also very real - regardless of who provides the technical support (though, I DO believe that we'd do a better job than someone else).

When someone pays money for something they expect that something to work they way THEY expect and if it doesn't then that something is broken.  If we can't make that something work for them they way they want then we fail at our job of technical support - "VectorLinux fails at it's job."

The part about "..legacy hardware..." also worries me.  The idea of trying to shed the image of 'only for old hardware' has been mentioned around and I agree with it.  VL is NOT only for old hardware - it SCREAMZ on new stuff.

But, the idea is intriguing - if it were successful it would be great!
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: metvas on April 29, 2007, 01:27:52 am
The legacy issue reflects very well on us. As does VL on newer machines. We were the first out the gate on that thought. The reflection of the corporate image as Tech savvy is becoming ordinary with the deluge of this information, one and that one is better at Tech applications that will solve all the woes in your life or business is becoming diluted. I think we can all agree that that is closer to the truth than most other arguments are so why not be seen as who we also are “GREEN”. People understand green they do not always understand Tech savvy; maybe it will catch their interest in Vector Linux where they would normally just pass us by, not a lot of that in the tech world right now. I think however that it will soon be just that. So we are just getting on the billboard a little early. We are environmental stewards as well as involved with the lives of under privileged kids. I am not saying this, they, the Lions Club is.
If any one has any ideas to add onto this thought that would be great.
Please see Lions Computers for Kids thread an expert is below.
I would like to extend my thanks and complements to everyone involved in making Vector Linux adaptable, flexible and user friendly. My Lions Club sponsors a Computers for Kids program where we refurbish surplus computers, load Vector as the OS and either 1. Give the finished machines to children who are otherwise unable to afford computers or 2. Set up "Kids Cyber Cafes" (with network printer and donated Internet access) for local non-profits dealing with underprivileged children. We settled on Vector for the following reasons:

Regards
Darrell
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: bigpaws on April 29, 2007, 05:25:58 am
This is an interesting project, with lots of twists.

The fear that I see is, that we can not provide the support you suggest.
Maybe provide information that there is a forum.

IMHO setting up groups of people in the following areas:

1. Applications
2. Hardware
3. Networking
4. Packaging
5. Probably missing something :)

Which allow those that feel comfortable in one area and not another to
contribute resolving the pressure of having all the answers.

Bigpaws
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: LLL on April 29, 2007, 05:38:05 am
An interesting idea, and a definite step in some direction...taking risks and learning from them is key in the evolution of any individual/organization.

Questions:

1. Can you outline how this paid-for/login-required tech support runs parallel to the current forum?

2. How are support-staff hired/remunerated? Based on a 'task completed' system?

3. Do the funds go to VL development, or the individuals offering the support?


Thanks,

LLL
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: JohnB316 on April 29, 2007, 07:48:20 am
Darrell,

Let's do this pre-paid support idea.

Cheers,
John
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: metvas on April 29, 2007, 12:55:55 pm
Hello:
There is no textbook on this, no infrastructure to pop in place this is a learn as you go proposal. I can gain some insight to this by contacting MadTux to examine their set-up.
A portion of the pre-paid support goes to VL development the rest to be distributed to the support persons. I would suggest 20% to VL and 80% to tech persons.
Our most immediate concerns will be the front end PHP code for our site to accommodate the psswd and usr name log in. We are currently trying to coordinate the pre-install with MadTux for with the release of Soho v5.8 so time is a concern but not an all-consuming requirement. We can delay this until we are ready to proceed. But not delay to point of perfection.
The old saying resounds in my ears “just do it”. If we argue for our limitations sure enough they will be ours to keep.
Regards
Darrell
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: LLL on April 29, 2007, 02:42:41 pm
Go for it...as I said: Live and learn. An exciting, opportunity-filled step for sure!

Thanks for your efforts putting it together, metvas.

Excited to see where it goes and happy to help when I can.

LLL
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: MikeCindi on April 29, 2007, 08:55:33 pm
I must agree with LLL and what you said:
Quote
If we argue for our limitations sure enough they will be ours to keep.
One is always concerned about being or feeling obligated especially when the future of that obligation is ambiguous. Whether this venture turns out to be a boom or bust is yet to be seen but the opportunity brings potential that is probably well worth the risk...not that I'm much help with reducing that risk. OTOH I don't plan on going anywhere so I will help when I can...for free as always.
Mike
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: metvas on April 29, 2007, 09:56:39 pm
OK it is a go. I will phone MadTux Monday to discuss their set-up. BTW any purchases for tech help that are not related to a box purchase from Mad Tux with VL pre-installed will be forwarded to us at no charge. Sweet, already thought of that one 2 weeks ago LOL...ceiling zero, happy landings. We are off.
Regards
Darrell
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: metvas on April 29, 2007, 10:37:45 pm
I am ging to take a huge leap on this I am familair with DHTML and Dreamweaver. With that I am hoping to get a handel on PHP. Please do not leave me to wither on the vine. If you are already familiar enough with PHP to get waht we need for the immediate application ( passwording into tech help) please come forward with your needed knowledge. If not ,I am into it starting now.
Thanks to All
Regards
Darrell
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: Masta on April 30, 2007, 02:21:34 am
I am ging to take a huge leap on this I am familair with DHTML and Dreamweaver. With that I am hoping to get a handel on PHP. Please do not leave me to wither on the vine. If you are already familiar enough with PHP to get waht we need for the immediate application ( passwording into tech help) please come forward with your needed knowledge. If not ,I am into it starting now.
Thanks to All
Regards
Darrell
what exactly is it that you need in the PHP setup?
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: exeterdad on April 30, 2007, 04:20:01 am
I am ging to take a huge leap on this I am familair with DHTML and Dreamweaver. With that I am hoping to get a handel on PHP. Please do not leave me to wither on the vine. If you are already familiar enough with PHP to get waht we need for the immediate application ( passwording into tech help) please come forward with your needed knowledge. If not ,I am into it starting now.
Thanks to All
Regards
Darrell
what exactly is it that you need in the PHP setup?

Did anyone say PHP?  Not a pro but willing to help.
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: metvas on April 30, 2007, 07:14:31 am
Hello:
The above is what we will need with the Domain name omitted. This will be the gate to enter tech help. See https://manage.opensrs.net/
I spent a few hours looking at PHP development tools. It appears that this will be a server side issue and MAY already exist on our current servers. I will confirm this today.
Any suggestions appreciated.
Thanks
Regards
Darrell
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: Triarius Fidelis on April 30, 2007, 05:58:03 pm
This is an interesting project, with lots of twists.

The fear that I see is, that we can not provide the support you suggest.
Maybe provide information that there is a forum.

IMHO setting up groups of people in the following areas:

1. Applications
2. Hardware
3. Networking
4. Packaging
5. Probably missing something :)

Which allow those that feel comfortable in one area and not another to
contribute resolving the pressure of having all the answers.

Bigpaws

I'd be glad to be involved in something like that. I hate to be selfish, but I kind of do need the money.
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: metvas on May 01, 2007, 11:35:57 pm
Hello All:
Just to update you all. I did not accomplish much today. Lines busy messages unreturned etc. Tomorrow will reap better results. Will let you alll know as soon as it happens.
regards
Darrell
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: metvas on May 02, 2007, 10:29:54 pm
Hello All;
I will continue to do what I can while I wait for the dust to settle on the ubantu/Dell deal. I do have to have some one on one phone conversations with the likes of MadTux, Linux Central and Torchlite. Until those converstions are completed we cannot proceed as we may have to change things we do now. Will try to wrap all this up asap and let you all know the scoop.
Keep you interest in this subject going as it will happen.
regards
Darrell
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: Masta on May 03, 2007, 01:46:41 am
keeping my eyes open as the updates come in  :)
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: newt on May 04, 2007, 12:25:54 pm
I'd be willing to help.  I'm like exeterdad, not a pro at PHP but experienced enough to offer help - though it does look like the portal has been setup ???
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: metvas on May 04, 2007, 02:18:28 pm
Hello All:
we have gotten a long way on this in the last few days. We plan to post our progress on the board next week, the main developer right now is a user of VL from Sweden.Niklas, I did the front end in what I would call mediocre html. He will also clean that up. Sent an organizational chart to him to see a vision of what we will need. From there we can all have a look at it all. I feel very confident of his abilities and want to afford him all the assistance we can give.
I was putting out there a "message", that I in particular was in great need of lots of help on this. A few days later Niklas,(a 4.0 user) came to our forum for the first time in years had the skills saw the post and the rest is history...therefore the power of intention, "just do it". Thank-you Niklas..I am so very grateful.

regards
Darrell

Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: Joe1962 on May 04, 2007, 03:26:23 pm
Thank-you Niklas..I am so very grateful.
"So say we all..."

Sorry, I just can't resist that quote wherever it's fitting... ;D
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: Triarius Fidelis on May 04, 2007, 03:50:16 pm
Hello All:
we have gotten a long way on this in the last few days. We plan to post our progress on the board next week, the main developer right now is a user of VL from Sweden.Niklas, I did the front end in what I would call mediocre html. He will also clean that up. Sent an organizational chart to him to see a vision of what we will need. From there we can all have a look at it all. I feel very confident of his abilities and want to afford him all the assistance we can give.

Gratis or no, I might be able to help with document typesetting and programming—depends on what you need.
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: aint_me on May 04, 2007, 05:12:10 pm
Hi
I just recently registred on this "new" forum, I suspect that no one will remember me
from the old one.
I guess I am what you would call a "returning VL user" (still running 4.3 on my old laptop tho),
been playing around with other distros awhile, but now I'm back to stay.
...and you are welcome guys, I'm just glad to be able to help out,

Regards
/Niklas
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: metvas on May 11, 2007, 07:41:16 am
Hello All;
Well seems that Niklas has had a change of heart on this project. We thank him for trying. So we are on our own again. No worries been here before. First and foremost. Does anyone have any info on the “register” function on our usr forum? That has to be disabled so we can send psswds and usr names only once pre-paid. Or at least lock that link and come in through a front end. Have the front end done now. Any info would be appreciated. The automated pre-paid help page will get done on the fly.
Regards
Darrell
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: rbistolfi on May 11, 2007, 08:50:46 am
I think we can do this as a team work. Things that we need:

1. A mysql db with one table with three columns
a. user_code
b. username
c. password
may be you want to add some info fields, like email or whatever

2. A php script doing:
a. connect to the database
b. process a form with u/p
c. redirect to secure zone or to login.

3. A php script doing:
a. add new users to the database.
b. other administrative task, i dont know what is needed

4. some php code to validate each secure page, redirecting to login when needed

I will propose some ways to do this if I can make the time, but a good start is actually knowing what is needed, I am not a pro, so, I cant do this with no help.
metvas, do you have the script to take the support request, send the mail, etc, etc?
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: metvas on May 11, 2007, 09:02:00 am
Hello:
Just got this from bigpaws. I am reading through ti now.
http://custom.simplemachines.org/mods/index.php?mod=237
Have a gander at it.
regards
Darrell
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: Masta on May 11, 2007, 08:45:34 pm
Hello All;
Well seems that Niklas has had a change of heart on this project. We thank him for trying. So we are on our own again. No worries been here before. First and foremost. Does anyone have any info on the “register” function on our usr forum? That has to be disabled so we can send psswds and usr names only once pre-paid. Or at least lock that link and come in through a front end. Have the front end done now. Any info would be appreciated. The automated pre-paid help page will get done on the fly.
Regards
Darrell


You can set up a new place for payees, then setup each individual payee with access to that part of the forum. Nobody else (besides selected moderators and admins) will even see the section, so otherwise won't even notice it being there.

Not sure if that's what you were specifically looking for or not.
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: metvas on May 11, 2007, 09:01:40 pm
Hello masta:
Yes, that is it pretty much it looked up a thread on simplemachines support site and was waiting for a response for just that function and how tp impliment it. Seems you read my mind on that one, lol (not much to read).
I do not have admin. rights to our forum is this a major deal or?
Are you able to impliment that function. If so i can manually administer psswds and expiry dates here, until we find something more functional.
Please let me know what work will be involved from your side.
Thanks much going live at Madtux this weekend with the VL machine.
Best regards
Darrell
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: metvas on May 11, 2007, 10:38:20 pm
Hello rbistolfi:

Seems at this juncture in time the simplest solution would be to use what we have then build on that.
I was on simplemachines board and came across a thread that taked about what masta is suggesting.
What we will need to enhance that is your solution with a database that will create, track and delete psswds/usr names. Would be great to attach to Paypal's API but I thhink that is in the future. We will see.
I have an organizational chart that I had made up for Niklas. I will send it to you for a gander. It will open in AbiWord or OO.
Thxs much
regards
Darrell
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: metvas on May 12, 2007, 12:31:43 am
Hello All:
Just thought of this. The board we currently have for the Community will always exist as it is. Those of us already included will stay included. Would it not work better if we hide the existing forum and showed the new pre-paid forum???? That is if this is what we end up doing for now.
Just a thought.... any comments or suggestions.
Regards
Darrell
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: The Headacher on May 12, 2007, 04:19:41 am
Quote
Those of us already included will stay included. Would it not work better if we hide the existing forum and showed the new pre-paid forum???? That is if this is what we end up doing for now.
That's just not right man  >:(, you can't do that! The VL community is one of the great pro's of this little distro. You can't (shouldn't) hide that, it's one of our great advantages over other distro's.

If the prepaid techsupport is going to be just another forum (or even a part of the same as you seem to suggest) there is no way to justify asking people to pay for it. I'd be really upset if I was a paying customer and got just a forum. 
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: metvas on May 12, 2007, 06:11:12 am
Just an idea as I said..
Darrell
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: MikeCindi on May 12, 2007, 10:21:25 am
I would have to agree with The Headacher. One of the strongest points (see my other posts on this subject of VL's community) of VL is the extreme user-friendliness exhibited in the forum. I've participated in a few others and read dozens of others and there is no comparison IMHO. To hide or otherwise restrict it would hurt VL tremendously.
Mike
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: metvas on May 12, 2007, 11:03:57 am
This is an email from MadTux from today:
I am really pleased to report that the VL5.8 SOHO final ISO passed the tests
with flying colors on the $139 MadTux PC. I will be adding that to the store
tonight.
The higher performance PCs are being tested now and I will report back shortly.
Let's begin the countdown to rocking the Linux world with the Lean Mean Green
Machine!!
Will keep you all posted with blow by blow events, you will know the moment I do.
Regards
Darrell
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: Masta on May 12, 2007, 02:35:50 pm
Hello masta:
Yes, that is it pretty much it looked up a thread on simplemachines support site and was waiting for a response for just that function and how tp impliment it. Seems you read my mind on that one, lol (not much to read).
I do not have admin. rights to our forum is this a major deal or?
Are you able to impliment that function. If so i can manually administer psswds and expiry dates here, until we find something more functional.
Please let me know what work will be involved from your side.
Thanks much going live at Madtux this weekend with the VL machine.
Best regards
Darrell

As far as I know, only an admin can make the section. I can't remember for sure (without looking at the admin tables), but, I believe that an admin can create another admin for that particular part of the forum. This is not a global admin, nor is it a moderator. As for "timed Passwords" or accounts, I think that feature is available too (again without looking, I'm not 100% sure, but I will look into that and get back here to correct anything).

I am not an admin to this forum, but I am one of the admin's on the SG forum, and 3 other forums (not related to Linux) that use the SM forum app. So when I log into one of those, I will take another look around at the features. (yes, I just said that, hehe)

Quote
Hello All:
Just thought of this. The board we currently have for the Community will always exist as it is. Those of us already included will stay included. Would it not work better if we hide the existing forum and showed the new pre-paid forum?Huh That is if this is what we end up doing for now.
Just a thought.... any comments or suggestions

I wouldn't recommend that idea. However, what I would recommend is maybe having a higher priority for the paid section, where the "professionals" would most likely be found there, and on the normal section of forums, "community" support would rein as usual. Although Having a higher priority would be very a difficult task because of the speedy and accurate replies that we already have. Could it even be possible to get any better than it already is? I'd actually pay just to see if that's possible  ;D

Other suggestion would be some type of live help besides irc. Maybe a web applet that runs via java script or something, where a paid user can visit via web browser.

Maybe a VOIP or some other type of voice service as well?

Also, instead of (besides) maybe the typical UN/PW account types, use a serial number , which could be verified through a database. Almost every product you buy from a store has its own unique serial number.
Just some ideas tossed out on the table. Now let me get off this before I start a book  ;D
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: rbistolfi on May 12, 2007, 03:23:59 pm
I agree with Headeacher on this. The community is the base of linux.
I think you have a good idea when you propose a pre-paid support system based on email. If the system will be like a forum, I cant see why not to join this one and paid for another. If you go for a web-based + email system, I will help doing my best, as I said, I am not a pro, but I can do some php scripting; I am using the best OS around for free, I dont have much money, so, I will be glad to help and give something back if I can.
I think we need to be more practical on this. May be the devs, or the people in charge, should point a direction and say: lets do that, I need a web like this! As Headeacher said, this distro is loved by their users, and a lot of members of this forum have good skills, so, we can do a lot, but we need to know what to do.

To make things clear:
I can do some html.
I can do a PHP authentication script. No hi-security thing, nothing fancy. Just a database with authorized people data, a form to input username and password, compare both, you get it. But I am sure could be improved with the help of the forum.
I can help on databases design and general app design.
I cant handle sql language very well, i need help on that. I can do simple things, but nothing else.
I am not good working alone, I need something to point mistakes, and I am good improving other ideas, but not alone.
I have not much time. I have some, I can do some work, but I have a little baby and sometimes she needs me. I need to know something else is there to do it if I cant. I dont like fail to anybody, so, I cant take full responsability, but to be part of a team, I can do that, and I like that way.

So, that is it. If Vector Linux needs something from the list, I am in.

Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: GrannyGeek on May 12, 2007, 05:04:25 pm
The board we currently have for the Community will always exist as it is. Those of us already included will stay included. Would it not work better if we hide the existing forum and showed the new pre-paid forum????

If I understand it correctly, this sounds like a terrible idea to me. This forum should always be open to anyone for reading and to members for posting. I'm sure there are people who are thinking of trying VectorLinux who come here first to check out the community. We may have quite a few actual users who never bother to register for the forum, but are content to read posts and don't want to write anything. Hiding this forum would be a disaster.

I doubt most users will sign up for paid support. That's an option that might appeal to users who need immediate answers to questions that may be out of the ordinary. The rest of us are content to post our question and wait until someone answers it, and if noone who knows the answer sees our question, we manage to cope somehow. But someone who pays for support has higher expectations for a prompt and accurate answer. E-mail and/or a private forum section would be appropriate for them.
--GrannyGeek
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: DrGrov on May 12, 2007, 06:05:04 pm


I have been idle about this topic and haven't thought about it too much until you, Metvas, said that:
Quote
The board we currently have for the Community will always exist as it is. Those of us already included will stay included. Would it not work better if we hide the existing forum and showed the new pre-paid forum? ???

That is not the way to carry on the fine traditions of VL.  >:( The forum is the closest thing for a VL user to rely on, not only us that are registered, but also those users who pop in once in a while to read about a new package or an interesting subject being discussed on The Lounge. There is not a single community that would give me more satisfaction to be a part of than the community  of VL. The forum is a big part of the community, the IRC channel as well. These things can't and shouldn't be changed.
If this change becomes reality that the pre-paid forum will take over I will most certainly jump the ship but still be loyal to VL. I reckon quite many users think the same way.
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: Triarius Fidelis on May 12, 2007, 06:18:40 pm
Although I would have said it differently, I basically agree.
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: LLL on May 12, 2007, 06:41:47 pm
The comment was made that, paraphrasing, to pay for 'just a forum' would be a rip-off/disappointment.

BUT, I think a subforum for paid-for service where users will know their posts will get as immediate as possible response from the dev-team/those in the know isn't a bad deal.

Concerns whether the paid-for subforum detracts from the help offered else where in the forum...

Maybe the subforum, only visible to the 'help team' and paying customers, could be called 'Fastrack Answers'.

Concerns here whether a subforum with limited visibility works as well as our already great forum, where everyone can see and offer their $.02...

--

Keep the thought process going...progress!

LLL


 
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: Triarius Fidelis on May 12, 2007, 06:52:32 pm
And remember: "A soft answer turns away wrath, but grievous words stir up anger."
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: exeterdad on May 12, 2007, 08:45:44 pm
If I was to pay for support, I'd expect someone a bit more one on one. I don't think a secret place on a free for everyone else message board would cut it.

Would this server handle an additional php solution?  How about something like this?

http://www.osticket.com/index.php (http://www.osticket.com/index.php)  Something like that would make paying customers happy.  And it's  open source as well.
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: rbistolfi on May 12, 2007, 08:49:15 pm
And remember: "A soft answer turns away wrath, but grievous words stir up anger."
Indeed, there is wisdom on that words.

LLL, I share your concerns. I am talking about a web-based tool because I think take money from people and give back a forum, just doesnt feel good for me. That was the original metvas idea. I think mail is more personal, and could give to the buyer a better service. I am thinking about this: 1. You go to a web site and login, 2. You fill a form with your request, including a description of the problem. 3. A "supporter" login at the admin site. 4. He see a table with all the requests. 5. He picks the requests he can solve and are "not taken" by others, he marks them as "taken" and contact the buyer by email. 6. An "administrator" can access to a site to add/remove users, etc.
My propose have a con: needs to be developed. The forum propose have a pro: is already there. I know that, I just think we need to indentify the rigth thing to do, and do it.

EDIT: Exeterdad beat me, that is the tool we need.

If I was to pay for support, I'd expect someone a bit more one on one. I don't think a secret place on a free for everyone else message board would cut it.

Would this server handle an additional php solution?  How about something like this?

http://www.osticket.com/index.php (http://www.osticket.com/index.php)  Something like that would make paying customers happy.  And it's  open source as well.

That is the kind of tool I had in mind!
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: metvas on May 12, 2007, 10:55:48 pm
Hello All:
Thanks for your comments and thoughts all are carefully read.
So, getting off to where all this is heading to. A bit of a ramble but necessary right now.
Now that some comments and suggestions are in:

Scenario one: A customer buys a machine from MadTux with VL Pre-installed, and CHOOSES to take tech support that they are willing to pay for. Yes, everything here is were all this is going. Preferred support may be a term to use. If masta is able to set up a board that will not even be visible to anyone other than the admins involved and the customer that will most likely be the way it will go for now. Email support may be another route don’t really know yet until we see what tools we have available to us with simplemachines. I cannot make a decision until I have more information.

Scenario two: a customer purchases a deluxe version of VL all the above would apply automatically included in the price for a given time frame to be decided upon. Or if they wish they can visit the forum if they choose to. Why? This customer has helped us support ourselves.

Scenario three: A customer dwnlds our free base version. They will have the option to have pre-paid support if they wish to have it at an extra cost to them for a given time. Or pay a lesser nominal amount to use the existing forum. Amounts are not known but would be minimal.

Scenario four: A customer purchases a CD of VL  Deluxe or base from a re-seller for $1.99 or whatever that customer will have the option for pre-paid support. Or a nominal amount to visit the existing forum. As above
Why do this?
As I have tried to put out there we have offered to the Linux Community FREE excellent and legendary software and FREE legendary support. As a result I have subsidized VL since day one. The costs are always manageable but over the years, (8) it has become an enormous amount. All we are asking is users to contribute a nominal amount for what we all know is legendary software and legendary support. No rip off no M$ tactics, just some support to become self-sufficient, is that to much to ask? We can have our own server have some funds to promote VL. I do not understand the uproar about this.
The customer always will be the winner, and VL gets some nominal support.
If someone would like to step forward and help me out financially and with the other duties required to keep VL going, I am all ears.
Linux is changing rapidly, faster than most of us can keep up with. These changes are bringing Linux into the Enterprise arena. Why should we not be in that arena??? Again I am all ears.
This is going to happen in one form or another; we do not have a choice!! I do not have a choice. Hopefully to the general agreeance of most of us, the VL community is more than tech help it is a community of us. That is why I suggested locking it, for us. Nothing more than protecting the folks who make VL what it is. That is it!! No scheming or back room deals.
Ubantu is close to VL, but in a lot of ways inferior. They are on top of the heap. Maybe look at their site, look at the pre-paid help, and think why?   We cannot go on forever operating at a loss. corporate sposors regularly see Linux desktop as not worth the effort. No one is planning or going to get rich with this plan. Just become who we deserve to be and that costs.

I trust this clarifies things somewhat, and as always I would really appreciate your comments suggestions and concerns.
most of all Thanks to the community!!!
Best regards
Darrell

Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: newt on May 13, 2007, 12:20:26 am
"[chew, swish, spit] No sir, I don't like it."

I'm not feeling this direction at all.  I don't like the feeling of being rushed.  I don't like the idea of a pay-for forum ONLY.  I don't think the pay-for technical support is worthwhile at this stage - let madtux do it.

Guess you could say that I'm categorically opposed to what you are proposing, metvas.  It seems your intensions are right, just the timeing and mode-of-attack isn't.

That's how I feel.

newt
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: MikeCindi on May 13, 2007, 12:28:35 am
And remember: "A soft answer turns away wrath, but grievous words stir up anger."
Interesting quote from Pro. 15:1...and to add to it...Pro. 15:22 (also 11:14 and 24:6) - Without consultation, plans are frustrated, But with many counselors they succeed.

As a community I believe we can come up with a viable solution for this to work...just not sure what it is yet though.
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: LLL on May 13, 2007, 07:01:25 am
If financial support is needed, I would like to see us go transparent - 'open,' if you will - with our finances as an organization. Then, I would like to see a fundraising campaign based on the presented need.

Right now we beg for donations on the home page suggesting a need, but as an end-user that is removed from those costs, it just sounds like every other project saying "we need your support." If I were able to see "Cost XYZ + Cost ABC = Total Cost" I would be much more likely to contribute.

Replacing this forum with a paid-for option (my understanding...?) does not sit well for me, and I believe it would drive users away.

$.02.

LLL
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: easuter on May 13, 2007, 07:38:55 am
Quote from: metvas
Ubantu is close to VL, but in a lot of ways inferior. They are on top of the heap. Maybe look at their site, look at the pre-paid help, and think why?

Its a lot easier for Ubuntu to offer support the way they do since they have a company backing them (Canonical).

As I see it, paid-for tech support would probably have to involve full-time paid Linux gurus and developers that could respond immediately to any support requests (directly to the user), which is what Canonical, RedHat and Novell have.

How about organizing a yearly fundraiser? The Gentoo Wiki has such fundraisers to keep its servers running, etc..:
http://gentoo-wiki.com/News:2006-10-02_-_Fundraiser_Over

I also agree with LLL about the costs transparency: user will be much more likely to contribute if they know exactly where the money will be spent. Once again, the Gentoo Wiki fundraiser had a line up of what the money would be used for:
http://gentoo-wiki.com/Gentoo_Linux_Wiki:Fundraiser_Sept_2006

Quote from: Gentoo Wiki
What will the funds be used for

    * Bandwidth costs
    * Hard drive to store backups from wikimasterv2 to squiddy
          o Backups are curently starting to exceed 20GB
    * RAM upgrade for squiddy to 2GB
    * A new development machine


My $0.02
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: rbistolfi on May 13, 2007, 11:17:15 am
Quote
Linux is changing rapidly, faster than most of us can keep up with. These changes are bringing Linux into the Enterprise arena. Why should we not be in that arena??? Again I am all ears.

My personal answer: because I dont want to. Sorry, but I dont like it. Linux is the demostration of this: "things can be made in a different way, and have success".

Quote
just some support to become self-sufficient, is that to much to ask?

No, lets find a way. Once again, we are not against pre-paid support, or whatever. We think this must to be added to the current system. No payment for forum, no payment for downloads. If Vector Linux wants to offer paid support, I will help. If Vector Linux wants me to sell CD's on my street, I can do that, just let me know. But keep the current system working.

Quote
If financial support is needed, I would like to see us go transparent - 'open,' if you will - with our finances as an organization. Then, I would like to see a fundraising campaign based on the presented need.

Right now we beg for donations on the home page suggesting a need, but as an end-user that is removed from those costs, it just sounds like every other project saying "we need your support." If I were able to see "Cost XYZ + Cost ABC = Total Cost" I would be much more likely to contribute.

Replacing this forum with a paid-for option (my understanding...?) does not sit well for me, and I believe it would drive users away.

I agree, I cant say it better.

Quote
This is going to happen in one form or another; we do not have a choice!! I do not have a choice.

That is no true, we do have a choice. We are taking it rigth now. That is a M$ tactic, they used to say that, "Windowz is the only way, you dont have a choice". They were wrong. And VL is the probe. Always will be a choice.









Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: LLL on May 13, 2007, 12:43:57 pm
Doesn't "choice matter"?! Sorry for getting tongue-in-cheek, but it is our current tagline!

I think choice is key in terms of VL-delivery of product and support:

- We could make the 'Deluxe' versions more evident/advantageous, but still offer the free downloadable ISO = choice.
- Current forum or pre-paid support (where fast, thorough responses are guaranteed) = choice.

Again, if fundraising is necessary (which I trust it is), let's re-think and maximize on what we've got.
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: Triarius Fidelis on May 13, 2007, 01:05:00 pm
I also agree with LLL about the costs transparency: user will be much more likely to contribute if they know exactly where the money will be spent. Once again, the Gentoo Wiki fundraiser had a line up of what the money would be used for:
http://gentoo-wiki.com/Gentoo_Linux_Wiki:Fundraiser_Sept_2006

Quote from: Gentoo Wiki
What will the funds be used for

    * Bandwidth costs
    * Hard drive to store backups from wikimasterv2 to squiddy
          o Backups are curently starting to exceed 20GB
    * RAM upgrade for squiddy to 2GB
    * A new development machine


Would it be OK if we used some of that money to subsidize Ballmer's meds?
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: rbistolfi on May 13, 2007, 01:17:11 pm
 ;D There is no money enough in the world for Ballmer's meds

Doesn't "choice matter"?! Sorry for getting tongue-in-cheek, but it is our current tagline!

I think choice is key in terms of VL-delivery of product and support:

- We could make the 'Deluxe' versions more evident/advantageous, but still offer the free downloadable ISO = choice.
- Current forum or pre-paid support (where fast, thorough responses are guaranteed) = choice.

Again, if fundraising is necessary (which I trust it is), let's re-think and maximize on what we've got.

You are rigth again LLL!
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: bigpaws on May 13, 2007, 02:24:05 pm
Quote
EDIT: Exeterdad beat me, that is the tool we need.

Quote from: exeterdad on May 12, 2007, 10:45:44 PM
If I was to pay for support, I'd expect someone a bit more one on one. I don't think a secret place on a free for everyone else message board would cut it.

Would this server handle an additional php solution?  How about something like this?

http://www.osticket.com/index.php  Something like that would make paying customers happy.  And it's  open source as well.

That is the kind of tool I had in mind!

The tool would be nice if it was still being developed. After taking the time
to research that tool it is not a good choice. There is a version 2 that has turned
into vaporware according to the forum. It is important that research take place
when making a suggestion.

I agree that there will be a change. Voicing opinions is good. Offering suggestions make a
good start.

I am seeing that there are now ideas that are comming forth to allow Vector to grow.

Support ideas like that proposed by rbistolfi is something that can be done in a
short amount of time.

The suggestion that paid Linux gurus' answer questions and take care of the service is
a fine idea, not practical. The average fee for service is $150.00/hr with no warranty other
than giving the best possible answer. Why is that you ask. Not all questions relating to
hardware or software is able to have a solution, due the primary market being for MS.

The tech support team members also get paid very well. The simple start costs to place in
context $100.00/hr X 24 hours X 365 is $876,000.00. That does not include the servers
and support infrastructure needed for the staff. Seems out of reach, it isn't in the context.

Think about some of the costs that have already been incurred. Servers being hosted and
using alot of bandwidth. Then distributing the Versions, more costs not incurred by us but
by someone else. These fees add up and are being covered by a very small group.

What is being proposed is starting small and easy with a fee. Nothing that can't be done
on a small budget. There are going to be problems and glitches looking forward will get
past this.

Contributions need not be in the form of money. How about a statement pure and simple
about what you would be able or willing to contribute. Something like I use alot of graphics,
put me down for that area. This would be a great help.

I see an interest in this forum to allow Vector to grow, along with what is thought will work and
what will not. Let's finish this off by saying what we will do.

Sorry about the long post.

Bigpaws
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: easuter on May 13, 2007, 02:36:12 pm
I wasn't actually suggesting we pay full-timers to do support, I was merely pointing out that that was what other companies do for their support model and that they can afford it: Ubuntu being lucky enough to have Canonical as its slush-fund.

Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: Masta on May 13, 2007, 07:13:45 pm
I don't that in any way this topic was meant to actually flush out all free forum support. Clearly after you read throughout, it wouldn't affect what we already have going. It is just an idea offered to get us to use our thinkers to come up with some more efficient ways which would better support a paying user, and at the same time support the continuous development and movement of VL.

Making this distro is one thing, and in some extent, it costs someone some money somewhere, yet to add everything else on top of it, like web page, servers for downloading and hosting, advertising, materials, etc. etc. , it costs and costs again. VL doesn't exactly have a wealthy, corporate funding backing it up and paying for the considerable costs.  :(

VL needs to think some marketing strategy to some degree, to assists in it's expenses. At the same time, we don't want to wash out the high points of the distro. That's already very clear from previous replies. So we "get the picture" that's not going to fly. Question now becomes, what can VL do to better support those who pay for the distro? It's common sense that we don't want to "cut out" the free support that we already offer.  Please, keep this in mind as we hash this out in an encouraging manner.  8)
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: rbistolfi on May 13, 2007, 07:15:53 pm
Quote
The tool would be nice if it was still being developed. After taking the time
to research that tool it is not a good choice. There is a version 2 that has turned
into vaporware according to the forum. It is important that research take place
when making a suggestion.

Oops! Sorry about that, my mistake. The Docs section of the site say v2.0 is in progress, I shouldnt trust in just that.  :-[
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: exeterdad on May 13, 2007, 08:57:42 pm
Actually the mistake was mine for throwing you a link not knowing that it was taken down due to bugs.

osticket was one of the softwares on a previous server of mine that you could click on it and it would auto install for you.  I remember installing it and checking it out and thinking it cool.

One of the things I like about it is the customer can interact with the interface via email or by actually visiting the site and filling out a help request.  Things are kept tidy, and the support staff can see all the requests at a glance to pick and choose tickets dealing with subjects that they feel strong in. 

There is another version out based upon the last stable version of osticket.  It's called eTicket.  Seems like the developers are squashing bugs right and left and the project seems very active.  They just had another release last month.

There doesn't seem to be a working demo though.  I downloaded it and will set it up a demo for VL users to see what they think in the next couple days (kinda busy here).  If someone wants to take the bull by the horns and set a demo up before me, there wouldn't be any hard feelings.

Here's eTicket:  http://eticket.sourceforge.net/ (http://eticket.sourceforge.net/)
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: GrannyGeek on May 13, 2007, 09:49:52 pm
I cannot support the idea that anyone would have to pay a fee, even a small fee, to use our VectorLinux support forums. I think this would be a kiss of death for VectorLinux.

I just did a check of Ubuntu, OpenSuSE, Fedora, Mandriva, Freespire, and Zenwalk, and they *all* have free user support forums similar to ours. VectorLinux is great, but it's not so great that no other distro would be satisfactory. Who is going to bother with VL if there is no free support? People will simply go elsewhere.

I can certainly see the need for a better source of income for VectorLinux. I don't think charging for forums is the way to get it. Surely there are better approaches. If straits are dire, I think this should be made clear to users of VL. For example, I've bought Deluxe CDs of several versions but I didn't buy a Deluxe CD for 5.8 Standard. I decided to simply make a donation in the same amount. However, my husband spent too much on Christmas gifts and I was waiting until we replenished our finances. Now that I know the need is great, I'll send in my donation this week.

I think VL has been too low-key about asking for money. This gives people the idea that the distro is free. Well, it is--except that reality should dawn on people that there is no such thing as a free lunch. SOMEBODY has to be paying the bills. There should be an honor system: decide what you can afford and then PAY IT. For a lot of us, it's certainly more than $25 for a copy of the distro. For others, the amount they can afford will be smaller, and some can't afford anything. If the many who can afford to pay a fair amount for VL would pay it, VL could continue to be free for those who can't afford to pay.

Maybe we could have a couple of fundraisers a year. What about a raffle? I'll bet we could get donations of things like Linux books, hardware, maybe even a computer from businesses that would benefit from the positive publicity.

Cash donations above a certain amount would get you a raffle e-ticket. The larger the donation, the more e-tickets you get, thus increasing your chances of winning a prize.

I don't think desktop Linux has solved the problem of making a profit and thus being a viable business. Big outfits like RedHat and SuSE make money by selling support to businesses as well as charging for their software. Fedora and OpenSuSE are testing grounds for what will make it into the commercial distributions. Mandriva sells software and support and, as I understand it, has rather precarious finances. They almost went out of business a couple of years ago. I hope they're doing better now. Xandros is supposed to be on life support. It's looking to get more into the server and enterprise markets, where there is money to be made. Ubuntu has big bucks behind it--it can afford to give the distro away. Note that Ubuntu is also going into servers and the enterprise--chasing the money. Freespire had millions from Michael Robertson's millions behind it when he started Linspire (then known as Lindows) and they got millions in their settlement with Microsoft when they gave up the "Lindows" name. I don't know--is any desktop distro making a profit on software sales alone?
--GrannyGeek
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: Lyn on May 14, 2007, 12:11:15 am
My take on this is that the forums for those that by preinstalled Vector or premium versions of the distro should have access to expert forums where they will swiftly get answers to their problems, including by email.  I have no objection to this - but the idea that they should pay to access these forums I don't think will fly. 
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: Masta on May 14, 2007, 01:34:07 am
It looks to me as though people are getting the wrong idea here. NOBODY is taking away the free forums. Nobody is charging for what is the free forum. The suggestion of a special part of the forum for buyers is what's be talked about. This is exactly what I was trying to say in a much nicer way in my long winded post above. Get the hint now?  ;)
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: bigpaws on May 14, 2007, 03:13:50 am
Those that support Vector Linux are saying there is a need for
change. The change being Vector should be self supporting.

"When Choice Matters" it does matter it is the choice of those
paying the bills that Vector become self supporting. The
mention of that this was not a choice but a direction per se,
is not true. One choice could be to allow Vector to sink
or swim. A choice to offer support was made to Vector from
MadTux, not all the idea of Vector. The choice was to go for it.
We have a choice to be involved in Vector at a new level or sit
back and watch it slip.

No support is free. Time is spent supporting Vector by many
members very small in proportion to the user base. The cost of
this forum and it's bandwidth are not free. Linux support is comming
in a paid form. Why not get involved here and consider the possibility
that this project can grow?

Linux allows anyone to get involved regardless of who you are or
where you live. No need for a college education or an IT background.
Why not see what can be done?

I believe the support program being setup has a good possibility of
success so long as FUD does not create stagnation.

It is the hope that everyone that is interested in the support system
stand up. Let it  be known what contribution you are willing to make
for the success of this project and community.

Bigpaws

Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: nubcnubdo on May 14, 2007, 04:42:17 am
If VL offers both free and paid support, the two support modes should be sufficiently different that the client doesnt come to the conclusion he is being conned, when he realizes that he could just as easily obtain free support. I suggest keeping the forum free, and setting up an email list for paid support.

This is what soured me about Mandriva, the paid support, among other things, like being nagged to buy something. It struck me as a rip-off that I had to pay to get the whole package, when other distros offered the same for free, and especially since the support didn't fulfill expectations.
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: easuter on May 14, 2007, 04:46:58 am
I know this isn't entirely on topic of support, but if VL is going to be pre-installed and shipped like other more mainstream distros shouldn't we also be worried about full GPL compliance  ::) ???
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: MikeCindi on May 14, 2007, 11:30:38 am
If VL offers both free and paid support, the two support modes should be sufficiently different that the client doesnt come to the conclusion he is being conned, when he realizes that he could just as easily obtain free support. I suggest keeping the forum free, and setting up an email list for paid support.

This seems like a good direction to pursue. Many support services (paid or free) are offered in this manner. As nubcnubdo has pointed out the creativity will come in avoiding the appearance of "being conned". The service of the VL forum is so good that responding more efficiently to a paying customer may be difficult. What would/should not happen for the paid support is extensive time lapses before responses. Perhaps advising all users of the availability of the forum and accentuating whatever benefits paid support will provide (i.e. "hand-holding" until resolution of the problem). Also making paid support a per incident option as opposed to a time limited option. Thus the "choice" concern is alleviated.

An example: If I have a problem then I can decide if I want a support person to be available by email (or other communication option) and pay for that support or "take my chances" and the extra time that using the forum would risk.

What cannot happen is for the VL community to not answer the forum in the hope that someone will opt to use paid support. Not that anyone here would take that approach. Of course there are lots of details to work out but that would be one "solution" that may work for VL.
Mike
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: nubcnubdo on May 14, 2007, 11:51:05 am
An email list would provide better accountability and management of an incident. Also, the client might see email as being more comfortable, private, and personal with one-on-one contact, rather than the free-for-all of a forum. With an email list we avoid conflicts or dissatisfaction being aired on the forum. (Stuff like: Windows is so much easier than Linux, I'm going back to Windows.)
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: GrannyGeek on May 14, 2007, 01:15:54 pm
It looks to me as though people are getting the wrong idea here. NOBODY is taking away the free forums. Nobody is charging for what is the free forum. The suggestion of a special part of the forum for buyers is what's be talked about. This is exactly what I was trying to say in a much nicer way in my long winded post above. Get the hint now?  ;)

But consider these scenarios metvas posted:
"Scenario three: A customer dwnlds our free base version. They will have the option to have pre-paid support if they wish to have it at an extra cost to them for a given time. Or pay a lesser nominal amount to use the existing forum. Amounts are not known but would be minimal.

"Scenario four: A customer purchases a CD of VL  Deluxe or base from a re-seller for $1.99 or whatever that customer will have the option for pre-paid support. Or a nominal amount to visit the existing forum. As above"

Those scenarios *clearly* put forth the idea that someone who downloads the free version would have to "pay a lesser nominal amount to use the existing forum." The same would be true for someone who purchased a cheap CD from one of the places like edmunds-enterprises.com that sells CDs from the ISO image that is available for free download.

That sounds like those of us already forum members would be grandfathered for continuing free access, but people using the free version who are not already forum members would have to pay a "nominal amount" to use the forum.

If this is a serious proposal, many of us are saying NO WAY. There *must* continue to be a free forum accessible to anyone where questions may be asked and forum members will try to help. Paid support should be IN ADDITION TO, not instead of, the current free support and excellent user support forum.
--GrannyGeek
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: bigpaws on May 14, 2007, 01:27:38 pm
It amazes me that the responses are that someone is getting taken
advantage of. Comments that answers on the forum will take longer in
order to force someone for pay for support. That refusing
to give good or accurate answers or such types of comments are
rubbish. This is the type of FUD that should not even be posted.

Please read the entire post without reading what is not posted.

There are free live chat support web sites out there. Does this mean
that Vector should not try it. Does it mean that because someone
else offers it for free mean Vector is trying to take advantage? The
answer is no. Please remember this started from an offer from MadTux
that they or we would start  offering paid support.

There is thick plot to destroy or cripple this community or forum.
Bigpaws

 

Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: Masta on May 14, 2007, 01:41:33 pm
It amazes me that the responses are that someone is getting taken
advantage of. Comments that answers on the forum will take longer in
order to force someone for pay for support. That refusing
to give good or accurate answers or such types of comments are
rubbish. This is the type of FUD that should not even be posted.

Please read the entire post without reading what is not posted.

There are free live chat support web sites out there. Does this mean
that Vector should not try it. Does it mean that because someone
else offers it for free mean Vector is trying to take advantage? The
answer is no. Please remember this started from an offer from MadTux
that they or we would start  offering paid support.

There is thick plot to destroy or cripple this community or forum.
Bigpaws

 



I totally agree with this.. seems like people are already making the FUD about plots of forum crippling, and such. It is ridiculous! If you read through the forum (as bigpaws suggested), you will see where things were corrected about. We're not an evil community, why would we want to even make such suggestions of plots to cripple anything? VL gives great support as it is now for free. With that in mind, wouldn't you think that even better support for someone who pays would be the ticker? rather than dreaming up it's a plot to rip them off? If you were going to pay for something, wouldn't you want your money's worth?  Wouldn't you expect to receive something better than the otherwise free option?

Come on people, if you think you're such an evil community that you would plot to rip off a paying user, then such it is that you are. But are you really? Or are you the same friendly people that would offer your top notch support as normal?
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: nubcnubdo on May 14, 2007, 02:07:36 pm
mikecindi:
Quote
The service of the VL forum is so good that responding more efficiently to a paying customer may be difficult.

...good point. It would be hard to top VL's service.
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: MikeCindi on May 14, 2007, 05:40:04 pm
Come on people, if you think you're such an evil community that you would plot to rip off a paying user, then such it is that you are. But are you really? Or are you the same friendly people that would offer your top notch support as normal?

I think there is a wide gap in the communication. I have not read in any of the posts that any current VL forum member would try to deceive or otherwise take advantage of a new VL user. There is a strong, and as of yet unestablished, concern that a new user who paid for support may FEEL cheated if they were to receive a service that is too similar to free services already offered. There are many excellent users that participate in this forum and whose knowledge base is extensive enough to help others greatly but most, myself included, would feel intimidated to meet the perceived greater expectation of a paying VL user. While I would offer my experience freely (as is the current situation) and would want to help with "paid support" (again freely) I would be concerned about giving erroneous information. This is perhaps a misfounded concern in myself and others who want to help but if you do it wrong now it is "safe" on the current forum. If you do it wrong for someone who has paid for VL (not me) to get it right then there is a problem as that individual would probably see VL as the problem instead of me being the problem. I am not trying to speak for others but gather from the posts that I have expressed many concerns accurately. If I am wrong please enlighten me (I have thick skin :P).

I want VL to pursue this option and in the excellence of the current forum making it better will be difficult but NOT impossible. Thus I refer back to my suggestion of per incident support through and email response. A paying user logs in to submit their problem and then the email is sent to the individual(s) who cover that support area and within a set time frame a response is given.
Mike
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: metvas on May 14, 2007, 10:54:21 pm
Well, seems I missed a lot while working with Arvind at MadTux. On the high performance machines. Not that I solved the problem I think it was uelsk8s. Thanks Uel. At any rate at a time like this the other partner in this case MadTux, just wants someone around in this case Vector to rant on if they wish.
So that is what I was doing, taking the heat and keeping things cool. So looks that due to time constraints we will be going with an invisible board only seen by pre-paid members and the admins, or at least something like that with IRC as well. I still feel the community needs some sort of protection. Once we jump into the corporate realm Mr. Ugly Dick, is certain to arrive, maybe not right away but anyway think about that. He will try to trip us up every chance he gets.
OK, the only issue I have regarding our product now is the re-sellers who sell what we do for $1.99. They do nothing get paid. We don’t. We get the requests for tech help that still bothers me. Is there anyone else that bothers? The dwnld customers well OK let them stay for free, or have the option to upgrade to pre-paid if they wish.
Anyway this option should leave things as they are for the current forum.
Everyone satisfied with that? Well not everyone even Jesus could not keep everyone happy.
We can move on to the ideas for fundraising, after we have nailed this pre-paid thing down.
Thanks for all your comments as it allows all of us to see whom the other is, that is part of being a community, it’s strengths always lay in it’s diversity.
Regards
Darrell

Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: Triarius Fidelis on May 14, 2007, 11:21:53 pm
I want VL to pursue this option and in the excellence of the current forum making it better will be difficult but NOT impossible. Thus I refer back to my suggestion of per incident support through and email response. A paying user logs in to submit their problem and then the email is sent to the individual(s) who cover that support area and within a set time frame a response is given.
Mike

That's absolutely reasonable.
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: metvas on May 14, 2007, 11:28:32 pm
Holly Shamuzzel:
Do I see progess? Maybe I should stay away more often. Uhh..
that's a joke, don't even start on that one.
Regards
Darrell
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: metvas on May 14, 2007, 11:59:40 pm
Hello All:
Check out MadTux site..Vector Linux PC's now for sale.
regards
Darrell
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: Triarius Fidelis on May 15, 2007, 12:43:03 am
Holly Shamuzzel:
Do I see progess? Maybe I should stay away more often. Uhh..
that's a joke, don't even start on that one.
Regards
Darrell

I knew this issue would be best settled with reasonable discourse, rather than jumping the gun and shouting.

Looks like (if this is an exceedingly rare occurrence in human history) discourse has prevailed for once...
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: metvas on May 15, 2007, 01:13:33 am
GrannyGeek wil like this one there are 26 synonyms for discourse.Soooo..what do you mean.
Could end up a long thread...
Anyway Happy to see cooperative progress.
regards
Darrell
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: easuter on May 15, 2007, 01:29:39 am
I hate to be the one stoking the "FUD", but what advantage will the second board present over the current one?
Who will be manning the second board?

[kicks himself] :-X
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: Triarius Fidelis on May 15, 2007, 01:40:55 am
Guaranteed response time, I guess.
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: bigpaws on May 15, 2007, 04:23:05 am
Quote
hate to be the one stoking the "FUD", but what advantage will the second board present over the current one?
Who will be manning the second board?

There is no FUD in your question. In fact this maybe a better answer.

The current state is another forum. The things that will be different
is that everyone will get answers. Not just the questions that are easy one line answers.
Expect more hand holding than on this forum. Which is very possible.

Vision a better one on one experience. Where a customer makes a contact for support,
a Vector Visionary (Just a pun) answers. Easy until the answer is not that easy ... hmmm.
Well the Visionary will go to every step with the customer until everything that can be done
is. If that means research or setting up a real time conversation then that is what will happen.

In customer service not everyone will be satisfied. Not all questions have a fix.
As long as everyone realizes it then things will be great.

The next question who will be manning the board. This is where those that are interested
come in to play.

Thoughts?

Bigpaws

Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: metvas on May 15, 2007, 08:23:27 am
Hello:
Did you know that when Disney world first opened its doors to the public? They were laying turf in the entryway up to 10 minutes before they opened the doors. That was how close the time frame was. We are not a lot different. PC’s are for sale today with our name on it, and pre-paid support for those who wish to have it, we are still laying turf.
So if there is any interest now is the time to let bigpaws know about it.
Remember this is a new venture for us on all fronts. As such the only guarantee of success is what we make of it.
Regards
Darrell
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: rbistolfi on May 15, 2007, 09:52:36 am
Quote
hate to be the one stoking the "FUD", but what advantage will the second board present over the current one?
Who will be manning the second board?

There is no FUD in your question. In fact this maybe a better answer.

The current state is another forum. The things that will be different
is that everyone will get answers. Not just the questions that are easy one line answers.
Expect more hand holding than on this forum. Which is very possible.

Vision a better one on one experience. Where a customer makes a contact for support,
a Vector Visionary (Just a pun) answers. Easy until the answer is not that easy ... hmmm.
Well the Visionary will go to every step with the customer until everything that can be done
is. If that means research or setting up a real time conversation then that is what will happen.

In customer service not everyone will be satisfied. Not all questions have a fix.
As long as everyone realizes it then things will be great.

The next question who will be manning the board. This is where those that are interested
come in to play.

Thoughts?

Bigpaws



I think we have the solution for now. But the advantage of the hide forum are good just for start and because time is against us. I think we need to improve this and will be more easy once the time problem is solved.
So my idea is: lets go with the hide forum for now, and keep this thread going to develope a better solution.
I start: with our gambas gurues leading us, we could develope a gui to send requests just from the desktop. The customer will receive an answer by email. Always the IRC and voice chating can be arranged between the customer and the support guy. We can set up the gambas gui to send the form via internet to a PHP script. The PHP script will process the info and make it avaible for the supporters via a website.
Just an idea.
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: metvas on May 15, 2007, 11:02:25 am
I think we are all here to help.
regards
Darrell
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: LLL on May 15, 2007, 03:50:16 pm
For those of you looking for VL on Madtux.org:

http://store.madtux.org/index.php?cPath=98

Well done!

LLL
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: rbistolfi on May 15, 2007, 04:04:05 pm
For those of you looking for VL on Madtux.org:

http://store.madtux.org/index.php?cPath=98

Well done!

LLL

Damn! I am looking for a pc here in Argentina, and for that money I get a C3 500mhz PIII with 128mb, and of Ram  >:(
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: metvas on May 15, 2007, 05:52:50 pm
Ok step one accomplished. The board issue behind us except for the actual implimentation of the tech help. Am I on the right page. If not now may be a good time to let us all know so we can move on to actual accomplishment of step 2. Time is not on our side but those who have contacted me think this week we could be up with a front end and attached database. All in PHP sweet.
thxs
regards
Darrell
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: wcs on May 15, 2007, 05:53:22 pm
Quote
I start: with our gambas gurues leading us, we could develope a gui to send requests just from the desktop. The customer will receive an answer by email. Always the IRC and voice chating can be arranged between the customer and the support guy. We can set up the gambas gui to send the form via internet to a PHP script. The PHP script will process the info and make it avaible for the supporters via a website.
Just an idea.

Sounds like a great idea to me. If it works well, it will be quick, functional and, well,... "supportive".
Personally, I can imagine myself paying for that if I accumulate a couple of non-solved problems...

(of course, like everyone has said already: this forum truly IS great and it is difficult to get many non-solved problems)
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: metvas on May 15, 2007, 06:57:39 pm
Hello All;
Spoke at length with bigpaws on the plans to implement this “second” board. The idea of using simplemachines has to be tossed out due to its unreliability in posting information in a timely fashion and a regular basis. So that idea is out for sure. We can thank bigpaws for brining this to the forefront. Thanks, a real eye opener. If anyone has been talking to anyone about this idea please contact them and let them know...
Regards
Darrell
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: LLL on May 15, 2007, 07:25:26 pm
An article on fundraising for open-source projects:

http://www.madpenguin.org/cms/?m=show&id=7876

Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: GrannyGeek on May 15, 2007, 10:11:14 pm
An article on fundraising for open-source projects:

http://www.madpenguin.org/cms/?m=show&id=7876

That's talking about raising money for projects, meaning things like drivers or import/export filters for a program or software to meet some need, etc. Our fundraising is for supporting a distro that is a business, not a non-profit organization or project.
--GrannyGeek
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: metvas on May 15, 2007, 11:15:04 pm
Yes GrannyGeek is correct on that. Lots to read there though. Maybe some good ideas willcome from it.
thxs
regards
Darrell
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: Masta on May 16, 2007, 02:42:09 am
What, We can't read it an maybe improvise to fit the situation?  ;)
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: exeterdad on May 16, 2007, 04:00:49 pm
I installed the eTickets helpdesk system on a free server to demo it as promised, but found that anyone registered or not could open up a help ticket.  According to the forum that won't be fixed.  I suppose with some time I could implement but I wouldn't unless we were serious about using it for VL.

I installed many helpdesk systems on my local server and found one that really catches my eye and really think could work very well for us.  It's BEAUTIFUL, loaded with features, and looks very professional.

It's called "Trellis Desk" http://www.iftomatoes.com/products/trellis-desk (http://www.iftomatoes.com/products/trellis-desk)

The user can get support via the browser based help system, or by email.  But for the staff it all looks the same.  They see the help tickets through their control panel and can answer or browse them.  Seems like it will be easy to track the help tickets so everyone can tell at a glance what is getting worked on, or hasn't even been looked at.

To customize it seems pretty standard.  Bunches of html/php templates edited via the control panel. 

The permissions system looks great.  You can control access to all the features and areas for customers, staff, and admin.

Here's some screenshots of it running on my xampp server:

1.
(http://img524.imageshack.us/img524/8306/42771612sj6.th.png) (http://img524.imageshack.us/my.php?image=42771612sj6.png)
2.
(http://img524.imageshack.us/img524/943/13148728db8.th.png) (http://img524.imageshack.us/my.php?image=13148728db8.png)

3.
(http://img524.imageshack.us/img524/6044/28080836ly9.th.png) (http://img524.imageshack.us/my.php?image=28080836ly9.png)

4.
(http://img518.imageshack.us/img518/9315/15037179lz5.th.png) (http://img518.imageshack.us/my.php?image=15037179lz5.png)


5.
(http://img181.imageshack.us/img181/1552/65186229gq7.th.png) (http://img181.imageshack.us/my.php?image=65186229gq7.png)

6.
(http://img181.imageshack.us/img181/5324/73592354hb4.th.png) (http://img181.imageshack.us/my.php?image=73592354hb4.png)

7.
(http://img181.imageshack.us/img181/4515/87558293wz2.th.png) (http://img181.imageshack.us/my.php?image=87558293wz2.png)


#1 Is what the admin sees upon log in.
#2 Admin reading a ticket
#3 What a un-logged-in person would see at the front door.
#3 Customer logs in. Showing their controls and that one ticket is pending.
#5 A logged in customer just starting to open a help ticket.
#6 A customers view of filling out a help ticket.
#7 After ticket is submitted, back it goes to customer controls and now there is two tickets.

Total install including adding new table and user to mySQL was about 10 minutes.  Customizing will take more naturally.  But besides changing text files and the logo's, how hard can it be?  BTW It's also open source so the price is right.

I still feel pretty strong VL should use a "help desk" type tool rather than a forum.  It has a more confident and professional feel to it.
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: Joe1962 on May 16, 2007, 04:24:33 pm
I still feel pretty strong VL should use a "help desk" type tool rather than a forum.  It has a more confident and professional feel to it.
I agree. A dedicated tool will go a long way towards organizing things and help maintain the appropriate response time.
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: rbistolfi on May 16, 2007, 05:14:44 pm
Exeter, I think the tools you are proposing are great, I am working on an authentication system and I think we could use it to protect the VL eticket page. I can send you my work by email and you can tell my what you think, if you agree, of course. Feel free to contact me via email.
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: exeterdad on May 16, 2007, 05:32:31 pm
Exeter, I think the tools you are proposing are great, I am working on an authentication system and I think we could use it to protect the VL eticket page. I can send you my work by email and you can tell my what you think, if you agree, of course. Feel free to contact me via email.

rbistolfi...

The last tool mentioned "Trellis Desk" has authentication for all levels of access.  This is one of the "requirements" I had when searching for a help system.

The only problem I can see with the system (at least right now), is there needs to be some way of accurately entering new paid customers into the database.  This could be done by hand (YIKES), or a paypal gateway could be set up easy enough.  But when checking out the new MadTux/VL computers online, I noticed one of the options was to purchase VL support right on the spot.

This really throws things for a loop since we would need some kind of gateway for MadTux.

Other code that would need written is for subscription management.  We would need to track when the customers subscription expires.  Manually doing this would be hell for a VL support admin.  But hey....  life is good!  If we get a support customer today, we'd have 90 days to figure out that solution.   ;D
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: rbistolfi on May 16, 2007, 05:51:25 pm
Quote
found that anyone registered or not could open up a help ticket.

Well, I thouth if we put a login screen before the open-a-ticket page, then just the registered people could open a ticket. I did some code that can add / del / edit user data, and auto-delete an user from database after determinated time. I did it in a rush, trying to give a hand in this problem, and needs to be improved. You can contact me at my mail if you want to take a look, and you can honestly tell me if you think it can work, or is just a waste of bits.
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: metvas on May 16, 2007, 05:59:32 pm
Hey you guys are going so fast I can't keep up. WOW...if we impliment this system and enter and expire customers manually  until we can find a solution to automate this function I am game on that. i  have a little tool that allows me to enter a memo for up to a year it pops up with a re,inder on every boot, I would take that on. Have we looked at MadTux server to see if compable?
Any idea of how much storage space we will need? Excellent find Exeter. Want to Thank you very much, Thanks to all of you!!
Would we be in a position to put this on MadTux server in a day or two?
Bigpaws is setting up a server of his own we could play with it there if needed.
Waiting on a call from MadTux in a few minutes, timming is WOW..
Thanks Guys...Really Thanks
regards
Darrell
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: GrannyGeek on May 16, 2007, 07:19:18 pm
What, We can't read it an maybe improvise to fit the situation?  ;)

Have you read it? It's not that long, unless I'm missing something. There aren't many ideas, just basically three:
*  Have good management of a project.

*  Consider incorporating as a nonprofit.

*  Solidify "a need that will reach critical mass. Funding drivers and software that relates to hardware is generally the best example..."

VectorLinux is a business that needs and wants to be profitable. So incorporating as a nonprofit is out. What exactly is the "project" we're talking about? It's not developing a program or a driver. It's finding ways to enable VL to make money, some of which would be used for server space, setting up paid tech support, and paying the many expenses connected with the business.
--GrannyGeek
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: metvas on May 16, 2007, 07:29:12 pm
GrannyGeek is again correct that is what I read. It also warns of not stepping on the toes of your possible sponsor with your product. So until pre-paid support is up and running and generating some revenue, it will be difficult to meet all the conditions a sponsor may require of us. That will take a bit of tinkering. The management side I feel is well entrenched again one of the reasons for pre-paid. It will demonstrate self sufficiency. Once a sponsor , sponsors they are unlikely to repeat it again to the same project. So have to have it right the first time.
Will go back to this after this current project is under control.
regards
Darrell
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: exeterdad on May 16, 2007, 07:41:24 pm
Hey you guys are going so fast I can't keep up. WOW...if we impliment this system and enter and expire customers manually  until we can find a solution to automate this function I am game on that. i  have a little tool that allows me to enter a memo for up to a year it pops up with a re,inder on every boot, I would take that on. Have we looked at MadTux server to see if compable?
Any idea of how much storage space we will need? Excellent find Exeter. Want to Thank you very much, Thanks to all of you!!
Would we be in a position to put this on MadTux server in a day or two?
Bigpaws is setting up a server of his own we could play with it there if needed.
Waiting on a call from MadTux in a few minutes, timming is WOW..
Thanks Guys...Really Thanks
regards
Darrell

If we were to use the Trellis tool it could be running in a few minutes from now.  The admin would just need to set up the "staff", swap out the logo for a VL support (hint, hint Blurrymind) logo and change the texts to something appropriate for VL.

The automated stuff can be hammered out later.

As far as MadTux's server I have no idea.  I don't know if they have some sort of gateway, API available for us, of if they will just fire off a email to VL informing us the Customer "X" has just paid for some support.

I haven't looked into any of this as it appears by the looks of this thread that people are still on the fence on what to do.  And I'm waaaaaaaaay too young in the VL community to be so bold to take it upon myself to get the ball rolling while things are in debate.  There are many good ideas and wisdom on the table within this thread.

My whole agenda is to propose a tool that I think will get the job done in a much simpler, accurate and professional way.
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: metvas on May 16, 2007, 09:08:51 pm
I feel we have to decide on an app. fruitless to write code for an app only to find it does not function in another. If you all feel that Trellis Desk is the one to run with. that's the way we will go. I literally ran out and picked up another 140 gig hd tonight. Will use that to install Trellis on. I will ask MadTux to email us any subscriptions, enter them here  and hopefully can configure to send out to teams.
We can at least get up and running with that approach while we design and add to it. remember bigpaws will have a server we can utilize it is on DSL but as most of this seems to be text it should be able to Handel it.
seem like an idea to run with??
regards
Darrell
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: metvas on May 16, 2007, 11:17:44 pm
I do not want to delay or confuse this thread about what sotware to use. But I looked at this with bigpaws a week or so ago. Things were all over the map then. Maybe this is a bit more developed have a peek anyway.Thoughts
http://www.bestpractical.com/rt/
Regards
darrell
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: exeterdad on May 17, 2007, 06:22:24 am
I do not want to delay or confuse this thread about what sotware to use. But I looked at this with bigpaws a week or so ago. Things were all over the map then. Maybe this is a bit more developed have a peek anyway.Thoughts
http://www.bestpractical.com/rt/
Regards
darrell

I have to admit the features are right in there.  And the fact it's been up and running since 98', and that fortune 500 companies are using it, would tell me it's a reliable tool.  But it's pretty gosh darn ugly!  :)

If we go with that system, I'll be of little use customizing it.  Perl is not my friend any more.  I'd be lucky if I could get it to print "Hello World" without it crashing the server. lol
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: metvas on May 17, 2007, 07:13:57 am
Hello trellis desk...welcome to Vector Linux
Regards
Darrell
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: rbistolfi on May 17, 2007, 08:28:19 am
I guess the next step is setup a server and start testing tha app, so in that way we can figure out how the system will work, may be some of us could submit a few tickets...
I was looking the Trellis demo, looks like it can do the job and is really nice.
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: rbistolfi on May 17, 2007, 08:38:58 am
VectorLinux is a business that needs and wants to be profitable. So incorporating as a nonprofit is out. What exactly is the "project" we're talking about? It's not developing a program or a driver. It's finding ways to enable VL to make money, some of which would be used for server space, setting up paid tech support, and paying the many expenses connected with the business.
--GrannyGeek

I think VL could build a commercial profile. May be a good market for VL could be the "small company". An "Small enterprise edition" with special packages to meet the small busissnes needs could be sold. Think about it, a small company cant spend too much money in licenses, in hardware, in support, etc. They need a small partner. I think Vector Linux matchs with the profile. There is a distro oriented to small enterprises already, powered by the Extremadura goverment (they do great things with linux!) called Linex.
Just an idea.
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: GrannyGeek on May 17, 2007, 01:29:50 pm
There is a distro oriented to small enterprises already, powered by the Extremadura goverment (they do great things with linux!) called Linex.

As well as Xandros, Mandriva, Linspire/Freespire. SuSE is certainly adaptable for small businesses. And of course, Slackware, which is adaptable to just about anything. And let us not forget that "SOHO" means "Small Office, Home Office."

If a distro for small enterprises includes server stuff, that's something VectorLinux has avoided in positioning VL as a desktop distro.

I think plenty of experience has shown that it's quite difficult to make money from desktop Linux anything: distros, applications, magazines, t-shirts, mouse pads. The companies that are profitable make their money from support provided to rather large enterprises. I think the emphasis on "free as in beer" has made many individual Linux users unwilling to pay for anything.
--GrannyGeek
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: bigpaws on May 17, 2007, 01:50:10 pm
Quote
I think the emphasis on "free as in beer" has made many individual Linux users unwilling to pay for anything.

I beg to differ I know plenty of people that will pay support so that they do not need
to bothered. That includes MS and as much Linux.

Think about linuxant and turboprint. These companies are doing well, why because they
offer something of value at a reasonable price. There are not doing anything that any
person with good knowledge of Linux can do. The marketing and the idea why fight with
something that we already have done, is it really worth your time.

As far as Linux desktop in the SOHO arena. If the desktop is for an end user to enter data,
type things and such it is great. The one area that is a real problem i accounting. The argument
that grisby, kmymoney and gnucash (a dependency hog IMHO) are not an option, because accountants
want Quickbooks and that is all. CAD is also a problem and others I have missed.

I know one person who hacks a distro for restaurants with registers and all included, he makes a decent living.

There is a current market. There will be a bigger market. Someone will support Linux on the Desktop on a much
bigger scale then smaller companies are currently offering.

As far as Vector as a server. I am testing 5.8 SOHO just do nmap localhost to see where the problem is.

A server should not have an xserver running, there is no need for it. There are many other things that need
to be changed for a server.

Bigpaws
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: rbistolfi on May 17, 2007, 02:22:53 pm
I agree with both, Granny and Bigpaws. You are rigth about those distros, Granny. But I pick Linex as an example because it already have a lot of tools for small bussisnes out of the box, like Facturaplus (a stock manager). And you are rigth about SOHO too, it is for small office, but there is no action to make small offices get noticed about that, something like "hey, oficce man! I have the solution for you!". Slackware is adaptable to a small enterprise needs, but by you and me (well, not me), I dont think a business man could do it, so, here is VL doing for him.
Another option is to get an strategic partner to make an integral product. Like a hardware provider, a web designer, a database developer. In that way you can offer a product that include everything a small office needs out of the box. I mean the hard, the soft, the look, the server solution, the management solution, etc.
Bigpaws, you are rigth about there is no strong app for cad on linux, and I think linux is not fully ready for the desktop battle, we need to keep this in mind, because I think other linux enterprises lost the way here, like RedHat. Linux is not ready, but is in the way. One step is looking the rigth place in the market, I am sure there is a place for linux desktops there, like the restaurants Bigpaws said. 

Quote
grisby, kmymoney and gnucash (a dependency hog IMHO) are not an option, because accountants
want Quickbooks and that is all.

I think an enterprise working well needs a custom app for that. I work for a small business and in my experience, there is no standard solutions in this.  That is the reason because i think a "database developer" could be a good partner. You can make a product with low cost, and great added value.
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: metvas on May 17, 2007, 02:29:05 pm
We interrupt this broadcast to bring you the latest developments
Vector Linux Soho v5.8 Gold is available on line at Madtux along with the VL Box(s),
Way to go… TEAM…Just lovin in Linux. Press release of our partnership or maybe alliance with MadTux should hit the net by tomorrow. After the roller coaster ride that the last 10 days has brought my skin is THICK. Post what you would like, sky is the limit right now. We can go (within reason), ANYWHERE. Next absolute necessity to FOCUS on is the Pre-Paid help APP. This is a must do.
Thanks and congratulations to ALL…WELL DONE. I am very proud of the whole TEAM…as is Madtux
Regards
Darrell
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: bigpaws on May 17, 2007, 04:11:06 pm
The suggestions of starting a Ticket type system is great. I have been researched most
of them to date. The results are:

Open Ticket Promise for Version 2.0 since 11/05 and not produced I would consider it dead

Trellis Ticket promising until you get to the licensing it is free but not open source and there
is no allowance for modification. That presents a problem for even changing small things.

Request-Tracker shows real promise however installation is far from easy. There is a long
history and support forum. The forum is active and most of the documentation is complete. This is written in Perl.

Eticket exeterdad posted on the 13th of trying to get a server going for a demo. He did mention that
he is busy. Last release was 4-11-07 so appears to be a current project. It appears to be a one person
show not that it should deter its' use. I do note sparse documentation. Again that can be resolved. Based on PHP.

There are the results. Any other suggestions or comments will be more than welcomed.

Bigpaws
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: nubcnubdo on May 17, 2007, 04:19:27 pm
OneOrZero:

http://www.oneorzero.com/

The OneOrZero Task Management and Help Desk System is a powerful, enterprise grade task management and help desk application.

It is fast, customizable and runs on virtually any platform and is released under the General Public Licence (GPL) Open Source license, allowing you to customize freely.

Our experienced and highly skilled team also offer support and customization services, to ensure your OneOrZero installation is professionally supported.

Main Features:
http://www.oneorzero.com/?controller=main_general&option=main_features

Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: rbistolfi on May 17, 2007, 05:07:59 pm
I think the Trellis license allow modifications, but not allow the re-ditribution of the modificated version.

Quote
You may:
* Modify and customize the software to your personal liking except to the extent detailed in this agreement.

I read the license and I didnt found anything but:

Quote
You may not:
(...)
* Reverse engineer, disassemble, or create derivative works based on the software for distribution or usage outside your website.

Please correct me if I am wrong, may be I missed something.

OneOrZero:

http://www.oneorzero.com/

The OneOrZero Task Management and Help Desk System is a powerful, enterprise grade task management and help desk application.

It is fast, customizable and runs on virtually any platform and is released under the General Public Licence (GPL) Open Source license, allowing you to customize freely.

Our experienced and highly skilled team also offer support and customization services, to ensure your OneOrZero installation is professionally supported.

Main Features:
http://www.oneorzero.com/?controller=main_general&option=main_features



Look nice too, I need to see it more foundly...
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: bigpaws on May 17, 2007, 05:33:02 pm
Quote
I think the Trellis license allow modifications, but not allow the re-ditribution of the modificated version.

Quote
You may:
* Modify and customize the software to your personal liking except to the extent detailed in this agreement.

I read the license and I didnt found anything but:

Here is the whole license:
Quote
"Modify and/or remove any copyright notices or labels on the software on each page (unless copyright output removal license is purchased) and in the header of each script source file. This includes, but is not restricted to, deleting, moving, changing the size, removing the links, or deleting any words from the copyright noticies
* Distribute any of the files or any part of the files contained in the software package (except skin and language files)."

What is highlighted is the problem. You could not modify the page to say Vector Linux, egroupware,phpproject and
opengroupware because of the gpl you could do that.

Bigpaws
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: rbistolfi on May 17, 2007, 06:25:31 pm
hmmm, I can see it now, I thougt that meaning something different, like this: "you cant remove the copyrigth notice wich is located on the header of each source file". Sorry  :-[
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: exeterdad on May 18, 2007, 08:43:13 pm
I thought I'd contact the authors of Trellis and find out what we could do to Trellis.  I opened up a help ticket and communicated through the help system they had set up.  It sent copies of everything to my email as well.  Pretty cool.  Okay this is the correspondence.

Me:
Quote
Hello,

My name is Lee. I am a member of the VectorLinux community. VectorLinux is based upon Slackware Linux if you aren't familiar.

The reason I am contacting you is we are now looking for a Help Desk solution to offer premium support to our users. Normally we have outstanding support free to all within in our own forums, but recently MadTux has started selling new computers with VectorLinux preloaded on them. They are also selling these customers subscription based support. They (MadTux) gave us the opportunity to staff that support, or they would handle it themselves. As VectorLinux is our design, we feel the customers would be better served by the creators rather than a third party. This also means that VectorLinux will have the chance to earn a trivial amount of money, helping to pay for server costs or promotion.

Though your help desk solution is beautiful and functional we would have to alter it to suite our needs. Though we see no need to remove the small copyright text, we would like to change the Trellis Desk logo on the upper right to our own logo. We believe you and your team deserve credit for what appears to be a promising product.

Code modification's would definitely be source code modifications. We would have to implement some sort of PayPal gateway, a gateway for what MadTux has sold and something to track the status of subscriptions.

We have no intentions of redistributing the code we modify. We are simply asking permission to alter Trellis Desk for our own use.

Also... honestly. Do you think Trellis Desk is suited for a production yet.

Your reply is anxiously awaited.

Regards,
Lee

Them:
Quote
Hello Lee,

Thanks for your kind words regarding Trellis Desk. You can modify Trellis Desk in any way you want; source code, images, css, templates, language, etc. However, the copyright at the bottom must remain intact. If you wish to remove the copyright, I would be more than happy to allow you to do so for a one-time fee.

As for your last question, honestly, I think Trellis Desk is currently stable enough for small to medium sized organizations / companies. However, Beta 5 has some email notification bugs and statistics features are still being added. So if email notification and/or statistics is important to you, I would wait until Beta 6 which should be released in about a week or two. Statistics will actually take a little longer. Probably the following release or two.

Otherwise, Beta 5 is pretty stable. If I were you, I would wait until Beta 6 is released, and just do a fresh install from that. Of course, you could always download Beta 5 and play around with it. Also, if you were to upgrade from Beta 5 to Beta 6, you would have to redo some of your modifications as files will need to be overwritten. As always, please remember this software is in beta. It is not guaranteed to be stable. Based on user feedback, most of our builds have been pretty stable. We haven't had any major disasters yet. :P

If you have any more questions, please don't hesitate to ask. Again, Beta 6 will be out soon. It's going through private testing right now. :)

And me again:
Quote
Thank you for your informative and speedy response. Also your brutal
honestly about the status of your project. I will post our
correspondence on our message board and leave it to the community to
decide. There has been debate whether or not your license would allow
modifications to the code. You have cleared that up.

I will personally let you know if your system is used on our site.

Regards,

Lee

That's nice to know!  Anyhow to keep people up to speed.  It appears it hasn't been decided what system to use.  Bigpaws and I have been searching out and playing with other systems, and trying to weigh pros and cons.  Bigpaws say other members are working on this too.
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: rbistolfi on May 19, 2007, 08:35:42 am
Good job exeterdad! I am testing some tools on my xampp server too, and a I must to say Trellis is the winner for me. The lack of stats is not a good notice, could be really helpful in order to know how many jobs are taken by each member of the staff, but may be we can find a solution for this.
The best feature is the "groups" one. I created 3 custom groups. One called "30 days", other called "6 months", other "1 year". I thougth VL could offer more than a "30 days service". We can create custom groups to match all kind of support-products VL could offer. Then I wrote a very simple php script to delete all the "expired" members. It works like this: If you are a member of the "30 days" groups, and 30 days passed after de subscription, then you are deleted from the database. And one of these for each group. The script is not a modification to the source code, it works with the mysql database directly, using the fields "joined" and "mgroup" of the xx_members table (xx_ is the prefix). This script could be non-interactive and be executed as a cron job daily, by the php interpreter. I tested it adding several members on different dates. I will keep testing it to look if nothing else get corrupted on the database, but looks like its working.
I am thinking in adding another group called "inactive" with no permissions at all, so we can "move" the expired members to thart group, and not delete them, since the delete has no undo. Is much as the original script, but using UPDATE instead the DELETE sql instruction.
I think a gateaway could be implemented in a similar way, working directly with the database and not touching trellis at all.
Is true this tools can be implemented with other help-desk, but Trellis already have all what we need to do it.
I will keep on this...
cheers, Rodrigo
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: bigpaws on May 19, 2007, 12:03:31 pm
Quote
Then I wrote a very simple php script to delete all the "expired" members. It works like this: If you are a member of the "30 days" groups, and 30 days passed after de subscription, then you are deleted from the database

Are you refering to actually deleting the table entries? If that is the case the you can create a couple problems one is that
reindexing of MySQL db will need to be done after the batch delete. The other problem is that deleting the information
of course will limit the available statistics, so no query.

Bigpaws
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: MikeCindi on May 19, 2007, 12:27:55 pm
The script surely could be modified to "move" the expired account to the "expired" group. Of course that group would no longer have access to the subscription service but would still be in the database for statistical information and queries.
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: exeterdad on May 19, 2007, 08:50:35 pm
rbistolfi...  you're off to a rock'n start!  I like the idea of messing with the source as little as possible.  Would make upgrading to another release of Trellis less painful.  And we know it would have to happen to get the bugfixes taken care of, and the stats when they are implemented.

I admit I've done little today as far as looking in to all this.  The wife hates staring at the back of my head when I have my nose buried in computer related stuff.  I wasn't about to push my luck today.  I'm sure the married folks around here know the deal.

I did however notice something disturbing about Trellis.  I fired off one more response to the fellow I was conversing with.  All correspondence to him was via the helpdesk using the browser.  This last response was by email.  I did it purposely to see if it would work.  It failed.  I did receive a message from his mail server:
Code: [Select]
This is an automatically generated Delivery Status Notification

Delivery to the following recipient failed permanently:

    support@iftomatoes.com

Technical details of permanent failure:
PERM_FAILURE: SMTP Error (state 13): 550-"The recipient cannot be verified.  Please check all recipients of this
550 message to verify they are valid."
And then the remainder was the headers and the message I had sent.  Keep in mind that this was the actual Trellis Desk help system that the author uses.  Not the demo they have set up.  Though he did warn me that the current release is buggy in the mail functions and they should be resolved in the next release that is under testing.  Hopefully that server isn't one of the testing servers!

I am curious what bigpaws conclusion may be about the otrs system?
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: bigpaws on May 19, 2007, 09:24:47 pm
Quote
I am curious what bigpaws conclusion may be about the otrs system?

The OTRS system is an incredible system that can used via browser or email. I tested the email
system and had sucess then only  quirks were the first email I sent to them arrived last. That could
be a flakey email system on my ISP part.

The problrm or may I say the challenge so far has been getting the beast installed. I have tried
Debian based installs without success. I am working on a Slackware install at the moment.

Oh and the current test server for Trellis is quoted by them to be on the Beta 6 as of last night.

Bigpaws
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: exeterdad on May 19, 2007, 10:18:47 pm
Found a surprise in my email a bit ago from the guy from Trellis Desk:
Quote
Hello Lee,

Sounds good. I couldn't help but notice you mentioned that you received an error when sending email an email to support@iftomatoes.com. (I found your forums and your the topic in which you are discussing Trellis Desk. It's interesting to see what you guys have to say and great feedback for me.) Anyways, we currently do not have support@iftomatoes.com setup to receive any emails. That's why you received the error. It was actually generated by the server mail program, not Trellis Desk.

What gave to you idea to try support@iftomatoes.com? Did you find that email somewhere on our website? I'm just curious because it might be out there somewhere when it shouldn't be. Anyways, this system is now running Beta 6, which has all known email issues resolved. :P

Sorry for eavesdropping on you guys. But I always like to read stuff about Trellis Desk on other websites. Great feedback tool, and it kinda inspires me. :)

What seems to of happened was I had attempted to contact him by replying to one of the emails sent out by the help system.  I'm guessing support@iftomatoes.com was filled in by the setup script and wasn't edited to reflect a legitimate email address on the mail server.
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: rbistolfi on May 20, 2007, 02:53:41 pm
Quote
Then I wrote a very simple php script to delete all the "expired" members. It works like this: If you are a member of the "30 days" groups, and 30 days passed after de subscription, then you are deleted from the database

Are you refering to actually deleting the table entries? If that is the case the you can create a couple problems one is that
reindexing of MySQL db will need to be done after the batch delete. The other problem is that deleting the information
of course will limit the available statistics, so no query.

Bigpaws

The delete was the first thing to try, I re-wrote the script to move the expired user to another group, instead the hard delete. I am not a pgp* php expert, but I thougth some reaserch on this field could help us. I was looking the source code and I cant find yet the way trellis handle the delete/move-to-other-group action, inj order of do it in a similar way, because we dont want to corrupt the database. If I am not wrong, the xx_members table is a fundamental one, and it is not related with others. That is good, so we could safely modify entrys without errors, if the table would be related (via the FOREING KEY option by example) we could not modify it easily.

I noticed the reindexing issue, but this jobe needs to be done if the database is edited by the trellis software too. I am looking into the source code, but is a little complex to me. If we could find the exact way trellis handles this issues, we could reproduce them in our script.

Quote
I like the idea of messing with the source as little as possible.  Would make upgrading to another release of Trellis less painful.
You are totally rigth about this. Upgrade a very tweaked code could be a big problem in the future. I think the key to do it ios understanding the source code very well, and try to do things in a similar way, but "from the outside".

Quote
Sorry for eavesdropping on you guys. But I always like to read stuff about Trellis Desk on other websites. Great feedback tool, and it kinda inspires me.

You are welcome here, please notice the "manage expired users" feature could be a nice improvement to the system  ;)

Quote
The OTRS system is an incredible system that can used via browser or email.
A system wich can be operated via email is really nice. I was looking the demo and didnt notice an easy way to manage the members, this could be a problem to us, in order to implement all the features we need. But I didnt look at it in a deep way, just the first impression. I will try an install on my xampp if I can make the time.

*oops, a typo
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: rbistolfi on May 20, 2007, 06:20:46 pm
Just an update. I was testing the new version of the script, so its not deleting anymore, but moving the member to another group instead. Do you think this will affect the re-indexing issue in another way, Bigpaws? If some more experienced guys than me in sql could give an advice on this could be great!
Looks like works, and is very simple. Editing a value instead the hard delete of the hole entry is more safe, and the action keeps the user data, wich is nice if VL wants to do some promotion stuff. The "groups" feature make it very easy, we just need to set the value of the mgroup field of the xx_members table. I need to say this is a very strong point in favor of trellis. Without the "groups" feature, we should take other way, like switching the password to a random one. This makes the changes hard to trace. With the groups you can list the inactive users easily. I will think on this, since may be other help-desk is the winner.
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: someotherguy on May 20, 2007, 09:26:51 pm
If you were to manually change the mgroup value of a user in the xx_members table, the only thing that would be off is the member count for each group.  To update these members, you would simply need to run two more queries.  One that subtracts a user group the old group, and one that adds a user to the new group.  If you look in the xx_groups table, you will see a field called g_members which stores the current member count for that group.

The group cache is usually updated after a member switches groups.  But you may be fine without updating the cache right away, as Trellis Desk will update on its own eventually.  If you wish to update the cache immediately, a simple call to the rebuild_group_cache() function would do it.  The ifthd.php file would need to be loaded in backend mode, which is very easy to do.
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: rbistolfi on May 21, 2007, 08:33:31 am
Thank you very much someotherguy! That is really helpful, I dont think a really up-to-date cache is needed, but we'll see... The counters issue is a small one and with your advice can be fixed easily, so this are good news fot us.
Thank you again.

PS: I viewed your posts on the trellis forum when I was looking for info on this subject, so you have authority on this field   ;)
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: someotherguy on May 21, 2007, 09:15:27 am
PS: I viewed your posts on the trellis forum when I was looking for info on this subject, so you have authority on this field   ;)

LoL, I am the developer. :)
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: rbistolfi on May 21, 2007, 09:22:13 am
LoL, I am the developer. :)

Great! Congratulations for the good work!
As a payback for your help, our devs could help you on your Vector Linux install  :D
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: rbistolfi on May 25, 2007, 04:20:35 pm
So... Are we still interested in giving support?
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: metvas on May 25, 2007, 06:16:23 pm
you betcha we are..
Thxs
Darrell
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: metvas on May 25, 2007, 11:40:25 pm
Hello All:
Lots on the go as usual. Finally got through with those boards dumping on VL. Sure relieved that is just about over. MadTux sold some VL Green Machines unfortunately without pre-paid help. Happy to see them move anyway. Great review on us being better Slackware than Slackware…lots of chatter to go along with it. Mostly good about 60% and that’s OK.
Rbistoilfi is looking close to a solution with Trellis Board, Thanks guy. Bigpaws is working on RT, it seems to have lots of dependency issues and some quirky Pearl code is needed to be written. Bigpaws knows a bit of Pearl but maybe could use a hand. Way to go bigpaws. Wish I had the server brains that guy has. Uel provided me with info on our source code that was interesting did not know it was not online. Does not really matter, as VL is GPL compliant anyway. Got the art work done for the CD cover for SoHo, got some orders processed then went back to dealing with MadTux.
MadTux is very happy that we now have a nice link to the VL machine page from our home page. Looks good Thanks Robert. Thanks to everyone and those that donated or purchased a product Thanks. So that is that for me, next step is to get rbistolfi and bigpaws any help they may need. Then we are set-up. Real good work you guys. We are shinning out there with that review, I wonder how Patrick feels about that, that’s another story.
Best Regards
Darrell
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: rbistolfi on May 26, 2007, 01:57:53 pm
Nice news, metvas.
Here is my report. I made some modifications to solve the counters issue. It works, but trellis have a bug on the counters (the demo version have it too, so i didnt break it  :)) so, even when you update the list of members from one or more groups, the counter is 0. This is a minor bug anyway and surely will be fixed on next release.
Because lack of time, I didnt go with the cache issue. Is this important for us? The cache is nice, you can undo some changes if you want. I can imagine just one scenario: the server clock have a problem, so, mysql will remove users who are not really expired. This can happen if the clock of the server is foward. The worst thing can happen is an authorized member who cant access to his account. Remember this is a change hard to trace.
If something like this happen, we want to undo the changes, fix the clock, and re-run the script to remove really-expired accounts. I am thinking in adding a report with date included, to be sended by mail to the admin. This will notice us of the problem quickly (hopefuly), but oviously not resolve the undo issue.
A possible solution: generate an intermediate group, with just the last accounts moved. In that way you can move back the unfairly moved users with some efficience. The members of this group needs to be moved  in the next script execution to a definitive group, and the transitional group updated with the last expired accounts.
what do you think about this?
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: someotherguy on May 27, 2007, 06:46:33 am
I made some modifications to solve the counters issue. It works, but trellis have a bug on the counters (the demo version have it too, so i didnt break it  :)) so, even when you update the list of members from one or more groups, the counter is 0. This is a minor bug anyway and surely will be fixed on next release.

I'm about to push out the Beta 6 release.  Can you explain this bug to me in more detail so I can hopefully squeeze the fix in?
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: rbistolfi on May 28, 2007, 07:50:10 am
Yes, I was thinking about  contact you in your forum but I didnt because of lack of time, sorry. The counters dont reflex the real state of the database. I have a few members in one group and the counter still in zero. I though I screwed something playing with the database, so I did a manual update of the value of g_members hoping trellis could do the counts from this number. Everything goes fine, but when you move a member to another group or you do another kind of update, the counter go back to zero. If you check the members list, the members are there, but the ciunter is in zero. Looks like each time trellis update the g_members value, it set 0 to the g_members field. I checked the demo version to be sure it wasnt me broken something, but the demo works in the same way.
cheers, Rodrigo
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: someotherguy on May 28, 2007, 11:08:03 am
I think I fixed that in Beta 6.  That bug sounds familiar.  Anyways, Beta 6 has been released.  The demo has also been updated so you can check it out there.  If the bug is still there, let me know.
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: rbistolfi on May 28, 2007, 11:32:57 am
Thank you someotherguy, it's a minor bug, so it can wait to the next release  ;)
I will donwnload beta 6, I am sure will be nice, the bases of a good system are already there.
Keep the good work!
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: never_stop_learning on May 28, 2007, 04:31:49 pm
My apologies, I've been buried between work and the Lions Computers for Kids Project, just read this thread from start to finish and realize that I'm joining the discussion late in the game. You may also want to review the SQI, Inc. website - http://sqi-inc.com/ic/ - for information regarding their Client Interface Environment (CIE). These good folks also started Open Source Nevada and are true Linux evangelists.

We tried a number of different Lions C4K models. Direct user support became way too onerous for a volunteer based project. We now work through 'Sponsoring Organizations' (Big Brothers Big Sisters, the local foster families association,  public and private schools, other non-profits) through a 'train the trainers' model. They act as Tier I Tech Support for the kids and families. We act as Tier II support. As we flesh this model out, SQI, Inc. will provide our Trouble Ticket and Resolution system. Believe me, you want to automate this process as much as possible if you want to keep your sanity.

I am happy to facilitate contact with the SQI if you feel it's appropriate. Please LMK what else I can do to help.
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: bigpaws on May 28, 2007, 04:43:27 pm
Never to late to join. SQI appears to be an interesting solution.

The type of solution that is being looked at something that can be
autonomous, as you noted. Also something that can will be able to
stand the test of time. There are a couple we programs that are being
evaluated. One being Request Tracker and Trellis Desk. Both are actively
developed and customizable.

A comparison would be appreciated. Any other suggestions are more than
welcome.

Bigpaws
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: never_stop_learning on May 28, 2007, 04:52:19 pm
Never to late to join. SQI appears to be an interesting solution.

The type of solution that is being looked at something that can be
autonomous, as you noted. Also something that can will be able to
stand the test of time. There are a couple we programs that are being
evaluated. One being Request Tracker and Trellis Desk. Both are actively
developed and customizable.

A comparison would be appreciated. Any other suggestions are more than
welcome.

Bigpaws

Thank you, Bigpaws. I'll ask our resident techies to look at Request Tracker and Trellis Desk.
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: sqijeff on May 29, 2007, 12:35:55 pm
Hi. I am the founder of SQI Inc. We  are an on-demand solutions provider (SaaS) for the support infrastructure at the Client Interface Environment (CIE). Or core strategy is to establish a new value point by being an open source integrator.

As part of my commitment to the open source community I would like to offer to host your support site at no charge.

btw. The Incident Manager part of CIE is RT with extensions. The Knowledge Hub parts are Moinmoin and the search engine is Apache Lucene. All are integrated with our AppBus technology.

Let me know if you are interested. I can setup an evaluation site if you want to move forward.

I any event, it is great to see such a dedicated and active community pushing open source technology.

Jeff
www.sqi-inc.com

Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: metvas on May 29, 2007, 12:58:55 pm
Hello:
Were do we sign....!!
Thanks very much, as in very much... there are 2 + members evaluating things now. I will make certain they see this.
thxs
Regards
Darrell
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: never_stop_learning on May 29, 2007, 01:46:46 pm
Hi. I am the founder of SQI Inc. We  are an on-demand solutions provider (SaaS) for the support infrastructure at the Client Interface Environment (CIE). Or core strategy is to establish a new value point by being an open source integrator.

As part of my commitment to the open source community I would like to offer to host your support site at no charge.

btw. The Incident Manager part of CIE is RT with extensions. The Knowledge Hub parts are Moinmoin and the search engine is Apache Lucene. All are integrated with our AppBus technology.

Let me know if you are interested. I can setup an evaluation site if you want to move forward.

I any event, it is great to see such a dedicated and active community pushing open source technology.

Jeff
www.sqi-inc.com



Thank you, Jeff.....

David
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: rbistolfi on May 29, 2007, 06:51:01 pm
Ok, the counter issue is solved with trellis 6 and a little tweak on the script, I guess this mark as done the "disallow access for expired accounts" feature. I move in to the cache issue. I guess the gateaway will be next and last to do a final evaluation over trellis desk. I have no much hope on this because we need to touch the madtux system or the paypal one as exeter suggested. Is possible a script takes data form an email? I guess that could be a way to automate this. Trellis has the option of manual validating an acoount by an admin or staff member, I guess we can ask for the user to register himself in order to activate his support account, and then manually validate the request once we check the payment.
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: metvas on May 29, 2007, 10:19:01 pm
rbistolfi:
Could you please have a look at the thread by sqijeff above and see what is being offerd. I think it is a excellent offer. Could you let me know your thoughts.
regards
Darrell
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: uelsk8s on May 30, 2007, 07:32:56 am
the sqi system looks good to me.
I think we need to give it at least a demo run.
Uelsk8s
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: rbistolfi on May 30, 2007, 10:55:17 am
I saw the thread and the site, and looks nice. I thougth we was not looking for an on-demand system. The overviews in the site looks good. I cant say any else because there is no demo or something like that. I understand is a paid service so, if we can pay it, lets try it. I am able to test it and give my point of view if is needed.

the sqi system looks good to me.
I think we need to give it at least a demo run.
Uelsk8s

I think is a great idea, whatever would be the final choice, to do a demo run with the staff, and a few members of this forum could act as "customers", so we can see how the hole thing will work.
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: metvas on May 30, 2007, 11:17:38 am
I will ask Jeff at SQI, to set that up. I look forward to this. Thanks for all the effort by rbistolfi and bigpaws to keep this effort alive. What a team!! It is little wonder we are were we are with VL.
regards
Darrell
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: metvas on May 31, 2007, 10:07:42 am
Hello All;
I will be calling Jeff at sqi-inc in reno Nevada at 10 am there time to discuss this opportunity for VL. If anyone has any questions they want me to ask, please post them here.will report back after that call as to were we are.
Regards
Darrell
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: metvas on May 31, 2007, 10:12:06 am
sorry that is I will be calling on Friday June 1st at 10 am there time in Reno Nevada. That is noon my time.
Regards
Darrell
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: LLL on June 01, 2007, 08:53:02 pm
Thanks for the updates metvas. Posting this message to let you know at least one of us (likely many more) is following along.

LLL
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: MikeCindi on June 01, 2007, 10:34:29 pm
Thanks for the updates metvas. Posting this message to let you know at least one of us (likely many more) is following along.

LLL
Me too...
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: nubcnubdo on June 07, 2007, 09:55:19 pm
Just checking your ads at MadTux, for the VL-100 and VL-330. I guess I can understand why you don't have a link to VL's home page, but I wonder why you can't promote the great qualities of Vector Linux in the ad copy. Like VL being lightning fast, doing everything out of the box, and being rock-solid stable. Will you be giving the buyer a copy of the VL install CD? If so, it isn't clear that you will do so. Maybe get a facsimile of the VL CD available thru CD Store, presumably with Masta's artwork, and display that on the page, in the same manner that MadTux displays Ubuntu and Suse CDs with other models it sells.
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: metvas on June 07, 2007, 10:32:18 pm
Good Points. I have masta's work but we are using our origonal label now due to time constraints when we released. I will ask Madtux about that.
Regards
Darrell
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: metvas on June 27, 2007, 01:23:53 am
Hello All:
For those of you being set up in SQI I have NOT made your accounts there will do fist thing AM. Just use pssws and usr name I leftyou with before.
Thxs
Regards
Darrell
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: cintyram on July 05, 2007, 11:32:35 am
I joined this thread a little late i suppose.
but here is my solution.

1. paid support is sold in units of time or instances.
  eg: 30 tickets or 3 months. which ever is longer. so if you file 200 ticekts in 3 months, you have to buy more time. if you want to file a ticket after the three months.
        if you file only 15 in 3 months, you can file the remaining 15 as long as you want. [ maybe before 6 months expire etc.]

2. paid members can file tickets, which can be looked at by the forum. or if a solution is already available, they will be directed.  but by filing a ticket, the paying customer will have a definite closure on teh issue.
  eg: if i have a problem and file a ticket, some one will come and help me until my issue is resolved to my satisfaction or it is identified that it cannot be resolved now and a course of action is shared with me. This guarantee is what i would be paying for.

3. the infrastrucuture we need can be really simple, we can just use any system like bugzilla or trac. any system that handles tickets.

4. regarding payment, we should use a system similar to yahoo answers. the customer decides who helped most and will award points, the points get translated to dollars by some ratio  eg: Kocil, Jonvan and LLL help me with a particular problem, i note that fact when i close the ticket.  So Vec and darrel can divide the points for that issue [ lets say this is a difficult issue and is worth 90 points, easy 10 points].
At the end of a period say 3 months, Kocil has 1000 points in his account, he gets a percentage of the revenue proportional to his score of points.

5. Darrel can recruit some people from the forum to be dedicated to the responses. they get some points for just showing up and addressing the issue. if they help resolve it, extra points.

6. Tickets are readable to everyone, but writable only for those who sign up for it.
    paying customers are also regular forum members. but they also get an account in the ticket system.
    only they have write access to ticket system. not the other forum members.



My role:
  I can:  help others if they sign up to help with implementation.
            help with defining the use model and moderating discussion on this.
            help with defining the business model and moderating a discussion on that.

 I cannot: guarantee a response time < 2 days.
               directly contribute time and effort for implementation.
 
Please share your views.
Thanks
cheers
ram

Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: metvas on July 08, 2007, 12:43:16 am
Hi cintyram:
Thanks for the ideas. With the system at SQI which is RT the tracking of each admin per ticket is automatically logged. So that is taken care of. Should you have further questions or suggestions please let me know and I will do my best to answer them.
The page for prepaid is almost finished it will be on our home page. Have some issues with CSS that have to be ironed out.
regards
Darrell
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: metvas on July 08, 2007, 10:04:05 am
BTW cintyram:
You can goto vector.ecosq.com/ic/ (http://vector.ecosq.com/ic/) to have a look around.
regards
Darrell
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: cintyram on July 09, 2007, 02:41:52 pm
hi darrell,
 how do i get a log in to edit some of the pages on that link?
thanks
cheers
ram
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: metvas on July 11, 2007, 07:08:44 am
Hi cintyram:
OK your account is in. Can you let me know if you have edit rights when you login.
thxs
Darrell
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: metvas on July 19, 2007, 12:18:27 am
Hello All:
Update with Vector and Pre-insalled and pre-paid tech support. As far as I know the machines are still moving at MadTux. I finished the page to advertise these seervices with the help of telemaniaka one of our members who gave it a final review. Robert has the package and I am waiting for him to put it up. Still don't know the access info for our site. We have one Small dropdown box on one page at MadTux and we received two orders, will see what happens when we have it on our own page. Thumbs up I hope.
Over at SQI the creator of SQI Jeff Elpern has been graciously making modifications to his system to further streamling our experience there. Now it is getting to remind me of Vector. Fast, sleek and easy to use without dumming down. You can have a look around at vector.ecosq.com/ic (http://vector.ecosq.com/ic), please don't click on the email links for support.
The system is seamless and more changes to come.
Once the page is up and no further changes are required, we roll it all out. I am excited that the first Enterprise project for Vector has come together so well and as per our original intentions, and that does not happen to often. Without the help of the Vector Community this would never have come to be.  Good work guys and gals
Thank -You... All.
Regards
Darrell
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: dawnsboy on July 24, 2007, 09:40:35 am
I like the idea of a new computer pre-installed with VL.  Everything should work out of the box.  That will make it easier to convert family members from windows to linux. I can buy one for my 15 year old daughter for her birthday and be in time to have her comfortable with it before the school year starts.   ;D
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: nubcnubdo on July 29, 2007, 09:17:24 pm
AskSlashdot thread: ticket tracking and customer management (7-29-07)

http://ask.slashdot.org/askslashdot/07/07/29/1914203.shtml
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: metvas on August 15, 2007, 10:43:20 am
Hello All:
Sorry to be out of the loop but had some business to take care of out of town. Just got in last night. I was out of range for cell and Internet.
Some great news though. We are going full steam ahead with this endeavour. I have discussed several ideas to generate revenue the most promising immediate ways are pre-paid help and Google adds. We will also be shifting our host to an alternate DNS early next week. We will be using Python and moin moin mark-up exclusively, due to its simplicity. Although HTML and PHP code we currently use will execute beautifully.
The structure of VL will also be changing. There will be VL development and a separate VL enterprise. More news on this in a few days. Robert feels more comfortable with development and I will head up enterprise. This is the first division of VL since we began so the process will take some time to develop into their separate identities.
Will get back with the details I have by the end of the week. So lots in the works. I am excited about this division, and see only positive outcomes for VL.
Thanks
Regards
Darrell
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: metvas on August 29, 2007, 10:57:55 am
Hello Ali:
The final base structure of VL Enterprise has been crafted, I feel we will all be happy with it as we have maintained the spirit of "OPEN SOURCE", along side Enterprise. Above all, it will be CHOICE that matters.
The descriptive description with screen shots will be posted here today.
regards
Darrell
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: metvas on August 29, 2007, 12:32:46 pm
So here it is:
VL Enterprise will have it's own identity, but maintain it's integrity within VL and Open Source. Paid Support and SQI Knowledge Center will be presented and managed as additions to what is currently working for VL and not as a major change.
 The income stream from pre-paid technical help will be a choice and not a requirement. Our current forum will be maintained in it's current identity. A summary is normally for the end of a document. However I thought it wise to put it first with details following.

1. The "Community Support" via the Bulletin Board  

 * Broad community that builds momentum for VL
 *hobbyist  based  - does not address mainstream users needs. An example would be a new M$ user, who is not accustom to text scripts  but only GUI environments. This user may or may not ever learn or understand or ever want to learn or understand the use of text scripts. Their preception of Linux as a non GUI environment scares them away by mere preception, but may be willing to pay for that information. Much the same way as taking my vehicle for transmission servicing, because I do not understand it and frankly do not ever wish to. Thus I pay for that service.
 * Generates answers to issues
 * see https://sqi.ecosq.com/ic/openCIE (https://sqi.ecosq.com/ic/openCIE)

2. Information Center

 *A public "self-service" support site that has Problem/Solution Knowledge Units.
 see https://vector.ecosq.com/ic/FAQs (https://vector.ecosq.com/ic/FAQs)  and https://vector.ecosq.com/ic/HowTos (https://vector.ecosq.com/ic/HowTos)
 * Structured Content (not free form discussion)
 * Problem / Solution format
 * Material present in mainstream user "context"
 * Structured format enables search to return solution in first or second link
 * Authors guarantee quality of solutions
 * Generates income to VL via Google Adwords
Screen shot of input page:
https://vector.ecosq.com/ic/?action=ContributorStats (https://vector.ecosq.com/ic/?action=ContributorStats)

You will notice the colors get lighter as they move to the right. This displays a lighter color as the input goes down, it darkens as the input increases. I cannot show you this site stats page as it is behind the login page. Will see if I can get it to you. If you already have an account set up within SQI then contact me for further instructions. This page gives merit to the contributor(s) driving the input.

3. Paid Support

 * Direct support from VL/SQI members
 * Timely response guaranteed
 * Issues driven to conclusion

All revenue will be split between those driving pre-paid support on a percentage/involvement basis. Involvement is logged per contributor through RT. It is envisioned that a surplus would go towards trade shows or other means of promoting VL. A commodity we dearly need to popularize VL to were it truly belongs. http://www.desktoplinux.com/cgi-bin/survey/survey.cgi?view=archive&id=0813200712407 (http://www.desktoplinux.com/cgi-bin/survey/survey.cgi?view=archive&id=0813200712407)
So there you have it. We feel that this model accomplishes a great deal in holding to the principals of Open Source. While allowing VL to enter the arena of Enterprise.

Regards
Darrell









Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: easuter on August 29, 2007, 12:46:45 pm
Hmmm...

Won't enterprise customers also be interested in 64bit builds too?
What about full source code + build scripts?
What about repository management for this variant (enterprises probably need app security patches a lot faster than regular users are ready to wait for...)?
Won't enterprises expect a regular release cycle (arghhh...always release when ready!)

Sorry if I sound skeptical, but seeing as VL's developers work is already pretty heavy, and repository maintenance is not exactly 100% guaranteed 100% of the time....
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: metvas on August 29, 2007, 01:16:55 pm
Hi easuter:
Thanks for the comments.
The simple answer is no, no and no. VL is what it is no more no less. We don't and never have moved mountains. We do what we can with what we have. Should someone request those parameters you are suggesting, I think I would suggest they move to an alternate distro pay 10 times as much as we are charging and refund their money. Have not seen any complaints thus far and would not expect any like those anyway. Hope this answers your questions.
regards
Darrell
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: easuter on August 29, 2007, 01:21:04 pm
Quote
Should someone request those parameters you are suggesting, I think I would suggest they move to an alternate distro pay 10 times as much as we are charging and refund their money.

Fair enough...though source code is pretty important to be fully GPL compliant, and maybe thats why we haven't been slapped by the GPL Compliance Lab because we are not one of the big cheeses (yet)...
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: metvas on August 29, 2007, 01:24:47 pm
Yes I know, however we are fully compliant with all other aspects of GPL so kind of OK "I think", for now.
Regards
Darrell
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: easuter on August 29, 2007, 02:52:14 pm
Quote
Yes I know, however we are fully compliant with all other aspects of GPL so kind of OK "I think", for now.

The main and probably most important part of the GPL is how source code should (and must) get distributed...
Well, yeah, "for now" we are...but if this goes ahead then very soon we probably won't be OK.

Sorry if I'm nitpicking here, but IMHO its a bit short sighted to not distribute the source code when a move like this will most likely bring a lot more attention from users (good) *and* from the FSF (possibly problematic if things aren't in order).

It would be a shame to release a distro and then have to take it down until we are compliant. This would then also be a problem because:

a) if the distro isn't built with distribution of the source in mind, then one would have to go back and try to figure out how all the packages were made in order to include build scripts, which chews up more time still.

b) we'll have some very disappointed customers if the distro is taken down to be made compliant. This wouldn't be so much of a problem if everything were GPLv3 since this license gives a grace time to correct violations without having the license revoked, but the GPLv2 isn't as accommodating in this aspect.
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: metvas on August 29, 2007, 06:02:23 pm
Speculation on my part. But I would guess a lot of sites are not putting up their source code due to manpower constraints. We comply even to the point of offering our deluxe version CD 1 ( not including the extra's) CD as a free download. How compliant is that. FSF does live in the real world. So with that I trust we do not have any difficulties with FSF. It would be a shame to have our very first contact with FSF to be one of controversy. I do not feel we are flying under the radar on this issue. My opinion anyway.
Regards
Darrell
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: bigpaws on August 29, 2007, 08:31:05 pm
The GPL only requires that source code be made available by either including it
or that a reference to the original work be made. At least that is what I have gotten
from reading the GPL V2. I have not fully read GPL V3 as of yet.

Bigpaws
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: easuter on August 29, 2007, 11:25:40 pm
bigpaws: yes, but it you just include a tarball on its own with the original sources, that is still pretty useless because nobody knows how the package for that particular piece of software was built. Take Slackware an an example: why would Patrick Volkerding bother adding the the SlackBuilds?...because if he doesn't, then you can't make an exact copy of the package when building from source!

I can't remember where I saw an article abut this kind of thing, but Mepis is getting slammed for this very reason, and they are probably even more undermanned than we are...but what choice do they have but to comply!

metvas: yes, indeed, providing the source code is not as quick as just the binary packages, but its really not that much more work if scripts are used and if the packages are built with this objective in mind, ie: prepare a source directory, write a description, use a template build script if you want to speed things up, and run it. Sometimes things need tweaking, but thats nothing extraordinary.
Take exeterdad's Firefox language pack builder as an example:

http://vectorlinux.osuosl.org/veclinux-5.8/source/testing/net/firefox-lang/

That script generates...a ton of packages which would have been a lot harder to do by hand, especially if things need to be changed in those packages at a later stage.

Well, I've made my point many times over so I'm gonna shut up now.
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: vector on August 30, 2007, 01:40:05 am
I am gonna jump in here just to (hopefully) clariiy the source code controversy. We announce very clearly that we are slackware based that means we use the same source as slack for basic system. We also use for the most part the same build scripts with a change in cflags. The init and scripts we use to to make VL different are available as packages but since they are scripts there is no source code involved. If everyone thinks that yet again copying the slack source tree to our repo will make a gpl2 god happy then ill do it but it seems a waste....and repetitive. The whole gpl thing was aimed at individual  program developers not a distro with the goal of making the code better. When we publish in house coded programs like our gui installer and the gui-packager of course we will supply all but to take up yet another public servers space with redundant packages makes no sense.
Just my humble opinion.
cheers,
Vec
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: saulgoode on August 30, 2007, 03:06:15 am
I think Mepis ran afoul of the FSF because they had FTP repositories containing GPLed software and they were charging a fee for access. If I interpret the GPL2 correctly, these "for-pay" repos would be considered commercial distribution of the packages -- and thus are not afforded the non-commercial exception (GPL2: Section 3-c) which would have allowed Mepis to just direct users to the Debian FTP repos for the source.

I could be wrong but I think that since Vector's repos are non-commercial, directing users to the original Slackware source fulfills the requirement of 3-c, "Accompany it with the information you received as to the offer to distribute corresponding source code". If such is not the case then how is a site such as LinuxPackages.net or Slacky.eu exempted from providing source?

Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: exeterdad on August 30, 2007, 04:05:55 am
I wish I could find the article that stated that distros based on other distros must supply the base sources/scripts as well.  Apparently this is a common misunderstanding acrossed the board.
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: The Headacher on August 30, 2007, 06:11:19 am
You mean this one (http://www.linux.com/articles/55285)? 
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: exeterdad on August 30, 2007, 06:59:05 am
You mean this one (http://www.linux.com/articles/55285)? 

That is thee one.  If it is accurate, we should rethink some things.
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: uelsk8s on August 30, 2007, 07:54:34 am
We have to make available source code for every package we distribute. Even the slackware packages.
  This does not mean we have to have it on the server only that if someone requests it that we make it available to them.
    What that means is if I make a request to VL for the source code to 5,8 VL must supply me either a cd or a repo with all the source and build instructions for every package that came with 5.8
    And VL has to do this for 3 years after 5.8 was released. VL can charge me for this source.
   For slackware packages this will be very easy for us, we can just copy the SL source and redistribute it.
   For the other packages that were submitted this becomes much harder we must track down the source and figure out how the package was built.

Because of this I feel we need to setup and enforce a new rule for anyone submitting packages for us to redistribute.
 All packages submitted must be accompanied by a source dir that includes source tarball build instructions or buildscript, and any patches used in making the package.
 Also if you have to add a .desktop file and an icon, that should go to the source dir. And the description-pak

There are source trees at http://www.slacky.eu/repository/slackware-11.0/ and at any slackware mirror. these provide excellent resources for package builders.
You can copy the source dir and with a few slight modifications have a VL package and buildscript.
here are a couple good examples of what should be in our source dirs http://www.slacky.eu/repository/slackware-11.0/games/flightgear/0.9.10/src  and  http://vectorlinux.osuosl.org/veclinux-5.9/source/n/dhcp/

Uelsk8s
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: exeterdad on August 30, 2007, 10:00:23 am
Quote
Because of this I feel we need to setup and enforce a new rule for anyone submitting packages for us to redistribute.

I think you're absolutely right.  Call me paranoid, but I fear someone pulling the plug on us.  And yes, if rules are created, package submission probably will be slower than building, checkinstall, upload.  But not only will we be covering our butts, but it will help us to build packages if/when a package version changes and the submitter is not available to build a new version.  Honestly, it's really quite hard to determine what a package includes or does not include.  Especially for the packages that other packages depend on.  With a slackbuild, vbuild or a well written text file (for checkinstall packages) with all steps taken to build, shuffle/modify, include files, things would be so much better.

I have high hopes that Moe's utility will be able to replace the checkinstall builds.  So the non scripting packagers can easily build quality packages and still be able to submit the recipe they used to create the package.
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: metvas on August 30, 2007, 11:00:43 am
The "KEY WORD", here is ON DEMAND. In almost a decade I personally have never had a request. So for the interm while we get this together, if a request be made we will get it together for the requestor. No need to rush in to complete this. Also we do not have to have all the tags identified we just point the rerquestor to the latest tag. ie SoHo v5.8 RC1, RC2 etc. do not have to be logged simply the latest tag.
Should we wish to we could say our fee is $590.00 or $920.00 as no scheduled fee is identified.
I agree with Uel on the forming of a plan for the future releases. also I personally cannot see how we could be asked to provide all the information for lets say VL 5.0 it would be an impossible task to undertake.
Regards
Darrell
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: metvas on August 30, 2007, 11:08:21 am
BTW, we are NOT reqired to provide our build environment nor our test environment..
Darrell
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: metvas on August 30, 2007, 11:45:37 am
One more comment on this issue then I am done with it. The Telecom companies running Unix/Linux systems require a 6 year exact rollback for every package. For that they pay high 6 figure $$ for that service. So from that we are cannot be required to rollback. If we were required to we would legally be able to charge the same sum of $$ as it is the same service
Regards
Darrell
Title: Re: VL pre-installed
Post by: metvas on August 30, 2007, 09:18:34 pm
BTW, anyone interested in having an account set up at SQI for posting or perhaps with the pre-paid help PM me with an email address, usr name and passwd. I will get it set up for you.  There is a core of original admins from a few months ago. They would have a priority on the pre-paid. For more info on any of this just go back into this thread.
Regards
Darrell