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Author Topic: Vector 6.0 Standard/GOLD feedback and grumbles  (Read 9318 times)
beranger
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« on: March 25, 2009, 02:01:31 am »

A few people who know me might disregard this post merely based on my reputation Wink, however I'd like to comment on the time spent last night with Vector 6.0 Standard/GOLD on a 8-y.o. laptop (HP Omnibook XE3, Celeron-128, 850 MHz, 256 MB RAM PC-100).

  • The graphical installer is gorgeous (I've met it before, while in Alpha, but I still find it nice).
  • However, is it anyone really testing things and reading the screens? "Click 'Next' to begin installating Vector Linux 6.0 Standard Final."
  • Strange choice of the languages: English (US), Norwegian (Norway), Portuguese (Portugal), Russian, Spanish (Spain). For a Canadian distro, I'd expect some French, being it Québec-only. Also, for that continent, how about Spanish (Mexico/Argentina/Venezuela/etc.), and how about Brazilian Portuguese?
  • I had to say I was happy to see it supports JFS and XFS. I'll never use ext3 again, nor ext4.
  • At the end, the graphical installer wasn't able to restart the laptop, it just went black screen.
  • The 'full auto probe no questions' (or whatever its name is) was unable to make a working xorg.conf. I had to manually login as root in a second console, run 'X -configure' and overwrite xorg.conf with the new one! (Driver: "savage".)
  • I've always considered Vector as 'ugly' when comes to the design. This release is marginally prettier (OK, it's much better, but still not my cup of tea). I didn't like the blue, I don't like the black. Why is everyone trying to mimic Vista or KDE4?
  • OTOH, it's damn hard to find a decent-looking XFCE theme: the upstream/stock themes are all ugly, and this is why at some point I was a fan of Mint XFCE edition (looks 'business').
  • Believe me or not, Vector with XFCE is slower than Scientific Linux 5.2/5.3 with IceWM (and Xfe) on the same old hardware.
  • LXDE is a love-hate-nice-but-unfinished conundrum. With the black theming it's ugly for me. Surprisingly, it's not significantly faster than XFCE either.
  • As your repos are including quite a lot of software (except for gxine), I've also installed different WMs: IceWM, FVWM, WindowMaker, Pekwm.
  • GDM is looking great, but... it only allows me to choose between: XFCE, LXDE, Openbox (naked), PekWM, and two entries for GNOME (no matter it's not installed). Hello?!
  • I had to use VASM to switch the desktop manager to XDM, and only then changing the default window manager to icewm, fvwm, windowmaker and pekwm was possible and taken into account! This must be very confusing for a newbie! Why doesn't GDM list the newly added WMs?!
  • Maybe I did something, maybe I'm dumb, but... how can I hibernate? In LXDE I noticed a "Suspend" button on logout (suspend TO WHAT? I need "disk" because the battery is dead), but XFCE has nothing of the kind! Should the user belong to a specific group?
  • I don't understand the reason of including extra WMs -- IceWM, FVWM, WindowMaker, PekWM -- if they're 100% stock, with uncustomized menus! Heck, the guys at Wolvix are trying to preset the default menus in all the supported WMs to match a good deal of the applications provided by the distro, but you just left them as is! Heck (ditto), you can't have the excuse of "but we don't know what applications are installed on the machine, so most of the menu entries would be non-functional", because this is actually what happens now! Check out FVWM: 90%+ of what's in the menus are applications that simply don't exist anymore, so it's with the stock WM that the menu is non-functional! (Except for xterm.) (Oh, I liked in FVWM the entries referring to olvwm and olwm). It's outrageous to be unable to have a few relevant menu entries in such alternate WMs, prepared to launch (if installed) the file managers, editors and main applications offered by Vector Linux!
  • So far, VL6 is nice and functional enough, however with such stock, unconfigured alternate WMs, it's kinda disappointing. It's not supposed to be Slackware, or is it?
  • Still, it's better than Zenwalk, being it only for the mere reason that Vector does have a source tree that is actually populated with sources!
  • I'm not sure on what I'll do with it though. Running it on a low-end hardware makes it easy to feel the real speed, and it's less speedy than expected. Really, VL6 installed (with XFCE) is visibly less reactive than Scientific Linux with IceWM, even if I run SL from the mini-LiveCD! (And, note, I only have 256 MB or RAM, and PC-100!) And yes, I'm using VL with 16-bit color depth instead of the default 24-bit, to make it slightly faster.
  • OK, you can shoot me now for not loving you enough  Grin
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nightflier
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« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2009, 05:05:32 am »

No one is gonna fire any shots.  Smiley

Some of your points are explained simply by a lack of manpower, and an ambitious project. The installer languages were not chosen as much as accepted from volunteers who took the time to write and submit a translation of the original. If you do one for Spanish, it will be much appreciated.

The additional WM's in the repo are in "pristine" shape, packaged as released by the authors. Customizing WM menus and themes takes a lot of time (believe me, I know), and in the end you will only satisfy some people's tastes. Besides, many find it rewarding to start with a stock version, customizing it, and making it "theirs". IceWM especially has a large following and a huge number of available themes. If you like that one, you may want to try the "Light" version (still in RC state, though). It has a customized IceWM and should be faster than Standard on your hardware. It is not for newbies but obviously you have the knowledge and experience to put it to use.

You have other, valid points. Like hibernation, which is not very well developed yet. I think that questions in the relevant sections of the forum would give you help in getting it working.

Well, back to work. As you pointed out, there is plenty left to do!
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beranger
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« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2009, 05:48:19 am »

But... if the IceWM in Vector Light is different/customized, shouldn't it be uploaded to the repo as "the" IceWM official package?
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nightflier
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« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2009, 05:53:06 am »

No. The IceWM package remains unchanged. The customizations are applied on top of it. When everything is finalized, there will be a "mod" package for it in repo.
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caitlyn
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« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2009, 01:01:05 pm »

Most of the WM packages are converted Slackware packages.  They don't show up on the gdm menu because Slackware doesn't include gdm.  Those packages really need to be rebuilt to Vector Linux standards.  PekWM is a notable exception because I packaged it and Vectorized it.  I had planned on doing the same to most of the others but doing work I actually get paid for got in the way Sad  It's still on my to-do list.  nightflier is correct:  it's time consuming.  Hopefully the ones you want will be in testing soon.

I would expect *any* distro with Xfce to be slower than all but the most bloated distros with IceWM.  Xfce has become a full blown DE.  It's still not nearly as bloated as KDE or GNOME but it is getting there.  LXDE, as you pointed out, is very much a work in progress upstream.  On my old, slow hardware I'm running PekWM + fbpanel + pcmanfm + VL-Hot to make a decent desktop that's pretty darned fast.  Remove pcmanfm and use Xfe as you suggest would be even faster but the vl-hot/pcmanfm integration is nice.

I never understand complaints about desktop artwork and themes.  That is always a matter of individual taste.  How hard is it to right click on the Xfce desktop and change a background or a theme?  You don't like any of the themes?  Make your own!  It isn't hard or particularly time consuming and it will be portable from one distro to the next.  I happen to like the 6.0 artwork and theme but that's me.

Your complaints about the installer are certainly valid.  There are broken parts you clearly didn't run into.  The next release should include a translation into French if and when I find the time to do the translation.  Seems I'm the only volunteer qui parle français.  C'est dommage.  Thankfully I have native speakers in my family so any humorous translations will get corrected before being submitted  Grin  In any case a new, improved version of the installer is already in development.

re: gxine:  post a request in the Package Requests section of the forum.  We do have more volunteer packagers than ever and requests are getting completed rather quickly.

All in all most of your complaints are things that should get sorted out in the near future without having to wait for a new release.

Oh, didn't you give up on Linux, declare it to be garbage on the desktop, and move to all Windows?
« Last Edit: March 25, 2009, 01:50:48 pm by caitlyn » Logged

eMachines EL-1300G desktop, 1.6GHz AMD Athlon 2650e CPU, 4GB RAM, nVidia GeForce 6150 SE video
CentOS 6.5 (will try VL64-7.1 soon)

Toshiba Satellite A135-S4727,  Intel Pentium T2080 / 1.73 GHz, 2GB RAM, Intel GMA 950

HP Mini 110 netbook, 1.6GHz Intel Atom CPU, 2GB RAM, Intel 950 video, VL 7.1
beranger
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« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2009, 01:20:28 pm »

I'm running PekWM + fbpanel + pcmanfm + VL-Hot to make a decent desktop that's pretty darned fast.  Remove pcmanfm and use Xfe as you suggest would be even faster but the vl-hot/pcmanfm integration is nice.
Mmmm... how about a Vector PekWM edition LiveCD + installable CD, as a commercial spin? (A la SOHO.)

I never understand complaints about desktop artwork and themes.  That is always a matter of individual taste.
But you never understood me, anyway ;-) 

How hard is it to right click on the Xfce desktop and change a background or a theme?
It is. ALL of the native/upstream XFCE themes suck big!

You don't like any of the themes?  Make your own!  It isn't hard or particularly time consuming and it will be portable from one distro to the next.
I am not an artist. And it's not that easy, given that ALL the native XFCE themes are pure s**t IMNSHO.

re: gxine:  post a request in the Package Requests section of the forum.  We do have more volunteer packagers than ever and requests are getting completed rather quickly.
Well, I'm one of the very few people in love with gxine...

Oh, didn't you give up on Linux, declare it to be garbage on the desktop, and move to all Windows?
I did. And this is correct. But what to do with old hardware that still works?
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overthere
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« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2009, 07:15:41 pm »

Quote
I am not an artist. And it's not that easy
exactly..so show me what ya got or shutup..opps
Quote
Well, I'm one of the very few people in love with gxine..
that is likely truth but some nice packager would likely package it if you ask respectfully
Quote
I did. And this is correct. But what to do with old hardware that still works?
install win98se or win 95 there are still lots of excellent freeware available for old windows...if they do not want to be pirated then they should make it available to the masses who can not get a good theme to save themselves in linux or mac
I don't think you trashed jwm...are you a closet puppy user
lol just pokin fun
you should try vl-light and add a window manager you like then customize to your desired. I would be curious to see what it looked like..I have been useing this on 600 mhz with 256 of pc100, tear it apart...please..haha
http://files.myopera.com/dsl-o/albums/550557/Vlight4.jpg
cheers
« Last Edit: March 25, 2009, 07:19:12 pm by overthere » Logged

Everything Is Relative
Masta
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Vectorian
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Posts: 725



« Reply #7 on: March 25, 2009, 10:40:43 pm »

There were several .iso releases throughout the development, and there will continue to be releases in the same manner. If you are looking for something better to your tastes, those are the times to get an .iso and install it, test it, look it over, and then offer suggestions.

I am an official artist for this distro. I look through the bug report threads for stuff regarding the artwork, mostly for suggestions, and the majority's agreement of it's appeal. If something looks ugly to you, simply say so AND offer a suggestion that you think might appeal better. I will read it and take it into consideration. I recommend you should do the same with other aspects of the distro as well... if there's a spelling error, or some bug you've noticed, point it out while it's in development, so it can taken care of before final.

I thank you for your feedback. I accept it heartily. You can rest assured that you have been heard. Your feedback looks good enough to me and would look just as good in the bug report sections of the next release stages. I look forward to seeing you there.
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beranger
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« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2009, 01:04:47 am »

Masta,

It's not that your themes are not good, but maybe VL is targeting a different category of users. I am not the typical user of anything.

For instance, I dislike the themes who try to make everything "3D and rounded". A taskbar is a taskbar, not a sectioned pipe! This is why, for instance, I am using XP with its "Classical" (à la Win2k) look. This is why I dislike Vista and KDE4.

Then, dark/black is nice in some places (e.g. wallpaper/desktop bkg), but IMHO not as a predominant element of decorations, and again, not on the panel. (Maybe I have a "gray-bound" mind.)

But again, I am sure the typical users has other ideas than me on what is nice and what is not.
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caitlyn
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« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2009, 04:46:33 am »

@overthere:  Telling someone to "shutup" isn't polite, friendly, or helpful and certainly isn't the kind of thing I expect to see in the VL forums.  People are entitled to their opinions about the themes even if you don't agree with them.

@beranger:  One though re: your comment about VL being slow.  VL 6.0 Standard uses HAL by default.  You can improve performance by going into VASM or vasmCC and change the automounter to VL-Hot.  On hardware like yours getting rid of the constant polling definitely improves performance.
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eMachines EL-1300G desktop, 1.6GHz AMD Athlon 2650e CPU, 4GB RAM, nVidia GeForce 6150 SE video
CentOS 6.5 (will try VL64-7.1 soon)

Toshiba Satellite A135-S4727,  Intel Pentium T2080 / 1.73 GHz, 2GB RAM, Intel GMA 950

HP Mini 110 netbook, 1.6GHz Intel Atom CPU, 2GB RAM, Intel 950 video, VL 7.1
overthere
Vectorian
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Posts: 1281



« Reply #10 on: March 26, 2009, 03:27:06 pm »

Beranger...you have made several good points in your original post..if you are offended by my post I am not sorry I meant what I said and it is valid..I am not evidently free to have an opinion on this so will stop posting..which will have about as much impact as your complaints about themes in xfce...lol..it was all in fun as you can hardly be serious and if you are show me what you have or...well...be your hansome beautiful self sweet cheriot of useful information..lol

It's ok caitlyn the thread will fade and overthere is no more...your wish is my command oh queen
« Last Edit: March 26, 2009, 03:33:54 pm by overthere » Logged

Everything Is Relative
beranger
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« Reply #11 on: March 26, 2009, 03:47:11 pm »

I'm not offended, I am sleepy and in a bad mood for a bunch of UNRELATED reasons.
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overthere
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« Reply #12 on: March 26, 2009, 06:31:00 pm »

oh..thats good..I hope your mood improves..
I just replaced vl6-std with mepis...and am also sleepy and going for a nap
cheers
bye
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Everything Is Relative
rbistolfi
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« Reply #13 on: March 26, 2009, 07:43:00 pm »

Come on people is just Linux.
Nice screenshot overthere. I like a flat desktop also over the 3D effects.

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"There is a concept which corrupts and upsets all others. I refer not to Evil, whose limited realm is that of ethics; I refer to the infinite."
Jorge Luis Borges, Avatars of the Tortoise.

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Jumalauta!!
caitlyn
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« Reply #14 on: March 28, 2009, 12:57:47 pm »

@overthere:  You response to me is even more obnoxious than your first post.  You are certainly entitled to your opinions.  You aren't entitled to tell people to "shut up" which is telling them not to post your opinions.  The fact that you aren't sorry you offend people speaks volumes.

I am not in charge of anything and that "oh queen" comment was way off base.

Enjoy Mepis.
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eMachines EL-1300G desktop, 1.6GHz AMD Athlon 2650e CPU, 4GB RAM, nVidia GeForce 6150 SE video
CentOS 6.5 (will try VL64-7.1 soon)

Toshiba Satellite A135-S4727,  Intel Pentium T2080 / 1.73 GHz, 2GB RAM, Intel GMA 950

HP Mini 110 netbook, 1.6GHz Intel Atom CPU, 2GB RAM, Intel 950 video, VL 7.1
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