Bloat

  • This topic has 38 replies, 24 voices, and was last updated Feb 3-6:55 am by PDP-8.
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  • #65774
    Forum Admin
    anticapitalista

      I keep reading reviews (I know i should stop) of distros and one comment that often comes up (not just for antiX) is that ‘distro X is bloated’.

      Usually, that’s it. No explanation of what is ‘bloated’ except ‘it comes with apps I don’t use’ (emphasis mine).

      eg antiX is bloated (1.4GB iso size), but EndeavourOS (c.2GB iso size) is bloat-free.

      So, to you, what is bloat and more importantly why and how.

      Thanks

      Philosophers have interpreted the world in many ways; the point is to change it.

      antiX with runit - leaner and meaner.

      #65775
      Member
      calciumsodium

        I don’t know if this is slightly off-topic.

        With regard to antiX 21 testing, and I speak with some experience testing the runit and sysvinit versions. Personally, I find that antiX 21 B1-sysvinit is really good. It works very well and has very little problems. I have been using it as my main system. We keep on adding more. I think that antiX 21 B2-runit has more problems because we keep on adding more to it. Are we adding more bloat to the antiX 21 B2 system? I find antiX 21 B1-sysVinit simple and it works. Isn’t that lean and mean? Anti B2 seems like it is adding more and more features. To me, it does not feel lean and mean any more.

        Also, several members comment that B2-runit is fast. I don’t see it as fast. In all my tests, it is the same speed as the sysvinit version.

        Reading the previous paragraphs, it seems like I am against antiX. Far from it. I like the simplicity of antiX. But I see that we are adding more and more features, And I am concerned that we may not be lean and mean anymore.

        Just my thoughts.

        #65776
        Forum Admin
        anticapitalista

          What features are ‘bloating’ antiX-21 in your opinion.
          Feel free to comment, I don’t see you as anti antiX (far from it) 🙂

          Philosophers have interpreted the world in many ways; the point is to change it.

          antiX with runit - leaner and meaner.

          #65778
          Member
          calciumsodium

            What features are ‘bloating’ antiX-21 in your opinion.
            Feel free to comment

            For those that are English speakers only, can there be a version of antiX 21 that uses slim only instead of slimski?

            In my opinion, the added texts causes complexity. One example, the extra texts persists for an extra 1-2 seconds after login. It does not look pleasing or professional. One solution that @Xecure had was to have a background that “covers” the texts before the rendering of the wallpaper. But this background is the pylons theme. But if someone uses a background that is not pylons, then that would be an awkward transition. Does this make sense? I chose the pylons wallpaper, so the transition is not as severe. In my system, the pylons wallpaper has a different “color” than the color of the slimksi pylons background that Xecure used. So I do notice that transition, even though it is pylons to pylons. I hope this makes sense. I think this fix is not general, until we figure out how to remove the texts immediately after login. Otherwise, to me, this is considered bloat.

            What I am saying is that slim works. It is so simple. It is lean and mean. And it has worked in all previous antiX official versions. You had mentioned that AntiX 21 will only use slimski. To me, that was announced without fully testing slimski first. I think that is penalizing English only speaking members. No offense to non-English speaking members. Can there be a version of antiX 21 with slim instead of slimski?

            #65779
            Forum Admin
            anticapitalista

              Simply, no there won’t be a separate version with one app different.
              You can install slim and remove slimski.
              Try it and post the results (in another thread since this is about ‘bloat’) if you want.

              Philosophers have interpreted the world in many ways; the point is to change it.

              antiX with runit - leaner and meaner.

              #65781
              Member
              Xecure

                “I see bloat”
                People see the menus -> A lot of programs -> “Bloat”
                People see more than one program for the same function (more than 1 window manager, more than one text editor, more than one file manager, more than one image viewer, more than one Video player, more than one Web Browser) -> “Bloat”

                “This distro has missing features”
                People don’t see their preferred Video player (vlc) -> “Missing features”
                People don’t see their preferred Email client (thunderbird) -> “Missing features”
                People don’t see their preferred Image editor (Gimp) -> “Missing features”
                People don’t see the “standard” keyboard shortcuts -> “Missing features”

                “Cannot easily configure the system”
                People never click the Control Centre -> “Too difficult to change things”
                People don’t see an easy GUI to change “X-Y-Z” and need to edit files -> “Too difficult to change things”

                You cannot win against the general mentality.
                You give them options = bloat.
                You reduce software selection to the minimum to “de-bloat” = Missing features.
                You give one good option (they don’t like) = Missing features.
                You try to keep it lean and mean = “Too difficult to change things”
                You create tools to make it easier to manage and configure the system = “bloat, too many programs”.

                You cannot win.
                People superficially decide what is bloat when exploring the menus. If they feel the menus have “few but well known (heavy) apps” = Great distro. If they seem very long lists in the menus = “bloat”.

                I will eventually agree with those who say “remove the entries in Control Centre from the menus”, or “Create an app to list only antiX programs (goodies) and remove them from the menus”. Is this where we have to go so people say “It is clean and has no bloat”?

                Petition: If at any point the dev team wants to remove “duplicate” menu entries, please, instead of removing the .desktop files from /usr/share/applications, have them include (inside the file) the option
                NoDisplay=True
                so that they don’t show in the menu by default but I can still enable their view when I want them (instead of having to create the .desktop launcher manually).

                antiX Live system enthusiast.
                General Live Boot Parameters for antiX.

                #65782
                Member
                ModdIt

                  I have also seen several idiotic reviews calling antiX bloated. I guess reviewers take a quick look in the menu, see a lot of entrys
                  (sometimes same tool in more than one place, have 19.4 in front of me) or tools they think they will never need never need or even
                  understand then write as if they have used antiX for months and found a lot.

                  Reviews without details go on my ignore list, one other thing which I find really annoying is DW selecting reviews to publish, often crap.

                  Over months majority of positive reviews by known individual users for antiX were never shown.

                  Will be back on B2 Runit as soon as I get a replacement for -broken fast transcend- USB stick.

                  • This reply was modified 2 years, 6 months ago by ModdIt.
                  #65791
                  Moderator
                  BobC

                    Yes, Xecure. It’s catch-22. Damned if you do, and damned if you don’t.

                    Maybe the solution is to not show the options you don’t want to see except when you go looking for them… Use the toolbar to display and run the programs, except when it’s not there, and then let the user find it with the app-menu or app-select, remember what they ran, and add it to the toolbar if there is room so that next time they don’t need to hunt for it.

                    Its a concept of using the toolbar to normally run programs instead of menus. But to work for everyone almost effortlessly, it needs to automatically adjust, starting with the most used programs as defaults, and then adding/removing apps over time as the user actually runs other programs from the app-menu or app-select. It would be even better if the toolbar could scroll or be sorted different ways so more apps could be available if desired.

                    Moddit is setting up an environment like this for his kids manually, like I am, I think.

                    Unfortunately the IceWM devs don’t see it as a worthwhile concept, not even enough to make a log of what programs were called from the toolbar or menus that could be used as data to help it keep the used apps on the toolbar as time goes by. Unfortunately, adding a logging option is not something I’m capable of. The IceWM toolbar is also limited to the number of Apps based on screen and icon size because it doesn’t scroll. I end up thinking I’m running the wrong window manager, but I don’t find another that can do this either…

                    • This reply was modified 2 years, 6 months ago by BobC.
                    #65804
                    Moderator
                    christophe

                      To me, bloat is a program taking up more RAM than is necessary.

                      And let’s be real – installing & removing programs is easy for the end-user. One can barely navigate a web search involving linux without having to weed out “how to install/uninstall software” clickbait.

                      confirmed antiX frugaler, since 2019

                      #65806
                      Forum Admin
                      rokytnji

                        The way I look at this. We offer lot of choices when it comes to iso size and what comes in it.

                        I happen to go with Full iso because I am getting lazy.
                        I’ve watched over the years as we tried to make ease of use like usb stuff and inxi and all kinds of neat scripts make it into /usr/local/bin.
                        Browsers have gotten huge.
                        Apps don’t care about lean and mean so bloat creeps in via eye candy or a feature.

                        I don’t think we are bloated for 2021 for all ease of use stuff included in the full iso.
                        If you think full iso is bloated. Pick another from the list that is smaller.

                        Funny part is. Most members who go that route start threads here that nothing works when they try and change things.
                        Not knowing how to look in synaptic or apt for missing libs or able to read terminal outputs.

                        Damned if you do and damned if you don’t.
                        I’ll roll with what ever antiX 21 comes with.
                        Probably because it getting harder to teach this old dog new tricks.

                        Another reason I don’t think we are bloated. My 16 gig ssd on my 64 bit full iso chromebook install has not complained about getting full for years.
                        I update it regular like.

                        Sometimes I drive a crooked road to get my mind straight.
                        Not all who Wander are Lost.
                        Motorcycle racing is rocket science.

                        Linux Registered User # 475019
                        How to Search for AntiX solutions to your problems

                        #65807
                        Member
                        PPC

                          There’s a very recent video on youtube infinitelyGalactic channel – “why perfect Linux is impossible… on the desktop” that applies to this theme.

                          In short- there’s no way to please everyone on every single characteristic an OS has- it’s fast or full of features, it has everything and the kitchen sink or it has far too little solftware, etc, etc, like Xecure said.

                          For example- I offered, many times a suggestion on the forum- add, out of the box, Toolbar Icon Manager’s icon on icewm’s toolbar- that way everyone knows that they can click on the toolbar to manage the toolbar- adding and removing icons…
                          On my customized environment, I use rofi as the toolbar’s default app launcher/app finder- it allows to search app’s names or description, and also shows on first place the more recent launched apps- it does not stay resident on RAM and it’s way faster that app-select on slow machines – but it’s also less feature rich… Rofi can also be used as a very fast and simple file searcher/launcher- it’ on the repo, install rofi and see on this forum how to configure it as a file launcher- it can be used almost as a “menu”- much like Windows 10 menu- it shows app installed apps in alfabetical order, and shows more recently used apps first…

                          After this suggestions I have to say that I think that antiX has many redundant apps- and I’m glad it has those- they are very light, use very little disk space once installed- probably the heaviest pieces of software on the full version may be LibreOffice and Firefox ESR…
                          Why is it so cool to have redundant software?-Because you can do tasks on more modern or older systems:
                          -Web browsing- More powerful machine? Firefox ESR / Older machine? Dillo, links, Seamonkey
                          -E-mail – More powerfull machine? Seamonkey email client / Older machine? Claws email client
                          -Managing files? ZZZfm / Rox filer or Midnight Commander
                          -Multimedia? Celluloid / MPV
                          -Streaming youtube videos? Firefox ESR / SMtube
                          -Editing text? Geany / Vim
                          -etc, etc, etc.

                          Using the software that comes out of the box, any user can perform the most common tasks they need, no matter or old or recent the system is!

                          Bloat is adding unneeded features! antix has redundancy, not unneeded features

                          As fas as I know the change from slim to slimski was because slim had security flaws- the change was to make antiX more secure, not bloated- and Skidoo was king enough to also include localization, so non english speaking users (or non native speaking users, like myself, that enjoy having the system on their own language) can enjoy antiX better…

                          A change in a log-in manager – from one very light one to another other- hardly can be considered bloat!
                          You may not like it, you may not like the way it looks, but that does not make a piece of software bloat- I dislike Roxfiler – and consider that zzzfm would be a much better default file manager for most users. Do I consider Rox filer bloat? No!!! It’s there because it fits antiX’s moto- it’s lean and mean (true, also mean looking too 🙂 )

                          I tested beta2 runit only one a virtual machine- but it feels marginaly faster on my more powerfull desktop- I imagine it would feel a lot faster on my very crappy single core netbook!
                          As far as I can detect, the only addiction to antiX’s default software is seamonkey- and in my case it’s very welcome.- I may not ever need it on my desktop but having a relatively modern browser/email client/calendar/ news reader/ web page builder- out of the box on antiX can hardly be considered bloat- if you don’t like it, uninstall it, and that’s it!

                          Do you miss heavy but useful apps like GIMP, Chrome, etc?- well you have Package installer right there on the default toolbar- so installing that is just a couple of clicks away…

                          P.

                          • This reply was modified 2 years, 6 months ago by PPC.
                          #65810
                          Member
                          oops

                            @Xecure You reduce software selection to the minimum to “de-bloat” = Missing features.

                            Bloat or not-bloat can also mostly be a rhetoric pretext … in this case , an simple item menu “anti-bloat” is enough for a perceptual judgement to be able to say it is not bloat.

                            To me, as Christophe said, bloat is mostly a program or a distrib. who taking up more RAM/ resources than is necessary.
                            And it is not the case with antiX.

                            #65814
                            Member
                            ModdIt

                              As BobC mentioned the modded antiX I pass on is task bar starter centric.

                              We have Libreoffice latest, Gimp, Master PDF editor among other packets installed.
                              Not bloat as used pretty much daily.

                              #65827
                              Anonymous

                                > slimski… the extra texts persists for an extra 1-2 seconds after login.

                                Did someone post this “issue” in the (Feb2021?) betatesting topic and I missed it?
                                Foggy memory, perhaps slimski introduced a “window of opportunity” to display a post-login MOTD (message of the day)?
                                If so, did I neglect to expose a configuration setting to adjust (or set to zero) the delay duration?
                                In any event, I doubt the delay is related to (caused by) translations support.
                                (For followup, someone might grep “sleep” within the slimski sourcecode to investigate.)

                                > For those that are English speakers only, can there be a version of antiX 21 that uses slim only instead of slimski?
                                .
                                > To me, it does not feel lean and mean any more.

                                I agree, and (FYI) across past antiX versions, I have posted a variety of “howto debloat” tips/pointers…

                                https://www.antixforum.com/forums/topic/how-to-get-spacefm-in-french/page/3/#post-55001
                                ^— bleachbit, remove localizations (frees 220MB files-on-disk)
                                https://www.antixforum.com/forums/topic/using-snapshot-to-shrink-size-for-iso/
                                ^— installation of “localpurge” package prevents re-installation of translation files during future package install//update operations
                                https://www.antixforum.com/forums/topic/possible-space-savers-for-base-version-if-when-it-can-no-longer-fit-on-cder/#post-28181

                                …but I will open opened a fresh, separate, topic to discuss the prospect creating a pared-down respin
                                https://www.antixforum.com/forums/topic/gauging-interest-for-a-prospective-english-only-respin/

                                #65840
                                Anonymous

                                  To me bloat is including only the big-ram hungry apps so the distro needs a dual-core cpu with
                                  4gb ram just to run a desktop and browse the web. it is a catch 22 as mentioned already.
                                  my main tower runs antiX-full with icewm and fluxbox. usually core and base builds on my others
                                  where I put only what that machine needs on it.

                                  —- as far as slim vs slimski. slim hasn’t been updated in 8 years and slimski is currently
                                  maintained by it’s author skidoo. more secure moving forward is why I like it and am putting on
                                  my machines.

                                  Some people see the menus as bloated or confusing because of options as they are used to seeing only a few big
                                  popular apps. I like the fact antiX showcases some less known ones that work just as good if not
                                  better.
                                  For example — Mirage is great for cropping and resizing photos, but is not in other distros
                                  on the iso image, some popular image viewers can not do this. And it boots to low ram usage on the desktop.
                                  The new option of having both new and old kernels is really great for new and old hardware
                                  support. some will call that bloat too.

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