Ideas for improvements in future releases

Forum Forums Official Releases antiX-19 “Marielle Franco, Hannie Schaft, Manolis Glezos” Ideas for improvements in future releases

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  • This topic has 161 replies, 22 voices, and was last updated Feb 5-2:12 pm by marcelocripe.
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  • #46030
    Moderator
    Brian MasinickBrian Masinick

    I’ve already suggested that new user usability be a priority for a future release, at least in the Full implementation.

    Please add your ideas and suggestions for future releases. There is no guarantee that every idea will be included (including mine), but if we document our ideas, we can discuss them and then the developers can make the decisions on which features are actually included, taking into account what’s important to them and which community suggestions are feasible to implement while maintaining the character and features of this distribution.

    Brian Masinick

    #46034
    Moderator
    christophechristophe

    The biggest pain point (in my observation) has been connman. Ceni has always worked perfectly for me. I like the MX network manager, as well. If it is feasable, perhaps the 32-bit versions should keep only ceni, while 64-bit could use the other, where more memory is likely to be present. (But to my liking, ceni is good for both.)
    Does ceni’s “looks” put people off? Is there a way to dress it up with a yad-type “skin” — like live-remaster has?

    #46047
    Moderator
    Brian MasinickBrian Masinick

    Good ideas.

    A Cent user interface sounds good.

    Let’s see if we get more interest in it.

    Brian Masinick

    #46252
    Moderator
    AvatarModdIt

    Usabikity Theme: Language support LibreOffice Latest, Firefox.

    From recent post on DW, Criticism of antiX:

    To add French langage to libre office and firefox , it has been long and difficult !
    A lot of time loosed prior to set synaptic parameters to “buster-backports ” ,……..Without that , impossible to install : dependencies & brooken packs …etc .
    He also complained about wifi issues, as they are work ongoing OT for this post.

    The poster has an important message. I did not see a call for help in the forum, or missed it

    I had not encountered his problems as I always run any LO from Beta as a tester, when that becomes stable it is passed on.
    That is a very Bad blind spot.

    The Packet installer does not list Language packs for latest Firefox or Libreoffice, those synaptic will show are for older versions. L0 1.6 on my check.

    The French language pack with translated user Interface the user needed is available in Backports, as are other language packs.

    The best solution from an inexperienced user perspective would be to include common languages
    as an install option for the Backported LO in the packet Installer.

    One stop solution, point the user to LO org where he can download the fitting latest language pack and install with gdebi. But that takes the user out of antiX debian ecosystem.

    The poster enabled Buster Backports.

    BTW: Enabling testing, antiX or debian (Bullseye) did not allow me to find the needed French or german language packs for Latest LO.

    On to Firefox Latest: The user obviously did not know, or due language understand about installing language packs is part of integrated functionality.

    Maybe the simplest solution is to add a note in the package installer telling users that the Browser language packs are addons and can be found in that part of firefox setup..

    For language packs go to about:addons which opens the setup interface page.
    From there it is easy.

    I can also add a howto for firefox in browser thread later. Have to figure out how to put it in the wiki. Days too short so not worked there yet.

    The poster closed with: Good distro but poor documentation , please try to improve it .…
    All I can say to that is french language help would surely be an assett.. we are mostly friendly…..

    #46253
    Member
    XecureXecure

    It must be because I spend too much time doing and creating thing in antiX, but I seem to be able to find things better than most.

    The Packet installer does not list Language packs for latest Firefox or Libreoffice, those synaptic will show are for older versions. L0 1.6 on my check.

    antiX official firefox is esr, so if someone tryes and installs “newest” firefox, packaged by the MX team, they have to fend for temselfs if they cannot download the language package for this version. But almost every language package can be found for firefox-esr using the package installer. Simply search “firefox” and find the package. Or, alternatively, search for the language.

    The best solution from an inexperienced user perspective would be to include common languages
    as an install option for the Backported LO in the packet Installer.

    It is already there. The problem is the “search” function, that isn’t good.
    Search for “German” in the package installer. you will see the language package for Firefox, firefox-esr, Libreoffice (buster) and Libreoffice Latest (as LO_Latest, from the backports). Search for “French”. You will see the exact same results (translations for all above mentioned programs). But if you search for “Libreoffice” you get less results because the package name contains “LO” instead of the full name. If I knew how Cpp worked, I would do it myself. My search function on the my-offline-repo worked a bit better in comparison, as I was able to use grep, but I cannot understand cpp functions or classes.
    It is there. But users claiming it isn’t there because they cannot find it is a different issue.

    Also, I see people prefer to keep asking things in the MX forums or Facebook and get no good answer instead of coming here and getting the help they want. If people don’t actively search for help, I am not going to go to them to help them.

    Any official position by the main devs? I think this is a fruitless discussion if we are going to get shut down.

    #46261
    Member
    manyroadsmanyroads

    FWIW Personally I’d like to see a few new options offered:
    — a kernel option on install that is 5.8+ ( gen 10+ intel chipsets seem to die with anything much older).
    — an option offering Devuan Ceres with just jwm (perhaps). I think a testbed (not for production use (a little like LMDE) might provide a decent proof of concept for a future option as systemd becomes more insidious and invasive in Debian

    Pax vobiscum,
    Mark Rabideau - http://many-roads.com
    "For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken
    dwm ~Reg. Linux User #449130
    20 Jan 2021 ~ "End of an Error"

    #46265
    Moderator
    AvatarModdIt

    Thanks for jumping in Xecure,
    sorry, seems I am just as blind as users to things in front of my eyes.

    You wrote: Also, I see people prefer to keep asking things in the MX forums or Facebook
    and get no good answer instead of coming here and getting the help they want. If people
    don’t actively search for help, I am not going to go to them to help them.

    I very much agree regarding facebook, never used it never will. they still probably
    stole my phone contact list though.

    Never have understood the antiX pages on MX forum, I would need yet another registration to
    post there. For me better all in one place, but that is only my personal and local users opinion.

    What do you mean by this please. “if we are going to get shut down”.

    up to now I think these discussions and contributions are not wasted time. Selection of any of
    them for inclusion in the distro is not for us.
    As skidoo pointed out maybe a further varient offered by interest group or groups is a way to go.

    One thing is sure it is not easy for a project leader like anticapitalista to sift through a huge
    bunch of possibilitys and contributions then find a sensible balance between user friendliness and
    his vision.

    I think one offshoot may already be growing in Brazil, the needs there are driven by desperate poverty.
    Another seems to be hiding in the way more affluent Gamer scene, base driving steam boxes.

    Europe is changing too, here in Germany, one of the richest countrys about 50%+ of the population are
    poor. Other parts of Eorope and UK are even worse off. Millions of people losing much or all of their
    income due covid. Maybe we can help some of them to save some money.

    Sometimes I feel guilty, i have rooms to spare but bad experiences make me wary of trying to find
    people to move in. That needs a lot of trust as my belongings are everywhere. Working on that.

    Language packs for Latest Firefox are installable through the browser. An info line is enough for that
    case.

    • This reply was modified 2 months, 3 weeks ago by ModdIt.
    #46269
    Forum Admin
    anticapitalistaanticapitalista

    Any official position by the main devs? I think this is a fruitless discussion if we are going to get shut down.

    I think this is a very fruitful discussion and well worth continuing.

    How I see future antiX (ie the next stable ‘bullseye’ version).

    Due to many upstream changes in Debian, python2 and a lot of gtk2 will go.
    That includes a few apps that have been ‘standard’ on antiX eg disk-manager, lxkeymap, lxappearance(?), gtkdialog and others.

    Our in-house apps also have to be ported from python2/gtk2 as well.
    Dave has already started porting them (in testing/sid branch). Most seem to work ok, but there are bugs – testing will be needed.

    The live-system (including frugal, remaster, snapshot etc) seems to be working ok. However, the UEFI side probably needs to be improved to cater for more and more frugal/live users booting via UEFI since they have newer hardware.

    Documentation certainly needs updating.

    All the above will need to be done for the next stable release once Debian11 is out.

    Making antiX more usable:

    Certainly, IMO, including user written scripts have made antiX more user friendly.
    eg the IceWM toolbar script, antiX-wifi switcher, android-device-connect, fast_personal_menu_editor, icewm-menu-recent-files and others, though I personally don’t use any of them. The downside to including these useful scripts is that the menu could be considered to be ‘bloated’.

    Having some sort of script/app for hd screens is necessary.
    Updating the control centre from gtkdialog to using Xecure’s dialogbox version will probably be needed at some point.
    I’m not too keen on the idea of a Welcome app. However, that doesn’t mean that it will not be included if most of us here want it.

    What I don’t want is for antiX to be turned into something it is not meant to be.
    For example, some in the past basically wanted it to be like a Debian lubuntu. If people want lxde, Xfce etc and ‘bells n whistles’ out of the box, then they really should try another distro.
    We will always be systemd-free.
    We will keep to IceWM/Rox default
    We will ship with/promote our own (less known or even unknown) tools/apps over bigger and better known versions eg droopy, 1-1-voice etc.
    We will try to keep CPU and RAM usage at idle down to a minimum. We mainly achieve this through not running unnecessary services on boot.

    Of course, antiX is far from perfect and needs to adapt to changes posed upstream.
    We have already done so eg by no longer making the base iso fit on a cd.
    Other compromises will no doubt follow at some point in the future.

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

    antiX with runit - leaner and meaner.

    #46271
    Member
    XecureXecure

    sorry, seems I am just as blind as users to things in front of my eyes.

    Don’t worry about that. I also assumed some things before and used the -t buster-backports cheat code in apt to install things I later discovered were in the package installer. My work on the my-offline-repo to parse the list of programs from package installer lead to me to understand better what antiX already bring to the table. I blame the search function, as one would expect that writing “Libreoffice” + “language” should yield results. Having to use other keywords isn’t what one is thinking about when searching for programs.

    Sometimes I feel guilty, i have rooms to spare but bad experiences make me wary of trying to find
    people to move in. That needs a lot of trust as my belongings are everywhere.

    You shouldn’t. It is not your responsibility to save others, but is already good you are helping people in your own ways. We are all limited in different things, and governments were created to manage the needs of the people and help their citizens. You already do more than most people, so don’t feel any guilt for you are already doing good things.

    @anticapitalista
    Thanks for expressing the direction you want antiX to take. I agree that systemd-free and “mean and lean” slogan should also be kept as its identity.

    I’m not too keen on the idea of a Welcome app. However, that doesn’t mean that it will not be included if most of us here want it.

    If instead of a Welcome-screen we develop a gui to manage desktop-session-antix options/configuration, and have it as the “STARTUP_DIALOG_CMD” that Dave mentioned? Would it work if the first tab was some kind of “Quick setup” introduction, as BobC suggests?

    Thanks for your input.

    • This reply was modified 2 months, 3 weeks ago by Xecure. Reason: typo
    #46273
    Moderator
    AvatarModdIt

    @manyroads,
    I was reading that some developers at debian are contributing packets with hard dependancys on
    system D and they are being accepted for inclusion in next release.
    Poisoning the support init freedom pledge is pretty dirty tactics, but then gnome and systemd are
    in my opinion more than dirty.
    It may well mean they are trying to kill Devuan by design. I hope that does not happen, I can not
    code, maybe too old to learn but will contribute towards running costs sometime soon.

    Suggested teaming up with devuan, nothing about giving up antiX, about a year ago.
    The ray gun from wunderland went in to attack and destroy mode along with some of the fairy warriors.

    Devuan Ceres with just jwm, not my wm, need on the rocks, i.e. icewm too :-). Joe is just too big
    a chasm for most users to jump over. But agree it is worth looking at. Maybe as a user driven unofficial
    spin project. antiX has a pretty small dev team, better they do one job well than overload..

    • This reply was modified 2 months, 3 weeks ago by ModdIt.
    #46278
    Moderator
    Brian MasinickBrian Masinick

    If I am not mistaken antiX and Devuan were two of the formerly Debian-based distributions that kept sysvinit in place and updated several libraries to sustain this.

    Brian Masinick

    #46279
    Moderator
    Brian MasinickBrian Masinick

    Thanks for the update on the plans anticapitalista. I support you in whatever you want to do with the next release and your initial thoughts sound like a solid plan.

    Frankly just migrating tools and utilities to major differences in Python 3 and Gtk3 may consume nearly all of the time available and depending on the number of changes I can see this impacting the time it takes and the initial stability of the software.

    I hope that many people help us test.

    Thanks for the update and best wishes always!

    Brian Masinick

    #46280
    Moderator
    AvatarModdIt

    First thanks anticapitalista, “systemd-free and “mean and lean” 🙂
    I also agree that if bells and whistles are wanted there is enough choice available not far away, for some
    desktops MX is a good place to be.

    Clarity on ICEWM Rox is good to have, that desktop makes the transition from win fairly painless. It is
    also fast stable and light on ram. I am not trying to make antiX look like a windows clone, just move as far
    as possible from the need to enter menu using task bar entrys. For many things keyboard shortcuts are more
    efficient, getting that in to kids heads is like trying to chip concrete with a wooden pick.

    One recent idea is to find a way to add a user set number of most often used applications to the task bar
    automaticaly, most used in the center. For Ice I would like to see standard number of desktops (comprimise)
    4. Much nicer than too many windows stacked over each other.

    # The live-system (including frugal, remaster, snapshot etc) seems to be working ok.
    Agree, one point is confusing users though. After a remaster, on next boot the selected option is not for the
    remastred version. (on a fresh runit setup for sure) I read on DW a guy gave up after repeatedly doing a setup
    due not understanding he needed to change the option. I have to admit it has happened to me while playing with
    my runit stick that I ended up in the roundabout.
    Be nice if after remaster that setup would boot without further user action.

    # We will always be systemd-free. Relief.
    On one box that poettering drivel wrote near a terabyte of logfiles and made a system run out of disk space.
    Never ever again if any other choice remains.

    @ Xecure Personaly I think a quick setup introduction would be a good idea. Even with previous linux experience moving to
    antiX and getting setup is at times challenging. Biggest problem is wifi. Welcome to antix screen, or box pointing to quick
    setup, control center, forum. Let users feel cared for then they are likely to stay. Please no promotion for facebook the more
    any support attempts are splintered the less users they reach. Bad enough to have a paralell world at MX.

    More in the control center less in menu would be my direction. I have set a lot to hidden as overloaded.
    Modernised control center optics would be nice, looks a bit clunky, if functionality is improved all the better.

    # We will ship with/promote our own (less known or even unknown) tools/apps over bigger and better known versions eg
    droopy, 1-1-voice etc.

    “Promote” made me smile, I still keep on finding useful new scripts or applications hidden in the depths of the system.

    #46287
    Member
    AvatarPPC

    @anticapitalista – as always, I greatly value your opinion! After all this fine OS is almost your “one man show”- and performs miracles of what would be, any other way, almost useless computers…

    I realize that balancing this fine tuned OS with “holding newbie’ hand” is something that is, many times, hard to do-

    I tested, some windows managers/desktops other than those available out of the box in antix- and kept coming back to IcewM and Fluxbox (and even courted JWM for a while). All available desktops are perfect choices.
    My only “beef” with rox-filler is that it’s default configuration does not match regular user’s expectations, and SpaceFM does…- I used Rox for many months… when I began using SpaceFM, I seldom use any other File Manager…
    IceWM and Rox combo are almost as low as you can get on system resource’s use and still have a “regular” desktop, with a bar, start button, desktop wallpaper and desktop icons, and a GUI to access files, the basics that most people expect on a “modern OS”.
    The many scripts that some users (including myself) contributed to antiX and where made default apps are usually antiX centric, fast, low on resources, meant to space newbies from having to learn to use the terminal or manually editing configuration files.

    My only real suggestions to keeping antiX light AND user friendly would be to:
    1- include a sort of “welcome screen” available as a desktop icon on the default desktops. If newbies have an “install icon” a “welcome icon” there could not be considered “bloat”, and would be available if needed, so a newbie can click it and get his/her bearings on this OS- it does basicaly anything any other more “feature rich” OS does, just in a different way.
    2- Remove the “root file manager” and replace it with antiX-updater (or a similar GUI way to keep antiX up to date)
    3- Include, out of the box, Rofi, with 2 tiny scripts, one for searching applications, other for searching files- because it’s insanely fast, even on the crappiest hardware possible
    4- add, at least a “search applications” icon to the toolbar- ideally app-select – but it’s slow to start on lower resources computers, rofi may offer less information on the apps, but it’s faster…
    5- Like you said – include a way to deal, out of the box with hi dpi screens – which seems to be ready?
    6 – Dealing with wi-fi network configurations could be done via the “Welcome screen”, that would include launching “wifi switch” (either the current or a more developed and silent version that Xecure is probably sweating about…- my thanks for your dedication and efforts, Xecure).
    I recently presented a tiny script to automate a bit the configuration of wi-fi networks using cmst- it could be done using a more elaborated version of that- try to connect wi-fi networks using connman > check if wi-fi is working ( if not, launch wi-fi switch and try wicd ) > if a wi-fi network is detected by connman, present the GUI to try to configure it and test for a network process at the end of the process (again, if no network connection is detected, wi-fi switch to wicd)…

    P.

    #46288
    Moderator
    Brian MasinickBrian Masinick

    Friends with ideas and suggestions: let’s remember that antiX is specifically intended to be fast, light, and quite moderate in the number and types of applications that are included and the mechanisms that are presented.

    For this reason, I’d like to see the more energetic, capable, and creative among us – as Xecure has already done once, to consider either using snapshot or directly creating a few community variations that still utilize a lot of the wonderful software that anticapitalista and his small development team so effectively put together.

    By creating a few (potentially divergent) community editions, we can as a community demonstrate, first hand, how easy it is to create something completely different from such a light and well-designed system. I may do this myself since I’ve already built a few of them.

    Something to consider.

    Brian Masinick

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