Forum: User Feedback
started by: WDef
Posted by WDef on Nov. 17 2007,17:54Having come to dsl4+ ridiculously late I just wanted to say (I know many have already said it):
A really GREAT job. This really makes dsl very much more accessible to the great unwashed and un-*nixed, and to quite a few Ubuntu, SuSE, Linspire etc users I'd wager. Drag 'n' drop ... who'd have thought it - and a file manager that's intelligible to said target audience. And still under 50MB!
Thanks Robert for all the work, & John. I know it's easy to feel overworked and under siege, but the effort is appreciated by those of us (such as me) who use dsl on a daily basis.
And thanks also to all those in the RC threads who have done much testing and bug squishing.
Posted by roberts on Nov. 17 2007,23:16Thanks, I needed that, I do feel overworked and currently under siege. But I do like and personally use the results. 4.0 is a dot oh (first release). 4.1 will be nicer with many more infrastructure changes. But then I always think my next release will be nicer
Posted by TTK=Teobromina_Tool_Kit on Nov. 18 2007,12:06I do not want to be unpolite, but I do not like the last issue of DSL (4.0) because I have lost the ability to start applications from the desktop icons and because I cannot start the menu with righclick and because it does not recognize some 'my' extensions. (The message I see ask me to mount the media where is the extension, but the media -a CD, or also a USB pendrive- where already mounted).
May be a small bug, but muy experience with this desktop is poor.
Conclussion: I keep using v3.4.5 that, for my purpose, is the best ever. Is going v 3.xx to be maintained?
Sorry but someone has to say it.
Posted by ^thehatsrule^ on Nov. 18 2007,18:23If you look carefully, it is quite easy to revert to your previous desktop setup... but since it seems there seems to be many similar posts, I'll answer here.
Posted by roberts on Nov. 18 2007,18:43DSL v3.4.x going forward will be bug fix only, no further new development.
DSL v4.1 I have made the window manager the default right click menu.
DSL v4.x uses alot less sudo, especially when it comes to using extensions. I know some would rather run everything as root or sudo. I do not! If issues occur with your extensions then be sure you have proper permissions set for dsl.staff and that the filesystem being used to host the extensions can support unix file permissions.
I am not offended by your remarks, I have been through this before. I recall, that v0.5.3.1 was the last good release of DSL! The same occured with v1.0 and then again with 2.0. Some will stay behind for awhile.
Also, as I pointed out 4.0 is a "dot oh" release. In 4.1 I am already responding to user feedback, issues, and experiences, e.g. wallpapers and right click menu. Don't judge a major revision of an OS by the dot oh version.
However, some may always prefer menu, application based systems.
Others prefer folder/icon/drag and drop, click on data not on the application. Let the data know which app, not force the user to know which app.
Posted by TTK=Teobromina_Tool_Kit on Nov. 18 2007,21:33
First of all thank you and Roberts for your fast reply.
It is not a matter of icons. I wanted to include at boot time a Wine extension, a GTK library, a NVU and a Gimp (all of them MyDSL extensions). It seems that some were 'accepted' and included in the MyDSL menu at boot time and some other did not.
Later on I tested to start the extensions from a USB pendrive instead of doing from the same CDrom, with the same results. These were extensions which already run with 3.4.5 without problems.
The way I run DSL is, making first an isolinux based multiboot disk, with DSL, some DOS images, PartedImage, and some other stuff, using the Bart's way to create a multiboot disk (see my page). The version that I am using is the embedded DSL. In this way I have also the opportunity to run the same DSL in Windows, with qemu. By doing so, I lost part of the cheatcodes in order to have a reduced boot-options menu, and only use a modified default boot option with 'toram' intruction included. Until the 4.0 version it run fine. Is with this change when I saw the problem mentioned about not being able to start MyDSL extensions from a local place. Of course I mount the CDRom before to run any extension.
Yes I know I need some time to adapt myself to the new desktop...
Posted by roberts on Nov. 18 2007,21:58During 4.0 RC testing cycle my attention was brought to certain extensions that were problematic. If you are having issues with certain extensions, you should such in the extension area.
But first thing is to re-download the problem extension as I have been through two iterations of changes to all extensions to bring them into compilance.
Posted by TTK=Teobromina_Tool_Kit on Nov. 19 2007,20:32Thank you Roberts, I will try again the version 4, will see if Ican reproduce the errors, and if there are not solved with fresh downloaded MyDSL extensions, will post the problem in the corresponding sub-forum. It will take some time, but it is important to me to solve this.
I understand the new desktop based on documents instead of applications, but right now it is more difficult to me, because my way to work with computers is to choose which application I want to use to open a kind of document. Again I know it is a matter of time.
Posted by ^thehatsrule^ on Nov. 20 2007,00:25
Posted by WDef on Nov. 20 2007,14:20Robert when you say "less sudo", I assume you mean some sudos have been removed from scripts where they were either redundant (because it's a system script being run by root anyway) or where su rights shouldn't be required (eg not writing to a system area?)
Posted by roberts on Nov. 20 2007,15:41Re: less sudo
In v3 frugal & liveCD, typically mydsl extensions were downloaded into /tmp, menus and icons in /home/dsl. It wasn't until shutdown that the user would be prompted to copy extensions to a persistent store. This afterthought of saving typically required sudo. Even the mydsl directory was something that the user had to manually create by issuing commands. This had to be done before they could experience the auto loading of extensions.
In v4, the first use of mydsl=xy creates the mydsl folder and on the specified partition with proper permissions The mydsl folder is the container for all files related to mydsl extensions, including the "app run" shortcuts, be it .app generic icon or the specific xpm icon based. Because the role the mydsl folder plays in v4 is so different, so important and has "user".staff permissions, I was able to drop the sudo required during mydsl downloading. The use of the mydsl folder is similar to the use of the mydsl menu includes of both jwm and fluxbox. Better separation and consistentacy of handling extensions makes for smoother operation and cleanup. Most of the restructuring that I did in v4.0 and finished in v4.1 allows for much more flexibility, including the user=name boot option.
FYI: There still may be some redundant sudos.
Posted by bwh1969 on Nov. 22 2007,03:16DSL 4.0 !!!
I have used various 2.x to 3.x versions... decided to see what the next whole number would offer. I have a very old PII 200 MHz with 96 MB ram... had DSL 3.4 on it for a while, but put Xubuntu on it for more flair, but was really disappointed with the speed... almost not usable.
Used DSL 4.0 live and liked it so much that I made a new small partition, did a tohd= and then hand made a grub entry to my menu.lst [already installed with xubuntu] and viola!
Liking the ICEWM style window manager. Liking the fact that the wireless was easier to get going, and liking how easy it is to add a desktop shortcut to the desktop. Also like the menu, and the folders on the desktop with the menu items inside.
Very very nice and I am actually using the PII laptop to make this message. This Fujitsu Lifebook is the most durable computer I have ever owned. Can't bear to throw it away! I am pleased it is usable again. Actually boots in a reasonable time also.
Posted by JohnJS on Nov. 24 2007,16:13Ver 4.1rc2:
Noticed an 'unmentioned" benefit has been added.
On Exit you now have the choice to backup or not.
Posted by TTK=Teobromina_Tool_Kit on Dec. 04 2007,18:53
Thanks. This is making the desktop more easy to use.
I am now changing to v 4.1
Posted by Tim-O on Jan. 26 2008,15:58
I also work this way!
When I installed DSL3.4 on my old Toshiba 2515CDS laptop (96MB RAM, 12GB hard drive, 267MHz proc) I was delighted because it (1) recognized the MyEssentials PCMCIA card (2) recognized my Fuji 6900Z digital still camera on the USB port (3) recognized my RCA Small Wonder camcorder on the USB port (4) recognized my USB flash drives (5) had a nifty Mount/Unmount application in the lower-right corner of the screen (6) had icons on the screen for starting an X-Term, Firefox browser, the simple-to-use Emelfm file manager, the myDSL extension tool with the LOAD LOCAL option to get the gcc compiler running (hint, hint, why isn't this in the base distribution?).
I also am "lost" with DSL4.2.4 which I've been trying for a couple days now. I can't even figure out how to Drag-N-Drop to get these icons back again. I'm an old programmer! Right now I'm trying DSL4.2.4 on a *much* newer HP DV9005 laptop in an attempt to run it as a LiveCD because I don't want to fiddle with my hard drive. And with the myDSL stuff I believe I can make the LiveCD concept workable for months on end, if necessary. But I pushed my USB flash drive into a port and couldn't figure out how to mount it! (FWIW, I managed to freeze the system while playing with the Change Window Manager logic. No complaint, though, since I don't expect to do this all the time.)
Please, somebody, give me step-by-step instructions on how to (1) Mount/Unmount file systems easily (2) reinstate those nice screen icons. Once those "problems" are solved I see if I can get DSL4.2.4 to work with my Broadcom 4311 WiFi chip using ndiswrapper. If not, then that's a showstopper.
Posted by Tim-O on Jan. 26 2008,17:25
Alright! I figured out how to *DOUBLE*-click (hey, what's wrong with the prior *SINGLE*-click?) the Apps/ icon on the desktop to get new pages of icons which I can then drag onto the desktop to run conveniently. Not as up-front for my LiveCD approach, but workable.
Posted by roberts on Jan. 26 2008,17:45Right click on any desktop icon to see mount options.
Posted by Tim-O on Jan. 26 2008,18:06
I put my USB flash drive into a USB port and its flashes, indicating DSL2.4.2 is looking at it to figure out what it is, but hasn't mounted it, right? So them I right-click on any desktop icon, select the Mount item, and get three choices: \mnt\auto\floppy \mnt\auto\cdrom \mnt\sda. I select \mnt\sda but it doesn't mount my 128MB Memorez flash drive although the blue light flashes.
Aha! dmesg shows: FAT: bogus logical sector size 7950 / VFS: Can't find a valid FAT filesystem on dev 08:00. At least I now know the DSL method for mounting.
Posted by lucky13 on Jan. 26 2008,19:11
You should be able to mount it after you fix it. If you have Windows, you can use fdisk to repair it and (hopefully) save your data.
Posted by Tim-O on Jan. 28 2008,01:46Well, there really wasn't anything wrong with it. I pulled it out and retried and it mounted OK.
Sorry to say this, but at the moment I'm trying very hard to get MEPIS running on my HP DV9005 *because* it effortlessly talks to my Broadcom 4311 WiFi *and* lets my 1440x900 LCD operate in its native resolution. One of MEPIS's drawbacks is there is no myDSL mechanism to permanently extend the OS with a few packages I need for compiling C programs, but I have made it fairly painless by downloading the Debian package files onto my Windows partition and installing them in about 15 seconds with a single dpkg -i... command.
Posted by lucky13 on Jan. 28 2008,03:28
Mepis (like Ubuntu and PCLOS) is intended to be installed after the live CD demonstrates that it works on your hardware.
Posted by Tim-O on Jan. 31 2008,02:16
Yeah, but by being diligent I have just spent two solid days enjoying running MEPIS as a LiveCD and doing "serious" (at least for me) programming in C. My sequence with MEPIS is (1) boot the LiveCD (2) at the boot prompt choose the "Load with Read/Write" option to make the file system fully writeable with the aufs module, also delete the splash screen option to avoid a bug in MEPIS that otherwise displays some garbage on your screen once you get into X (3) log in as user 'demo' (4) left-click on a system tray icon to mount my Windows drive (5) start an X-Terminal, go superuser and enter command 'dpkg -i /mnt/sda1/MEPIS/*.deb' to load up my extra needed compilation software (6) edit the xorg.conf file (with vi, usually) to change my DefaultDepth from 16 to 24 (single line change) (7) enter Ctrl-Alt-Backspace to cycle the X-server and now have depth 24 (8) optionally start Network Assistant, enter ESSID and WEP codes, stop network, start network to get internet access. I'll admit these 8 steps take about 4-5 minutes but then the system is ready for a full day's work as long as I don't exhaust my 2GB RAM with something stupid.
With the "full power" of about 2GB of software scrunched into the 677MB LiveCD I've managed to stumble on the Kate text editor that's C-language aware and quick. This now replaces my old clumsy 'vi' editor. I also found, just today, the Kdbg command that is a graphical interface to the gdb debugger. Great! While DSL3.4 does what I need on my old Toshiba 2515CDS 96MB-RAM 12GB-hard-drive 800x600 LCD machine for interfacing with my cameras on the road I'm finding MEPIS7.0, even as "only" a LiveCD, is a good fit on my much more powerful HP DV9005 laptop. Saving of my modified source programs is done to the Windows partition with manual 'cp' commands. Perhaps there's an automatic saving mechanism in MEPIS for all session modified files. Maybe I'll look for that if I start doing so much work I've forgotten what I've changed in the file system!
Different horses for different courses, as they say.
Posted by danielp on Jan. 31 2008,08:26Tim, why are you not installing the distributions on your hard disks? Is there a particular reason for running "Live" versions instead of hard disk?
Posted by lucky13 on Jan. 31 2008,13:29
Kate versus vi flamewar? Never saw this coming. What's "clumsy" about vi?
Posted by Tim-O on Jan. 31 2008,17:11
On my Windows-XP laptop I didn't want to change the partitioning of my somewhat puny 90GB hard drive for three reasons. (1) I didn't want to fiddle with NTFS partitions with the same ease with which I've used Partition Magic on VFAT ones. (2) I really need all the space I can use in XP for my video file processing. (3) My 17-inch LCD laptop has a second bay for another hard drive and as soon as I get up the gumption I'm going to fill it with a second drive and install Linux there. Meanwhile the LiveCD concept seems workable. I'm a minimalist at heart!
Posted by curaga on Jan. 31 2008,17:23Nano ftw!
Posted by Tim-O on Jan. 31 2008,17:26
vi under DSL3.4 works wonderful. For some reason under MEPIS it refuses to allow me to walk all over the screen changing text while in INSERT mode. It would drop out of INSERT mode for no logical reason I could determine if I moved too far back in the file of the point where I invoked INSERT mode. It may have something to do with vi being unable to fetch the TerminalCapabilities (termcap) for my X-Window session. I moved vi from DSL3.4 over to MEPIS and it won't start because of a missing termcap library. Believe me, I'm an old vi user and use it all the time under the Cygwin environment under Windows. I'm quite good at it. But because it didn't work smoothly under MEPIS (probably could be fixed, I know) I looked at the Kate product and found it pretty darn good with its "language-aware" shading of your source code.
Harking back to the 1980s I even tried running Borland's Turbo-C under WINE just to get the editor it had. I loved that editor. Alas, it wouldn't run easily so I gave up and decided it was really time to move into the 21st century!
Posted by Tim-O on Jan. 31 2008,17:33
That's another editor I just became aware of (I lead a sheltered life). I tried it once yesterday and seemed comfortable with it. Might put it on my list of editors for basic changes. I like the name!
Posted by curaga on Jan. 31 2008,17:46I really like nano's color highlighting, helps programming
Unfortunately the version in DSL has color highlighting disabled, but compiling nano is a breeze.
Posted by lucky13 on Jan. 31 2008,18:40
Vim has a static Windows binary, cygwin is unnecessary to use it. There's probably more problems with mismatched C libraries (and every other library as a result) when it comes to copying binaries between DSL and Mepis since Mepis is much more oriented to bleeding edge. I thought Mepis used Vim -- at least it did when I last used it. That kind of behavior surprises me. Are you using its default rc or your own?
Biting my tongue about nano. Heh. I hated using Pine because of pico, never could figure out why anyone would want pico emulation for an editor.
Posted by dslSmiley on Feb. 09 2008,18:58I agree with user TTK. I don't want to sound impolite either, but I don't like the changes to DSL 4.0.
I LOVE the "right-click-anywhere" convenience of Fluxbox. I also love the look and feel plus the immense speed and stability of Fluxbox.
If I wanted a boring Windows-style GUI I'd use one.
I realise that aspects of DSL weren't perfect, but I'd be the first to backhand anyone that expects that it should be. No OS is perfect especially UNIX/Linux, but Windows fails miserably in efficiency, speed and stability.
I applaud the DSL team on what they have with DSL. But also don't want DSL to be a lifeless Windows clone.
In my humble opinion DSL Linux is the fastest, and most user-friendly Linux Distro out there.
I'll still be using it.
Posted by ^thehatsrule^ on Feb. 09 2008,21:30
Posted by roberts on Feb. 09 2008,22:06Right click menu anywhere is part of JWM in DSL. Don't like the "start" button then easy to remove. Move the task bar to the top or have multiple task bars is also very easy. Want all window management controlled from a single task bar, easy as well. JWM is quite versatile yet JWM is considerably smaller than fluxbox. As demands continue to grow to add larger apps and/or kernel then smaller becomes even more paramount.
Posted by WDef on Feb. 15 2008,06:18@dslSmiley: while I also have learned to like Fluxbox (mainly because it looks crisper than jwm), at present I believe it's still just a boot option to have fluxbox, so that's hardly a biggie.
Even if Robert takes it out, under the plan for next gen 2.6.xx kernel dsl it should be relatively easy to load it as an extension, which would also enable using a more recent version, which in turn might solve some issues with fluxbox.
I clearly recall though that when I was a dsl (and linux) newbie, fluxbox came as quite a shock. It seemed crippled - no drag and drop. As I got more into linux, features like drag and drop seemed less important and fluxbox plus emelfm austerity was fine, highly efficient even, but that is not true for beginners migrating from Win and Mac, or even from a big linux desktop like KDE/Gnome.
Posted by lucky13 on Feb. 16 2008,01:01
It isn't. Not even close. Certainly not in substance, not even in style regardless of window manager.
Posted by humpty on Feb. 16 2008,06:25I change window managers quite often, cos' I get get easily bored with any one type. I'm currently trying to improve mlvwm. There's another thread i've noticed about WMs. Perhaps a poll would be more informative ?
Posted by roberts on Feb. 16 2008,19:15I now change "window managers" by trying new configurations of jwm. One that Lucky13 did is very close to mlvwm.
For size and dependencies (Xlib only) and currently still be development there are not many to choose from.
Posted by yrogerg64 on Mar. 07 2008,00:37Just wanted to convey my appreciation to John & Robert as well as all of the contributors. DSL has given new life to my old emachine (running frugal hd install) especially with the toram option. The design philosophy is what appealed to me the most especially in this age of "planned obsolesence". To me, my machine is a tool and like my power drill, I expect to get many years of service out of it. Damn Small has made this possible and hopefully its success has sent a clear signal to the community that less is more.