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#1 2012-08-18 17:17:17

From: Nijmegen, Holland
Registered: 2010-10-12
Posts: 3,633

Why it is always interesting to read topics going nowhere:

on the Arch forums:

Why I'm thinking about removing ArchLinux

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#1 2012-08-01 10:27:52

    Registered: 2006-06-10

Why I'm thinking about removing ArchLinux

Hello dudes,

I'm a proud Arch user since the 0.7 "wombat" release, and I has been Trusted User [1]. Then, I abandoned TU's position to focus all my free time as ArchLinuxPPC developer, but I lived my days with Arch x86 installed on two others PC. One of them has Arch since the 0.8 release, and I never formatted it.

Now, some thing I perceive as changed, in the mind of the current developer.

In the days of big harddrive (I lived for years with a 3.1 Gb hd, now I had 95% free 750Gb on my laptop yikes) the thing which hurt Arch developers is that KDE is shipped in big packages. Why don't add some complexity, splitting what the KDE developers merged? Complexity is in the developer's work (errors can be done more frequently) and in the user's life, which mess with thousand and thousand packages (the slackware packager, p. volkerding, hasn't shipped GNOME for years for this reason: it is too splitted) instead of a dozen. For what? because a minority of users liked the KDEmod project?
And please, no things like "there are meta packages" or "you can remove the useless kdecalc, for a 750Kb free hd space, because you're a master on octave". The first rule about maintain packages is: trust vanilla packages. Developers know better than distro-maintainer their software (otherwise ask to your debian friends about randomness).
And shipping vanilla packages is what I really, really liked about archlinux in the dark age of keeping it simple.

KDE, in short, can be a rant, and you can easily forget about it. We lived well with it, we can live with this little complexity surplus. Let's talk about these days.

I'm shocked about AIF. Before there was an installer written by tpowa, which was maintenable and understandable. We used it in archPPC, and nobody (me and two others) have had any problems modifying it for PPC bootloader, or generic PPC things. It was modular, highly commented, and our users were happy. Then, some x86 guys introduced AIF in 2010. A biiiiiiig thing, with some features added. Indeed, as the old law of computer science says, features don't come for free, and a BIG complexity was added. Everybody talked about how AIF is good, simple for the user, it runs fine... until the announcement:

    Most notable change is that AIF (the Arch Installation Framework) is no longer included but instead some simple install scripts are provided to aid in the installation process. This means a menu driven installer is no longer available and we rely more on documentation to guide new users. We would like to encourage our community to fill in the remaining gaps in our wiki.

I rolled on the floor laughing.

Someone waked up after a brave night, and realized that AIF is too damn complex and nobody can maintain it? Yeah, better now than never, but we are now back of 8 years (no installer, format the drive, mount in /mnt and use pacman --root /mnt to install packages.. it was, created by tpowa, do you remember?).

Now, I read about the rc.conf change. Someone thought that users are ready to deal with complexity, so here it is: before, fundamental things on rc.conf, and optional things on other files (do you remember when the installer, the tpowa one and AIF, asked for the configuration of the system? I - and many of you - simply walked in the rc.conf, edited some values and saved it. No need to walk into other places: optional values, for a fine tuning).

With the new rc.conf, for more interfaces you need netcfg (aargh! I have two static-ip ethernet and I need netcfg? WTH), for locale-timezone-keymap you need to edit 3 different files. What about kernel modules? The standard way is using the modprobe.d and the modload.d directory, learn how to configure udev to autoload your modules.. yeah, I know, but old - and SIMPLE - two lines into rc.conf? Packages can use the directories, when installing their custom rules. But users.. the two lines on rc.conf was the perfect KISS.

I'm not against all new things, I don't have a conservative mindset. Not all old things (from the Judd leadership) were good, and not all were classified as KISS. But now you're destroying what you build in years. I'm against the usability-destroyer changes: keep the focus on KISS and usability, if you can.

I'm thinking about change my historical distro for these reasons. Thank you for the read, maybe I forgot something, maybe I have done some errors on dates and people, and I give you excuses in advance, but usability is the first of my worries. I'm also available for analize, in details, usability problems (from an intermediate-advanced user point of view, of course) in these things.

Thank you again.


You will see lots of other criticism of systemd and rc.conf changes there.

Getting your questions answered here at ArchBang Forums
Please! Always give hardware info, if there is a chance that 's relevant: #lspci -vnn
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#2 2012-08-18 19:38:49

Registered: 2011-04-04
Posts: 31

Re: Why it is always interesting to read topics going nowhere:

I understand the wheel is still controversial, and fire is still stuck in committee.


#3 2012-08-19 01:23:50

Mr Green
Registered: 2010-11-07
Posts: 6,920

Re: Why it is always interesting to read topics going nowhere:

Starting to wonder who is running Arch Linux these days...

Comments, suggestions please feel free to contact me mrgreen(at)archbang(dot)org


#4 2012-10-10 20:48:03

Registered: 2011-11-03
Posts: 505

Re: Why it is always interesting to read topics going nowhere:

Mr Green wrote:

Starting to wonder who is running Arch Linux these days...

Lennart Poettering.


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