trisquel 9 roadmap

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chaosmonk

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For anyone who would like to track the status of Trisquel 9 (or even
better, would like to help), here is a list and description of
everything that needs to be done before Trisquel 9 is released.

https://trisquel.info/en/wiki/status-package-helpers-etiona

nadebula.1984
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Thanks for sharing the development progress.

Rumor had it that Ubuntu 18.04 LTS would be supported for 10 years, and so is Trisquel 9. I routinely use Debian testing or sid, yet I don't need latest packages on every computing device, so Trisquel 9 would be perfect for such few devices of mine.

And especially, I'm looking forward to Trisquel's new software center. I wonder whether I could bring this purified version of software manager to Debian.

chaosmonk

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> And especially, I'm looking forward to Trisquel's new software center.

I've reviewed various alternative apt frontends. The only ones that I
liked were apper and mx-package-installer, neither of which is a
suitable replacement for gnome-app-install:

apper does not distinguish between applications and other kinds of
packages, so it is a synaptic alternative rather than a
gnome-app-install alternative, and while I like it, I think that
synaptic is better overall. Moreover, apper is Qt-based, which would be
fine for Trisquel, but Trisquel Mini avoids Qt in order to keep resource
usage down.

mx-package-installer does distinguish between applications and other
kinds of packages, but via manual curation, which is not the ideal
direction for us I think. It also seems a little more geared toward
intermediate users. It's pretty neat, offering a little of what
gnome-app-install does, plus what synaptic does, plus some additional
features. I think that modifying it to remove all of the
recommendations for non-free crap would be a worthwhile project in
itself, but it would not be a good replacement for gnome-app-install.

Since I did not find a good alternative, I am going to try to fix up and
preserve gnome-app-install. I have ported it from Gtk2 to Gtk3 and am
now cleaning up as well as fixing some preexisting bugs. Then I'll port
it from Python 2 to Python 3. Meanwhile, Ark74 is working on a method
of regenerating the backend data using Trisquel's repositories so that
to replace the four-year-old data that was based on Ubuntu's
repositories at the time.

> I wonder whether I could bring this purified version of software
> manager to Debian.

I see no reason that it wouldn't work with Debian. The backend data
would just need to be regenerated using Debian's repositories instead of
Trisquel's.

nadebula.1984
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Then what about gnome-software? I see that gnome-software has least issues to fix. Just disable snap integration and fix certain GTK-related issues. (Maybe a few more works need to be done, such as removing any ambiguous "free" in the license areas.) Generally, purifying gnome-software seems easier than keeping gnome-app-install up to date.

chaosmonk

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> Then what about gnome-software? I see that gnome-software has least
> issues to fix. Just disable snap integration and fix certain
> GTK-related issues. (Maybe a few more works need to be done, such as
> removing any ambiguous "free" in the license areas.) Generally,
> purifying gnome-software seems easier than keeping gnome-app-install
> up to date.

Snap integration is a separate plugin in 18.04, so it should be easy to
disable. The client-side decoration issue is a cosmetic one, and is
really a problem with Trisquel's GTK3 theme, not gnome-software. Out of
all the possible gnome-app-install replacements, gnome-software is the
least-worst option. However, I would prefer to avoid it if possible for
two reasons:

(1) It is a buggy piece of crap. On every distro I have tried it on
(Trisquel, Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora), I have run into serious problems.
The most common issue is it not being able to find any applications
except for applications that are already installed, and Snap packages
(if the Snap plugin is enabled). gnome-app-install has its application
data computed in advance and installed as a package, so there is no risk
of this happening. The fact that gnome-software's data is computed
dynamically on the user's end has the advantage of being able to
recognize software from PPAs (when it works at all), but the fact that
gnome-app-install's data is computed in advance gives it the advantage
that it actually f*cking works out-of-the box reliably.

(2) It prioritizes being fancy and Apple-like over being useful. From
the "Let's go shopping" message on startup (Trisquel users are not
"shopping" for products, but are installing free software from their
distro's repository) to the App-Store-like organization of information,
gnome-software treats its users like customers to be sold to.
gnome-app-install is simple and transparent: If you know what you want
to install, just type the name, no need to click around and look at
billboards. If you don't know exactly what you want to install, filter
by category or keywords for what you're looking for and see what
packages matching those tags are actually most used by other users in
practice, instead of what some gatekeeper has been bribed to promote.

If gnome-app-install doesn't work out, gnome-software is plan B, but we
would just fix the freedom issues. It would be too much work to make it
be not crap.

nadebula.1984
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Thank you very much for patiently explaining the situations. Now I feel that I got your point.

I agree that gnome-software is something "cr*p like". For example, it uses ambiguous "free" to denote either "as in free speech" or "as in free beer". This is pointless in Trisquel, as everything must be free/libre in Trisquel. Also I really dislike the way in which it treats its users. Therefore I agree with you that we should use gnome-software as Plan-B.

calher

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On 11/26/2019 02:04 AM, name at domain wrote:
> (1) It is a buggy piece of crap. On every distro I have tried it on
> (Trisquel, Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora), I have run into serious problems.

It works just fine on Fedora 31. Just Start Typing!

> (2) It prioritizes being fancy and Apple-like over being useful. From
> the "Let's go shopping" message on startup (Trisquel users are not
> "shopping" for products, but are installing free software from their
> distro's repository) to the App-Store-like organization of information,
> gnome-software treats its users like customers to be sold to.

Marketing is a powerful thing. We need more of it for free/libre
software. A nice, shiny GNOME desktop entices users and gets them
thinking about free software. A foreign, technical-looking i3 rice
makes people reassert that GNU+Linux is not for them, it's for nerds.

Video: Why I don’t Use GNOME but Everyone Else Should, a keynote by
Bradley M. Kuhn at GUADEC 2016

https://invidio.us/watch?v=eTIH-vgJTsw

chaosmonk

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> It works just fine on Fedora 31. Just Start Typing!

The last version of Fedora that I tried was 29, I think. After a fresh
install, I launched gnome-software, and it was unable to find any
applications. I eventually found a workaround (I forget what it was),
and got applications to show up, but even then there were problems.
Some applications showed up twice, and some showed up as installable
even though they were already installed. I'm glad to hear that the
first bug is fixed now, at least on Fedora. Are those other two bugs
fixed as well?

> Marketing is a powerful thing. We need more of it for free/libre
> software. A nice, shiny GNOME desktop entices users and gets them
> thinking about free software. A foreign, technical-looking i3 rice
> makes people reassert that GNU+Linux is not for them, it's for nerds.

I 100% agree. I'm not complaining about GNOME in general, just
gnome-software. I don't mind that gnome-software is shiny. I mind that
it is unreliable, has an unnecessarily complicated UI, and adopts the
framing of proprietary app stores.

That last complaint is not because I don't think we should try to
"market" free software, but because I think we should do so in a way
that speaks to its social advantages and with a framing that reinforces
free software values and a culture of sharing. Referring to browsing
and installing software from a free software repository as "shopping"
reinforces the idea that information like software should be thought of
and treated as physical property, a framing which benefits proprietary
software. I think we should try to make our repositories easy to
navigate, but that this does not require us to pretend that users are
"shopping" for anything. We should present our repositories as an
accessible commons, reinforcing the idea that information should be
shared rather than hoarded, a framing which benefits free software.

> Video: Why I don’t Use GNOME but Everyone Else Should, a keynote by
> Bradley M. Kuhn at GUADEC 2016
>
> https://invidio.us/watch?v=eTIH-vgJTsw

Thanks, I'll watch this later. Based on the title I have a feeling I'll
mostly agree, although I would say that based on my experience we should
favor GNOME as a DE to recommend to younger users, especially younger
macOS users, while favoring more traditional environments like MATE and
Xfce for older users, especially older Windows users, who I find are
often confused by and/or annoyed with GNOME's UI.

nadebula.1984
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I agree that marketing is so powerful (and usually overwhelming). But the term "market" is tightly associated with capitalism, which is inherently incompatible with freedom/liberation.

We are grave diggers of capitalism, not defenders of it. We once succeeded in Soviet Union (1922~1953) and China (1949~1976), and we shall win again.

calher

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On 11/26/2019 11:12 PM, name at domain wrote:
> the term "market" is tightly associated with capitalism, which is
> inherently incompatible with freedom/liberation.

This is but an opinion.

> We once succeeded in
> Soviet Union (1922~1953) and China (1949~1976), and we shall win again.

China and the Soviet Union are/were at least just as surveilled and
oppressed as we are today in the U.S. If you want to give a good
example of communism, use Burkina Faso or the kibbutzim in the land of
Israel.

Bret Busby
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On 27/11/2019, Caleb Herbert <name at domain> wrote:
> On 11/26/2019 11:12 PM, name at domain wrote:
>> the term "market" is tightly associated with capitalism, which is
>> inherently incompatible with freedom/liberation.
>
> This is but an opinion.
>
>> We once succeeded in
>> Soviet Union (1922~1953) and China (1949~1976), and we shall win again.
>
> China and the Soviet Union are/were at least just as surveilled and
> oppressed as we are today in the U.S. If you want to give a good
> example of communism, use Burkina Faso or the kibbutzim in the land of
> Israel.
>

Each of those four countries involve, ab initio, gratuitous mass
murder and slaughter of defenceless and innocent children, and,
destruction of resources, by fanatic extremists.

And, it is all completely unrelated to the Trisquel operating system,
and, to the topic of the thread.

Can the politics of those things, end here, and, the mailing list
return to its purpose, please?

--
Bret Busby
Armadale
West Australia
..............

"So once you do know what the question actually is,
you'll know what the answer means."
- Deep Thought,
Chapter 28 of Book 1 of
"The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy:
A Trilogy In Four Parts",
written by Douglas Adams,
published by Pan Books, 1992

....................................................

Masaru Suzuqi
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I respect your opinion but just this, please inform me if there is such a country which has not involved, ab initio, gratuitous mass murder and slaughter of defenceless and innocent children, and, destruction of resources, by fanatic extremists. Burkina Faso does not seem remarkable but kibbutzim is very inreresrin.

calher

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On 11/27/2019 12:19 PM, Bret Busby wrote:

> And, it is all completely unrelated to the Trisquel operating system,
> and, to the topic of the thread.

Indeed. It was perhaps unwise of me to humor Mr. Liang.

davidpgil
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Please continue this off-topic subject in another forum. This thread is about the Trisquel 9 roadmap. Thank you.

calher

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On 11/26/2019 01:15 AM, name at domain wrote:
> Then what about gnome-software? I see that gnome-software has least
> issues to fix. Just disable snap integration

I need to use Flatpak for Polari and Gajim.

calher

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On 11/26/2019 12:37 AM, name at domain wrote:
> I've reviewed various alternative apt frontends. The only ones that I
> liked were apper and mx-package-installer, neither of which is a
> suitable replacement for gnome-app-install:

GNOME Software is the best!

davidpgil
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Thank you for compiling this. I have wanted to help but I have been having trouble getting started. I dont't know where to begin with creating a package helper and havent had time to try. Apologies!

chaosmonk

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> Thank you for compiling this. I have wanted to help but I have been
> having trouble getting started. I dont't know where to begin with
> creating a package helper and havent had time to try. Apologies!

If you look at the wiki page, you'll see that some of the missing
packages specify where the packages fail, but for some it says "reason
unknown", which means that i haven't tested them to see what's wrong
yet. If you want to help, you could test these helpers. You might even
find that some of them are things you see how to fix, but even if you
can't fix any yourself, you can fill in the missing information on the
wiki page.

If you'd like to help by testing these package helpers, I can walk you
through the first one over IRC.

strypey
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Thanks chaosmonk for sharing this update on Etiona progress. I intend to carve out some time to learn how to help with some of the simpler Trisquel tasks, and I encourage other members of the Trisquel user community to do the same. That way, there is a better chance of each Trisquel version being released 6 months after the Ubuntu release it's based off, as the project aspires to do.

FYI I recently found our that the Jami devs only support the most recent 2 Ubuntu LTS releases, so if Etiona is not released by the time 20.04 is released, no officially released and currently supported Trisquel version will be actively supported by Jami:
https://git.jami.net/savoirfairelinux/jami-packaging/issues/39

chaosmonk

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> FYI I recently found our that the Jami devs only support the most
> recent 2 Ubuntu LTS releases, so if Etiona is not released by the time
> 20.04 is released, no officially released and currently supported
> Trisquel version will be actively supported by Jami:
> https://git.jami.net/savoirfairelinux/jami-packaging/issues/39

Trisquel development moves slowly, but I do not think that it will take
us that long to release Etiona. We have just a few missing pieces to
fill in.

See: https://git.jami.net/savoirfairelinux/jami-packaging/issues/44

IrishUSA
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I have zero idea about technical underpinnings, so maybe I should just remain silent, but...

Linux Lite is also Ubuntu based, so it may be easier to use some of its code than non Ubuntu based distros.
https://www.linuxliteos.com/manual/software.html#instsoftware

It seems to have two interesting "helpers".

Lite Software offers a seemingly curated, de-mystified list of "popular" apps and other installs.
https://www.linuxliteos.com/manual/software.html#installsoftware

Similarly, Lite Tweaks is a list of available system tweaks.
https://www.linuxliteos.com/manual/software.html#tweaks

Obviously, neither app is inherently protective of users' freedom, but that could simply be a matter of what a given distro's developers and repos choose. Both apps are also very basic, with no screenshots or reviews, and likely a very limited selection given the apparent assumption of a list that can fit in a single window. Still, FWIW.

And what about ElementaryOS? It's also Ubuntu based, and while the Pantheon desktop environment is tightly integrated across the OS, it's at least based on GNOME just as MATE is. And its App Center (selection visible at https://appcenter.elementary.io/) combines Apple like slickness with a "pay what you want" style that doesn't necessarily undermine an ethic of sharing but does easily enable direct user support for developers and projects. Once and if ported, this may reduce the workload and debates associated with a tightly restricted and curated list of apps such as in Lite Software.

chaosmonk

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> Lite Software offers a seemingly curated, de-mystified list of
> "popular" apps and other installs.
> https://www.linuxliteos.com/manual/software.html#installsoftware

Yes, it is based on manual curation. The source code contains a hard
coded list of applications to recommend.[1] Much of it is proprietary
(Skype, Steam, etc.). In order to use this for Trisquel we would need
to create and maintain our own list of applications to recommend. I'm
not necessarily against this, but it would be a break from the way we've
done things. gnome-app-install uses data automatically extracted from
.desktop files, rather than data compiled manually, and while
applications can be sorted by popularity, we do not otherwise select
specific applications to recommend.

> And what about ElementaryOS? It's also Ubuntu based, and while the
> Pantheon desktop environment is tightly integrated across the OS, it's
> at least based on GNOME just as MATE is. And its App Center
> (selection visible at https://appcenter.elementary.io/) combines Apple
> like slickness with a "pay what you want" style that doesn't
> necessarily undermine an ethic of sharing but does easily enable
> direct user support for developers and projects. Once and if ported,
> this may reduce the workload and debates associated with a tightly
> restricted and curated list of apps such as in Lite Software.

This appears to use appstream data to generate a list of applications
from the distro's repositories, rather than manual curation, so this is
more similar to gnome-software and gnome-app-install in its approach.
I'm not necessarily against the "pay what you want" feature, as long is
it is presented in a transparent way. The applications the user would
be installing are packaged in Trisquel's repository. They are not
receiving a license or a copy directly from the developer, so it would
be misleading to frame a payment to the developer as a transaction.
Something like a "donate" button would be fine with me, though.

I'm having a pretty busy week, but when I have a chance I'll try out
Elementary's AppCenter to see whether it might be suitable. Thanks for
the suggestion.

[1]
https://gitlab.com/linuxlite/litesoftware/blob/master/litesoftware_4.0-0050-linuxlite/usr/bin/lite-software

FernandoV
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I'm no developer, just a general user, but if I had to compare 16.04 versus 18.04 - I had a lot of problems and stability issues in 18.04. For me 16.04 just works flawlessly, so I really enjoy using trisquel 8 (for more than a year now everyday) with only minor problems and I'm actually not looking forward to trisquel 9, which will be built on 18.04.

I actually used lubuntu 16.04 before with no problems, then upgraded to 18.04, had a ton of problems on my older devices, then I decided to try trisquel 8 and became a happy person again.

Waiting for 20.04 to roll out to test it, but as 19.04 dropped support for i386 platform, I'm afraid they also dropped support for older devices in general, which I'm not happy about, because I don't like all the new hardware spying technologies (AMT for example). There are a lot of pre-2010 computers that run fine for casual everyday browsing and email. But however soon will come a day, when there will be no up-to-date OS to run on them, which will be a new security problem.

I apologize for an off-topic. Wishing you best luck in your effort to develop Trisquel 9, truly libre and functional OS.

calher

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On 12/04/2019 12:25 AM, name at domain wrote:
> For me 16.04 just works flawlessly,

Its version of GNOME, and all the GNOME apps like totem, are broken.

FernandoV
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I've never used GNOME, only LXDE on lubuntu and now xfce on trisquel mini. As I said - old computers..