Documentation/Publicity help needed.

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SirGrant

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Hey everyone,

I would like to ask for some help writing a new piece of documentation. One of the goals of our community is to grow and increase the usage of free software in the world. I see a great untapped resource and would like to ask for your help in tapping it.

If you go on a lot of public websites (e.g. reddit, messageboards, mailing lists) one of the most common questions asked by new users is "which distro should I use?"

I always want to recommend Trisquel but half the time I don't because I get tired of typing out over and over why I think Trisquel is great. So what I would like to do is create a few pre-formatted posts in which a user could just copy and paste into a forum or reddit post recommending Trisquel. Because right now those posts are dominated by "Try (GNU) Linux Mint or Try Ubuntu". Instead we should be saying "Try Trisquel".

So I was wondering if anyone out there has any experience with persuasive writing. When we go out there and recommend Trisquel we have to go up against some mainstream distros so we better have some damn good reasons (and we do) why a new user should try Trisquel vs Ubuntu or (GNU) Linux Mint.

SirGrant

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Here is a draft I have come up with (no formatting):

I would recommend you try Trisquel GNU/Linux. Trisquel is a system endorsed by the GNU project which contains only free (libre) software which is software that respects your freedoms. It is a derivative of Ubuntu meaning it is just as accessible and user friendly.

However, Trisquel has advantages over mainstream distros like Ubuntu and (GNU) Linux Mint. Source code for every single package in Trisquel is free to run, study, modify, and share. Other distros take shortcuts and include proprietary software like skype (owned by Microsoft) which lacks these freedoms. These shortcuts can lead to malicious features or digital restrictions. Trisquel and other free distributions do not make these sorts of compromises on your freedoms. With distros like Trisquel you really are in the driver's seat concerning your software.

Those are the reasons you should try freedom and try Trisquel GNU/Linux.

marioger
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If we talk publicity, we should ask why Trisquel Planet is still in spanish?
It should be in english i think.

Chris

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Maybe I wasn't clear. I didn't say don't do it. I said it may not be the
right time to do it. There is a difference. For current GNU/Linux users there
is probably no downside. I wouldn't encourage anybody to push it on less
technical users though.

marioger
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Joined: 11/20/2011

Don't forget to say that Trisquel can't play video from most streaming
website because it doesn't run Adobe Flash Player. People have to know this
before because they're going to cry a lot if they know this after install.

PS: I am a member too!

Darksoul71
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Joined: 01/04/2012

I think when recommending Trisquel it is also important to transparently
outline its limits given by certain decissions made by the Trisquel staff.

This includes no support for loading firmware which translates to:
- No 3D support with AMD / ATI cards
- Probably non-working NICs, USB devices and so on.

It is important to show "Joe Average" why you reject the usage of firmware
and what this means for him. Otherwise he will try out Trisquel (if at all)
and possibly give Trisquel a bad reputation (e.g. my WLAN stick works in
Ubuntu but didn't under Trisquel).

Possibly recommended hardware specs would be nice for buying a new machine ?

Such as prefering Intel GPUs over NVidia because of better open-source
drivers and stuff like that ?

marioger
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Joined: 11/20/2011

Also, if those people try Trisquel, love it and decide to be a membre
associate, i think Trisquel should be more grateful with this people. I mean
when someone decide to give monthly payment, Trisquel should (at least) send
an thankful email. At least! I am a member since a month and it's like...
It's like nothing! No thanks, no grateful, nothing! I think Trisquel should
make a tiny effort on this point.

PS: I am a member too

Cyberhawk

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When recommending Trisquel, I suggest noting the technical aspects more than
the ethical aspects. Since most people never thought about software from the
point of view of ethics, they will have difficulties to understand the
arguments and more likely not try the distro.

From this point of view advantages of Trisquel might be:

- More compatible Gnome desktop (easier for Windows-folk to understand, works
better if no 3D-acceleration support is present (which might be a problem
with any distribution, even though on Trisquel it's more likely).
- Higher stability due to modified kernel.
- Support can be given by ANY kind of problem, because of the modified kernel
there isn't a component, that the free software community as a whole can't
give support for.
- Based on Ubuntu, which means most software that is compiled for GNU/Linux
will run. The amount of software compiled as a .deb for Ubuntu is higher,
than for any other distro.

Chris

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While I think it isn't a bad idea there should be some caution in
recommending a distribution or free operating system which isn't going to
satisfy the majority of potential users. While it is certainly something to
get people to check out your less technical counterpart is going to try it,
fail, and refuse to touch it ever again. Which sort of goes back to why
Richard Stallman doesn't like non-free distributions. It results in more
non-free software being developed.

A good example: Synaptic is now releasing non-free code for critical hardware
going into newer laptops. You may have issues using your Touchpad to its full
potential. If the GNU/Linux community was smaller rather than saying yes to
non-free software there wouldn't be an incentive to release non-free code.
Manufacturers would be forced to release free code, release partial code, or
simply not release code at all.

Chris

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While I think it isn't a bad idea there should be some caution in recommending a distribution or free operating system which isn't going to satisfy the majority of potential users. While it is certainly something to get people to check out your less technical counterpart is going to try it, fail, and refuse to touch it ever again. Which sort of goes back to why Richard Stallman doesn't like non-free distributions. It makes things seamingly 'easier' and attracts a larger user base. This negatively influences manfacutrers decisions as to release free or non-free code.

A good example: Synaptic is now releasing non-free code for critical hardware going into newer laptops. You may have issues using your Touchpad to its full potential. If the GNU/Linux community was smaller rather than saying yes to non-free software there wouldn't be an incentive to release non-free code. Manufacturers would be forced to release free code, release partial code, or simply not release code at all.

GNU/Linux isn't just another operating system. It's an operating system heavily dependent and based on free software. Remove the free software and it becomes like any other.

SirGrant

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So do you have a recommendation? I would still say go forward with it for these reasons:

* You recommend the distro to 10 or 100 people. If only one person actually sticks with it that is better then zero.
* Without advertising distros don't gain users. Without users they die. Again even if the the majority of users wouldn't be satisfied we should then go after the minority who would.
* IMO our main source of (external) publicity currently the GNU list of free distros. I think we need to expand that and start recommending people use Trisquel in other forums.

SirGrant

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So do you have a recommendation? I would still say go forward with it for
these reasons:

* You recommend the distro to 10 or 100 people. If only one person actually
sticks with it that is better then zero.
* Without advertising distros don't gain users. Without users they die.
Again even if the the majority of users wouldn't be satisfied we should then
go after the minority who would.
* IMO our main source of (external) publicity currently the GNU list of free
distros. I think we need to expand that and start recommending people use
Trisquel in other forums.

marioger
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Don't forget to say that Trisquel can't play video from most streaming website because it doesn't run Adobe Flash Player. People have to know this before because they're going to cry a lot if they know this after install.

PS: I am a member too!

SirGrant

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Sorry on the internet I don't know if this is sarcasm or not.

IMO I would focus on what Trisquel can do rather then what it can't. Now this is just plain marketing but I would say if asked that we can watch videos like on youtube using webM without flash. Then if users come to the message board/IRC asking about it we can explain why flash is bad (plenty of reasons). But when advertising I don't think it is good to advertise what you can't do but focus on what you can.

marioger
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I say this because it' really important for poeples to know this before installing. Its far from sarcasm... But maybe your right and we should focus on what Trisquel can do.

PS: I am a member too

Dave_Hunt

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Certainly, in any headlines, we should stick to what Trisquel can do.
When it's time for details, we can talk about what Trisquel won't ,
rather than can't, do, why, and appropriate alternatives.

Best Regards,

Dave H.

On 02/18/2012 09:51 AM, name at domain wrote:
> I say this because it' really important for poeples to know this before
> installing. Its far from sarcasm... But maybe your right and we should
> focus on what Trisquel can do.
>
>
> PS: I am a member too

marioger
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I say this because it' really important for poeples to know this before
installing. Its far from sarcasm... But maybe your right and we should focus
on what Trisquel can do.

PS: I am a member too

SirGrant

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Sorry on the internet I don't know if this is sarcasm or not.

IMO I would focus on what Trisquel can do rather then what it can't. Now
this is just plain marketing but I would say if asked that we can watch
videos like on [https://trisquel.info/en/wiki/play-videos-without-using-flash
youtube using webM without flash]. Then if users come to the message
board/IRC asking about it we can explain why flash is bad (plenty of
reasons). But when advertising I don't think it is good to advertise what
you can't do but focus on what you can.

Chris

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Maybe I wasn't clear. I didn't say don't do it. I said it may not be the right time to do it. There is a difference. For current GNU/Linux users there is probably no downside. I wouldn't encourage anybody to push it on less technical users though.

There are certain improvements that need to be made in a few areas or people are going to run over the long haul. It isn't going to help the cause.

There are things you can do now. Some of them include encouraging people not to buy or 'rent' DRM infected media / content (Netflix is bad), not to buy hardware dependent on non-free drivers/firmware (Dell, HP, Lenovo, Toshiba, etc are bad), etc. Point them to http://www.eztakes.com/ for movies. Point them to http://www.thinkpenguin.com/ for hardware. Point them to the Ubuntu One Music Store or similar for music.

We are working on improving (rewriting) software that will hopefully help less technical users adapt to free software environments. Right now is not a good time to move people over to a completely free system.

Some of the stuff that will help users transition to free environments is coming along. We are trying to fund projects like GNASH and Lightspark.

SirGrant

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I would have to disagree. I think we should be advocating for free software at all times. I think saying "now isn't just the right time" is analogous to saying "yes, we should end something like slavery or segregation but now just isn't the right time".

The free software movement has been going on for over 25 years. When is the right time?

marioger
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Right!

marioger
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Right!

Dave_Hunt

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Agreed! It's far too easy to say "now isn't the right time" or "here is
not the right place".

-D. H.

On 02/17/2012 11:52 PM, name at domain wrote:
> I would have to disagree. I think we should be advocating for free
> software at all times. I think saying "now isn't just the right time" is
> analogous to saying "yes, we should end something like slavery or
> segregation but now just isn't the right time".

SirGrant

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I would have to disagree. I think we should be advocating for free software
at all times. I think saying "now isn't just the right time" is analogous to
saying "yes, we should end something like slavery or segregation but now just
isn't the right time".

Cyberhawk

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When recommending Trisquel, I suggest noting the technical aspects more than the ethical aspects. Since most people never thought about software from the point of view of ethics, they will have difficulties to understand the arguments and more likely not try the distro.

From this point of view advantages of Trisquel might be:

- More compatible Gnome desktop (easier for Windows-folk to understand, works better if no 3D-acceleration support is present (which might be a problem with any distribution, even though on Trisquel it's more likely).
- Higher stability due to modified kernel.
- Support can be given by ANY kind of problem, because of the modified kernel there isn't a component, that the free software community as a whole can't give support for.
- Based on Ubuntu, which means most software that is compiled for GNU/Linux will run. The amount of software compiled as a .deb for Ubuntu is higher, than for any other distro.

Magic Banana

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I disagree: we do not only promote Trisquel, we promote freedom. This is the greater goal. A user committed to freedom will not switch back to proprietary software for technical convenience.

That said, your third point is more about ethics (i.e., about "controlling your computing") than it is technical. However, I am not sure it deserves to be part of a small argumentation in favor of Trisquel.

Although the last point is technical, it could be simplified into "a huge amount of free software readily available from Trisquel's repository (including all applications in Ubuntu's repositories but the non-free ones)" and be included in the text.

SirGrant

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I think we should advocate the freedom part at minimum equally. Otherwise Trisquel just looks like the distro where my wireless card probably doesn't work.

On a purely technical level Ubuntu would win. We remove a bunch of software that they offer. We are based on them which always means we are behind them. But yes as magic bannana mentions the key is freedom. Why do I choose Trisquel over Ubuntu. It is because of the freedom it comes with. That is what keeps me here and prevents me from going anywhere else.

Magic Banana

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I disagree: we do not only promote Trisquel, we promote freedom. This is the
greater goal. A user committed to freedom will not switch back to proprietary
software for technical convenience.

That said, your third point is more about ethics (i.e., about "controlling
your computing") than it is technical. However, I am not sure it deserves to
be part of a small argumentation in favor of Trisquel.

Although the last point is technical, it could be simplified into "a huge
amount of free software readily available from Trisquel's repository
(including all applications in Ubuntu's repositories but the non-free ones)"
and be included in the text.

SirGrant

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I am a translator!

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Joined: 07/27/2010

I think we should advocate the freedom part at minimum equally. Otherwise
Trisquel just looks like the distro where my wireless card probably doesn't
work.

On a purely technical level Ubuntu would win. We remove a bunch of software
that they offer. We are based on them which always means we are behind them.
But yes as magic bannana mentions the key is freedom. Why do I choose
Trisquel over Ubuntu. It is because of the freedom it comes with. That is
what keeps me here and prevents me from going anywhere else.

Darksoul71
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Joined: 01/04/2012

I think when recommending Trisquel it is also important to transparently outline its limits given by certain decissions made by the Trisquel staff.

This includes no support for loading firmware which translates to:
- No 3D support with AMD / ATI cards
- Probably non-working NICs, USB devices and so on.

It is important to show "Joe Average" why you reject the usage of firmware and what this means for him. Otherwise he will try out Trisquel (if at all) and possibly give Trisquel a bad reputation (e.g. my WLAN stick works in Ubuntu but didn't under Trisquel).

Possibly recommended hardware specs would be nice for buying a new machine ?

Such as prefering Intel GPUs over NVidia because of better open-source drivers and stuff like that ?

marioger
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Joined: 11/20/2011

Also, if those people try Trisquel, love it and decide to be a membre associate, i think Trisquel should be more grateful with this people. I mean when someone decide to give monthly payment, Trisquel should (at least) send an thankful email. At least! I am a member since a month and it's like... It's like nothing! No thanks, no grateful, nothing! I think Trisquel should make a tiny effort on this point.

PS: I am a member too

Cyberhawk

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And what about the Trisquel themed USB-stick with a live image? I thought all members get these.

marioger
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I didn't get anything!

marioger
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I didn't get anything!

oysterboy

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I agree with marioger. A thank you note would cost nothing and would be nice. I became a member beginning of 2012 and as of today I haven't received anything, save for a subscription to the trisquel-members mailing list. Maybe the Trisquel USB key is in the mail - I have no way of knowing. I think a little bit of transparency wouldn't hurt, especially since it seems to be hard to find members.

For your information, here's the thank you note that you receive when you make a donation to Linux Mint:

"Dear Donor,

Thank you for helping our project. On behalf of the team and as the founder
of Linux Mint, I would like to express my gratitude for your generous
donation.

Although the total income generated through donations and ads doesn't allow
us to gather a team of developers who would work full-time on the
distribution, it helps things a lot. We started advertising on other
websites such as distrowatch.com and we were able to acquire some equipment
to test our distribution in a better and more efficient way. Most of all,
this money allowed the developers to work more hours on the project,
although not full-time, and to put them in a more comfortable situation. The
money gathered also allows us to financially support sub-projects and to
invest in activities which will in turn allow the distribution to grow.

Our project continues to grow thanks to people like you and it's an honour
for us to acknowledge your contribution at
http://www.linuxmint.com/donors.php and as part of our monthly stats, at the
end of month on http://www.linuxmint.com/blog

We listed your donation as "2011-07-24 Canada Benjamin R. $20".

If you wish to add more information to it (your website address or your
nickname) or if you want to change the way you appear in these listings,
please log in at the following address using the following credentials:

Address:
Password:

Thank you very much for supporting Linux Mint.

Regards,

Clement Lefebvre
Linux Mint"

marioger
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Right! And i could show what i received from the FSF, Wikimedia, Linux Mint and Mozilla Foundation... Always kind and grateful. I think this vould be the first thing to do with people showing that you are important. then we could go find more people.

Magic Banana

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If you agree, let us carry on this discussion on the members' mailing list. This post is about a completely different topic.

marioger
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I tried to wtite this question to the member list but see what i get:

Your mail to 'Trisquel-members' with the subject

Way to treat new membership?

Is being held until the list moderator can review it for approval.

The reason it is being held:

Post by non-member to a members-only list

Either the message will get posted to the list, or you will receive
notification of the moderator's decision. If you would like to cancel
this posting, please visit the following URL:

http://listas.trisquel.info/mailman/confirm/trisquel-members/065dd6e5b11aef163c211cc6efe960b34e934d74

This what i get even after one month of membership

Thank you

Magic Banana

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I doubt your subscription went OK. I do not remember exactly how long it took for my own membership to be "running" (messages to mailing list that are automatically accepted and badge in the forum) but it definitely was below a week.

Magic Banana

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I doubt your subscription went OK. I do not remember exactly how long it took
for my own membership to be "running" (messages to mailing list that are
automatically accepted and badge in the forum) but it definitely was below a
week.

marioger
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I tried to wtite this question to the member list but see what i get:

Your mail to 'Trisquel-members' with the subject

Way to treat new membership?

Is being held until the list moderator can review it for approval.

The reason it is being held:

Post by non-member to a members-only list

Either the message will get posted to the list, or you will receive
notification of the moderator's decision. If you would like to cancel
this posting, please visit the following URL:

http://listas.trisquel.info/mailman/confirm/trisquel-members/065dd6e5b11aef163c211cc6efe960b34e934d74

This what i get even after one month of membership

Thank you

Magic Banana

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If you agree, let us carry on this discussion on the members' mailing list.
This post is about a completely different topic.

SirGrant

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Ok yeah you guys are bringing up valid points but for a totally different issue. Like Bannana said you could either make another thread about this or post to the member's mailing list

Lets try to keep it on topic please.

marioger
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I think this is the same subject but... I am going to do as you said... and wait until i get my membership recognition so i can use the memberlist mail

SirGrant

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I'm going to bring that issue up to quidam on IRC and see if I can get your status fixed.

I will also mention oysterboy's idea of a thank you note or something like that because it is a good idea. Although I have a couple classes today and I'm not sure what time quidam will be online to it might take a day or two. I'll try to get it resolved for you ASAP though.

marioger
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Thank you very much SirGrant! But we should discuss this subject on the mailing list though. Because it is a part of the Trisquel's image.

marioger
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Thank you very much SirGrant! But we should discuss this subject on the
mailing list though. Because it is a part of the Trisquel's image.

SirGrant

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I'm going to bring that issue up to quidam on IRC and see if I can get your
status fixed.

marioger
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I think this is the same subject but... I am going to do as you said... and
wait until i gat my membership recognition

marioger
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Joined: 11/20/2011

Right! And i could show what i received from the FSF, Wikimedia, Linux Mint
and Mozilla Foundation... Always kind and grateful. I think this vould be the
first thing to do with people showing that you are important. then we could
go find more people.

SirGrant

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Ok yeah you guys are bringing up valid points but for a totally different
issue. Like Bannana said you could either make another thread about this or
post to the [http://listas.trisquel.info/mailman/listinfo/trisquel-members
member's mailing list]

Lets try to keep it on topic please.