The future of SolydXK

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Schoelje
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The future of SolydXK

Postby Schoelje » 14 Aug 2014 18:59

There has been quite a bit of discussion in the community regarding the maintainability of the Home Editions. Over a year ago we started SolydXK with the ambition to create a stable distribution, for businesses and organizations, based on Debian testing. To realize the best of both worlds, having Debian's stability and also have up-to-date software, we created regular snapshots called 'Update Packs'.

Our team has done its utmost to achieve that ambition, but unfortunately we have come to realize, with the limited resources we have available, we cannot meet our standards and reach our goals.

Our main goal is to create a stable and secure distribution for businesses and organizations. We will need to focus on those things that will help us attain our goals. So, we have decided to make some changes:
  • When Debian's current testing release (Jessie) becomes stable, our Home Editions and Business Editions will merge and become our new main editions. They will be based on Debian stable. We will provide businesses and organizations a subset of up-to-date software. Additionally, home users will be offered to use a complete set of up-to-date software through our complete backport repository which is not fully tested on SolydXK.
  • At that time, we will stop providing the Home Editions as semi rolling editions with Update Packs. We will however provide truly rolling editions following Debian testing directly. They will include snapshot ISOs, to be released at regular intervals, maybe twice or three times a year. Other than that, these rolling editions will not be officially supported! They will have to be carried by the community.
The current Home Editions with Update Packs and ISOs will continue as usual until these changes come into effect.

We will try to make the transition as smooth as possible by pointing the current Home Edition repositories to the new stable (i.e. Jessie) ones. The rolling editions may turn out to be far less stable than the old Home Editions were meant to be, so staying with the new rolling repositories should be a conscious decision. The current Business Edition repositories should remain with the current stable (Wheezy) to avoid unwanted major updates for businesses/organizations.

For the "official" Q&A on this topic --> viewtopic.php?f=2&t=4592


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Fargo
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Re: The future of SolydXK

Postby Fargo » 14 Aug 2014 19:45

I know this was a hard decision to make. But if the goal is "to create a stable and secure distribution for businesses and organizations", then I think the best decision was made. I think providing backports to the home edition will also go a long ways to providing more up to date software for home users.

My only caution with backports would be to not update all programs with backports. It should be used sparringly only for programs that really need updates. But then again, if this frees up developer time, more software could be backported and more stability could be maintained. I think this will be a good decision for a long term solution. I look forward to seeing how SolydXK matures after Jessie goes stable. Thank you for your continued dedication to a stable and secure distribution.

eidnch
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Re: The future of SolydXK

Postby eidnch » 14 Aug 2014 19:49

After LMDE now also SolydXK ... thats very sad.

A semi rolling release model is the best solution for home users and for the business world: the OS is stable (UP), secure (current updates) and you don't have to reinstall it, so its less need for maintenance.
Why stick to stable ... debian only supports 3 years. It is still open if the support goes 5 years. RedHat has 10 years ... this is for business, that is why redhat is successful. Windows also has 10 years, that is why its used for business. 3 years is not enough. A semi rolling release model would have been an alternative to that model. So for now for a company it is still better to use ubuntu or redhat rather than debian. There are so many distributions based on debian stable, so SolydXK don't have something what gives a company an advantage over them. With this decision i see no reason why SolydXK will survive ...

RavenLX

Re: The future of SolydXK

Postby RavenLX » 14 Aug 2014 20:38

I think you made a great decision. It kinda gives us the best of both worlds. I too am a little leary of backports but also very glad you'll be adding them as an offering for Home users.

I have a suggestion for the UM on this: Maybe a "backports" area in the UM where you can check the backports you want to install and it will install only those (and needed dependencies but we have to be careful not to go into dependency h-e-you-know-what if some things require newer but yet buggier libraries than what is currently in stable).

For backport updates, user could also have other options like "hide this" which would never give a UM notification that the program needs updating, unhide if they change their minds in the future, or a way to turn off updates altogether (to save bandwidth) for the backports (and maybe the rest of the updates as well, if one should choose).

Just ideas for the future of the UM. No hurry, of course.

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Re: The future of SolydXK

Postby Fargo » 14 Aug 2014 21:09

I think Raven has a good idea. There should be a way to isolate backports so they do not show up as 'available updates' in the update manager. We don't want backports updating the all installed software. Yet they should be available through the update manager without having to add/change repos.

Maybe 'Backports' could have their own tab in the UM. Opening the tab might provide a short notice that these updates were not originally designed for the current release and should be used only when necessary. Then they could click a box stating they understand the risk. By clicking that box, they would actually trigger a script that makes the backport repo active and refreshes the repo. They could then view the available updates. Then as part of the procedure to close UM all backport repos would be deselected again so they do not interfere with normal updates.

If developer time allows, this might be something that should be tested in the current BE so its ready to go when Jessie is release and the two editions are merged.

Sorry if we took your post off topic. I'm just excited about the news and the opportunities it opens.

RavenLX

Re: The future of SolydXK

Postby RavenLX » 14 Aug 2014 21:26

To me "tab" and "area" were the same (since the UM currently only had buttons and no tabs). I like your ideas too, Fargo. I think letting people select things with warnings would be a "best of both worlds" solution. I hope that Schoelje would have time to work this into the UM eventually (probably will take awhile as it's a lot of features to implement).

Maybe a new topic should be opened on this? Or should we discuss it here as it is part of discussing the future of SolydXK? I leave it up to the mods.

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Re: The future of SolydXK

Postby fleabus » 14 Aug 2014 22:03

I'm glad to hear all this! :D I hope it results in a more maintainable solution for everyone.

And us tinkerers get turned loose with the snapshot ISOs too! 8-) :twisted:

In proper Debian-Stable-Land (provided one is playing by the book :mrgreen: ) one isolates backports by simply enabling or disabling the backports repo as needed. Plenty of ways to do this, GUI or otherwise... Yet to be worked out...

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Re: The future of SolydXK

Postby Longshot » 15 Aug 2014 00:52

This is sad to hear, now its just another Debian clone. The semi-rolling was what made me love SolydX. I had high hopes that this was the one, I hope this all goes well but without the rolling aspect, I don't see how SolydXK will stand out.

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Re: The future of SolydXK

Postby hinto » 15 Aug 2014 01:09

@Schoelje this is really great news.
I installed a fresh version 17 of an "unnamed" distro and have been fighting KDE ever since. I *think* stable is really the way to go, especially since SolydXK is Debian. I can choose my poison. Say at home, I can run SolydXK "out of the box", where as at work I like "brand new shiny things" and I can point to sid and roll. If SolydXK was based on say, Ubuntu, then I wouldn't be able to do that and I still be fighting KDE.

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Re: The future of SolydXK

Postby fleabus » 15 Aug 2014 02:16

hinto wrote:@Schoelje this is really great news......I can choose my poison.
IMHO SolydXK will now offer the best of both worlds. :D

passnthru

Re: The future of SolydXK

Postby passnthru » 15 Aug 2014 02:42

This news comes as neither surprise nor disappointment to me.

As I see it, all operating systems have "release" in common. Some (like Debian) roll, others like Ubuntu "drop". All have a starting and finish line. In the end the Debs (squeeze, lenny, etch, sarge, woody, potato, slink, hamm) are on the os scrap heap with the Ubuntu, Linuxmint and other "non-rolling" releases. To me it is like the difference between a marathon and a sprint. Better yet, it is like the difference between the vehicle owner taking care of regular maintenance on the weekends (for fun or profit) and leaving major repairs to a mechanic. In the end, the vehicle owner will pay for maintenance and repair one way or the other. Some folks do neither maintenance nor repair and simply trade vehicles ("distro hop") periodically. I prefer open source (Linux) to closed source because I like doing what I can of my own maintenance. My "computing" experience improved when I shifted my attention from closed source (referring to Windows 3.1) to Linux (open source). (I can tear the engine down on my 1967 Ford truck, but lift the hood only to check the fluids and belts on my 2008 GMC Envoy. For everything else, the Envoy goes to the mechanic.)

I realize that I am more a philosopher than a technician. (I can have philosophy without technology, but can not have technology without philosophy. I have been informed of a change in philosophy regarding the technology.) Mine is an acknowledged philosophy of technology, or technological philosophy. So I may be better prepared for change and obsolence than those who put their stock in their technology to the neglect of their philosophy. Whether an individual's philosophy will pass or not is debated. The obsolence of the individual's technology is indisputable and inescapable. Whomever, if anyone, thought that SolydXK was the immortal os was simply not thinking clearly.

The July update of the home edition did not break my system. However, it caused some minor irritations which I suspected had potentially major implications, and for which I could not readily find solution. It became more worrisome than I wanted to deal with at the moment. I test drove the business edition in a virtual machine, and then installed it (alongside SolydX, SolydK, Linuxmint DE, Linuxmint 17 XFCE, Ubuntu, Xubuntu, and Windows 7 Pro - oh, and Debian Wheezy which I boot into with less frequency than the others; the machine I use the most is a 1TB GPT drive with 300GB of unallocated space). SolydX was my "working" os. SolydX BE may be my new working os. I will see how it goes. The point is that I was for all practical purposes moving away from the home edition anyway - at least temporarily.

Perhaps a deliberate and thorough education as to the practical differences between the home and business editions will go some distance to allaying the angst of users who favor the home edition? Assure them that this is at worst a tempest in a teapot. Sell the advantages of the BE and help them make the transition. (I know that I am saying nothing new to anyone here, just emphasizing and encouraging what are to me potentially beneficial thoughts. I certainly mean no harm.)

In the end, I am more concerned with the well-being of Arjen, Amadeu, Jocelyn, Scott, Frank, Sam - "the team" and "community" than with "the product" whose obsolence is ultimately indisputable and inescapable (a question of "when", not "if"). Take care of yourselves and one another first and foremost. If there is a future in anything it is in the individuals under the "hood" of SolydXK. If everyone took my philosophy, Arjen et al could close the doors on SolydXK incorporated at no cost to himself or others. Even if I am wrong, it's worth mentioning and thinking about.

If it helps anyone upon whom the burden of this change rests to hear it, rest assured that my modest investment of capital and time in the SolydXK product has not been wasted, regardless of its future. Best wishes to all!

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Re: The future of SolydXK

Postby kbd » 15 Aug 2014 03:15

I think this is brilliant, and I hope it leads to a great future for Solydxk! For those who want stability, and for those who want the cutting edge, both groups should be happy :-)

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Re: The future of SolydXK

Postby MAYBL8 » 15 Aug 2014 04:08

When Debian's current testing release (Jessie) becomes stable, our Home Editions and Business Editions will merge and become our new main editions.

Is there a date for this?
They will be based on Debian stable. We will provide businesses and organizations a subset of up-to-date software.

Do you know yet what this "subset" will consist of?
Additionally, home users will be offered to use a complete set of up-to-date software through our complete backport repository which is not fully tested on SolydXK.

Will the dev's maintain this or will the community?
At that time, we will stop providing the Home Editions as semi rolling editions with Update Packs. We will however provide truly rolling editions following Debian testing directly.

Can't we do this now with just changing our sources.list file and point directly to jessie?
They will include snapshot ISOs, to be released at regular intervals, maybe twice or three times a year.

This looks like it contradicts the previous statement. Maybe I just don't understand what this means.
Other than that, these rolling editions will not be officially supported! They will have to be carried by the community.

So Schoelje, ZZ and other dev's won't be answering our questions if we go this route? Will we have a separte forum for this group of the community?

Oh one more thing.
What about security updates?


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patzy
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Re: The future of SolydXK

Postby patzy » 15 Aug 2014 04:59

Good idea, and I'm glad we've had have plenty or warning.
Now to decide which machine to make "cutting edge" and which to make "stable".....

Testing using 32bit SolydK
Pentium Dual CPU E2220 2Gb memory
Geoforce 8400 using Nouveau driver

Refugee
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Re: The future of SolydXK

Postby Refugee » 15 Aug 2014 05:22

If you make a rock solid, high quality, intelligent and reasonably attractive product- They will come (and they will stay). Respect and listen to your community and they will be loyal to a fault (sometimes they'll even actually be useful). Just because it's based on stable doesn't mean you can't raise the bar, innovate or set yourself apart from everyone else. And just because it's based on stable in no way means there won't still be plenty to tinker with, things that need to be improved or bugs that need to be fixed (give me the most solid OS ever made and I'll still find a way to break it). Stable does not have to mean dull or boring.

Throw in good performance and an occasional path to upgrade KDE or install a fresher kernel, I'll be perfectly content and I'll do what I can to help make your job a little easier.

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Re: The future of SolydXK

Postby Orbmiser » 15 Aug 2014 06:45

It's like a panic of a Burning building or Ship Sinking responses over at LAS sub-reddit.
http://www.reddit.com/r/LinuxActionShow/comments/2dkub4/the_future_of_solydxk/

I tried to calm them down and enforce the idea this is going to be a slow change and the sky isn't falling.
And take the time to breathe and think before jumping. Nothing wrong if the changes to SolydXK will not fit your needs any longer and you need to move on to another distro. But do it in a Calm,Collective Insightful way. Instead of knee jerk response I need to jump right now before the sinking ship sucks me under also panic mode.

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Re: The future of SolydXK

Postby Schoelje » 15 Aug 2014 07:10

MAYBL8 wrote:
When Debian's current testing release (Jessie) becomes stable, our Home Editions and Business Editions will merge and become our new main editions.

Is there a date for this?
5 november is the freeze. It all depends on how that is going. So, no, there's no date set, yet.
MAYBL8 wrote:
They will be based on Debian stable. We will provide businesses and organizations a subset of up-to-date software.

Do you know yet what this "subset" will consist of?
We still need to fill in the details.
MAYBL8 wrote:
Additionally, home users will be offered to use a complete set of up-to-date software through our complete backport repository which is not fully tested on SolydXK.

Will the dev's maintain this or will the community?
It's Debian's backport repository with the flexibility built in to change things if necessary. So, Debian is the upstream maintainer.
MAYBL8 wrote:
At that time, we will stop providing the Home Editions as semi rolling editions with Update Packs. We will however provide truly rolling editions following Debian testing directly.

Can't we do this now with just changing our sources.list file and point directly to jessie?
When Jessie becomes the new stable is the most natural moment to change your sources if you decide to do so.
MAYBL8 wrote:
They will include snapshot ISOs, to be released at regular intervals, maybe twice or three times a year.

This looks like it contradicts the previous statement. Maybe I just don't understand what this means.
I also build ISOs pointing directly to Debian testing for those who like to have a rolling edition.
MAYBL8 wrote:
Other than that, these rolling editions will not be officially supported! They will have to be carried by the community.

So Schoelje, ZZ and other dev's won't be answering our questions if we go this route? Will we have a separte forum for this group of the community?
This also has to be worked out.
MAYBL8 wrote:Oh one more thing.
What about security updates?
Debian testing does not use its security repository, but updates are delivered directly into the testing repository.


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level323
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Re: The future of SolydXK

Postby level323 » 15 Aug 2014 07:42

My main concern is that Solyd continues and (hopefully) one day thrives.

I'm a silent (but big) fan of SolydXK. I was originally a refugee from LMDE. Solyd, in my opinion, has always been a superior product to LMDE, even compared to when LMDE was at it's peak.

I also have a small business (12 employees) that I'm gradually rolling out to Solyd.

Turning the focus onto myself (and my employer) now, what *I* want is debian-based KDE-based distro that provides a well rounded and stable product with up-to-date versions of critical apps. And I'm prepared to pay for it. I've been waiting to get a sense of where Solyd is headed (from a business/management point of view) and this is my first important indication that you're thinking seriously about sustainability/viability for the longer term. So I'm ready to ante-up with some money for the Business Edition because you guys deserve to be paid for the time you save me as compared to if I was trying to work with another distro (such as plain vanilla debian stable).

Wishing the team a long, prosperous, sustainable and fulfilling future.

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Re: The future of SolydXK

Postby Snap » 15 Aug 2014 07:48

I'm surprised to see a lot of very happy people while these are pretty bad news for me...

I choose Solyd after two months of testing anything with KDE on top, mainly due to its semi rolling nature, being based on Debian Testing while being robust, stable and reliable. This made Solyd so unique. Back to Debian Stable and trusting on backports is nothing special or relevant. just another Debian Stable based distro amongst dozens available. Sure the decision is great for the targeted business niche, but from a home user prespective, Solyd will be missing its original appealing.
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Re: The future of SolydXK

Postby Schoelje » 15 Aug 2014 07:58

@level323
Welcome to our forum!
I'm glad you think that way. If you have any ideas on how you would like to see your support, and services for SolydXK, please e-mail me: arjenbalfoort@solydxk.com


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