General suggestions

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General suggestions

Postby rbeef » Mon Sep 23, 2013 8:49 am

First of all, I'll start by saying that at first, I didn't believed GhostBSD had a reason to exist. But I came to the conclusion that there might be a niche: people who don't want to spend their time (or maybe they lack the knowledge) to tinker a naked FreeBSD system to their needs, but they also don't like the path taken by PC-BSD. So people like me. I think that GhostBSD fits very well my needs, that's why I will give it a try. I also used DesktopBSD back in the days and never switched to PC-BSD. So I'm glad GhostBSD exists, to continue the tradition of a simple, not bloated, BSD desktop system.

After browsing the website, I came up with a few points that I would like to share. I'm by no means expert in BSD, or even in IT, nor in communication or design. I will express my feedback as a simple enthusiastic user, so please, don't take my feedback the wrong way. All I want is to help GhostBSD became a viable alternative to PC-BSD, FreeBSD any many Linux distribution.

First of all, let' be honest, GhostBSD project is a small project. That's not a bad thing. But for such a small project, I think it spreads too much, on various direction. For instance, I would choose only one DE and distribute only one version of GhostBSD. Let's say Xfce. It's much more mature than MATE. In the future, this option may change, in later releases. But for now, having MATE, Xfce, LXDE, Openbox is, in my opinion, way too confusing. Choose one, stick with it, and allow the user to easy install other ones. Simpler, less bandwidth sued, less confusing. it will also help create a visual identity of DesktopBSD.

Documentation now. I personally don't like the wiki approach. Again, I found it confusing. And it's outdated (since it's not that easy to maintain). The FreeBSD handbook is awesome, but for GhostBSD, I would suggest an FAQ-only approach, as OpenBSD uses. And consider that FAQ part of the distribution. Don't release a new version unless the FAQ is updated. It should contain only specific information related to GhostBSD, with links to Handbook for deeper explanation, no extra bloat, no empty sections (no info on a subject? don't open a section about it then).

The Forum, Website and Wiki seems disconnected. I know it's a matter of design, but I would like a more coherent approach (I like the FreeBSD take on this one). For instance, different headres, the FAQ from the Forum points to a forum-related section, not to the GhostBSD FAQ as one might expect and so on. And since I'm here, I would drop the Wiki and Forums. People could get help from mailing lists, IRC and Twitter, I don't think a lot of people are drawn to the forums nowadays. I might be wrong, but again I feel the project is to stretched for it's size. I strongly believe that good mailing lists could be more helpful than a forum with low number of subscribers (again, see OpenBSD, they have good lists, used by developers and users alike).

Also, choosing a mascot can't hurt. Maybe Beastie dressed in a green tuxedo. Or with a green tie. I wish I had the skills to draw it.

Again, I'm only trying to help, don't take my feedback in any other way. I know behind GhostBSD it's a small team of dedicated people and they are doing their best and that it's not easy handling an operating system. I just want GhostBSD to grow, like you do.
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General suggestions

 

Re: General suggestions

Postby fatmac » Mon Sep 23, 2013 11:27 am

Like you, I'm just a user of GhostBSD, & only occassionally, (because I run Linux mainly, as I have done for many years now).

I stumbled upon this project a while ago.

The mascot used to be a frog, like Linux has a penguin, these are not to everybody's taste.
(I'm glad to see them go.)

There is now a stylised 'G' that stands for both GTK & GhostBSD.

The general look & feel of GhostBSD has been worked on, to make it look more 'professsional', which I like.

I do agree that Eric tries to produce too many variants, but that is his choice.
(My Linux boxes usually run Fluxbox or Openbox, so that would be my choice, but it wouldn't suit everyone.)

I prefer a forum over mailing lists or IM.
Linux user between 1999 - 2014; now a BSD user.
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Re: General suggestions

Postby rbeef » Mon Sep 23, 2013 11:54 am

I'v seen the frog, reminds me of Azureus. I don't think that's good, if the projects wants a professional look, so I'm glad it's not used anymore.

My reasoning for mailing lists is the following: every one of us uses email so it's easy to create a filter and read the stories on your own inbox, so why complicate our life and have a forum on top of it? It's redundant (yet I'm posting this on a forum).
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Re: General suggestions

Postby ericbsd » Mon Sep 23, 2013 8:35 pm

rbeef wrote:After browsing the website, I came up with a few points that I would like to share. I'm by no means expert in BSD, or even in IT, nor in communication or design. I will express my feedback as a simple enthusiastic user, so please, don't take my feedback the wrong way. All I want is to help GhostBSD became a viable alternative to PC-BSD, FreeBSD any many Linux distribution.

I have problem with others point of view And I like when people share their opinion.
rbeef wrote:First of all, let' be honest, GhostBSD project is a small project. That's not a bad thing. But for such a small project, I think it spreads too much, on various direction. For instance, I would choose only one DE and distribute only one version of GhostBSD. Let's say Xfce. It's much more mature than MATE. In the future, this option may change, in later releases. But for now, having MATE, Xfce, LXDE, Openbox is, in my opinion, way too confusing. Choose one, stick with it, and allow the user to easy install other ones. Simpler, less bandwidth sued, less confusing. it will also help create a visual identity of DesktopBSD.

First GhostBSD was meaning Gnome hosted by BSD, but true time Gnome3 have been released and never been ready on FreeBSD. I decided to look at some option and I heard about Gnome want support systemd. I had look at all the option I had and try new DE and I had not been able to chose one. I decide to add LXDE on 2.5, add Openbox on 3.0. For 3.5 I decided to add Xfce and replace gnome2 by mate. If we see Gnome3 in ports I will add Gnome3, but for the moment its not plan to add Gnome3.
How hard is to make all those desktop release? To build a release now its way more simple than it was when I was doing gnome2 only. its about 5 command to build all the DE and upload it. it should be a loot more simple for 4.0 because I will stick with 3.5 look until one DE change drastically.

I think Mac OS is good example to follow they had keep the same look, I found that changing the look of the DE every time was not necessary. Sure look of it will improve but not change like I did in the past.

The only time consuming is to wait the build is ready.

rbeef wrote:
Documentation now. I personally don't like the wiki approach. Again, I found it confusing. And it's outdated (since it's not that easy to maintain). The FreeBSD handbook is awesome, but for GhostBSD, I would suggest an FAQ-only approach, as OpenBSD uses. And consider that FAQ part of the distribution. Don't release a new version unless the FAQ is updated. It should contain only specific information related to GhostBSD, with links to Handbook for deeper explanation, no extra bloat, no empty sections (no info on a subject? don't open a section about it then).

The FAQ should contain only specific information related to GhostBSD, but with links to which Handbook?
Other than that almost agree with every thing. Trying to maintain a handbook and developing a system is not easy task.

But FAQ only might cause problem for some user.

rbeef wrote:The Forum, Website and Wiki seems disconnected. I know it's a matter of design, but I would like a more coherent approach (I like the FreeBSD take on this one). For instance, different headres, the FAQ from the Forum points to a forum-related section, not to the GhostBSD FAQ as one might expect and so on. And since I'm here, I would drop the Wiki and Forums. People could get help from mailing lists, IRC and Twitter, I don't think a lot of people are drawn to the forums nowadays. I might be wrong, but again I feel the project is to stretched for it's size. I strongly believe that good mailing lists could be more helpful than a forum with low number of subscribers (again, see OpenBSD, they have good lists, used by developers and users alike).

I think most of the project out their have a forum yes and Yes FreeBSD have the best approach for their website and now than I have solve the problem with bot on the website, I might merge back the forum and the website together like Kamil had did.
rbeef wrote:Also, choosing a mascot can't hurt. Maybe Beastie dressed in a green tuxedo. Or with a green tie. I wish I had the skills to draw it.

For the moment a mascot is not important. If some one is willing to one who make sense I am open for that, but for the monet that is not my primary focus.
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Re: General suggestions

Postby hank2000 » Wed Sep 25, 2013 5:36 am

Hi,

I agree to most of rbeef s and Eric s comments and I am glad, too that there is an easier way for less experienced users to get along with a BSD/Unix-like system.
I, too use Linux for about 10 ys now and I got lazy with all the graphical help You now get these days.
That s why I chose a 3rd system (besides Windows (at work) and Linux) to play around with basics and shells.

Maybe there ARE too many desktop variants but as long as Eric has no probs maintaining them and as long as there is a version with less system requirements conc. comp. power like LXDE I am happy!

My problems are, that new GhostBSD versions up 3.1 dont install on my "playground" a Nokia Booklet 3G netbook, but I ll try to bypass that problem by takin an empty harddrive and do a dual-boot system on that.
will let You know...

BTW: I liked the frog as I do "my" Tux on Linux but any ideas for another mascot may be interesting: what about comb. that Gnome hosted by... idea with a real ghost like with "ghostery" and try something like THAT? ;-)

Achim
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Re: General suggestions

Postby hank2000 » Wed Sep 25, 2013 4:59 pm

BTW> with all discussions on mascots, I changed my Start Button to this:
*what Ya think :)
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Re: General suggestions

Postby fatmac » Mon Jun 16, 2014 10:43 am

I know that I am on an old thread, but I think the info is still relevant, & it has a good title for what I am going to discuss.

Having sampled the 'rival' PC-BSD, I think the idea of having an alternative lightweight desktop option from the installer is a good Idea.
I know there was a recent decision to only have Mate in GhostBSD, & I fully respect that decision.
However, as we are using the same installer, would this not be a good idea for the future, (after the successful release of GhostBSD4.0).
There would be no other disks to be made, other than the 32bit & 64bit dvd & pendrive images. Having it this way would then allow more time to get GhostBSD to where we want it, as the most popular desktop BSD system. :D
Linux user between 1999 - 2014; now a BSD user.
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