The HeliOS Project is now.....

The HeliOS Project is now.....
Same mission, same folks...just a different name

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Monday, April 22, 2013

What Is To Become Of The Little Guy...?

Many of you know that the founder of SolusOS, Ikey Doherty; has pledged his resources and talent to bring us the next Reglue desktop solution.  In a good year, Reglue will place 400 computers.  Those computers will need to have a solid, supported and easy-to-use Linux distribution powering them.

Our last distro was an Ubuntu 10.04 respin that housed the educational apps and games that make the reglue respin unique.  In that support for that LTS is now gone, we've had to move on to find another long term solution for Reglue.

This wasn't an easy decision to make.

Reglue is challenged in many areas.  Besides the financial struggles we face, there just isn't a lot of time to spend adding and removing individual apps and games on each computer.  Many days, I am the only one working.  When those machines hit my workbench, I need a one-stop solution.

Get it on the bench, get it working, and get it in the Ready Stack.  SolusOS is my solution.

Just to give you a peek behind the curtain, there were some in the organization that balked at my choice.  Given the recent turmoil in The  Linuxsphere, the question was asked pointedly:

Is a small developer choice going to last for us?

It's an honest question.

The recent news that Fuduntu was going to be folding their tent in September took many of us by
surprise.  For reasons that the lead developer states, he just cannot maintain Fuduntu.  I don't know if Andrew has any idea of just how popular his distro is, and in the end, it really doesn't matter.  If the toolchain and resources you use to build your product goes away.....

Then you go away too.  Or find another way to build your product.  Quoted from the above-linked source:

"However, as time has gone by, support for GTK2 has decreased dramatically. With this, apps using GTK2 have been moved to GTK3 and old versions are no longer being maintained for either bugs or security flaws.
In addition to this, the move of the Linux world to systemd has caused a problem for Fuduntu as it has become a required thing for many programs, but we do not use it. Together with the GTK issue, Fuduntu has reached an impasse. To move forward would take quite a bit of time and manpower, neither of which can be supported."

So with Gnome 2 in it's death throes and GTK3 being the new standard foisted upon the Gnome sector of the Linuxsphere we need to work with, there are serious questions about the direction of a usable Gnome Desktop.  Gnome 3 has left a sour taste in the mouths of many of its users, so projects like Fuduntu remained steadfast in their Gnome 2 use.

SolusOS, seeing the writing on the wall, not only began building their distro with GTK3, they got tired of the upstream battles with Debian and moved to rebuild SolusOS from the ground up, using the PiSi package management system.  I am not inferring that the 1.X release was unstable...I'm speaking of the stratosphere that supported it.  Not only will it be more stable than the 1.X solutions, it will, in almost every way, behave and appear just like the Gnome 2 desktop many of us still use.

But, but Ken..., can a one man show meet the obligations of not only Reglue, but of their userbase in general?  If Fuduntu folded, what are the chances that Ikey will one day decide it's just not worth it?

I thought long and hard about this.  If I did not know the developer as well as I do, I would say without reservation....

No.  We would go with a more mainstream solution.

But, I have come to trust Ikey Doherty.  Ikey knows full well how many people are counting on him and Ikey and me have already had this conversation.  So yes...I do trust Ikey Doherty to not only deliver a superior, innovative product.  I also trust him to be there in the next 5 to 10 years, depending on his health, which at this time is excellent.

Of course, we have looked at other alternatives and while the new SolusOS Reglue respin is in the cooker, we are using Edubuntu.  Unity is not my first choice for a DE but it offers the closest solution for us until we get our own respin.

In the mix also are Fedora and OpenSuse.  OpenSuse gave us fits with the particular graphics card we put in our computers, the Nvidia Gforce 9800GT.  Fedora is a work in progress but eventually, we will drop these distros in favor of the SolusOS effort.

My sincerest thanks to Ikey Doherty  and Justin Krehel for their hard work and dedication.  And as promised, we will be publishing an introduction to Justin in the next few days.  Justin works way too hard to be kept in the background.

We hope to bring him the attention he deserves.  He would be much happier working in the background but we at Reglue just aren't going to let that happen.

All-righty Then.....


Anonymous said...

There is ubermix. Based on Ub 12.04 with a, well ... I mean. a new 2d shell. It was designed to work with the meagre resources of the EEEpc.

Purple library guy said...

I'm sort of surprised that Mint and things like Cinnamon and Mate didn't come up in this conversation.

Not that I want to claim HeliOS should have gone with Mint. It just seems like those projects are pretty relevant to the situation and problems being described--more so than, say, Fedora which did get a mention.