I'm sorry everyone is giving you a hard time, mintnoob.
I'm on the same boat with you. It is just frustrating that half the time progress in Linux seems to move sideways, rather than forwards. Yes, you have tons of choice, yes developers can do what they want, and no it isn't helpful for others (usually)... but they developed something, and will publish it and flood the amount of choice which will confuse users.
MALsPa wrote:Well, let's say I saw things about Amarok that I didn't like, and that I had the brains to make it a better app, to be something closer to what I thought it should be. I could contribute my services to developing Amarok.
But what if I wanted to make some serious changes to it? How much freedom would I be allowed to do what I wanted to do with Amarok? The Amarok devs are not going to just let me waltz in and make my own changes to it, right? I might be able to contribute some things, but to a large degree, my hands would be tied. I couldn't go in and change Amarok into something that I felt would be a better app.
I kind of explained this in my post that you were replying to, but I'll say it another way. Most changes people seem to make to software such as music players seem to be focused specifically on the UI first (the layout, how it looks and feels), then by the available features. (The plugins, can it burn a CD, playlists, converting, etc.)
Problem: Person X wants to change Amarok's layout.
Solution #1: Person X is free to change Amaroks's layout, and do what he wants with it. He makes his desired changes, and releases it as a new music player called Spamarok.
Solution #2: Instead of changing the place of a few buttons, and calling it Spamarok and publishing it, I feel that Person X should have just made a new skinning interface for Amarok, which could be adopted by Amarok so that other users can try out new skins, and even make their own. If Person X's new skin/layout becomes super popular, Amarok might change the default.
I definitely would prefer it for Person X, and anyone else to choose Solution #2. If they just forked Amarok into Spamarok, then if it actually got popular, it would take longer for Amarok to adopt the new layout, less people would get access to it, and there are now 2 versions of essentially the same player which will confuse people. And Person X might not keep up with updates to Amarok, and if someone downloads Spamarok, they will get a buggy version. (I actually do not know if Amarok supports skins and whether or not you can already do this, I'm just making an example.)
The same thing goes with the available features/plug-ins. If Person X wants to reduce the amount of features to make something simpler for most users, why not offer a method of having a stripped down version of Amarok? Perhaps during the install process of Amarok or in a menu option, you would click a check box and select if you want the Lite version, Normal version, or the Advanced version. Many great apps I've used before offer such a solution.
Luckily for the most part, the better distributions, and the better apps are usually the ones that are first to pop up on the mighty Googler, but not always, and it is still confusing for noobs.
Beginners should be presented with the most supported distributions and applications first. I think for the most part they already are, but even choosing among the top 5 distros, there are many different spins of those available on the site, each one of this containing different default apps, and different desktop environments.
I would almost go as far to say that noobs should get a tutorial type distro, which installs several different DE's, and gives them a little tour about the different features and advantages/disadvantages of each choice. After they pick which one they like, they could chose to remove the extra options, or keep them. Yes, I know there are live CD's which they could burn 5 different ones and try them all, but the average user wants to install a system, and get it running and then change it from there. Not to mention that live CD's run slow, and many users will think that Linux just runs slow and give up.
Most people trying out Linux could really use a distro that is like this... you get a tour of the different desktop environments, a tour of the apps, and pick which ones becomes default, and remove the rest. There could even be little tutorials about how to install new applications, some simple layout changes you can do, etc. Yes it would take a little longer to install everything, but most people are new to Linux and could really find the tour helpful. How many questions have you had to answer for noobs they could be easily answered if they just read the directions? (As far as I know a distribution like this doesn't exist... sorry if it does, there are too many distributions to keep track of... lol)
Does this sound like a good idea for a new distro to anyone? (Yes, I realize that it would be a new distribution adding to the choice out there, but arguably if it were implemented correctly, it would be the ultimate distribution to offer a noob to try...)