Linked by Kevin Arvin on Thu 1st Jan 2004 21:29 UTC
Linux The aim of this experimental Linux distribution is to provide to the student population at large an operating system that is easy to install and use and provides an alternative to the traditional commercial operating systems. CollegeLinux is a Slackware derived Linux (2.4.23) distribution on a single CD that weighs in at 600 MB.
Order by: Score:
v Rip
by Slip on Thu 1st Jan 2004 21:51 UTC
Swiss Power
by Yousef Ourabi on Thu 1st Jan 2004 21:58 UTC

Swiss Power, College Linux is made by a college in Switzerland (robert kenedy college, me thinks)
...Represent

v great
by OhPlease on Thu 1st Jan 2004 21:59 UTC
v RE: great
by Eugenia on Thu 1st Jan 2004 22:01 UTC
there's more to it...
by andrew fries on Thu 1st Jan 2004 22:17 UTC

To judge College Linux fairly, it helps to keep their goals in mind: 1. creating a simplified entry point to Slackware, 2. providing useable system for desktop users/small office environment, and 3.creating environment for learning about Linux.
Things like no choices regarding installed software or other limitations of the installer (ext3 is the only option, no scsi enabled kernels) are explained by their desire to simplify the process. In CL's favour, it also provides auto-detection/configuration of hardware based on Knoppix and thus going beyond standard Slackware, for example auto-configuring video display.
Lack of Open Office is suprising, and I understand it was the result of some last-minute problems. It will probably be fixed, eventually.
I imagine Apache/PHP/MySQL are intended as a learning aid, rather than a production server. If you think of it this way it becomes understandable, and if you're going to do some web development it will be nice to have.
Some other good things about CL: pre-configured browser plugins, Webmin for system administration tasks, and Slapt-get with a Konqueror front-end for software installation and updates. This is still in early stages, and at the moment does not offer a huge advantage over standard Slackware. But it will come into its own once their repository is populated with packages enhanced to work with Slapt-get.
CL is totally compatible with Slack 9.1, Gnome is not included but for those who want it there is no problem at all with installing Dropline.

v Yoda Says
by Anonymous on Thu 1st Jan 2004 22:27 UTC
RE:Yoda Says
by Kevin Arvin on Thu 1st Jan 2004 22:37 UTC

If you follow the screenshot link, there are bunches of them. I didn't see a need for any others.

Plastik; Window Resizing; Lack of Gnome
by Ian Monroe on Thu 1st Jan 2004 22:49 UTC

Unless some has ported it, Plastik is only for KDE 3.2, so of course they don't have it. You can't expect any distro with stable software to have it.

As far as the window resizing is concerned, its not surprising you were having trouble with an Athlon 550. If when KPersonalizer ran (it usually does the first time you start KDE; if it doesn't in CollegeLinux then that is a legitimate concern) you had selected less eye-candy, then it would have resized with an outline instead of resizing the window itself.

I also don't see how you could be surprised by a lack of Gnome. It would be inappropriate for a one CD distro to have both, in my opinion.

RE: Plastik; Window Resizing; Lack of Gnome
by Eugenia on Thu 1st Jan 2004 22:53 UTC

>Unless some has ported it, Plastik is only for KDE 3.2

It is ported. I use Plastik on my Slackware's KDE 3.1.4 as well.

RE: Plastik; Window Resizing; Lack of Gnome
by Kevin Arvin on Thu 1st Jan 2004 22:54 UTC

Unless some has ported it, Plastik is only for KDE 3.2, so of course they don't have it. You can't expect any distro with stable software to have it.


I put Plastik on it, so it does work.

I also don't see how you could be surprised by a lack of Gnome

You could still put another 50 MB on the CD. So I think gnome would have fit. There are certainly programs there that are unneeded, like Potato Guy.

Comments for Kevin
by David Costa on Thu 1st Jan 2004 23:10 UTC

Thanks for your review. Since we spent several months on CL, let me enlight you with something you missed:

"CollegeLinux uses a fairly ugly default theme..."
Please...spare us...

"One of the main additions that I didn’t test is a “server robot” which automatically installs and configures Apache, PHP, MySQL and other packages for a complete server and development environment."

Right, so if you didn't bother to check the 2 main innovations, the server robot and slapt-get package management, where you can upgrade on the fly with a click every package via an easy to use GUI, why did you bother to write a review ??

"I expect that most people who use it will need to download and install quite a bit of additional software before they would be satisfied it. "

This is not accurate. With slapt-get, as soon as we start adding packages to the repository everyone can download the desired package, e.g. evolution, with no worry about dependencies etc.

" The absence of OpenOffice is mind boggling, as is the absence of programs like Evolution, Firebird, and some of the more popular media players. Oddly, Potato Guy (a game for small children is included). "

OpenOffice will be available soon on the repository. Just for the record, I think that OpenOffice & Evolution are slightly bigger then potato guy, in case you missed it.

It beggar's belief that someone is posting and having a review published without even trying the 2 major features: slapt-get with an integrated gui and a server robot.



Thanks again for your review.
David Costa
Project Leader
CollegeLinux



I forgot something
by David Costa on Thu 1st Jan 2004 23:15 UTC

"That is, not as fast as WinXP on the same hardware"

Okay, now everything is clear to me.

I am sure it might work much slower then Windows XP if you spent the same amount of nanoseconds you did with CL.

Not just that. You can add gnome to CL with 1 click or perhaps 3 via dropline gnome.

RE: I forgot something
by Eugenia on Thu 1st Jan 2004 23:18 UTC

> I am sure it might work much slower then Windows XP if you spent the same amount of nanoseconds you did with CL.

David, I suggest you stop the trolling towards the reviewer and keep your respect bar high enough, because you are the project leader and all this above is not a good way to reply publicly. The fact that a reviewer didn't use your server robot app, might be because he didn't have any use for it, plus this is a "short review" as suggested. All users are not the same.

RE: I forgot something
by David Costa on Thu 1st Jan 2004 23:36 UTC

Hello Eugenia,
I apologize if my comments was a bit over the top. But I disagree. In my humble opinion you can't write a serious review about a distribution leveraging things like:

"CollegeLinux uses a fairly ugly default theme. "

This is not just a subjective evaluation but a flame.

"Oddly, Potato Guy (a game for small children is included)."
The author harped on with the potato guy mantra on the comments, I don't know how serious is this.


Now, the above 2 mentioned comments made me think that a flame war started and I had to defend the work of people like me who did their very best in the last six months.

Granted, he might not like it, or we might be very slow in comparison with Windows XP (I would love to see his bentchmarks thou) but is a public mockery really necessary?

I might agree on the the server robot, but what about the auto update, apt-get like, feature?

I don't think you would consider a review of debian with no mention to apt-get, or a lindows review with no mention of their click and run system accurate and fair.

Once again, I apologize if you had the impression that I was trolling. I was not, I just replied to his verbal aggression.

David Costa, Project Leader, CollegeLinux

P.S. I do like potatoguy



RE: RE: I forgot something
by Anonymous on Thu 1st Jan 2004 23:38 UTC

It's understandable, Eugenia. He's getting emotional.
But, he might be right, people should spend more time with the software that they aim to review.
There are a lot of superficial reviews like this one and, while some good points aren't noticed, a lot of bad points is quickly raised.

RE:Comments for Kevin
by Kevin Arvin on Thu 1st Jan 2004 23:51 UTC

"CollegeLinux uses a fairly ugly default theme..."
Please...spare us...


Actually, I'm not the only one who thinks Plastik is the best looking theme out there. Of course, it's just opinion. It would have been nice if it were included.

Right, so if you didn't bother to check the 2 main innovations, the server robot and slapt-get package management, where you can upgrade on the fly with a click every package via an easy to use GUI, why did you bother to write a review ??


I didn't have any use for the robot. I just mentioned it because it might be of interest to some people and other distros don't have it. The ability to "upgrade on the fly with a click every package via an easy to use GUI" doesn't negate my opinion that some people are going to want to download software that is included in other distro's.

With slapt-get, as soon as we start adding packages to the repository everyone can download the desired package, e.g. evolution, with no worry about dependencies etc.

I did mention that no one would have any trouble finding and installing software for College Linux.

OpenOffice will be available soon on the repository. Just for the record, I think that OpenOffice & Evolution are slightly bigger then potato guy, in case you missed it.[i]

I still think you should try to find a way to fit 2 of [i]most popular OS apps
on the CD. esp. since there are 50 MB left.

I still think Potato Guy is a weird choice for a distro aimed at college students.

I am sure it might work much slower then Windows XP if you spent the same amount of nanoseconds you did with CL.

WinXP is always faster in my experience than any Linux distro I've ever tried. My feeling is that Linux's speed is somewhere around Panther level. It wasn't a knock on College Linux in particular.

You seem a little over sensitive. I wasn't trying to bash your work in any way. I said it was a solid release. I was just pointing out that some software that people would expect are not included. I realize that you are limited to one CD, but Open Office should be there.




RE: I forgot something
by Eugenia on Thu 1st Jan 2004 23:58 UTC

>>"CollegeLinux uses a fairly ugly default theme. "
>This is not just a subjective evaluation but a flame.

Please allow me to disagree. Review is the written/said description of a personal experience. As such, if the reviewer (see: user) doesn't like a theme, he is free to say it. Of course it is subjective.

If you think that reviews are "feature listings", you are wrong. These are also called "press releases" and they are not reviews. Reviews should list both the positives and negatives of a product in the way the reviewer perceives them, in fact it is a requirement to do so for a "review".

RE: I forgot something
by David Costa on Fri 2nd Jan 2004 00:13 UTC

"Please allow me to disagree. Review is the written/said description of a personal experience. As such, if the reviewer (see: user) doesn't like a theme, he is free to say it. Of course it is subjective."

If it was, he didn't made it clear. He just quoted his opinion with IMO "IMO, it seems to be the best of the..." but not on the spicy comments.

"If you think that reviews are "feature listings", you are wrong. These are also called "press releases" and they are not reviews."

Aheam, it might come as a surprise but I hardly need to be reminded of the difference between a press release or an hype shoot and a fair review. Just in case you are interested this was a real review:
http://www.newsforge.com/os/03/05/27/1514225.shtml

The author at newsforge did pointed out the positive and negative aspects of CL yet respecting the authors of a small, volunteers baded and free distribution.

Eugenia, Please don't get me wrong. I do have a grea deal of respect for you and all your authors. I am grateful to OSnews for the support.

That said it takes two to tango. I can certainly accept every form of constructive criticism but if I have to deal with such a review, he should deal with my comments.

Once again thanks for your understanding and support.

Regards
David

P.S. Following your kind suggestion I won't reply to his comments.

Questions About the review
by enloop on Fri 2nd Jan 2004 00:15 UTC

Haven't used CollegeLinux, but I did read this attempt at a review. Here are some questions:

1) The review's opening paragraph is an uncredited lift from the CollegeLinux site, with references to Robert Kennedy College removed. Why aren't readers told that the reviewer is not the source of this statement?

2) What does "pseudo text based install" mean? Is "pseudo text" a euphemism for ncurses?

3) What is "Linux friendly hardware"?

4) The review asserts that some users may be confused by the install's partioning and bootloader sections. Why? Are the install instructions obtuse? In error? Fail to work correctly? Is the user simply told to run fdisk and to set up the bootloader manually? For that matter, why doesn't the review tell us what bootloader CollegeLinux uses?

5) The reviewer asserts the default KDE display is ugly. What kind of monitor did he use? Video card? Resolution? What is the default display font used for KDE? Is anti-aliasing on by default? What version of XFree86?

6) What measurements did the reviewer take to substantiate his assertions about the speed of CollegeLinux? He says it's speed is similar to other "distributions I've seen". Is he assuming readers are telepahthic and know which distributions he has "seen"? Subjective claims about speed and performance are pointless without any information about hardware and configuration. In particular, statements about window resizing problems can be dismissed as long as the reader is not told the type of video card in the reviewer's machine. (And, exactly what OS X resizing "problem" is the review referring to?)

7. The review says the CollegeLinux "experience" is not as good as XP or OS X, but then adds that it is "much better than in the past". Better than what? Older versions of Windows or Mac OS? Older versions of CollegeLinux? How? Why?

8. Finally, since CollegeLinux is based on Slackware, it would seem appropriate to compare it with Slackware, and to another Slackware-derived distribution, VectorLinux. Is the install based on Slackware's, or is it specific to CollegeLinux? Are the Slackware packaging tools present? Since Gnome is not in the distribution, can Slackware's or Dropline's Gnome be installed?

Review leaves a bit to be desired
by Richard Tough on Fri 2nd Jan 2004 00:23 UTC

Not to knock the review, but I feel you should have elaborated a bit on what applications were included if you felt important ones were missed out, and package management is a major thing in any distro so it should have been brought up.

The default theme, in my humble, humble opinion needs to be changed, the look of something very much impacts whether people will enjoy using it or not. The reviewer expressed this, but not in the best way.

But still, it was supposed to be a short review, and if nothing else I guess it'll help bring a bit more awareness to CL. (Ok, I haven't actually used it, my distro of choice is slack, but I may have to keep an eye on this one).

Re: Questions About the review
by andrew fries on Fri 2nd Jan 2004 01:42 UTC

I can't speak for the author, but I'll attemtp to fill some gaps:

> 2) What does "pseudo text based install" mean?

Installer is text based. Some configuration utilities use ncurses.

> 4) The review asserts that some users may be confused by
> the install's partioning and bootloader sections. Why?
Partitioning is done in cfdisk, which could be confusing for someone used to GUI tools like Partition Magic, I suppose. As for setting up the bootloader, installer makes an effort to auto-configure it (Lilo) the best it can, but also gives an option to edit config file manually. There are a couple of choices available, and the wording of them seems to confuse some people. (Sorry to be vague, I'm doing this from memory)

> 5) The reviewer asserts the default KDE display is ugly.
I think it is just his subjective opinion re: background and theme. But anti-aliasing is on, and the fonts look good.

> What version of XFree86?
4.3.0

> He says it's speed is similar to other
> "distributions I've seen"
Performance is basically the same as what can be expected from Slackware 9.1

> Is the install based on Slackware's, or is it specific
> to CollegeLinux?
Installer was written in-house, but it delegates some tasks to other tools, eg. cfdisk, or knoppix modules. Surely there are some Slackware bits in it as well ;)

> Are the Slackware packaging tools present?
Yes, and slapt-get will not interfere with them, either. Packages can be enhanced with dependencies information slapt-get will use, but pkgtool will simply ignore. So compatibility is, and will be maintained.

> Since Gnome is not in the distribution, can
> Slackware's or Dropline's Gnome be installed?
Yes, Dropline installs perfectly.

My concept of a college linux
by Gallen on Fri 2nd Jan 2004 02:35 UTC

As a college student, I know which programs I tend to use more. I know that by being an engineer, this changes my demands slightly, but perhaps several versions of college linux could be prepared with different apps for each.

For me I'd really just like to have a distribution with the following:
1) XFCE 4
2) Firebird
3) Thunderbird
4) Octave/GNUplot
5) Maxima
6) openoffice.org
7) ng-spice-rework/gnucap
8) Electric

And perhaps other programs useful to engineering students
9) gcc
10) python/numeric

That base set with a good package manager would be very ideal. Particularly if it had a good no-configuration installation routine with support for those proprietary systems that are common (nvidia/ati drivers).

Hopefully someone is listening as gentoo and debian are far too much work to simply get to this point.

Why Reviews Suck
by Anonymous on Fri 2nd Jan 2004 03:24 UTC

I have come to notice not many reviews are well researched and suffer from precise and entertaining prose. People go to college/university and spend at least four years studying journalism/communications, reporting techniques and information delivery.

It only behooves casual reviewers, users, to go above and beyond average journalistic expectations and deliver reviews that are objective. Objective reviews are free of personal stints and biases. They demonstrate what every user on earth is expected to experience.

However, an objective review is not necessarily a complete review. After all, reviewers are human. The entertainment aspect of reviews come from the character and personality of the reviewers. What does she like? What kind of sense of humor does he possess? Why does she think feature A sucks? Although she found feature B functional, she wasn't to enthusiastic about it. Why? And so on.

The personality of the reviewer should be expressed in his writing style and review. The purpose of which is to deceive the audience/readers into thinking they are interacting or having a discussion with the reviewer, rather than a bot or emotionless entity. In fact, this aspect of reviewing distinguishes good reviews from great ones.

Never say, for example, "Theme A sucks". You'll get many readers offended easily. Instead, describe what you expected out of theme A in detail, and conclude that theme would have been better if those features where touched upon. Do not forget to acknowledge aesthetic tastes are subjective, and that you don't expect all your readers to agree with your point of view.

In fact, if you really want to get points, display a mock up of what you expected theme A to look like. That will impress your readers including those that disagree with you. It tells your readers that you indeed know what you are talking about, you are sincerely interested in making the theme look better and while you biased against the theme, you have given valid reasons for your bias. Some people call this constructive criticism. The opposite of armchair criticism.

But how many people take the time to write reviews the way I have mentioned? Not many. It's not enough to use a product for two weeks and expect to right a balanced review of a product. After using a product for two weeks, you write an initial impression of the product. Not a full blown review.

After 4 weeks you write a revision to the initial impression this time in more detail. Because there is a significant possibility that your first impressions might have been deceiving. After 6 weeks you again write a revision to the first review, probably version 0.2. At this stage you have a deeper understanding of the product. You know it's quirks, hidden features, subtle differences that differentiate it from other products.

After 8 weeks of usage, you can write a final review of the product. At this stage, you deserve to be taking seriously by your audience. You have spent time with the product. You have studied the product. You have watched your reactions about the product change and mature over time. After spending 8 weeks on a product, it will be pointless and meaningless to be intentionally biased. In fact, it will be a pitiful waste of time.

The point is one in twenty articles submitted to osnews can be considered worth reading or entertaining to say the least. In fact, the only reviews I find entertaining are those from ars technica. I also like the interviews.

Saying a product sucks, (glade, gtk+ are notorious for being victims of this) without extensively using it and without providing insights as to what you expected or how to improve it, will be considered blatantly offensive to many and will not be taken seriously by many others. I just ignore them.

my opinion
by frank on Fri 2nd Jan 2004 03:42 UTC

I have installed and "played with" all three CL releases, over the past year or so... which I eagerly downloaded as soon as released. The latest one better than the last two.

Yes, CFdisk is slightly confusing, but not impossible to figure out.
It's true that most of the desktop choices are not there, but as mentioned above, easily added.
I didn't like that I couldn't choose on install either.. oh well, there's always the 'after install tweaking?'

to summarize:

for a volunteer, student based, minumum manpower workforce.. you made a decent stable, workable distro which means you've done well. A valiant effort which should be commended and applauded...
besides, is anything in this world perfect?

p.s.
my pastime is downloading and installing any version of linux I can get my hands on... just for fun.
so far I've loaded and tried at least 30 distros on my 'extra' computer.

Review
by Owen Anderson on Fri 2nd Jan 2004 03:57 UTC

I didn't think the review was that bad for a "mini-review." The author merely related his experiences with the distribution in a concise manner. In fact, I agree with him on a number of them:

I think the default theme looks ghastly. I'm sure other disagree, but if that's my opinion.

I can not IMAGINE why OpenOffice is not included. If this is indeed intended for college students, OpenOffice should be the Number 1 application, trailed by Firebird, Evolution, and GAIM.

Having read the review, I was content to relegate CollegeLinux to the status of "Interesting Idea, Not Useful at The Moment, But Might Investigate Later." When the founder came here to make inflammatory comments at the reviewer, however, I must say that I have now firmly decided I am never going to install or recommend CollegeLinux. That is easily the least appropriate and the most unprofessional behavior I have ever seen. I don't care if you're a volunteer: if you want people to use your product, they're going to expect professionalism. And you just blew it.

Will not use College Linux
by Anonymous on Fri 2nd Jan 2004 04:51 UTC

I was going to download and try College Linux but reading the comments from David Costa (project lead of CL) I now refuse to waste my time with it and will not recommend it to anyone. If you can't take the heat in a review and improve your distro but instead choose to post on here backlashing at the reviewer then I want to have nothing to do with you or your distrobution. Its because of elitist attitudes like yours that almost turn me away from Linux completely. This is what reviews are, they tell people what is involved. Its not a giant pissing contest or a crying pool because someone hurt your feelings.

...
by Anonymous on Fri 2nd Jan 2004 04:59 UTC

Nice distro.

This sort of quality does not help Anyone.
by Gavin Denby on Fri 2nd Jan 2004 06:06 UTC


I usually like to read an osnews review, I find them in depth, informative and insightfull. This one flys in the face of all I have come to expect of osnews. This revies tells me next to nothing technical, Even less of how well it worked, or didn't. I have to wonder why Linux is compared to WinXP and Macos and not other desktop linux's which would have been more helpfull. The main featue of the release - (from its release notes on distrowatch) were apache mysql and php, and the update robot, yet neither feature was reveiwed. A quick check of the user forums would have revealed that bugs, like FSTAB esisted and fixes are available and posted, Did he look for support ?? Does support matter
Sorry. but a below expect standard for this review sorry

For the record, I did a personal review here.
http://linux.college.ch/phorum/read.php?f=20&i=80&t=80

Maybe it will help inform your readers.

Sounds exciting
by Jay S. Lazlo on Fri 2nd Jan 2004 06:15 UTC

I'll have to give CL a try sometime. I'm all about ease-of-use. Slackware with a really nice package manager sounds like fun.

So how many distros are there?
by Anonymous on Fri 2nd Jan 2004 08:46 UTC

100 ? 2000? 100000?....

Interestingly enough reading any basic management book. Without a clear vision, people can't unite and do something together. Is this the reason why College Linux starts?

Ah well, guess that's why I'm still not using Linux, I want something rock solid... not try 1 billion things before choosing one..

something solid
by Anonymous on Fri 2nd Jan 2004 09:33 UTC


We also wanted something solid, which is why as a company we went to linux a few years back, For those not available apps we run Mac OSX.

Windows is a great game platform, but not really suitable for a work environment.

Now to don a flame resistant suit and see the windows zealots go for broke on this comment. And yes 2 machines have already moved over to college linux 2.5 over the break. I doubt the users will even notice when they boot up for the new year. They are all set and running fine.


re: will not use collegelinux
by Mark Sachs on Fri 2nd Jan 2004 12:20 UTC

"I now refuse to waste my time with it and will not recommend it to anyone"

If your Judging is based solely on the review and the comments, you are probably wrong.

The team leader is certainly biased. But let's be fair, the review was at best wishy-washy. The comparison with XP or Mac OS made no sense at all.

"Its because of elitist attitudes.."

I never used CollegeLinux but from their forums seems like they might have something good too. Free support, free distribution. Doesn't sound elitist to me.

LOL!
by me on Fri 2nd Jan 2004 12:29 UTC

Tuning into these comments has been a funny read. Thanks Kevin, Eugenia, and you too David for holding this what should be private argument on the public forums. LOL!

The review
by peragrin on Fri 2nd Jan 2004 14:00 UTC

The whole review seems a bit off. I run SUSE 8.2 on an athlon 550 with 128 megs of ram and I have only a couple of performace issues. Samba through konqueror slows the whole machine down while transfering files, though the speed of the transfer itself is fine. I can't get the nivida drivers reinstalled. I run KDE 3.1.4 and window resizing is easy.

The only other time I have problems with using the machine is when I set seti to use 50% of the processor, and everythings else slows down.

Lots of fun today!!
by Kick the Donkey on Fri 2nd Jan 2004 16:06 UTC

I haven't had this much fun reading comments on OSNews is a while. Usually, its a bunch of Mac/Windows/Anit-GPL zelots spouting non-sense. This has been a hoot to read!

First, I'm going to make a few comments on the review:

While the non-working options can be removed from the list or installed, this seems rather amateurish.

Gee, it might seem amateurish, because, it is done by amateurs! Not that thats a bad thing... They don't produce a Linux distro professionally, so, they are by definition, amateurs!

CollegeLinux uses a fairly ugly default theme.

I know many people have commented on this, but this random statement was just silly. Had it been a comment posted here, the poster would have been labeled a troll. Why is it that if a troll is in the body of the story, its okay. But if I post a troll as a comment, I get modded down? The author could have used better language here. Something like: "The default theme leaves something to be desired. From a usability perspective, it does not get very high marks." From a review, I expect more than "its ugly". Why does its ugliness impact me? Does it?

The absence of OpenOffice is mind boggling, as is the absence of programs like Evolution, Firebird, and some of the more popular media players. Oddly, Potato Guy (a game for small children is included).

For those of you who have been complaining about the lack of OO.o, I encourage you to read the comment by andrew ( http://osnews.com/comment.php?news_id=5544#182924 ):

Lack of Open Office is surprising, and I understand it was the result of some last-minute problems. It will probably be fixed, eventually.

Instead of criticizing them, how about dishing out some credit. They did not include an unstable package that would have a reduced the user experience of the system. Bravo! I applaud you, CL! Also, not everyone needs OO.o. I, for one, would like to see the dependence on Office suites reduced. People at my work use Excel as if it was a data-storage medium. Aack! If the data in the spreadsheet is important enough to email to 500 people, then the data needs to be in a database. Simple as that. But, I digress. David, can you comment on the lack of OO.o? Was there a problem with including it?

Also, I don't think I've seen a 'major' distro that includes Firebird... I could be wrong. But I think that it is unfair to ding CL because of that (and if there are major distros including Firebird, forget I said anything about it...). Do they include a browser? Yes. They are no worse than Windows at this point.

And this discussion brings up another point: Software choice. There was a story here a few days ago (sorry, can't remember which one), where some people went on a tirade about how Linux distros include too much. 11 window managers, 3 DEs, 25,000 text editors. All I want is one disc! was part of the major complaints I saw...

I don't get it. CL provides you one disc, and now you complain about that? What is it you people want?

Oh, I think I know. You want a single disc that only includes the programs you want. There is a distro for that: Linux from Scratch. Try rolling that, and maybe you'll appreciate the efforts of people like David a little more.

Overall, I think the author of this review missed the point of CL: A learing tool. Provide an easier entry to Linux. This one of the only lines I think the author got right:

Overall, CollegeLinux is a pretty good starting point.

Now, the fun stuff. The back and forth between Eugenia, David, and Kevin is good stuff. Finally, a project owner/leader that stands up for his product. Bravo, David! Stick it to the elitists that write for this site.

While some of you may have been turned off by David's comments, it just made me want to try CL even more. Eugenia seems to enjoy posting these 'reviews' about Linux distros that seem to have been written by a dog after sniffing the disc. Kind of like a PC Magazine review: Read the box cover, then talk about how the competing Microsoft product is better. Never mind actually installing the stuff. Eugenia, maybe you should call these types of articles 'Quick Thoughts'. That way, it doesn't imply in-depth usage, which is what the word 'review' implies.

Later,

Kick

comparisons to XP and OsX
by Ken on Fri 2nd Jan 2004 16:22 UTC

If the major reason of this distro is to move college students to linux from XP and OsX then speed comparisons would be very valid. You're not going to get many converts if the distro is a lot slower than their existing systems. Learning all the new software is a learning curve as it is, it wouldn't help matters if the new operating took twice as long to boot and start programs.

Re: comparisons to XP and OsX
by Kick The Donkey on Fri 2nd Jan 2004 16:54 UTC

From the College Linux site:

Our Concept

The basic concept of CollegeLinux is to provide you with an alternative, user-friendly operating system and a way to learn more using linux. Whilst maintaining simplicity and a user friendly system, we want to introduce our users to more advanced features and why not, to maintain the "geek" side of linux by providing an excellent development environment.


The purpose of this distro is to provide an alternative. Not necessarily to replace XP and OSX... I think the primary goal here it to provide a friendly entry to Linux. You want a distro that is made to get converts, look at RedHat, Suse, and Mandrake. CL is designed for niche (as most linux distros are).

I agree with David
by Tyr on Fri 2nd Jan 2004 18:07 UTC

Many have said it before but this was more of a 'quick look' or 'preview' than a 'review' and it should be labelled as such. It seems like any article on osnews is labelled review these days, even many 'opinion'-pieces.
The label should fit the package.

To clarify
by David Costa on Fri 2nd Jan 2004 19:04 UTC

Dear All,
First and foremost, my sincere thanks to the visitors that understood my comments and perhaps excused my overreaction, if any.

If you found my tone to be too aggressive I apologize. ( And..sorry for the endless collection of typos)

To furter clarify:

“Review
By Owen Anderson… When the founder came here to make inflammatory comments at the reviewer, however, I must say that I have now firmly decided I am never going to install or recommend CollegeLinux. That is easily the least appropriate and the most unprofessional behavior I have ever seen. I don't care if you're a volunteer: if you want people to use your product, they're going to expect professionalism. And you just blew it.”

That is unfortunate. Sorry if my comments gave you such an impression about me or CL but .. first impressions
are often misleading.

Perhaps CL is not a professional distribution, or we might not fit within the icon of “professional developers”. Despite that we did worked hard and waited six months to release something close to innovation. I am refererring to the apt-get like system slapt-get(never seen as default in slack based distribution) and the “server robot”.

True, CL 2.5 is not yet a perfect distribution.

We received a tremendous amount of support from our users. Many volunteers are screening our forums and helping out everyone. All this free of charge. CollegeLinux owns its little progress to the users.

There would be no CL without the tremendous support we received from the CL users community.


“I was going to download and try College Linux but reading the comments from David Costa (project lead of CL) I now refuse to waste my time with it and will not recommend it to anyone. If you can't take the heat in a review and improve your distro but instead choose to post on here backlashing at the reviewer then I want to have nothing to do with you or your distrobution”

Sorry to hear that my comments gave you the wrong impression about CL. You can certainly hate my style or me as a person, but this has little to do with the distribution.

Is like saying that you don’t use Windows because you don’t like Microsoft CEO.

I always valued constructive criticism, regardless of my personal sentiment toward the reviewer.

This was not the case. I haven’t found anything constructive. I don’t think that package selection or the theme are valuable arguments. This is, once again, my personal and possibly biased opinion.

A CL user posted a very objective review, pointing out some relevant bugs (now fixed and soon to be available via the package manager) you can see it at http://linux.college.ch/phorum/read.php?f=20&i=80&t=80

Other clarifications:

-OpenOffice was excluded last minute for a usuability issue. Most likely our fault.
With the slapt-get interface (which was not even deem of a short note within the review) our users will be able to add OpenOffice with a click. Koffice is included. Not many are paying attention to the Koffice progress, but it’s certainly impressive.

-You didn’t include package “X/Y”
Right, that’s why we do welcome your feedback. If someone wants a package X or Y we would be more then glad to compile and add it to the repository. Once there, it will be available for download and installation in the same way used by Debian.




All the best and thanks again for your support,
David Costa


entertainment
by jack on Sat 3rd Jan 2004 00:27 UTC

OS news is more like 'entertainment tonight' than say CNN. You get a little of the story but not the whole cigar. I would not label ANY thing I've read here as a definitive review.. Personally, I would prefer that these 'reviews' be prefaced with the intent of the article such as ' Today we are looking at the color of icons in Gnome xxx' or ' I am a 13 year old male in New Guinea who likes to see how many distributions I can install on my xxxx'... These are entertaining with almost no viable content. Nothing wrong with that if you understand they are non professional 'reviews' without any credibility - so don't make any judgements without doing further research..

I agree with the College Linux author - this 'review' was not one.

Thanks for the entertainment OS news !

CL is OK, but....
by Josh Marshall on Sat 3rd Jan 2004 01:26 UTC

I think I may not be the intended audience. I run slackware 9.1 on my desktop and tried CL 2.5 on my new thinkpad. Installwas fairly straightforward. no complaints. I prefer options and it seems CL doesn't give you many. That's OK, I get the idea.

The default desktop theme/style is atrocious. Getting rid of that Matrix sh*t was priority number one.

I needed the kernel-source package to get my wifi drivers compiled Of course kernel-source wasn't included on the CD. I eventually burned the package on to a CD from another machine, but it didn't make me happy.

Once wifi was working and I got online I took a look at the slapt-get web interface. Searching for a couple of packages came up empty, but not CL's fault.

I then installed DL Gnome. A reboot later and I had a 9.1 Slackware distro with DL Gnome. I poked at slapt-get web interface again and it was broken. I assume due to a package installed via DL.

CL has potential but it just doesnt offer anything to me over slack vanilla. But I don't really need a server robot or a slapt-get GUI as I can do server setup manually and build my own slack packages when needed.

Definitely worth a shot if you want to try Slack for the first time. Just wear your shades on First boot to the desktop until you can get to the desktop properties applet ;)

and 1 other thing...
by Josh Marshall on Sat 3rd Jan 2004 01:42 UTC

The LILO install didn't work after install. CL also didn;t seem to offer anything in the way of an emergency rescue feature. I may have missed it though but I didn't see it. I had to dig up my Slack 9.1 CD emergency boot to my / partition and edit run lilo.

An emergency boot/rescue option ala slack vanilla would be welcome.

XP and OsX
by Joe on Sat 3rd Jan 2004 02:55 UTC

I have CL on one of may H/D,s and thank they did a good job.But CL was never intended to be a fits all desktop.It is a teaching tool according to David but Slackware by any distro isn,t a beginner,s replacement for the toaster.

This review was very superficial
by Wez on Sat 3rd Jan 2004 15:53 UTC

Published at http://www.distrowatch.com

A Personal Review: CollegeLinux 2.5
In response to the somewhat superficial short review of CollegeLinux 2.5 published yesterday by OSNews, here comes a more comprehensive review as posted by a CollegeLinux user on the distribution's forums: "[CollegeLinux 2.5] Obi-Wan is packed full of features from the box, but it can also do a lot more. I have added Slackware packages to it, compiled new files from source and installed programs off the web, and for the most part without pain. It's fast, it's stable and it's free. The team at CollegeLinux have issued another diamond. Don't be afraid to give it a good polishing." Read the full review here

http://linux.college.ch/phorum/read.php?f=20&i=80&t=80

Eugenia, it's official: You published a superficial review. You did a great job on OSNews, did you best to keep the trolls at the gate. This time is different.
Deal with it.

Final Comments
by Kevin Arvin on Sat 3rd Jan 2004 21:40 UTC

I get a kick out of most of the comments that the review was superficial, lacked technical info, didn't cover x, y, z, etc.

Yes, it was superficial. Hence the word "Short" in front of the word "Review" in the title. When I was considering download the iso, I couldn't find any reviews that gave a good impression of what CollegeLinux was like so I typed up my impressions, in case others were interested.

Calling the default theme "fairly ugly" was not the best choice of words. I see no reason to qualify that with "IMO" since everyone knows that is subjective. However, in the comments, two posters agreed with me, and no one leapt to the themes defense.

You want a single disc that only includes the programs you want.

No, I mentioned OpenOffice because it is an application that the "average college student" would want. Most students would expect it to be there despite the fact that it can be "easily installed at some point in the future when it is added to the repository".

Wow..
by Karelj on Sat 3rd Jan 2004 23:14 UTC

First.. has this world becoming so boring and PC that an individual's opinion is a target??
This was the reviewer's personal opinion.. I think the default style is ugly, but performance, not looks is what counts.
I liked the Matrix background.. needed work, but the idea was cool.
If it was not for a weid glitch that affected KDE by causing weird artifacts in the menu bars (something that I also briefly experienced with RH 7.3 which led me to believe its my laptop) I would still be running CL 2.5 instead of Lorma Linux. But CL is on my recommend highly list.
I really cant find any fault with Eug's review.. it may have been brief but so what??
As for the wrath of CL's honcho.. well good for him.. abit overdone as I feel he took it a bit personally, but this is not some major corporation where you have to affect some stuffy air of superiority.. call it like you see it bro.
ASs for the two posters who have now sworn off CL.. take your toys with you... I am not a fan of Bill Gates or Microsoft as a corporation, but I still will use WinXP and Longhorn because they have their uses.. plain and simple..

Cant wait till the next SOHO release.. hint hint hint

Stupid Review
by d_i on Mon 5th Jan 2004 09:13 UTC

What a stupid Review...
I dont think the person who made this review has tryed collegelinux...

It works for me
by ictigers on Tue 6th Jan 2004 05:26 UTC

I have been using College Linux for a few weeks now, and I seem to like it. Even the theme. And I am just now getting into Linux Web Servers, so the Web Server Robot is a good tool to help get me started with Apache, PHP, and MySQL without having to worry so much about how to get everything configured. I can just concentrate on designing interative websites. And I used slapt-get to download the kernel source code, so slapt-get does work good for me as well.


I can understand you getting emotional about a review after putting in a lot of work on the project. But please post about clearing up some misconceptions in a more professional manner. So, yes I can understand how you felt about the review. But you don't need to let the whole world know it. Trust me, I have been in customer service for many years, and sometimes you just have to bite your tongue.

And you ought to read how Kevin Carmony(CEO of Lindows) replies to reviews(and peoples replies) about Lindows. He does it in a very professional manner, and beleive me Lindows takes a lot of heat sometimes but Kevin Carmony always replies in a very professional manner.

And thanks for creating College Linux. It is working for me and I am glad to be using it.

Re: It works for me
by David Costa on Fri 9th Jan 2004 03:26 UTC

Many thanks for your kind comments. Sorry if you had the impression that I was too aggresive. I would do it again thou.

I apologized when it was the case, the astute readers got my point.

"And you ought to read how Kevin Carmony(CEO of Lindows)"

What ?
Erm... That's really weird.
For the sake of transparency Eugenia had the duty to point this out and or secify Kevin's current position
in the review.

This is really disturbing. What about having Bill Gates reviewing Mac Os X ?

" Kevin Carmony always replies in a very professional manner."
Granted, he is certainly more diplomatic then me. BUT, am using my own "free" time to reply, update packages, code. Not just me, but everyone at CL is doing is best to provide a free and stable distribution.

His position is totally different. Lindows is a for profit corporation. Lindows is not available for a free ISO download yet they are using volunteers-based work like apt-get.

CL is not perfect yet we posted 2 bug fixes in few days with the help of the community and OpenOffice.

We didn't charge for the fix and we do not impose any sort of repository access fee.

Oh yes, one more thing. We don't hide the fact that we are a Linux distribution.

Thanks again for trying out CollegeLinux. All the best.

David Costa

sorry
by David Costa on Fri 9th Jan 2004 03:34 UTC

Sorry, wrong Kevin. 4:32 AM....

I made a bit of confusion, the name was fairly similar, apologies.