A GUI "app shop" for Manjaro


#41

Thanks, as already posted above, I tried to “enjoy” Discover, but the experience was a mixed bag (at best); plus Discover needs to be adapted to work for Manjaro if I understood correctly.

I don’t know what may be easier to implement: adapt Discover for arch/Manjaro, or tweak octopi to have a “GUI program-filter” and categories. Just from the work flow and the overall layout my preference would go for octopi (although I know that it would not result in an app shop, but I think that this would definitely help people find programs that they prefer to interact with).

Example: My aging memory is incapable of remembering the name of that nice program of ?where-have-I-seen-it?, to convert one audio file into two or more different formats at once. If I now search for “audio conversion” in a regular package manager I get a ton of results, and many of them are not GUI programs (but maybe dependencies of GUI programs). It would help me if that list was just restricted to GUI programs …

[hint: it’s xcfa]


#42

for sure it’s to adapt discover. it works. it just don’t know anything about software only available on manjaro.

and octopi is a package manager not a app store. it have a goal and it achieve this goal.
there is no category available in packages info or repository database. it’s why gnome software and discover depends on appstream and an appstream database. it’s the goal of appstream to be able to make a app store.


#43

Not sure what additional value an “App Store” would bring.

Manjaro is also for newbies, yes, but mainly for newbies who show interest in the Linux ecosystem, who are curious and who want to learn in order to get better at understanding the concepts. An “App Store” would in my view be a hinderance to the learning process.

Mind, this is just my view of Manjaro, I understand that other users and also devs see this very differently.

EDIT: adapting Discover would be a good idea. Integrating it into octopi and/or pamac would be more difficult I guess.


#44

Additional value : users.

Now, if users are not considered as additional value, my reasoning might be flawed !

Again : would your drive a car if the builder requires you to understand it’s engine concept ?


#45

That’s taking it a bit too far. And it was not what I meant with my post.

It’s not about knowing, but about being willing to learn. I mean, you can get more users even without having an App Store, as the recent stats, reviews and publicity of Manjaro show.
And many forum posts here show that many newbies like the learning experience that Manjaro provides.

I think that Manjaro targets a different audience of newbies than say Ubuntu.

No, but it would be great if the basic concepts of engines were taught in driving schools.


#46

When using distros which provide a GUI app store like Ubuntu/Mint, I always preferred Synaptic, which is similar to Octopi, instead of the app store.


#47

Convenience (for new users, regulars and those with memory holes :wink: )
Orientation (even more when rating would kick in)
and, in an admittedly rather abstract future: fundraising for developers (buy the donation app).
Excitement (at least some new users may just get enthusiastic enough to then also contribute in some way)

One should not forget that there are people out there with all levels of knowledge and also people that just want an OS to work and not get too much into the internals (because maybe they don’t have enough time).


#48

How do you search/decipher pretty icons?, but then again, the rosetta stone did translate hieroglyphics.
I think Octopi / Synaptic are already excellent rosetta stones for this, as an example, AND, in many respects already fills the bill efficiently, and more importantly, with stability, synaptic is very stable, whereas octopi is well, meh, but whatever.

I really don’t think we need +60,000 pics, with moving 3D tif’s, eating up CPU/Mem/… via “Ad” space, loaded with bait-n-switch “app shop$”, just to show this. ?

But then again, if we’re going Windux style, then ok, NOT.


#49

A lot of different perspectives in this thread, and its hard to argue against anyone in the context that they see it. I personally think an AppStore for newbies is a great idea. When I first discovered Linux, as an Ubuntu user, the App Store was invaluable to me, helping to locate Linux softwares that were equivalent to MS/Win software that I was already familiar with. Ex. I need an office suite…where is MS Office? What, no Office? What IS there available? Ahhh…OpenOffice sorta looks familiar, as does LibreOffice (referencing screenshots of software); AbiWord looks like maybe it will work, but where is the spreadsheet functionality, that won’t do; Calligra? Hmmm…way more choices than I ever had on Windows!!!

Later on, I figured out that Synaptic could provide everything that AppStore did, PLUS packages that weren’t really “software programs”, so I ended up using Synaptic more often. Even later still, having gained even more familiarity, I realized that apt-get from the CLI was the fastest of all, and it was MUCH simpler to just “sudo apt-get install software-package” from a terminal. Maybe I’m not as “typical” as I think I am, but I see each as a different tool with a slightly different use-case scenario. I see an AppStore as a “software package” store (GUI-related) for newbies who have no idea what options are available to them, let alone the pros and cons of those choices. Some, or even many, will gain knowledge & experience, and will switch to Octopi or Pamac, or Yaourt or Pacaur because they KNOW what they want and those tools are quicker for that. Plus, they’ll realize that certain packages, such as “gstreamer-1.0.x” are available in the Octopi or Pamac PACKAGE MANAGER, but are NOT in the AppStore because they are “dependencies” rather than “end-user” products. It also stands to reason, IMO, that folks will also figure out that sometimes it’s just quicker to ctl-alt-t for a terminal and type “sudo pacman -S dkms” than to open Octopi and search for the dkms package.

Coming from Ubuntu, the lack of an AppStore is no big deal for me. Synaptic and CLI tools translate almost perfectly to Octopi/CLI tools in Manjaro. But that is ONLY because I had my Ubuntu Software Center experience that allowed me to “graduate” to Synaptic/CLI. While it’s a valid argument, IMO, that perhaps those users should START with Ubuntu/Mint distros, I believe that negates any argument for Manjaro as being “newbie-friendly”. In effect you’re saying “we’re newbie-friendly, but not as much as Ubuntu/Mint, so use them instead.” That smacks a little of the Arch elitism that I dislike so much, which drove me to discover Manjaro. If Manjaro is going to market itself as “newbie-friendly” I think you have to allow for, and accommodate, the issues that come along with newbie users. And I think a lot of folks in this thread are correct with their statements, but are fundamentally forgetting what it was like for YOU as a brand-new Linux user. Are you going to extend the courtesy to new users and provide them the experience you WISH you had gotten, or are you going to pull-up the draw-bridge from the moat and effectively state “I got mine…if you can’t swim, you can’t come here”?

I hope it’s the former. With that said, I believe that Octopi and Pamac should be left alone as package managers. While I believe that new users of Linux should be accommodated, it should NOT come at the expense of everyone else who is familiar, and LIKES, Octopi and Pamac as they are. IMO, adapting Gnome-Software for Manjaro/Arch seems to be the way to go. It should be a separate tool, IMO, and should be specifically geared to GUI software packages available in Manjaro/Arch. This should be a “beginner tool” to become familiar with the varying multitude of software programs in the Linux ecosystem. Once familiarity is obtained, I suspect a lot of folks will eventually move to Octopi, Pamac, or CLI…just like we did. Provide the stepping stone and the path for new users, while allowing existing users to use the currently existing tools without mitigation. The Linux way is about choice, and freedom. You can provide the choice to those that want it, without sacrificing the freedom to those who don’t. JMO…


#50

Well, explaining the basic concept of a Prius or a Tesla might take some time & energy ! ^^

I totally agree with the fact that such a GUI tool can stay quite simple and is entry level.

I check the people I install :

  1. Totally basic users : almosts 100% satisfied with out of the box (They just read papers, write mails, some times fiddle with LO) All I have to teach them is to update.
  2. Main stream players : they want to add a picture management or music management tool for instance. Those ones need a GUI tool to find the proper software, check advices and ratings. If not, they shift to another distro or go back to commercial.
  3. Advanced users : they quickly prefer pamac or octopi
  4. “Pros” : pacman or yaourt, they use nothing else, usually all I have to do is show them Rosetta :wink:

It just happens that the second category is the most populated and can quickly contribute and evangelize !

The GUI tool I do suggest is something basic :

  • description
  • screen
  • category
  • tag
  • advices
  • ratings
  • search tool

#51

Yes, sure, but again, there are different types of newbies. Complete newbies who just want to use their computer in a “fire-and-forget” mode and not worry about anything are much better served by a non rolling-release distro like Ubuntu.

Manjaro is and will remain newbie friendly in the best possible ways.
I just think that adding an app store wouldn’t make Manjaro any more newbie friendly. After all, it’s just a GUI while under the hood it’s still pacman/yaourt.
And then again, Manjaro is rolling release, although less pronounced than Arch because of the three-stage repo model.

Now that may sound elitist, but when I was a brand-new Linux user, there wasn’t any GUI whatsoever for package management. It was dpkg or rpm :slight_smile:
Linux has luckily come a very long way since then. No, I wouldn’t want to go back to the early 2000s with Linux, it was really a PITA in many ways, but it helped me massively in my later Linux life.

I admit I struggle to make my point clear enough and it may cause some misunderstanding.

My question is: will Manjaro go the Ubuntu way, and specifically target the aforementioned “fire-and-forget” users in addition to the already existing user base, or will it stay closer to Arch and target the “curious” newbies? I’m for the latter, but I also know that I’m part of a minority with that opinion :slight_smile:


#52

When I was completely new to Linux I first installed Makulu Lunux, because it looked nice (with Variety wallpaper changer), then I broke it, because I got lost in Compiz settings, then I found Manjaro Netbook edition which was the second best looking distro. I read everything I could get about it, the User Guide in particular.

For users who don’t want to learn anything, even newbie friendly distros like MX Linux are not the right thing, because I you ask s.th. on their forums you will get a reference to their excellent User Guide.
Ubuntu and Mint might be similar. Mint has excellent documentation, too.

The ultimate solution for users who want to stay on the level of knowledge would be s.th. like Endless OS.

Another point to consider when you decide to target Linux beginners who wish to stay beginners is that you need a different style of support for them. Instead of giving command line statements you will have to make screenshots and sometimes even highlight th button to click. There are communities who are willing to provide such support. Manjaro usedto be more like that, that you always got an alternative GUI way to resolve a problem, butit has got less.


#53

Those are fair comments. I just know what it was like for ME as a linux newbie; for ME, the Ubuntu Software Center only helped expedite the learning curve. And I imagine it helped others. From that perspective, I believe a Manjaro AppStore would be in the proper spirit. You just can’t predict who will be a newbie forever, and who will blossom into a curious user who contributes. I see your points, but my points aren’t 100% based in altruism and goodwill toward others. It’s about 50%…with the other 50% for selfish reasons. Consider this…

I provide the Linux tech support for my sphere of family & friends who took the Linux plunge. I used to ask them questions about how they use computers and what programs they used, along with hardware questions regarding scanners, printers, etc…and even demonstrated some LiveISOs to determine what the best “fit” was for them. All came from a Windows background and found that paradigm familiar & comforting; some preferred the OSX paradigm once they learned it was an option; and some preferred old Gnome2, with some preferring Unity. Accordingly, sometimes I recommended Zorin, sometimes Mint, sometimes Elementary, sometimes Ubuntu, and sometimes Lubuntu for each user. While each was a member of the Ubuntu family, or a 1st gen derivative, each introduced its own little idiosyncracies. The fragmentation, however slight, grew to be a huge PITA! I decided to remaster Lubuntu into a single distro with multiple “paradigms” (i.e. Windows, OSX, Unity, etc…) available at login, and a base set of softwares for most computing functions. I’ve been switching folks over as their old linux distro’s support expires. So while the support PITA has been greatly alleviated, I’m realizing what a PITA it is to switch over about 20 machines +/-, every 3 years when Lubuntu support expires.

Long story short…I was lead to Manjaro’s user-friendly rolling release as a prime candidate to port my custom Lubuntu remastered desktop environment to, installing it ONCE, and letting it update itself forever. And if I pick up a “new user” 2 years from now, I’ll only have to fire up Manjaro Tools and remix an ISO that is completely up to date. I’ll have a completely homogeneous environment/ecosystem which will never require re-installation. But truth be told, about half those users are “perennial newbies” who never progress. They just use the computer to do stuff without much thought, only occassionally asking “how do I install a program for ___________?” I don’t want to support those users on a DIFFERENT distro than myself. I’m a full-time business owner who often works 60-70 hours a week AND provides 100% of my own tech support. I don’t want to cruise forums looking for information on resolving idiosyncratic issues with an OS that I myself do NOT use. If there was a Manjaro AppStore, I could completely eliminate those calls for support also…making my life that much easier. I’m GUESSING this would apply to other folks who provide support also. It will make OUR lives easier, just as much as the newbie lives. I fail to see a downside here. Folks like us will continue to use Octopi, Pamac, or pacman with no ill effects whatsoever. Furthermore, instead of showing “perennial newbies” how to search for a package in Octopi or Pamac or… GASP…Pacman…I’d prefer to just tell 'em "search in the Manjaro AppStore for that. They ALL have smartphones, and everyone knows how to search Google PlayStore or Apple AppStore for desired applications. Seems to me that the best way to greatly reduce newbie support requests is to keep them on a system I am intimately familiar with, but has the tools to accommodate their limited skill sets for the most basic tasks that I do NOT need to be bothered with. I prefer to eliminate those calls, saving my valuable time for such issues as “my printer stopped working” or “I can’t connect to the internet” or “I’m not getting e-mail anymore.”

I respect everyone’s opinion here…and I don’t know there’s a “correct” answer, only a best option for each of us individually. But I do feel compelled to ask if the scenario I outlined above would apply to anyone else on this thread, or just me? If so, what could it hurt to provide newbies the option of an AppStore, as long as our Octopi, Pamac, pacman tools were left uncorrupted? Just my opinion…but perhaps I’m in the minority and YOU are the correct one?!

@eugen-b thanks for the tip on Endless OS! I often experiment with “interesting” distros in a VM and if I haven’t installed a distro in a VM, I’ve almost always at least HEARD of it. But Endless OS is a new one to me, and it certainly looks interesting! I beleive I see a new VM in my future, to see what that distro has to offer! Thanks for the info-share!


#54

Good post, I completely get your point.

I don’t think so :slight_smile:

Yes, true. I’d say that the emergence of modern smartphones 10 years ago changed so many things, everything has shifted towards a new user-friendly concept. The question is, do we want to use our desktop computer like a smartphone, or like a traditional old school computer? I don’t think there’s an easy answer to that when you add in personal preferences.

I made the observation (but that may be just me) that many younger people (i.e. born after 2000) can’t use a traditional computer correctly anymore because of the “smartphone behaviour”. Now that’s not strictly a bad thing, but I think it’s a bit worrying if people become completely detached from what’s going on under the hood. But I guess that’s the future, so we all have to adapt at some point. One day, we won’t have to worry about anything because computers will be able to “self-repair”.

Let me just make clear that I have absolutely nothing against an “App Store” for Manjaro. I just think that for the moment being the limited resources are better spent elsewhere.


#55

I grasp the limited resources subject.

More users can mean more ressources though

Another one can be to setup a “Manjaro computer line” with preinstalled computers available for users.

My teacher on open source always told me : open source is project and product :wink:


#56

Many younger people can’t write in cursive either. I don’t know that’s a good thing or bad thing, but I’ll comment that in THEIR world, typing is pretty prevalent and most books, magazines, websites, etc… are in typeset fonts. There’s no compelling reason to teach them to read or write cursive. And so it is with MANY things.

And it’s not like we’re dictating the future direction of Manjaro development. Just stating opinions. If I could code, I’d wholeheartedly approach this project. But I can’t even do that. In the absence of that, all I can do is assure the fellow who is willing to take it on, that I will embrace his efforts with open arms; beta test his project; and offer opinions and suggestions to make it better. If he’s willing to take it on, I’m willing to help in any way that I can make a meaningful contribution.

Forking Gnome Software for Manjaro/Arch apps seems like the path of least resistance, as there’s no reason to reinvent the wheel if someone else’s is already round?! With that said, AppGrid is a proprietary offering for the Ubuntu family that is done quite well IMO. It’s free, just not open source. For consideration and comparison:

If @fhdk decides to move forward with adapting Gnome Software, let me be the first to say the effort will be appreciated by me. If there’s any way to help (other than coding), I’d be willing to do that too. Just for the record…

If nothing comes of it, I’ll continue with Octopi and pacman and be no worse off than I am now. But I do believe that a Manjaro AppStore would make Manjaro “better” and perhaps eliminate some silly “how do i install _____?” questions from newbies. Either way, the fact that Manjaro allows this discussion to be had without devolving into some flame war like “nano vs vi vs emac” is a beautiful thing, IMO!


#57

Speaking of “not re-inventing the wheel”, I also note that Manjaro has a Mate flavor, and Mate has developed a Software Boutique that may also be easily forked/modified. And I imagine that the Software Boutique is already “hooked into” Manjaro apps. Looks like the Software Boutique is currently part of the Mate Welcome center, but is undergoing process to de-couple from Welcome Center into a stand alone application. If Mate decouples the Boutique into a stand alone program, how much effort would it be to make Boutique available as a Manjaro package? This may be the path of least resistance. Just sharing info…


#58

thanks for shoulder padding

sorry to say I won’t

simply because no matter what or anyone have any influence - since the actual descriptions/texts - whatever makes a person make a decision is not up to me/whoever wanted to do this.

The descriptions/text are all up to the people actually delivering the actual software/app/program so poke those folks - it will have more effect than me trying to accomplish anything in this regard


#59

The question here is not if it would make sense to have something like this in manjaro, but if you could form a group a people that takes care of manjaros very own appstream data. :wink: If that is good supported it can be shipped per default (with gnome-software and discover) on manjaros installation disks. Not as replacement of octopi/pamac but in addition.


#60

+1

  • no reasons to replace octopi/pamac
  • description is imported from the original soft
  • advices & ratings are collected