Including FreeOffice is a bad idea (Was: Manjaro Roadmap)

Good luck getting an honest response, all you'll get is D grade spin.

One thing Manjaro has never had is transparency, dictatorships generally don't, this won't start now.

Phil has the credibility of a snake oil salesman these days, which is an enormous pity as it is Manjaro's community that ultimately suffers ... and that is (was?) far and away Manjaro's biggest asset.

Phil is in this for Phil, which is his prerogative as he owns the distro, just don't get sucked in by the "exciting announcements" Trumpian propaganda. You are being manipulated, the community that makes Manjaro is being manipulated.

I've begun distro hopping again, spending more and more time in other systems, but leaving the Manjaro system in place for now.

Where there was a degree of trust there is now next to none.

Shame.

22 Likes

well im too special :sunglasses:
okay enough OT now

But steam has always been a package downloader hasn't it? The software was downloaded only after the user chooses to.

I've wondered for some time how one could justify having an arch based rolling distro preinstalled on laptops and other machines aiming to reach more than just a small market of knowledgeable "geeks"; in other words, aimed towards newcomers to rolling distros or even Linux in general.

After all, experience has shown that eventually, every few months maybe, there will be one messy upgrade that pamac GUI alone can't handle. And how can you expect the uninitiated and unknowing masses you hope will buy your product to know what to do? Are they expected to know to check the forum before every update? How will they know how to handle system maintenance?

Surely there must have been complaints from such buyers after recent rough upgrades, or maybe from hardware partners like Station X?

Those were my private thoughts for some time. There was a recent thread (after another update fracas) where someone asked what was the point of pamac if helpers on this thread kept advising people to upgrade using pacman in terminal, and I said I was keeping my counsel on this issue, although I did like pamac for certain tasks (not updates).

Well, I can see where the Endless OS or Fedora atomic-style path will work for such Manjaro tie ups with hardware partners.

I can only hope this will not take away choice from community users of Manjaro to disable snaps,flatpak, or either. My preference if I have to use snaps or flatpak is the latter, since it's init agnostic and not tied to canonical. You can add flatpak repos from other sources apart from flathub. Seems there is more freedom of choice there, which I support.

But even with flatpak, I don't want to have to upgrade all installed flatpaks before I can use pamac GUI just to do an adhoc install of a single package from the normal repos. Pamac should not be tied inextricably to portable apps when there's no need. If they used that new fpman (whatever it's called) being developed by a community member,I would be fine because that seems to keep the portable apps management separate from the normal repo packages.

Anyway, I'm not passing any judgement or criticism YET. Just a feeling of great concern, which is why I'm expressing my hopes here.

Taking a wait and see approach for now.

11 Likes

I am afraid I am tending towards what you said. I freaking loved this distro and the community. It's become a really sad situation. Phil and team really need to be more transparent and open. This is a GNU+Linux system. Free and open source software is what made manjaro and gave it the status it has. It's heartbreaking seeing it turn to the proprietary crap

10 Likes

I recently saw that Manjaro added FreeOffice to its default builds and I have some genuine questions/concerns. FreeOffice is proprietary and forces users to pay for Pro in order to have access the its full-featured side. LibreOffice is not only free, but a lot better in all regards and without restrictions compared to FreeOffice. This move seems to me to be very predictable when you rely on "trades", when the Manjaro team needs/wants something from its users, in this case their attention, for whatever reasons (maybe profit?).

When I moved from Ubuntu to Manjaro I did so because Ubuntu became more pushy with Amazon or data collection + the snap-store. And I felt like they don't care anymore about the Open Source community since they focused a lot on proprietary software. Manjaro seemed more like a community driven approach. But I was surprised when I saw Manjaro including applications like Steam, MSOffice, or Skype in official builds. Now I see that the slope is slippery as I predicted and Manjaro seem to add more and more proprietary applications by default (also snaps). And I am wondering how slippery will the slope be, before Manjaro becomes more and more like Ubuntu.

Don't get me wrong, I appreciate the work that goes into Manjaro and the fact that there are so many flavors, including the community flavors, but I am worried a bit about Manjaro itself. Yes, anyone can delete such packages. Yes, anyone can make a custom build. But most won't.

Our decisions, as humans, are always emergent from our environment (the forces that push us to behave the way we do). Probably Manjaro needs money to run this massive project and thus they are prone to compromises. So regardless if they may love the FOSS way, if they need the money-way then they will make compromises. Everyone is subject to such forces.

I wanted to end my "rant" by saying that because of such "moves" from Manjaro's part, I pushed myself to create a Trade-Free spin of Manjaro https://www.tromjaro.com/ and I also posted here on the forum about it TROM-Jaro, a trade-free Manjaro build - because I am now convinced that where there are trades, there are problems. Google swore to not "be evil" in 2000, and look at them now. If you make an operating system and want something from your users: their data, money, attention, whatever, (regardless of your reasons why) then this creates a bad incentive and you'll want more of those at the expense of your users. It is no one's fault really...Manjaro probably needs more finances to keep the project running. But there is the donation-way, where you eliminate the trades. Instead of you doing a partnership with FreeOffice who wants you to get your users' attention about their software (so maybe some may buy it), you (Manjaro) can ask for donations from your users. This way the users support your work and you won't be forced to make compromises (you will not want anything from your users anymore, in return for offering them this great OS). No trades. And then, whatever packages Manjaro adds by default will at least not be influenced by money. In this case, I am sure Manjaro would have chosen LibreOffice over FreeOffice since it is better in all regards and they would not have been motivated to choose otherwise.

Wikipedia asks for donations for a good reason: so to not engage into trades with their users or others. Else Wiki would have put ads on their website or collect users' data. And these lead to a very bad outcome (cough' Facebook).

I hope that the Manjaro-Tools, those that allow us to easily build custom isos, will still be there and supported in the future. This way you give us the ease (freedom) of doing it our way. We will continue with this mentality of trade-free with our Manjaro spin, and we will not add any packages that want something from the users (money, crypto, data, attention, etc.) - and we don't want anything from the users either. We rely on donations. And if anyone wants to help us then that would be great - contribute to gitlab.

I hope Manjaro understands all if this and hopefully they will change their financing model towards a donation-like one. I would donate to them. And I am sure others would too. Else Manjaro will make more and more deals and will become a data collection and attention grabbing OS, and I really hope they will not.

And I still love the overall work that Manjaro team put into this OS. Thanks to them me, my family, my friends, and a lot of other people can use a great Operating System. But we will always use our trade-free spin ;).

EDIT: They do ask for donations https://www.manjaro.org/donate/ - my mistake I apologize. I even donated to them a year or so ago so I forgot. I still wonder what does "Some sponsors are willing to dedicate their time and resources to develop and improve Manjaro." mean. Do they also accept trades with other companies in return for a favor of adding those bits of software in Manjaro default builds?

2 Likes

With Manjaro NOTHING was taken from you!

It was, and still is, a given. Every time there is more and more, for your choice and benefit ...
Why do you get choked by that?

Also, what is this: more transparency - request when there are exciting announcements that don't suit for others as genuine? How can YOU do that from behind a OPAQUE ANONYMITY?

Elmer Fudd as married bachelor making :popcorn::popcorn::popcorn: is about to science this. :slight_smile:

4 Likes

The news as of late has almost sounded like commercials for FSF, GNU, and "Free GNU/Linux Distros".

Might have to get used to checking our boots :hiking_boot: every morning for stuck (non-free) snakes :snake:/scorpions :scorpion: before putting them on ... or change boots.

The lack of choice was taken from me, and that's something. :crazy_face:

Anyway, regarding the recent kerfuffles. There are some interesting conversations to be had, if only we could avoid the tangents and hyperbole and keep the discussions confined in specific topics. Unfortunately I get the impression that it's the beginning of the apocalypse not a change in defaults (which will always be a controversial subject since most of the time it's about tastes).

4 Likes

Manjaro has never asked for anybody's money.

I think you have missed something - it has been so for as long as I can remember.

6 Likes

Ah yes this si why I moved from Ubuntu to manjaro I remember now. I've read that page and even donated money. I quickly forgot about that when Manjaro pushes "partnerships" with other companies to sell laptops or software. Perhaps they should be transparent as to what these "partnerships" consist of. Maybe there is somewhere that info?

Also:

"Some sponsors are willing to dedicate their time and resources to develop and improve Manjaro."

What does this mean?

2 Likes

You don't know what you are talking about. Manjaro does not push anything.

The fact that I sell laptops is on my own initiative and I only find it fair to give something back to Manjaro - so I am a sponsor of Manjaro - but Manjaro has not asked me to do it.

And Manjaro - as fas as I know - do not sell software. Having a company selling services based on Manjaro itself is not a bad thing. Red Hat and Novell has done so for decades.

That does not make Manjaro bad neither does it make Ubuntu, Fedora and OpenSuSE bad.

Manjaro - through partners - gives users the option of supporting Manjaro through hardware, stickers, t-shirts and other merchandise.

This is completely voluntary for a user to do so. The benefit for the user with relation to hardware is that the user will get a system guaranteed to work with Manjaro - no need to tweak or bother about installation - it just works.

Another thing is - you have a physical item and you know you supported Manjaro with a small amount when you bought the item.

I am such sponsor - I am participating in improving Manjaro - there is other users on this forum doing the same thing.

Your "free" world is not free - you are just slave of something else.

No one can give away physical items for free - relying only on donations.

The only group I know which can do that is Jehovahs Witnesses which give away freely bibles and bible study material - without any obligations whatsoever to the recipient.

I know I am never going to buy hardware or stickers or .. and give it away for free - even send it around the world for free.

I am retired so I can support an open source project like Manjaro - but I am never going to work for free for clients which makes money from the services I provide.

Your "trade" free world is not trade free - you provide opinions and allow people to give you money. If you were really trade free you wouldn't ask others to donate money to hear your idealist opinion. You would work hard in a job of any kind to provide for yourself and your expenses to spread the idealist "trade-free" world.

16 Likes

I am also a sponsor I work in the website and the software that integrates Ms office in manjaro, the proprietary software you are talking about, because I want compatibility.

I do it for free and help how I can.

11 Likes

Actually this is true.
Anyone who is/was actively contributing has/had faith in the owner that the person's opinion matter. Doing things for free is a matter of trust and believe in some way.
Its the owners rights to do whatever he wants with Manjaro afterall and its also understandable that some who contributed feel disappointed without having any legal rights to change anything.

Then there are people like me who contributed nothing to Manjaro but use and talk about it ... sometimes a lot. And then there is Manjaro allowing a general discussion forum about ... mainly manjaro.

Logically discussions involve likes and dislikes about the OS so that is to be expected and wanted, given that they have a general discussion forum.

In the end anyone is free to do whatever he wants since there are no legal bindings in any way for us.
I moved on to Arch and have only one machine left for converting. Still enjoy reading and writing here since I am an enthusiast.

Things here run differently, in a company - should a CEO fail to get the shareholders backing - he/she will leave the chair.
For OS projects it might mean a smaller user base, maybe not since he gets a new market of interests. I don't really care about that part.

1 Like

Heh. If you've ever lived in a desert/tropical/southern US environment, that becomes second nature. :slight_smile:

That's good though. I hope they can make big money and improve the OS, what's wrong with that?

Afaik that's really none of your/our business unless you are an assigned tax inspector :grin:

3 Likes

I agree. There's a big drama about all this. If you don't want FreeOffice, just uninstall it and install whatever you want, or go with a spin,or at worst scenario, change of distribution, no one has tied you.

1 Like

Don't feed the trolls

1 Like

Proprietary crap should not be made default when there are alternatives. It's just that. Same with snaps and now with this freeoffice nonsense. We have a perfectly legit solution, that is free as in freedom made by a community. Libreoffice. And for whatever reasons, someone wants stupid proprietary crap in their system, let them do it. But by default, keep it as libre as possible. And before you start shouting with capital letters about nvidia and snakes, I am not talking about firmware blobs or drivers.

Do you have anything meaningful to say?

Not really, no. This is a community project. Built and established because of all the work done by the community in the FOSS world. And doing these kinds of changes is a disgrace to not just the community, but to all the work to which OSs like manjaro owe their very own existence.

You people think this all just some little insignificant change which doesn't amount to anything. But resisting these little changes is how the FOSS world has been able to survive. This is the kind of ■■■■ people say against the GNU project or the FSF. Or why do you need firefox, just use chrome or opera. Eventually it has, does and will come down to, hey nothing ever works on your FOSS thingy, come check out this ultra proprieatry crap sold to me for $$$. Which I can't even know what it's doing on my computer, my hardware.

The sole reasons projects like Debian have existed is because people have raised voices and realised the value of community and free as in freedom code. And only because of that do projects like elementary or mint or ubuntu are able to stand.

10 Likes

This is not the point of this thread. We want to talk about motives.

Why is Manjaro shipping an office suite as default which is in all aspects inferior to libreoffice? (by the way, I tested windows compatibility of softmaker / freeoffice a few month ago and it was not as good as libreoffice. If the Manjaro team has different test results I would like to know about it.)

What triggered that change?

11 Likes

Forum kindly sponsored by