Announcing the Paradise OS Project

The Mission: To utilize the efforts of Canonical, the developer and publisher of Ubuntu, as well as those of the Mate Desktop Environment to create a fork of the Ubuntu distribution with the intent of giving users the choice of using the Mate Desktop Environment on Ubuntu while maintaining large focus on the needs and wants of the community. This project is not for profit and is not intended to wage any direct commercial gain, but rather to give users what has been taken from them—the interface that they remember and love, combined with a developer/distributor that listens to its community rather than going in a set path with no flexibility or intention to improve upon its project.

Some things to keep in mind:

  1. I am not a professional (or even an amateur) developer, and this project is of a scale that I have never attempted before. I am currently only capable of placing together the components in which have been placed in front of me and packaging them as a whole. For this reason, please do not expect the project to start out perfectly or smoothly, and please keep in mind that I am merely a Linux enthusiast trying to create something that I see a need for.

  2. I do not have the facilities, time, or experience to manage a repository. Until the project takes off and I have a means of doing so, Paradise OS will not have its own repository. This means that Paradise OS will not be a true rolling-release distribution like Ubuntu, however I do hope to find ways (e.g. bash scripts) to update certain components every 6-12 months in addition to releasing a new ISO. To illustrate this idea, I’ll use an example. You are using Paradise v 1. When Paradise v 2 is released, I put out a BASH script that will run various commands through a terminal to update software to the version that it is in v 2, install any new software that is in v 2 but not in v 1, and update themes/aesthetics to include any new options offered in v 2. In theory, this method would NOT erase any data, reset any preferences, or change the configuration of your interface. As the project develops, I will investigate the feasibility of this and other ideas for keeping users up to date.

My Philosophy Regarding Software and Etc.

I am by no means an open source purist—I use closed source software much of the time, and while I like to try to find Open (and often, free of charge) alternatives to closed programs, I will happily used the closed program when it makes sense for me to do so. I recognize though, that there are members of the community that are more conservative than I am in terms of what software they use. For this reason, I will exclude proprietary software in Paradise OS when possible, but will also include easy and streamlined ways to obtain this proprietary software (such as Flash, Java, closed media codecs, etc.) that can be easily found from within the distribution. I hope that this satisfies both the open source purist and the user who wants total out-of-the-box functionality. If not though, you are welcome to comment with your ideas and suggestions and I will work in what is possible, feasible, and desirable to the community at large. At this point in time, I intend to keep the distribution fairly lean, offering an Ubuntu remix with the Mate Desktop Environment and very few tweaks and additions. I will only add tweaks and additions when I feel there is large need or desire within the community/user base for additional functionality or out-of-the-box options. An exception to this is the Ubuntu default wallpapers and themes—which I will likely supplement with others to cater to a more diverse audience with widespread aesthetic taste.

In Conclusion: This project is intended to be governed democratically in which the community can help the distribution take shape into the distro that they want to see it be. If you have comments, suggestions, or feedback on my ideas (or any future work or release of Paradise) please feel free to drop me a line so that I can evaluate the feasibility of any ideas and suggestions. During development of releases and when I come to major decisions, I will be asking the community to weigh in, and I will take all ideas and feedback into account before making a decision, and will go with the majority when possible. Please feel free to implement new ideas and concepts into my work and pass it on—if myself and the community find them to be good, we will evaluate the feasibility of including them in the next release. I can’t do this alone and will definitely be asking for the help of the community along the way. This is a major undertaking and learning experience for me, so please be patient. I will keep you updated, and hope to have a Beta 0.5 in the next couple of weeks.

Image used on header: “Redwood Canopy” by tolomea

Redwood Canopy

This photo has a Creative Commons Attribution License.


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