Alpha 2.1: Development Update

Hello everyone! I realize that the project is progressing very slowly, and I do apologize–I have a severe lack of time and therefore can’t work too quickly (which is why the community is very important–so that we can ALL help the project succeed). In any case, I am currently working on Paradise OS Alpha 2.1. You may be wondering what the .1 signifies. The answer is that I started working on Alpha 2 using a regular Ubuntu 11.10 installation, but it was then brought to my attention that it would be more flexible and feasible to work with the Minimal Install instead. With any luck, this will reduce the size of the ISO image. In addition, this release will also lack the Unity interface (although it can easily be added again by way of a metapackage available in Synaptic). I have experienced a setback, as I broke my build environment by issuing a bunch of incorrect terminal commands. This will mean starting over again essentially on Alpha 2.1, but I’m hoping it won’t be too much longer.



Paradise OS Governance and Community Guidelines

Paradise OS – Governance and Community Guidelines
***This is a DRAFT of the Governance and Community Guidelines Document for Paradise OS, and shall be put into place when,and if, oversight by the existing community confirms it to be sufficient to meet the goals and needs of the project. Rewrites of this documentation shall be made by the Project Coordinator until existing community oversight finds the above condition to hold true. The Project Coordinator, however, reserves the right to make modifcations to this document as necessary for the continued success and integrity of the project.***

Project Goals
The Paradise OS Project has several goals, including:
The promotion and betterment of Linux and open source software as a whole.
Providing an Ubuntu-based distribution that uses the Mate Desktop Environment as its main interface.
Giving users choice, flexibility, and customizabilty without compromising ease of use.
Creating a collaborative, respectful, and open community of users, developers, artists, and enthusiasts can, by way of self-governance and cooperation, create a project that themselves and others can enjoy.

Project Coordinator
The Project Coordinator, sometimes referred to as a Self Appointed Benevolent Dictator For Life (SABDFL) in other distributions, shall be responsible for coordinating efforts, and facilitating discussions, as well as playing a critical role in governance. It shall be made clear that this is NOT a dictatorship, and this is NOT a meritocracy. The Project Coordinator shall oversee the development of the distribution, the interactions within the community, and the making of decisions among community members.

The Role of The Community
The Community shall, in accordance with the Project Goals and other provisions outlined in this document, be responsible for decision making regarding the software and artwork included in the distribution, branding, and etc. Any member of The Community shall have the ability and authority to submit bug reports, comments, artwork, and suggestions regarding software, artwork, branding, and etc.

Powers Shared by The Community and The Project Coordinator
The Community and the Project Coordinator shall be encouraged to work on elements of the project including artwork, development, etc. in groups. The Community and Project Coordinator may do so in a non-official (not officially recognized as a committe or team by The Community) capacity without prior permission or oversight of any kind. The Community and the Project Coordinator shall have the power, following approval of the Project Coordinator, to create committees or teams to work collaboratively and cooperatively towards a common goal (e.g. creating artwork, branding the project, accomplishing a specific technical goal, etc.).

Determining What is up for Votes
The Community, and Project Coordinator shall, in an organized fashion decided upon by the Project Coordinator, have tha ability to make suggestions and ideas about software, artowkr, branding, and etc. Suggestions and ideas which seem to be agreed upon by multiple community members may be put up for vote at the same or later date, at the discretion of the Project Coordinator. Suggestions and ideas created by the Project Coordinator may be put up for vote without any form of secondary recognition or nomination by The Community. The Project Coordinator shall have the power to veto decisions of The Community in the event that the outcome of these decisions is found to be impractical, inefficient, ineffective, or infeasible.

Community Guidelines
The Community shall be open to all people over age thirteen, who shall be considered equal regardless of age, sex, gender identity, race, religion, non-religious belief system or philosophy, sexual orinetation, etc. Differences in opinion and viewpoint shall be respected, however personal attacks shall not be tolerated. No member of The Community, nor the Project Coordinator, shall engage in any attack, hate crime, or disrespectful act against any member of The Community or the Project Coordinator for reasons falling into any of the categories listed above. Members of The Community found to be in violation of this guideline may be barred from participation in interaction from The Community including forums, wikis, development, artwork submission, suggestion and idea submission, voting, etc. Flame wars, spamming, etc. shall not be tolerated. All content posted on any site overseen by The Paradise OS Project shall be appropriate for someone as young as age 13. This is a software project community, not an adult-only community for use in sharing adult-rated content.

Release Notes for Paradise OS Alpha 1

Hello, everyone! Paradise OS is now available as an ALPHA release which can be downloaded from Sourceforge. The ISO is currently compressed into a ZIP file, which saves you just a little bit download time. The regular ISO will be available soon. You can get the download here.

Paradise OS Release Notes

  1. General Operating System Information

    1. Release and Version Information

      Paradise OS – Alpha 1 (reports itself as “Custom” when run on a computer).

      Released to the public on December 5, 2011.

    2. Warranty and License

      This software contains components by Canonical, Ltd., the MATE Desktop Environment, The Gnome Project, and others. Paradise OS may contain some non-open source software. All closed-source and proprietary software is governed by its own licensing agreements and terms of use.

This software is provided with NO WARRANTY whatsoever to the fullest extent allowed by law. Users of Paradise OS hereby agree not hold Chris Kildegaard, Canonical, Ltd., the MATE Desktop Environment, The Gnome Project, or any other software companies/developers directly or indirectly responsible or liable for any damages of any kind.

Paradise OS is licensed under the GNU General Public License, which can be found at

  1. What’s New?

    Paradise OS Alpha 1 is a Linux Distribution based on Ubuntu 11.10. Some additions and customizations have been made that differentiate Paradise OS from the standard Ubuntu 11.10 system:

    – MATE Desktop Environment (Gnome 2 Fork) added.

    – MATE made default Desktop Environment in login screen.

    – Gnome Do added for speedy access to programs, preferences, documents, etc.

    – Xchat IRC added.

    – Chess program added.

  2. System Requirements

    The System Requirements are the same as those for Ubuntu 11.10:

    – 700 MHz x86 processor

    – 5 GB free hard disk space.

    – 384 MB of RAM.

    Source: Wikipedia.

  3. Known Issues, Limitations, Restrictions, and Bugs

    – Customizations like installed themes and wallpapers for both Desktop Environments have not stayed in place in the ISO file.

    – Error is shown each time user logs in to MATE Desktop Environment. As far as I know, it is safe to ignore the error, but if anyone knows how to resolve it, it would be appreciated.

    – Only the core components of MATE Desktop Environment are installed—screensavers, battery applet, volume control, and other major components are not included. However, these components can be compiled if desired.

    – The “Appearance Preferences” in MATE Desktop Environment report missing theme engines and GTK+ packages which may make themes display incorrectly. Changing the theme may break the MATE panels.

  4. Installing Paradise OS Alpha 1

    Paradise OS presents a GRUB boot screen upon being booted from the Live CD. The installer can be accessed via the Live CD mode or the Installer function (either of which can be selected from the GRUB boot screen). The installer is the stock Ubiquity installer, except that no slideshow is present during the installation. There are no known issues with the installer included in Paradise OS.

  5. In Summary

    This is an Alpha release. This release of Paradise OS is provided for testing and development purposes only and is not intended for everyday use. Please treat this system as a work in progress. Solutions to any of the above known issues would be most appreciated.

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.