I’ve used Arch Linux for a little over 5 years. During this time, I contributed to the Arch community as a token of appreciation for use of the high quality, free of charge, Arch Linux distro. As an Arch community member, I contributed via the wiki, and donated monetarily. During the early years, I’d often browse the forums to read posts, reference the wiki, and read everything I could get my hands on about Arch Linux. In the beginning, my thoughts about the community were all good. As time passed however, I slowly began to feel a negative vibe from within the Arch community. The way some of the top ranking community members interacted with their subordinates began to wear on me. Many of the decisions made by the same top ranking community members also bothered me. So fast forward to today. I no longer consider myself aligned with or want to be part of the Arch community, for various reasons.
I believe it’s fair to say the Arch community is primarily oriented towards attracting users who can contribute to the Arch coding and related chores. Arch Linux discourages the casual Linux users from using Arch by the implementation of rules. One of these rules that I strongly oppose is GUI installers being prohibited and not allowed to be discussed on the forums.
This post lasted around 5 minutes before being deleted…..
In my years of using Arch, I’ve always thought that the distro has much more, newer Linux user potential than the Arch community will tolerate. It’s my opinion that Arch could be an awesome alternative for the fairly new Linux users if a complete and proper source of documentation was available. This is where the Arch GUI installer along with an alternative community oriented towards these Arch newbies come into play.
Fu-rch Community Direction, Ideas, and Goals
Lets fork and or expand the Arch community by offering an alternative. Lets not fork the already excellent, Arch OS, or create another derivative distro. We would use the freely available Arch Linux code similar to the way the CentOS project uses Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) code.
The Fu-rch community would differ significantly from the Arch community.
The Fu-rch community will be completely democratically governed.
The Fu-rch community will welcome all levels of Arch Linux users including the new.
One of the main purposes of a forum would be for users to contribute wiki upgrades. Any forum posts seeking help that had the subject available in the wiki, would be replied to with a link to the appropriate wiki section. If the wiki section proved inadequate for the op, he would be encouraged to post why along with info to clarify. This would remain on the forum, as a source for other users searching for info. Other users also finding this info useful would give a vote of approval.
The users would be encouraged to find solutions to problems by referencing the Fu-rch forum and wiki, the Arch Linux forums and wiki as readers only, Google, man pages, etc.
If it was discovered by a user that info was lacking in the Fu-rch wiki, posting the appropriate missing information on the forum, with a link to the wiki page would be strongly encouraged.
The Fu-rch forum would also need more informal sections, for the more traditional subjects. The members would be encourage to communicate there about all other subjects.
A top priority within the Fu-rch community will be to make all registered members feel welcome and comfortable, by implementing a much more relaxed atmosphere than is the case of the Arch forums.
The Fu-rch wiki
In the Fu-rch community, the wiki would be the focus, rather than the laborious task of maintaining and upgrading code as in a traditional Linux distribution. This alternative Arch community would use freely available Arch code.
Initially, a copy of the Arch wiki content would be transferred to an Fu-rch wiki.
Contributions and changes to the Fu-rch wiki would be democratically selected through a message board as follows:
The contributions and changes to the Fu-rch wiki will be applied to the message board and added to the wiki by a group of voted in users.
Any new contributions, changes or conflicts would be decided by the community through an “approve” vote count under the posted contribution.
example: A user finds the networkmanager section of the wiki missing important info and not clear. Then that user comes up with the appropriate missing info, and posts it to the message board. Then all other users who also found the wiki lacking, and agreeing that the new info posted in the message board clearly covers the original wiki deficit, would add an “approve” vote to be counted . After a threshold number of “approval” votes are made, the content is added to the wiki.
This threshold number will also be set by a community vote, and will be subjected to change by a community vote.
Various Linux skill level users would have an equal say in the direction and information contained within the Fu-rch wiki. Therefore, it would eventually be a quick, easy, accurate, and complete source of information to turn to upon having questions or problems that all skill level users would find useful.
It’s been pointed out that the purpose of a wiki is to allow anyone registered to make contributions. The Fu-rch method of democratically controlling the wiki additions by a voted in group really wouldn’t take away anything except preventing a small number of normally operated wiki contributers running rouge and attempting to take ownership. If a wiki contribution was deemed to be an addition via vote count, it seems likely if it was deleted or changed beyond recognition, a contributer or voter would speak up and the transaction records would show who was responsible.
The long term lofty goal of the “live DVD Fu-rch distro” would be to surpass the distro watch ranking of Arch Linux, but more seriously, for the Fu-rch wiki to undisputedly surpass the usefulness of the Arch wiki for the average Arch users.
Another long term goal would be to enable Arch Linux to become the unchallenged first choice, after a newbie Linux distro user seeks more. This would be accomplished through Fu-rch providing a GUI installer, combined with more accurate, condensed, complete, and single sourced wiki information than is currently allowed by Arch. (a few cases of many suggested improvements not allowed by Arch, this , this ,and this ) The Fu-rch wiki would be oriented towards a wide “skill level” range of users, from the somewhat new Linux user through very experienced Linux gurus without douchbags prohibiting improvements.
I can understand (from the Arch Linux community perspective), some of the “newbie repellent” rules Arch has implemented. Delivering the Arch Linux code is undoubtedly, a very time consuming and difficult task for many behind the scenes volunteer developers. The higher the average Linux skill level of the community members, the more efficient the whole process of maintaining and distributing Arch Linux becomes. In the case of Arch Linux, I also understand why it really wouldn’t make sense to vastly expand their user base with an influx of less skilled Linux users than the community is currently comprised of.
In closing, id like to emphasize it would be the goal of the Fu-rch community to attract all the potential Arch users that the official Arch community really doesn’t want. Bring em on average joe and jane Linux users and Welcome to Fu-rch.
I’ve received some confused responses regarding what exactly this project is about. This is likely due to the unorthodox method of operation of the live DVD and specifically the way the installer works.
I also believe there’s equal confusion regarding the proposed ideas behind building a new Linux community. This entire project is founded on ideas that have never been carried out within the Linux distro ecosystem.
To be clear, this project is not a proposed fork of Arch, or a new derivative distro.
This project is a proposed alternative community based on the Arch Linux OS when installed via the Fu-rch GUI installer that the Arch Linux community prohibits.
Addendum Feb 25 2014
It has been brought to my attention that the name of this project, Fu-rch could be interpreted as the “Fu” part of the name meaning something other than For the Users. This is not the case and as I have stated here, Fu-rch stands For the Users of Arch, rather than Arch by developers for developers.
As for the image of the founder of Linux with his middle finger extended as the Fu-rch GUI installer logo, anyone using Linux should know this was clearly directed at Nvidia, and has since been retracted by Linus. The choice of using this image was to provoke “thinking and behaving outside the box” of what’s accepted as normal! The Arch Linux community prohibits the use of or the discussion of GUI installers. The Fu-rch installer and the forthcoming community came about by thinking outside the box!
I’m really not stuck on a name for this project, and could just as well name it Ty-rch as in Thank You Arch, (that just sounds really wrong though). Just as is the case of CentOS relying on RHEL for it’s very existence, the Fu-rch project wouldn’t be possible without Arch …….. questions, suggestions, preferences, comments welcome.