For the Live Distro Reviewers

Forum: LinuxTotal Replies: 18
Author Content
smallboxadmin

May 23, 2012
12:02 PM EST
While looking up something in the Fedora 16 documentation, I found this little gem. (Emphasis added.)

Quoting:In some cases, the live image might not offer the full range of hardware support offered by an installed Fedora system. You might be able to manually configure additional devices in the live image. If you use the live image from a DVD, you must repeat these steps each time you use the live image.


I would imagine that most if not all live versions of full desktop distributions would be the same.

From the darkduck web site on why he does live distro reviews:

Quoting:2) Comparing Live version allows to check hardware support Out Of The Box. If something is not supported, this can easily be checked in Live version.


Which is not true according to Fedora's documentation. So the argument is invalid. Just becuase there isn't a full system available to do a proper review on does not justify the argument.

This is from the Ubuntu 12.04 release notes:

Quoting:Please install available updates to ensure that the issues below will be fixed on your system.


Thise are issues with the released CD, which will need updates after installation, which do not get fixed from running the Live CD. So, just like any other operating system released, there will be last minute fixes for a properly running system.
caitlyn

May 23, 2012
12:04 PM EST
Thank you!

Of course, if you start out with a goal of being hypercritical about a system because you don't like the owner of the company then there is no hope of a fair review in any case.
GERGE

May 23, 2012
12:54 PM EST
I use LiveCDs only to check repos, out-of-the-box optimizations the base system has and homemade applications (if any). I don't believe LiveCDs have any other function. To use them for reviewering (how to write this anyway?) is meaningless.

That said, I also don't care much about reviews anyway unless they are about those three things I said. A review that focuses on installing, installed codecs and applications (unless it has something unique like Unity and Cinnamon) and whether the workspaces have a cube or not is as meaningless as a LiveCD review. And almost %90 of the reviews are like these. So, I don't think that badmouthing LiveCD reviews is really fair since there are much worse problems with distro reviewing (figured out how to write this =) ) this days.
Fettoosh

May 23, 2012
2:21 PM EST
Quoting:I would imagine that most if not all live versions of full desktop distributions would be the same.


That might be true but I know for a fact that Ubuntu & derivitives have persistence and pretty much remembers all modifications when a thumb drive is used instead of CD. Who uses CDs any more for testing?

I have a thumb drive that was create a year ago and has latest KDE updates and some other applications that don't come in the iso. Even my network configuration is persistent and it connects right away when the KDE is up and running. Lxer credential are on it too.

So for some distros, you could do realistic testing and pretty close to a hard drive install.

Actually, I am typing this message from a friend's laptop running Vista, which lost its networking and so far no luck at recovering it. I am demonstrating Kubuntu's capabilites to convince him to mop the disk clean and use linux.

Sorry for any typo, I am using rekonq, which has no speller yet.

smallboxadmin

May 24, 2012
10:28 AM EST
Quoting:Ubuntu & derivitives have persistence...


Yes, this is widely known, or should be. However, doing a review from a persistent USB installation would need to state that a non-working hardware device wasn't working and a driver needed to be installed. It still isn't the best way to do a full distribution review though.

Quoting:So for some distros, you could do realistic testing and pretty close to a hard drive install.


Except any performance review would be unrealistic. USB performance is extremely slower than hard drive performance and memory performance would also be way off. You can try and rationalize CD, DVD, and USB reviews, but I still stand by my original statements.
caitlyn

May 24, 2012
11:29 AM EST
Quoting:Except any performance review would be unrealistic. USB performance is extremely slower than hard drive performance and memory performance would also be way off. You can try and rationalize CD, DVD, and USB reviews, but I still stand by my original statements.


...and I still agree with you. If you look at DarkDuck's "review" of ROSA 2012 Marathon one of his claims is that it's terribly slow. My own experience with Ubuntu is that the difference between installed performance and USB performance is day and night.

GERGE, it is very possible to write detailed, in depth reviews. I just read another one for ROSA that was posted here on LXer. While some of my experiences were different than that reviewers, and while I don't get his extreme discomfort with the icons that go over the edge of the RocketBar by design, we ultimately came to the same conclusions. Even if we hadn't that was one review I had to respect because he took the time to look at the distro in detail and actually use it.
Khamul

May 24, 2012
11:52 AM EST
If you're in the business of writing reviews for money, is it really that hard to go buy a $50 hard drive and spend the extra time doing a full install? You don't even need a really huge one, a 320MB drive, which seems to be the minimum these days for desktop drives, is far more than sufficient for a Linux distro. Plus you can wipe and reuse the same drive for every review you ever do. Reviewing a live distro smacks of extreme laziness.
DrGeoffrey

May 24, 2012
12:07 PM EST
Quoting:Reviewing a live distro smacks of extreme laziness.


I could not have put it better.
Fettoosh

May 24, 2012
12:31 PM EST
Quoting:However, doing a review from a persistent USB installation would need to state that a non-working hardware device wasn't working and a driver needed to be installed. It still isn't the best way to do a full distribution review though.


I never said I was doing a review and didn't say there was a non-working hardware either. All what I was trying to say is, I used live USB to check if the hardware was faulty. Since it worked under Linux, than the problem was in Windows.

Actually I was disputing your claim that "all live versions of full desktop distributions would be the same." They aren't. What Fedora says about theirs doesn't necessarily apply to Kubuntu. In certain ways, they are two different beasts.

When someone does a USB live review, it is basically to check functionalities and new features if any, not to review performance. It is obvious that performance between USB & hard drives varies drastically.

Besides, persistent USB testing does give a pretty good idea about hardware support, and will allow someone to determine whether hardware that wasn't detected could be made detectable or fixable before attempting to install on hard drive. It is also beneficial to check if updates are safe or not.

Quoting:You can try and rationalize CD, DVD, and USB reviews, but I still stand by my original statements.


I am not rationalizing any thing to you. All I am saying is, when a review is done and what was used is declared, it should be taken as own preference, choice, and considered to be sufficient for own particular purpose.

There are no 100% complete reviews and in general, reviews vary quite a bit, even when installed on hard drives, and especially when reviewing performance. Reviews vary quite a bit and dependent a lot on the whole system. CPU, Memory, hard disk type and model, graphics, reviewer, etc. ... all have their substantial influence.

smallboxadmin

May 24, 2012
12:59 PM EST
@Fettoosh

Quoting:Actually I was disputing your claim that "all live versions of full desktop distributions would be the same." They aren't. What Fedora says about theirs doesn't necessarily apply to Kubuntu. In certain ways, they are two different beasts.


Actually, in full context, what I said was:

Quoting:I would imagine that most if not all live versions of full desktop distributions would be the same.


I think we're starting to split hairs here. I didn't mean to imply that you were doing a review and I generally agree with you about reviews. When I said "you", I didn't literally mean you, but the reviewers. My comments are more directed to those doing Live CD Reviews and trying to pass them off as a good barometer of the distro.
Khamul

May 24, 2012
2:12 PM EST
caitlyn wrote:...and I still agree with you. If you look at DarkDuck's "review" of ROSA 2012 Marathon one of his claims is that it's terribly slow. My own experience with Ubuntu is that the difference between installed performance and USB performance is day and night.


Fettoosh wrote:When someone does a USB live review, it is basically to check functionalities and new features if any, not to review performance. It is obvious that performance between USB & hard drives varies drastically.


Apparently, it's not obvious to all reviewers.
Fettoosh

May 24, 2012
2:53 PM EST
Quoting:Apparently, it's not obvious to all reviewers.


I never liked or have been a fan of DarkDuck's "reviews". In my opinion they are pretty much useless. Besides, people are better off doing their own reviews/tests for themselves and not take any others for granted. That is why I advocate for USB testing.



montezuma

May 25, 2012
10:38 AM EST
What is a DarkDuck anyway? A Disney villain?

Enquiring minds want to know......

I prefer my reviews with a real person signoff like I don't know

Caitlyn Martin or Carla Schroder

The real person adds to the reviews accountability and credibility.

OK enough ego massaging for the day.
gus3

May 25, 2012
7:02 PM EST
@montezuma:

You don't know my given name. If I have my way, that will always be true, at least in this life.

Does that make my review of the Raspberry Pi any less credible?
tracyanne

May 25, 2012
7:40 PM EST
Based on my experience with KUbuntu installed to a 16 Gig USB Thumb drive, I would wholeheartedly recommend it. Unfortunately based on my experience after installing it to a 500 Gig HDD, on the same computer, I'd recommend people not touch it with a barge pole.

I still have KUbuntu installed on the thumb drive and I love it. It works really well. Sometimes the gremlins wait in hiding.
jdixon

May 25, 2012
8:05 PM EST
> A Disney villain?

Actually, Darkwing Duck is a Disney hero. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darkwing_Duck

I have no idea if the names are related or not.
tuxchick

May 26, 2012
12:53 AM EST
Quoting: OK enough ego massaging for the day.


Oh, I don't think so. You're just getting warmed up :)
Fettoosh

May 26, 2012
8:53 AM EST
Quoting:Unfortunately based on my experience after installing it to a 500 Gig HDD, on the same computer, I'd recommend people not touch it with a barge pole.


@TA, MMV (My Mileage Varies.)

I have been using thumb drives to test Kubuntu since 8.04 if not before. I had a problem rebooting only once and was corrected when I rebuilt the drive. May be you want to try that or use a lower capacity drive.

montezuma

May 26, 2012
9:37 AM EST
@gus3

Well your review seems rather nice to me so no offense intended. I'm simply making the point that putting your real name on something adds to the reviews credibility. Not putting your name on it does not subtract from it. Putting a juvenile name like DarkDuck on it does in my humble opinion.

Yours

Montezuma (Not my real name ;-))

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