Okay, so I finally have some free time, but somehow I've managed to stay up until 5 AM, so I'm still tired 😆. No matter, here are some of my thoughts on the matter.
xjdwc To me, I view this as almost the elephant in the room. Like talking about this feels taboo. Which I believe is NOT how things should be.
It definitely shouldn't feel like a taboo, but I've also not seen anyone be reprimanded for asking such questions. Now, some other users might react slightly aggressive when you attack their favorite OS, but that is understandable to some extent, and you have to ignore that when you want to ask the tough questions. No way around it.
xjdwc This one actually made me feel like I was DOOMED as a Solus user. It felt like all hope was lost. The second core/lead of Solus leaving. Doubt and despair crept in.
I had similar feelings when it happened. In fact, I think it might've contributed to my burn-out at the start of the year (main factor was of course my day job itself, which I've thankfully quit now).
xjdwc Though, that was on the 3rd January and it feels like radio silence ever since. Again, not talking about activity and maintenance. But official communication.
100% agree there. While there have been tweets during that period, they also pretty much all fit into the "maintenance" category.
Some, in my opinion, interesting things have happened in the meantime, but as a normal user you wouldn't notice any of it if you don't religiously check the dev tracker, IRC channels, changelogs in the Software Center, and/or getsolus GitHub repositories. Now, none of that might qualify as a "major change", but it could for sure be worked into a blog post or at least some tweets. Not just the positives but also the issues that cropped up, and how they were dealt with. Something to show that there is activity, that doesn't require manually checking the above sources.
Do I, personally, have the ability to do that? No, first of all because I don't have access rights to the Solus blog or twitter, and secondly (and more importantly) because I don't really want that responsibility since I don't feel comfortable in that role.
With Josh we unfortunately lost someone who excelled in that type of communication. See e.g. his blog posts on the new Budgie site, or even just his first post on the new Serpent OS forums.
Now, there have been efforts to recruit a new "communications guy" to the team. But things have not gone smoothly, someone seemingly disappeared, and some trust evaporated. Very recently there has been some more discussion on that topic, but no concrete results yet.
xjdwc I also probably miss most of the conversations/discussions about things like this because this forum is my only source for solus.
Yes, the forum doesn't really show you a lot of what is happening with Solus, which is a shame, and should be remedied with some blog updates that get linked here, and/or some announcement posts when things are happening or have happened.
Additionally there is the issue of team communication happening on Discord, invisible to the users, which, while understandable to some degree and for some topics, sometimes locks even the people who have taken the effort to participate on IRC out of interesting discussions. I personally try to move talk that doesn't necessarily have to be private back to the #Solus-Dev channel, but that requires conscious effort, and consequently I also sometimes only post to Discord, neglecting IRC and other communication channels.
xjdwc I think in order for the Solus Project to be in a healthy and thriving state. We have to have clear community guidelines and a set of principles to guide us. Ones that have been developed/agreed upon with the input/feedback of the Solus community. Ones that we can all get behind and want to support. A standard! Something that has been stated is being changed and improved upon.
I don't think we need a whole set of principles, to be quite honest. What @tomscharbach quoted above is also pretty much my guiding principle when working on Solus:
tomscharbach "Solus is an open source project dedicated towards building a cohesive desktop experience with our Linux-based operating system, which is curated, designed, and optimized for home computing platforms."
I think this is succinct, while still leaving some wiggle room for personal preferences (which I think is important too). Anything more than this would only distract from the central idea and ideal we're trying to achieve. I can see more than enough work ahead just moving closer toward this one simple goal.
xjdwc I actually now see Josh's departure as a great thing because he is able to focus on budgie like never before. That can only be a good thing for budgie users.
The Budgie project definitely has picked up steam since then, which I, as a Budgie user, also welcome. I'm not sure whether that means that Josh's departure constitutes a net positive though. Personally I still think the hole left in the Solus project is bigger than the additional boost to Budgie.
xjdwc Here are a few principles I find important:
I'm going to skip over most of this, since as I said above I don't think we need a whole set of principles to guide us. Just some random comments where I think there is something to add.
xjdwc Passion & Excellence
I think this one is straight forward, the foundation of doing great work is being passionate. Strive to do all with excellence, this usually comes from being passionate about what you do.
It seems a bit harsh to demand passion from anyone, user or team member, as a principle. Also, when it comes to taking note of improvement: How do you measure passion?
Maybe I'm just misunderstanding what you mean.
xjdwc Respect the end user
This is something that the Solus project has sometimes failed at, not with the operating system itself, but in communication. Mostly during interchanges on the forums or IRC. A bit more patience with our users, even or especially those that ask unwelcome questions, would go a long way.
xjdwc there should be a clear vision for what Solus wants to achieve, short, mid, and long term goals etc.
I think we could handle this with the blog posts. Just regularly state what is being worked on, and some things on the horizon. No need to set those in stone though (e.g. by putting them in a roadmap, or "Goals" section on the website).
Anyway, while we could work out an all-encompassing set of principles, values and guidelines, I think that the simple mission statement is enough, and actions speak louder than words, or as a certain German said:
Der Worte sind genug gewechselt,
Laßt mich auch endlich Taten sehn!
[The words you've bandied are sufficient;
'Tis deeds that I prefer to see.]
-- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
(but those deeds should also include blog posts and other updates 😃)
P.S. I somewhat rushed through the second half of my comment because I'm starting to develop a serious stomach ache now, sorry (never a dull moment)