I have seen a video regarding the Zorin Os distribution, and the commentator was mentioning the excessive slowness in releasing new versions.
In my opinion there are some situations that, if not solved, could, in the long run, reduce the number of Zorin Os fans.
First: if we are talking about a distribution that pretends to be a real alternative to Microsoft Windows, it should, necessarily, involve more people in the project. As far as I have been able to see, there are very few people working there, apart, obviously, from the Zorin brothers, and this is already being noticed.
Second: backward compatibility. I have been able to appreciate how important it is, especially in the Gnu Linux world, to maintain a fluid contact with the community to clarify doubts, inform about the state of the project, and incorporate suggestions. However, none of this happens. We have no clarity about the release date of the stable version, in what state is Zorin Os 16 at this moment.
All the above mentioned are some of the aspects that are preventing Zorin Os to continue adding followers in the Gnu Linux world.
Well, never mind the number of developers, I was literally shocked see the number of volunteers (handful) actively involved in this forum. That was the reason I decided to stay here and do as much as I could to contribute to the community.
Charity begins at home, no?
Totally agree, I am very grateful with this forum, for the moderators, and in general with all those who participate in it.
I also feel a special appreciation for Zorin Os, I know about its origins and its project.
My criticisms are not intended to be destructive, but on the contrary, to contribute positively because I am interested that this distribution is not only maintained but that it progresses in time.
Perhaps the management model, in my humble opinion, is not the most appropriate since I find it a bit closed, in the sense that there is no explicit invitation to join the project.
Times are very important not only in Gnu Linux but also in computing in general. Let's not forget that the Ubuntu version on which Zorin Os 16 is based was released in April last year.
I just wanted to name some aspects that could be improved so that this distribution, which I love, can gain more followers.
You are not alone in these constructive criticisms. There are existing threads covering it, started by multiple parties and commented within by many.
The ZorinGroup, if my sources are correct, included outside contractors on the development of Zorin OS 15. They are not completely closed off to outside help. But the ability to properly pay a developer for his time is as important.
This is part of why Choosing Zorin OS Ultimate or clicking the
Donate Button in the About Zorin page is so beneficial to all.
I personally believe that the Development Contributions would be affected by a stronger presence by the ZorinGroup in the community.
It may be a catch-22; where the ZorinGroup is devoting their time to development and can afford little time to the community. But we do not really know for sure, as the word from the top is usually quiet.
If the ZorinGroup is run ragged; they deserve some time off, too. Community contributions can make this possible.
But in fairness, we really do not know for sure if most of their time is not spent golfing or on World of Warcraft, either. And this uncertainty weighs on the minds of those that believe in the project, but hesitate at the loud sound of silence.
When I refer to bringing developers on board I don't necessarily mean paid, they can also be volunteers.
As computer science advances, it becomes more complex, which demands more working hours. That is why, perhaps, the way in which this distribution has been managed should be modified.
Regarding what you point out about the lack of communication with the community, I fully agree with you. Nowadays it is a very important part in the success of a distribution.
Thank you very much for your comments.
I think Zorin brothers need a manager.
My husband has an agent working for him. The agent does all negotiations for things like stage fee, travel/accommodation and takes on public relations (handling of fan mails, for example). This way my husband could concentrate only on his music.
If only Zorin brothers could have such person for them. Am I dreaming too much?
Give this a thought one more time, I think Zorin brothers need someone who can work as a liaison between the project and user/sponsor. That way they can concentrate on the project while the public relation are taken care of.
It seems to me that, apart from a manager, the project is reaching a point where serious decisions need to be made otherwise it may happen (hopefully not) that it ends up disappearing, as it has happened with many other distributions.
Being a more closed community, formed by the Zorin brothers, it makes it difficult to incorporate more people to contribute to the project (not necessarily paid).
It seems to have funding problems. What Aravisian points out is not enough. Distributions cannot depend only on voluntary contributions, they need to get sponsors and sign contracts with hardware companies, for example.
Although comparisons are odious, Linux Mint is a good example. It is made up of several developers. They are continuously inviting more people to join the project. It has funding through various sponsors, (without considering the voluntary contributions of the community). It has also signed contracts with hardware companies to support its operating system installed on various computers.
I've been using Zorin OS for a while now but never knew there was a [Donate] button - I shall make a contribution later. Maybe this should be promoted more?
Linux Mint sends a monthly update advising progress on what they're working on & when next updates are due etc., - the monthly update includes a list of donors for the month. It would be good if Zorin OS could attract similar levels of support.
I agree with you 100%.
Mintbox is the first thing comes up to my mind.
I think Zorin is at the tipping point that they should seek for some professional help. Such service is available and will not cost arms and legs (at least where I live).
They publish a list of donators every month.
Such visualization is a great way to acknowledge the donators.
I have been donating FOSS projects here and there.
It was very nice to get a personal thanking note from the developer (even if it is a template base). Meanwhile some project never say anything and the only way to know they got my donation was a PayPal receipt. It is very obvious which project I decided to continue supporting.
Communication is crucial for the survival of the project.
I think I missed your comment and basically repeated the same thing in my posting above.
I think the addition of this button is a recent thing. I never noticed it till someone on this forum pointed it out.
Total agree with you FrenchPress, i donated a small amount to another linux o/s many years ago and didnt get a single thankyou or acknowledgment. I did indeed like the O/S, but this non gesture steered me away to another alternative O/S, who i supported in a small way by buying t-shirts with a logo on it for both my wife and I.
AS they say "Something is better then Nothing"
There has been requests to assist with ui and backend development. If they have taken on any volunteers is unknown, as also the state of the os development.
Most of the other distros. And the Linux kernel itself thrives on community support, both monetarily and voluntarily... there are many who would like to help where they are able, but it is unknown how, if any way other than dm or email, to contact them to volunteer. It is also unknown whether they accept such assistance. Personally, i would love to see some of aravisian's work integrated in the ui and possibly a personalized theme in addition to the stock themes. I would like to assist with proof reading, maybe some development, as i start my pursuit of development... but all this is reliant on a quiet development team. Any word would be better than the silence that speaks volumes.
In their early days they maintained a more fluid communication with the community.
In my opinion, excuse me for being so repetitive, one of the fundamental aspects in the world of Gnu Linux, is to maintain a fluid contact with the community. Some time ago I raised this with the developers.
There may be many who would be willing, voluntarily, to contribute to the project.
We must also consider that we do not know if they are affected by health problems or family problems.
For me it would be great if they would publish on their page, month by month, the situation of the project, and dialogue, for a few days, with the community.
Excusing is not necessary. The issue itself is repetitive.
When I first migrated from WIndows to Zorin OS 12.4, I joined the ZorinGroup Forum for assistance. And I generally complained a lot. LOL. It was just ZorinAntwerp and @swarfendor437 handling things. Both expressed similar concerns.
Antwerp and Swarf were a true phenomenon. Exceptionally helpful and dedicated.
Swarf commented often, back then, that the only reason he stuck with Zorin OS was due to the attention that Zorin OS paid to accessibility support.
ZorinAntwerp switched to another OS - I think Deepin... After a disagreement with the ZorinGroup about how the forum was regulated.
Swarf was on his own as Moderator of the ZorinGroup forum for quite some time after that. When this forum replaced that one, he continued here as his interest in Devuan continued to grow and his misgivings about certain handling increased. In time, he went away to Devuan and rarely appears here anymore. Those of us left behind try to fill that gap but...
In the time since, Other Members, and myself, have posted these same concerns.
This thread, another year later, is a repeat of the last.
I stick with Zorin OS because the Exceptional Work done by the Zorin Group makes it solid and the best performance I have seen.
I cannot stand Gnome Desktop. It is a Microsoft Clone that seeks to restrict the user and control the user. But on Zorin OS, I can have XFCE or even, install another desktop entirely. That keeps things going. I still tolerate SystemD and it's fickle modules.
But it is as though we are caught in the tide pool. Between ZorinGroups excellent product and utter silence. Documentation is as frequently asked about.
Complaints are issued and resolved -silently.
The ZorinGroups Tight Lipped stance on releases, production, patches... It's like going to a restaurant and getting great food and great service - from mute robots. You want to go elsewhere but the part that is good is too good to ignore. But the part that is daunting is too daunting to ignore.
Eventually, the individuals priorities will win out.
First of all, one of the reasons I still remain on Zorin Os is because of this wonderful forum. I feel at home here. I am very grateful for the moderators, like you, for example and for those who participate. I always feel listened to. Also, I always see that you try to answer my questions. So far I have not seen the classic response: "this has already been answered before, just stick to the next thread ...". Or "Gnu Linux is not for those whose knowledge is basic".
On the other hand, I know a little about the beginnings of the project. I have an appreciation for what the Zorin brothers are trying to accomplish.
They once replied to me, in relation to maintaining a more fluid communication, that Zorin Os was a very small company. I recognize and greatly appreciate the patience they have had in answering my questions through Ultimate support.
Every company, no matter how modest it may be, there comes a time when it must face new challenges, in the sense that either it reinvents itself or it becomes unimportant. It seems to me that this is the case. The delay in releasing new stable versions and the lack of communication, sooner or later, take their toll. Many people end up getting tired and move on to other projects.
Maybe, I am speculating, being a family business, they are reluctant to incorporate more people to the project.
I think the main competitor of Zorin Os is Linux Mint. They should learn lessons from how that project has developed and try to implement some of its organizational aspects.
I myself, these last few days, have thought about abandoning Zorin Os and going back to Linux Mint, but I still have some patience left.
Learning from your competitor - a classic strategy in business
Actually I started to see purchasing Ultimate version is a ticket for a direct communication with Zorin brothers. Unfortunately or fortunately, I did not have much problems with 15 Ultimate so not much exchanges with them.
After Zorin 15, I went to Mint then came back.
Mint was running great for about a year then started to suffer an instability issue (I still do not understand the cause of it).
I am no longer a Moderator, just an OverPowered member.
Personally, I have an intense dislike for that kind of response, too. Gnu Linux is for anyone willing to learn and support the project. But like riding a bike or driving or starting any new path- everyone must start and no one starts out at anything as a Master.
Threads should generally stay on topic, be considerate and helpful. But a little bit of Flexibility and treating people like they are right to start a thread an ask a question goes a very long way toward encouraging learning. If a person gets chastised for simply asking a question- that is not a good start. I have noticed that others suggest a better category sometimes.
Zorin OS began when Artyom and Kyrill were around 12 years old or so (there is about a two year age difference between them) when they watched their father struggle to leave Windows for Linux. They felt their should be a better way. They got Books and started learning and before long, introduced the First Zorin OS in, I think, 2006. Kids. Two kids in Ireland did this. If anything ever should tell a migrant to Linux that they can do this... Granted, these kids were very intelligent, but that only accelerated the process is all.
It remains small in spite of the success of Zorin OS - consisting of Artyom and Kyrill.
It means it can take them some time to reach the next message in the line.
Artyom has stated that he sees this as unlikely in the near future. But to me, these guys are in their twenties... That could change. I remember how I was in my twenties...
Yes, the ZorinGroup philosophy and the Mint philosophy are very different in certain regards. I am more in line with Linux Mints philosophy. But I appreciate the amazing work of ZorinGroup and its RocketShip OS, so, I just run Cinnamon Desktop on Zorin OS.
I did even ask Artyom Zorin if I could create Cinnamon Desktop themes that match the Zorin GTK themes for our Cinnamon users and he was quite agreeable with it. I have not yet created any as I am ONE person and it takes the time it takes for me to get to that project on the list... lol
Best of both worlds
Interesting thread. I have been waiting to purchase Zorin OS 16 Ultimate as my way of contributing monetarily. But now that I know there is a donate button, I don’t have to wait to chip in my support.
I researched a lot of different distros and somehow after that confusing process chose Zorin for my initial foray into Linux. Zorin has surpassed my expectations. I also agree wholeheartedly with all the positive comments on the forum.