Interview - Part III
Are you an archer? Do you use Arch on all your systems?
Absolutely. I've run Arch on every machine of mine for the past 5 years. I used to have one machine that I tried other OSes on, but due to recent hardware failure, that's running 64bit Arch now. Sadly, I just reinstalled Windows at home for the first time in 3 years. I only installed it so that I can stream movies from Netflix, as their current software is Windows only due to DRM malarkey.
Whats on the roadmap for Arch?
Rolling Release System
Arch is based on a rolling release system, this means that Arch constantly updates their repositories with the latest packages available, instead of saving packages for a later release like Ubuntu does.
As a result, you will only need to install Arch Linux once and you'll always have the latest and most up-to-date packages available, as long as you use pacman to update your system once in a while.
Even though Arch is based on a rolling release system, the CD image is updated with every new kernel release. This is to remove bugs and enhance the installation. Theoretically, you can use the oldest CD image of Arch and still get an updated system like your fellow users. But it's recommended to use the newer install images.
Hrm, the roadmap is always in flux. I have my own personal goals, but no grand lofty ideas. It's very fluid like that. Personally, things I'd love to see are support for more architectures, maybe even BSD and cygwin compatible packages. Also, better automation for building packages, and other miscellaneous repo management tools for the backend stuff would be great! Other than that, we're pretty much where I want us to be.
Compared to other distributions, whats Arch Linux' greatest weakness? And what is it's greatest strength?
I had a hard time answering this question, mainly because I don't use other distros enough. But Eliott brought up a very good point when I asked him. The rolling release system has a much higher dependence on upstream releases. That is, if we push out a new library version, we need to be pretty sure that the latest release of "someapp" works fine with that version. Some app developers aren't super quick on the uptake, so it holds us back. Other distros spend weeks or months before they release new packages, so upstream versions will have changed by then, or someone will have patched things.
For someone completely new to Arch, how would you recommend he'd go about to learn the system?
Hmm. The beginner's guide in the wiki is a great place to start. If you're looking to learn the internals, the best way to do so is by reading the scripts. If you can't read script, then the best place to start is learning to read scripts.
We're not about hand-holding. If you want to learn something, you better be prepared to learn it for yourself rather than have someone sit down and explain it to you.
How do you feel about developing for Arch? Is it just for fun or is there a hidden reason behind it?
It's just for fun. In reality, I am trying to create the perfect distro to run my machines, and that just so happens to coincide with what other people wants, otherwise we wouldn't have such a great team of developers and community members.
Reading the newsletter i see someone claiming you can lift a car above your head... Is this really true!?
I have gone flabby in my old age, so I am unable to lift a car unassisted anymore. So I need at least one other person to help me, sadly.
It's a joke by the way, you shouldn't take the newsletter stuff too seriously.
And we're done. Thinking back, is there anything you wish to say which you fell you haven't been able to?
Not that I can think of, no. I'd like to thank everyone for reading this, and I hope to see some of you try Arch out in the near future.
We thank Aaron for his time and patience and wish him the best of luck on his future endevours.