ต้นฉบับ LinuxTLE ที่จะส่ง OSNews

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ใจความหลักที่จะสื่อคือ บอกให้โลกรู้ว่า มี LinuxTLE นะ และเหตุผลที่น่าลองใช้คือเป็น Consumer Desktop Distro ที่ให้อะไรมากกว่า Fedora ประมาณนี้


LinuxTLE 7.0

Do you still remember why Microsoft changed its pricing policy? Outside United States, Linux and Open Source softwares gain many attractions, especially in Europe and Asia. You may heard that Microsoft was suffered when Thailand government decided to pre-install Linux in 100,100 units of cheap "Computers for People". That decision is the turning point of Microsoft world pricing policy and Windows XP Starter Edition. Today I'll review the latest version of that pre-install distro, LinuxTLE 7.0.

FYI, "TLE" comes from "Thai Language Extension". For one who doesn't work in localization area may not know that Thai is one of difficult language to implement. Because Thai sentence isn't white-space breaking. It must be word break from dictionary. That means many open source projects refuse to commit Thai word-breaking patches or don't enable it by default (such as Mozilla) because of complexity from breaking-method and this is the reason why Thailand must have its own distro instead of using normal distributions such as Fedora.

But it doesn't mean non-Thai can't use LinuxTLE. It's RPM-distro and based on Fedora Core. You can select language and locale easily from installer. (It uses Anaconda as well.)

You may wonder why you may try LinuxTLE if it's based on Fedora. Let me advertise :) Fedora Project intended to be an ordinary distro with bleeding edge softwares. Fedora Core is usable but it doesn't support consumer user as well as Mandrake, Xandros or SUSE. While LinuxTLE targets to be consumer desktop with bleeding edge software.

I'll introduce software packages quickly, kernel 2.6.9, Xorg 6.8, GNOME 2.8 and KDE 3.3. LinuxTLE uses Firefox 1.0 as default browser with pre-install PDF, MozPlugger, Java 1.5 and Helix plugins. (also with Thai word-breaking but it's no use if you don't read Thai). Thunderbird 1.0 or Evolution 2.0 for mail client and Gaim 1.1 for IM. It uses OfficeTLE 1.1.2, Thai version of OpenOffice.org as office suite.

You can try it by downloading 3 CD ISOs or 1 DVD from OpenTLE (www.opentle.org) site. Installation is straightforward via Anaconda. Its benefit over Fedora is convenince functions in Firstboot Setup that allow you to automount Windows partition, automatically import Windows fonts and set Numlock LED to enable.

After boot via GRUB and login via GDM, you may notice everything look like they come from the sea. The reason is "TLE" can spell in Thai word means "the sea" and developers use this meaning for theme. My metacity theme (Sandwish in GNOME Ocean metatheme) is made for LinuxTLE former version too. I don't like widgets style so first thing I do is changing theme to Ximian Industrial :) Default wallpaper is cartoonish but you can find many beautiful sea and sand wallpapers in Preferences.

With udev, every devices work like a charm. Automounting is the most request feature for a long time and fortunately now it's finish. My USB drive and digital cameras are working smoothly. LinuxTLE 7.0 also offers many utilities that can't be found in another distros such as Bluetooth/WiFi tools, LinNeighbourhood for Windows SMB Sharing, GLX Driver Switcher for nVidia graphic card. There are many multimedia programs that are enough for ordinary multimedia tasks: XMMS, Rhythmbox, HelixPlayer, MPlayer and Xine. While you must install MP3 and Flash manually, they can be done easily via apt-get. (TLE uses apt-rpm for package updating, but YUM must work.)

Centrino support works out-of-the-box and internal modems work with Linuxant free-version driver. Gaming comes with ordinary TuxRacer, Chromium and Freeciv, plus BZFlag and SuperTUX.

I don't find any serious problem but bad thing I feel in this distribution (and all distros with many software bundle) is cluttered menu. End users want one-best-default application instead of many selectable apps as power users. For consumer approah, I prefer Ubuntu or Xandros way rather than Fedora or Mandrake.

Finally It may sound like LinuxTLE is local distro for native people. But as one Linux user, not Thai people, I can say LinuxTLE is better than Fedora if you use it as consumer desktop. It provides many convenient features as written all above. Give it a try and you may like it.

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Submitted bymkmkon Sat, 12/18/2004 - 14:44

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