The Archway

I shamelessly copied this from Aaron Griffin It just emphasises why I like ArchLinux.

The Arch Way is a document that has been around for some time. It defines the core Archlinux
philosophy – what makes us tick. In short, the Arch Way is about simplicity and giving control to the user.
Keeping things simple, and agile.

Arch is lightweight and simple, like clay – able to be moulded by the user
as they choose.

Arch is not a distribution made for “user friendliness”. It is a
distribution designed to be a platform – a “base” for the user to do
what they want. This means that we don’t try to force a user’s hand into our
way of doing things, with our configuration tools, and our ideas. It should be
about their ideas.

It is important who controls the system here: the user. Developers suggest
things, and push in certain directions, but let the user do as they wish.

Arch is a base for anyone to make into whatever they see fit. Arch is a
tool use it well. Furthermore, the driving philosophy behind Arch is provided in this
document. Here, again, is my take on this (really just reworded).

• Keep It Simple, Stupid: A simple design is
usually the most elegant (See also Occam’s Razor)

• ‘Simple’ is defined from a technical standpoint,
not a usability standpoint. It is better to be technically elegant with a higher
learning curve, than to be easy to use, and technically crap.

• Relying on complex tools to manage and build
your system is going to hurt the end users. Maintenance and upgrading should be
an active process, not a passive one.

• “If you try to hide the complexity of the
system, you’ll end up with a more complex system”. Layers of abstraction
that serve to hide internals are never a good thing. Instead, the internals
should be designed in a way such that they NEED no hiding.

• We can’t help you. Yes this is a philosophical
point. Every Arch user is expected to be able to help themselves – to be able
to look up information, configuration files, bugs, etc. You’re expected to be
able to do a little research when you have a problem. Teach a man to fish, and
all that.

• We are, above all, a community oriented distro.
Contributions and effort from the end users should never be discouraged.

• Unlike other distros, Arch is not primarily
concerned about the user. The user is important, sure, but most important are
simplicity and elegance. The user is important as long as it does not interfere
with these doctrines.

• “It is what you make it” — Judd Vinet

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