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Re: [seul-edu] Distro Dementia II

On Wed, Nov 28, 2001 at 03:01:23PM -0600, Les Richardson wrote:
> Hi Richard,
> >Hmm, surely you just take a GPLed distro, add in the edu packages and
> distribute
> >disks of the whole lot - Debian, Red Hat & Co have all taken care of the
> >installation routines.
> >However just distributing the applications means making too many assumptions
> >about the installation someone has - even assuming that they already have a
> >GNU/Linux distribution.
> >
> >- Richard
> I would assume that if someone builds a .deb or .rpm file, that they could
> then add them to that particular installed distribution, since that is the
> whole point of having package managers.

Unfortunately, there can be subtle problems with using rpm's across
distributions.  RedHat conventions are slightly different from SuSe's,
are different from Makdrake's.  Most of the time, its not an issue,
but occasionally there are problems, and often there are minor
irritants. e.g. config files structured differently than the
distribution conventions. For a large number of applications or
utilites, it can be a pain to manage differences. That's why I tend to
lean towards working with Debian, maybe eventually getting to a
task-education set of packages.

> Also, if we distribute the "whole lot" it would be DVD production time for
> us. We are effectively entering the distribution business then.....

<shameless plug> My small business, Digikata, was pretty much formed
around the idea of providing use-specific "mini-distributions".
Generally, system administrators split up computing resources
according to boxes anyway.  Mini-distributions using some minimal base
distro, RedHat, Debian, etc. can collect a group of applications for a
specific use. e.g. a web-based classroom server and client. In
general, the idea would be to let a community such as SEUL act as
expert "editors" to evaluate and select a set of capability. Digikata
would perform tasks which a commercial company may be better suited to
accomplish as packaging, burning, inventory, marketing, etc. The
community would benefit depending on how popular a given mini-distro
might be.  At small numbers, Digikata might donate a portion of each
sale of that mini-disto. At larger numbers, the company might be able to
hire a dedicated community contributor either part or full time.
Although none of the projects I'm working on have matured to that point yet,
I'm working on a education-paperwork-datareporting oriented mini-distro
right now, and may be applying a similiar model in other areas.
</shameless plug>

> And building an entire distribution means entering into competition with
> Red Hat, SuSe, etc. This doesn't seem like a particularly wise idea.
> (Although, of course, some people "just 'gotta" do this and so be it. It's
> a lot of work.)

It doesn't have to be an entire independent distro.  See shameless plug above :)

> Les Richardson

-- alan

Alan Chen
Digikata LLC