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Re: SEUL: Is there a user for S.E.U.L.?

   Delivered-To: jfm@sidney.remcomp.fr
   From: Dave Close <dave@compata.com>

   While the idea of making a simple-to-use distribution of Linux sounds, 
   at first, like a great idea, I think there is a contradiction involved. 
   Very few people use a computer just because they enjoy hacking around 
   with an OS; those folks don't need a simple version of Linux. People 
   who want to accomplish something while using their computer, even if 
   only entertainment, are more likely to need an easy installation. But 
   for those folks, you must ask yourself, what benefit would they accrue 
   by using Linux? Not because there are no benefits, but because they 
   need to perceive the benefits before they will be willing to try it. 
   And they must continue to perceive benefits after installation or they 
   will go back to M$.

I have Linux for nearly three years and I have never hacked up with
Linux kernel source.

I will give an example of why people could want Linux.

A lot of people are fascinated by image manipulation.  Why would want
one of them use Linux?  Because he has four options.  

1) Buy a 200$ software for Windows and for that price get mediocrity.

2) Buy a 1000$ software for Windows and for that price get a great
software but also get than his wife asks divorce for dilapidating
money than could be put to better use.  :-)

3) Use Linux and The GIMP.  That option will be available if and only
if he gets a distribution simple enough for him.

4) Piracy.  Unfortunately he has this option.  So the more the BSA
fights against it the best for us.

For attracting people to LINUX it is not enough to have a simple
distribution, we must try to put in it the software they want.  And
best of all is when we have a free LINUX software superior to the
reasonably priced Windows software.

I think your error is than you are thinking in putting up a Linux for
the beginner in 1997.  That would be impossible and useless.
Impossible because we lack application software for the beginner.
Useless because, like you pointed, beginners don't know about Linux and
Linux has the reputation of being difficult.

Our goal must not be than SEUL 1 be usable by beginners but to make a
distribution significantly simpler to use than any other by making a
better use of available software.  Use it to attract to Linux people
who would have been unable to survive with Debian or RedHat.  The
presence of these people if numerous enough can change the way
developpers think about the Linux user: they will develop software for
these people.  We will be able then to make a better SEUL with that
software.  And so on.

Another benefit is than if we make Linux easier it will have more
users so it will become better known.  And it will begin to lose its
reputation for being difficult.

We must issue SEUL 1 ASAP but we must know than the final goal will
not be reached before two or three years.

			Jean Francois Martinez

==================== The Linux.  Use the Linux, Luke! =======================

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