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

Alexandru Dan Corlan wrote:
> But if I remember the 0.96 days ... there is a HUGE difference,
> and if I look backward I see that the improovement was continuous.
> If we take a look at the current distributions and the people
> behind them we can see a considerable preocupation towards `simpler
> installation'. The current distribution efforts (Debian and RedHat
> in particular) also have a considerable _momentum_ in that direction.
> Thus I think that an effort to make an easier to install distribution
> would be best spent by contributing to an existing distribution.
Yes, It is much better, more hardware supported, friendly intall
interface, etc ...  
	We need to contribute to this.  The most effective way that we can do
this is to make sure that our efforts can be incorporated into any
distribution that sees our SEUL product (whatever that may be) as a
useful addition to thier package.  I think that this should be our real 
 	One of the biggest challenges facing Un*x as a whole is this explosive
pressure to differentiate and diversify, to offer unique features that
cant be found in any other product.  Consumers/Users will most benefit
from interoperability.  I think all efforts to controll this
differentiation and promulgate standards will be to the benefit of Un*x
and linux too.  Standards are what Mini$oft has in spades, and what Un*x
lost when ATT sold the Unix standard.  We need a mechanism to keep all
the linux flavors as similar as possible to make it as interoperable as
possible.  This way, knowledge transfer will be good also (I would like
to say "I know HP-UX, consequently, I know Linux too").  

> What is common to the needs of most users is: document preparation
> (text+graphics), mail, web-browse and, eventually, simplest database,
> simplest and easiest spreadsheet (I'll call this `the doc complex'). This
> is what W$95+M$Office claim to provide out of the box (and, to some
> extent, I guess they do) at perhaps about 500$. Can Linux do better?

Excellent category to target...
There are commercial options in the 200$ range, I just bought

Jay Bloodworth said:
>The point is I think we should create a SEUL that we can sell to IS
>managers rather than to end users (yes, I realizes its S_EU_L).

I strongly agree.  As many studies point out, for every dollay an
organization spends on a machine, they spent 5 on software and 10 on Lan
and support. (Loosly  recounted, I can't site sources, but have some in
a recent byte on NC's).  The big money is in the maintenance, so
troubleshooting should be a high priority.  I think that we need to map
out real world problems, and ensure that there is an intelligible trail
of error messages and pointers to help.  Basically weed out the stumper
error messages, and figure out ways to provide useful feedback for the
most common problems.  Feedback a regular user (not newbie, necessarily)
could figure out. 

Within a GUI, this should take some hints from w95, and do it alot
better.  Define obect like groups represented by icons, and minimise the
inter-object communication.  Store the info in X.rc files, not in some
huge registry like w95.  This was discussed earlier, but in the context
of having a setup program know where all the files were.  I think as
much of the setup should be delegated to the relevant "Object" as
possible.  Make the representation as simple as possible without
obscuring the important details.

Documentatio needs help.  I can't tell you how many times I look for
something and the doc is inaccurate, out of date, or not relevant.  I
know there are many working on maintaining the doc, but I think there
are two weak points.  1: Each distribution has differences, and must be
documented separately.  the result is wasted effort.  2:Many potential
contributors don't know how to contribute.  I think there must be many
ways to improve the process so that there is better use of the current
efforts towards improving doc.
Here is how I think it should work.  Jane Buck installs linux, and reads
doc on CD-ROM.  Doc doesn't answer question, and she clicks link on
doc.  Link takes her to  web-site, and she reads current version of
doc.  She figures out a few novel twists on the problem, and decides to
document.  She forwards to web site and someone reviews, or it appears
in case history or something cool like that, so anyone else can see it. 
Just one possible solution.

We need a central plan so this will all work together, but we also need
to ensure as many parts as possible can stand alone.  The central plan
will be the SEUL standard hopefully based on fsstnd.  I also think we
may need to decide on System 5 (my fav) or BSD (Duck for cover, its the
start of a holy war!).  If you have accepted my first point (that we
should support any distribution that will have us, the second part
(stand alone projects) comes naturally, and will keep all of our eggs
out of one basket.   

Also, as to delegating the chairs, can we figure out some way to vote? 
Frequency of posting may not be the best criteria for membership.  I
post infrequently, but read it all, and think about it alot.  I am not
asking to be a chair, but there may be people who are interested who are
actively participating, but who don't post four times a day like some

I volunteer for duty in the areas (which might be a few of the possible
SEUL divisions):  
1)Install info gathering in W95/dos (scanning the registry for useful
info).  T
2)Standards efforts including fsstnd standard compliance issues
3)Testing (tester by trade)
4)Documentation (html, etc).

Other Groups:
GUI interface
Marketing   ;)

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