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Re: SEUL: First Impressions

jghasler@win.bright.net wrote:

> > The former implies to me that we are in a LAN/workgroup/intranet
> > environment,
> And therefore have skilled system administrators and funds for commercial
> support.  No need for seul here.  Leave this to Linnet.

I shouldn't think that ease of use is sacrificeable in any environment,
no matter what personnel are available. I can fix any problem on any of
the eight computers in my home. The rest of the family doesn't care,
they don't want problems in the first place. If they have to come get
me, the time of two people is being wasted, if not more.

> > ...the latter that we are sitting at home playing doom and surfing
> > www.melrose-place.com.
> I'm sitting at home.  I've never played doom, and I find the web to be a
> bore.  Plenty of home machines get used for work, as well as doing the
> taxes, composing correspondence, etc.  The users of these machines will
> install seul, get used to Linux, and then take it to work.  Then they can
> install linnet.

How can SEUL help make the former happen (the work, the taxes, the

> > But I think we should focus on a LAN evironment and deal early on with
> > the issues that brings up: DHCP, remote file systems, fascist
> > administrtors, etc.
> I strongly disagree. These problems are entirely different than those faced
> by one guy, alone in his office, trying to get Linux up.

Is the point of SEUL really to encourage stand-alone use of what is
obviously an excellent network-ready OS? I love Linux, but if I was
condemned to a stand-alone PC, I'm not sure I would even use it much.
85% of the benefits would disappear, at least for me.

At any rate, network computing is becoming so ubiquitous that it's
almost absurd to lay groundwork plans, at this late date, for a system
designed for stand-alone PCs. By the time SEUL sees the light of day,
one-chip Ethernet solutions will be on every motherboard and it will be
impossible to share files via floppy anymore.

> > I would especially like to see SEUL and Linnet become to sides of the
> > coin such that Linux was all any organization needed to run on their
> > network.
> With proper coordination, it should be possible to install seul, get the
> machine up, and then upgrade to Linnet.

Then they're not really two sides of the same coin. They're two stages
in an installation-configuration-and-administration suite. SEUL gets the
box configured by desperate measures so the user can "at least" do
something with it. At least that's what it sort of sounds like.

In this case, I'm with everyone who favors building off of an existing
distribution. RedHat or Debian, it makes no difference. Both already do
90% of the target functionality, and SEUL would simply mean adzing some
rough edges and squaring off little things like fdisk and xf86config.

> > He expects to be able to select wallpaper and screensavers, and to be
> > able to make the computers say "T-t-t-t-t That's all folks" when he exits
> > a program.  You get the idea.  While I'd like to see SEUL utterly
> > embarass Windows95, the bulk of our efforts needs to be spent on making
> > Linux/X do the things that gotten use to Win95 doing.
> No.  The user you describe will just stick with Windows, as he should.
> People who try Linux expect and want something different.

Well, that's what I thought. Any suggestions as to what makes Linux
different, and how SEUL can capitalize on it? The discussion so far
seems to center on the difficulties arising out of hardware detection
and configuration. What about the OS itself?

Just some question, as I'm a little lost in the confusion:

Just how far does SEUL take the user?
Is it something they intend to leave installed?
If so, is it something they look at every time they use their computer?
Can I use it if I built my computer from parts?
Can I use it if my PC is from some place in Lubbock, TX that you've
never heard of?

Michael J. Peck
Hewlett-Packard, Convex Division
Opinions expressed above are not necessarily those of my employer.
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