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SEUL: Re: Proposal for using a single mailing list [was Re: One end-user distribution?]

Hi all,

I'm Michel Stam, one of the friends of Dennis Leeuw originally working on the
LED distribution. I received a lot of mails about what being the 'best' Linux,
so I decided to join the discussion :)

> People are sending mail and failing to get it to everybody involved. I
> propose that we all subscribe to seul-pub@seul.org (send mail to
> majordomo@seul.org with body 'subscribe seul-pub'), and carry on the
> discussion from there.

Fine with me, that way, the discussion becomes a little more open to everyone
involved, any of the LaetOS ppl who can forward the important mail to their
mailing list ? (note that this does not mean I favor Seul above Laetos).

> SEUL is a relatively neutral organization -- we want to benefit end-users in
> any way we possibly can. Coordinating distribution projects is a good way to
> help, and we're willing to endorse both a redhat-based distrib and a
> debian-based distrib if that looks like the wisest action.

I agree. As I mentioned, I received a lot of mail about what distribution is
best, and why I should install it, and frankly, I'm a Slackware addict, so I've
got my own opinions about both Redhat and Debian which I shall keep to myself.
I'd rather have us establish a common ground (let's call it Linux :) ), and work
up (or down) from there.

> Project Independence has some very good arguments in favor of Redhat.
> Most importantly, Redhat has already made good progress towards being
> end-user-friendly and it has a lot of mind/market share, which means it's
> closer to the end-users already.
> On the other hand, using Debian as a base is more 'true' to the free software
> community; in addition, it's much easier to get closer to the actual
> developers, and make an immediate difference in the distribution itself.
> (Nils Lohner, SPI Treasurer, has been trying to get me to be a Debian
> developer for several weeks now, so I can package the seul-edu software
> (www.seul.org/edu/) as deb's.)
> The seul-pub list is archived at
> http://www.seul.org/archives/seul/pub/Apr-1999/threads.html

I'm sorry to say that the discussion fails to include Slackware at this point,
but I won't say anything since this may cause a flame-war or another discussion
like the last one (the 'best' distribution I mean) at the very least. If
everyone could just drop all things in favor of one or the other distribution,
and let's all look at the basics:

"We all want to create a distribution good enough to convince the people to
install and use Linux."

> We should definitely look into working together, since I have a lot of
> resources and people volunteering to help with SEUL and I often don't
> have time to manage and organize all the volunteers. Certainly we can
> work together in the areas of advocacy/publicity documents, educational
> software development, end-user resources (lists of links and summaries),
> etc.
> Thanks,
> --Roger

You are right; We all can use ppl to be able to split the various parts of such
a distribution into manageable parts, making it easier to keep a distribution up
to date. And since everyone has little time available to do this, so creating a
common ground as large as possible is in everyone's best interests.

I have a few suggestions as to what we can (or can't) do:

A- Why don't we look at the best parts of every distribution ?
I know this is a hell of a lot of work, but take all the best parts, put it
together, and try to create something even better ? That way, everyone gets his
way, and no discussions need to exist about the 'best' Linux any longer.

B - Why don't we try to share as much of the code among eachother as possible,
thus completing the code everyone needs for their distribution faster than
everybody would by themselves ? At least this should be possible. Say for
instance, LaetOS and Independence both need a graphical install program and a
way to detect hardware. Why use different software, when you both need the same
tool anyway ? You could save yourself a lot of time that way. The same goes for
us (LED).

C - Why not try to standardize the parts of the Linux OS which have not been
standardized already ? Like the libc used in a distribution, the package format,
the packages installed, etc. That way, it is possible for one of the groups to
create a package for, say Gnome or X or KDE, or whatever, and every group is
able to use it while still being able to have it's own distribution. This does
not only apply to the package format, but it could also apply to the way the
/etc directory is organized, which is in my own opinion one of the biggest
differences between the various distributions. Or the way the system boots up,
loads daemons etc.

Ultimately, the user benefits from a "standardized" Linux OS (I use this term as
loosely as possible, since Linux is already very much standardized, so don't
start this discussion either :) ). It does not matter what distribution the user
uses anymore, cause he/she gets the same functionality whether using LaetOS,
Independence, LED, or whatever.

Please, if anyone has more suggestions, send them to me or the list, and lets
see if we can come to some sort of an agreement.



In a world without fences, who needs Gates ?