[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: Newbie Idea

> I'm also looking into hacking Kdm, adding a menu so the user can choose what
> WM to use. I like kde because of the shutdown menu, this will be similar.

KDM already has a session menu.  Check out the docs in
/opt/kde/share/doc/HTML/en/kdm.  To make it fully operational you'll
have to hammer on /etc/X11/xdm/Xsession a little bit but there's no C
coding involved.  Being a decent ksh/bash hack wouldn't hurt.

> Right now I'm busy tring to straiten out my $@*#+! e-mail! I missed some of
> this thread, but I thought I would respond. I hope to be that C programmer
> your talking about. I'm not the best...but I seem to be all we've got. Anyone
> else want to help?

I'm here with C experience a-plenty, but I'm also less than 8 weeks
away from being a dad once again so time is a little tight.  I'm
hoping to apply the gray matter below the gray hairs to help make sure
this project goes over the top.  I believe that a simple Linux client
distribution will sew up the desktop for good - no more proprietary
operating systems on general-purpose hardware.  There is room for
proprietary operation systems but only at the fringe.

I think the issue of installing Linux onto running Windows systems is
really a red herring.  If we're really targeting the "end user" then
if they're sitting at a Windows box it's already too late.  Far beyond
the issues of getting the thing installed without driving them to
tears is the investment in applications.  If I'm an end user and I've
decided I need a computer because of AOL or MS Word or Tomb Raider,
how will the existence of Linux have any impact on my decision?

Applications will drive the adoption at home and applications
developers will be looking at how well we deliver on the core user
experience after the thing is installed.  Until the applications
developers have been won over we haven't "crossed the chasm" and most
of this stuff is still academics muttering amongst themselves.

If I'm going to invest any energy in this space (and I will) I think
the big payoff will be a new model of the end user experience under
Linux and other UNIX-like systems.  A distribution is a good way to
provide a reference implementation of this new model.  Ideally such
a distribution should be "tailor made" for systems OEMs interested in
shipping lots of boxes without lots of headaches.

In this scenario, the target for installability becomes the OEM, not
the end user and our end user focus moves to one of usability, a model
of the end user experience and the tooling necessary to make that work.

So now back to questions about end users installing Linux on their
nice shiny Windows98 boxes.  Has there been consideration to
allocating a contiguous block of filesystem space in the user's
Windows FAT as a large "container file" and cooking the partition
tables (or some similar low-level mechanism) so that this space
appears to Linux to be an actual partition?  Assuming that we're going
to be swapping to a file, this may neatly sidestep all of the
"Partition Magic" type issues.

Good Day,

Charles C. Bennett, Jr.				Workgroup Technology Corp.
Principal Software Engineer,			91 Hartwell Ave.
Distributed Object Computing			Lexington, MA 02421

"Talking about music is like tap dancing about architecture" - Laurie Anderson